Unflappable: Flying by Faith in the Face of Fear

You’re so unflappable,” people tell me sometimes. And I laugh. Every time I choose to use my voice to say something that’s hard, I always have a level of anxiety internally before I say it. I don’t know if my anxiety will ever go away, but as a child and young adult, I allowed it to control everything I did or didn’t do—for instance, I didn’t drive until I was 20. 

I was 19 and a new believer when I learned I could take steps of faith and still be afraid at the same time. I was asked to consider a summer missions opportunity as a freshman, going to camps to lead recreation and activities. “We really think you’d be good!” they said. “You’re not listening; I’m not doing that!” was my response. But I ended up saying yes after seeking the Lord. 

As I led Bible study for these youth, the fear didn’t go away. For me, it was more about God saying, “You can do this because of me.” I learned I could keep going even though I was terrified of all the new things God invited me into that summer… and every day since then. When I joined Collegiate, I didn’t even want to lead Nav Night. I never saw myself as a leader, it felt to unnerving to use my voice. I am amazed at how God keeps taking me to new places even despite my fear. 

Nine years ago, when I went through a huge loss, my anxiety went off the chart. I found myself afraid to go to sleep. My counselor helped me realize how much anxiety I have lived with a lot of my life. It took me a long time to make peace with the fact that I needed medication in this season. But it did help. The meds didn’t remove my anxiety, but they allowed it not to be front and center. I found myself clinging to what God says about fear and anxiety. Over thirty times in the Bible, God promises to stay with us and never leave us. It helped to know that I wasn’t alone. 

Anxiety isn’t the same for everyone. I’d love to tell people I don’t have anxiety anymore, and most people think I’m calm and confident… but internally, it’s always stirring, whether it’s a season when it’s calmer or a season when it’s beyond intense. But at every step, God will never leave me nor forsake me. I can trust him with my fear. 

We have permission not to have it all together. You don’t have to pretend you’re not afraid. Be honest and authentic about what it is, not just with God but with close people in your life. It’s not just companionship; it’s also the confession bringing healing in community. 

Fear doesn’t have the power. God has the power.

RESOURCE: Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow 

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