Dash of Sass: Here’s How I Show Fear & Anxiety Who’s Boss!
Quote of the Day:
Whatever our calling, regardless of our fears or anxieties, let us pray and then go and do. ~Thomas S. Monson
The Single Woman Says:
As many of you know, last night was the Galentines event that I have been tweeting and writing about for the past month, and part of my participation in the event meant having to get up and speak in front of people. Now, I’ve written about my lifelong struggle with anxiety before, but in all transparency, the sheer depth of my anxiety is far beyond what I’ve ever put into words to this point. Anxiety is a very real issue, one that brings along all sorts of shame and embarrassment and feelings of weakness with it. People who struggle with anxiety are forced to carry around this invisible and silent cross, hoping and praying no one will notice and that they can just get through whatever terrifying experience it is they have to overcome without the humiliation of a panic attack. Because of that, people with anxiety are SO much stronger than they give themselves credit for. Even the simplest of acts can be an anxiety trigger, and anyone who faces down that anxiety and wins deserves a standing ovation. Since I decided long ago that I wasn’t going to let anxiety win, I am regularly put in situations where I have to go to battle with the anxiety and show it who’s boss.
This happened last night as I prepared to go onstage in front of a live audience of 200, and a simulcast audience of hundreds more. The old familiar anxious feelings started to kick in, and with them, the “flight or fight” syndrome that literally makes me want to streak out of whatever situation I’m in faster than the Roadrunner with the Coyote on his tail. But I knew I couldn’t run away and let our audience of precious single women down. And I also didn’t want to let myself down. When I find myself in situations that stir up the anxious feelings, I always talk myself down by reminding myself that NOTHING…not fainting onstage or crying onstage or even passing out and being dragged offstage…is worse than the regret that would come from not facing my fears. So, as I always do, I called on Jesus to help me through…because here is what I know as someone who loves God: If He brings you TO it, He’s gonna bring you THROUGH it. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He placed me on this earth to minister to and to speak life to single women. So I called on Him and the other ladies gathered around me and prayed for me and I allowed myself to relax into His embrace, knowing that He would come through for me as He always does.
And He did. Though only moments before I was shaking and fretting and doubting that I could even walk onstage without passing out, the moment I was actually out there, sitting in front of all the happy, smiling ladies in the audience, peace fell. Complete and total peace and calm and confidence. All feelings that I could never achieve on my own strength. The Bible talks about “peace that surpasses understanding,” and that is exactly what I experienced. This is not my way of preaching at you or trying to win you over to “my side” of Christianity…but I couldn’t tell this story without sharing the reason that I am able to walk into situations that would normally strike fear in my heart with peace without telling you where the peace comes from. When I am weak, He makes me strong. And I am often weak. I guess this is all my way of saying that whatever the destiny it is that you’ve been called to in life, God has given you all the tools and courage you need to achieve it. Even the thing that terrifies you the most, if it is part of your destiny, you DO have the power to face it down and to win. I would never choose on my own accord to be a public figure and to get up in front of women and encourage and motivate them. I would, instead, choose to do the encouraging and the inspiring from the comfort of my own home, from behind the safety of my computer screen. But God has a bigger plan for me than I had for myself. And when I have nothing else, I have Him. When I am standing on the ledge of my destiny, terrified to jump, He calms the waters beneath me and becomes my safety net. So if you don’t know the God that I know and love and depend upon, I hope you will introduce yourself to Him. He’s been waiting for you for so long. And He can give you the courage to do things that you never thought possible for yourself or your life.
I know…because He did it for me.