Don't Panic

Don't Panic
Author: Brandy Gibson, Creative Director
Fear Less - Part 3
Your throat tightens, and each breath is a struggle to draw in air. Your vision narrows, and your heart races, pounding hard, a relentless drumbeat in your ears. A suffocating sense of impending doom envelops you—trembling limbs, cold sweat, and a dizzying disconnection from reality. You feel untethered, that you’ve drifted into an unreachable space. Even recognizing that it is only a panic attack and that your thoughts aren’t a reality doesn’t calm you back to a grounded state.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had a panic attack, but I have. Thankfully for me, they are rare, but anxiety is something that I have struggled with for the past few years after my dad passed away suddenly. When I am overwhelmed and things seem too big to handle, I have a tendency to hide or run away instead of turning to God.

God knows that we get scared, but He has given us access to His peace.

This past Sunday, Pastor Tim brought a message about how we can forget that God is always with us. He shared a story about volunteering to give a speech about the Gospel in front of his peers. He said that while he volunteered, he was terrified to actually give the talk. When he shared that, it made me think of the times when I’ve felt like God was calling me to do something I was uncomfortable with—like lead a connect group, stand on a stage and talk, or even do something smaller, like talking to someone who seems alienated or having a hard conversation. My first response is to get anxious and to start to spiral. But this is where turning to God is important. God knows that we get scared, but He has given us access to His peace.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4:6-7
Tim said that as nervous as he was when he started speaking, he felt a boldness that he had never experienced before, and he knew that God was with him; he likened it to how the disciples must have felt in Acts 4:31: “When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness.”

My anxiety can come from not feeling prepared or equipped to do what I need to do. I second guess that I am the person to do what is in front of me. I’m too weak, and I don’t know enough, especially when it comes to sharing my faith with others. I’ve thought, what do I have to share about God that would help people find Him? I don’t know enough to lead people or to answer questions the right way. But each time I’ve taken steps of faith to be bold, God was with me and equipped me to do what was needed. I don’t know the outcome or the way God has used any of this for His glory, but I know each time we follow where God leads us—willingly or otherwise—our relationship with Him grows. What do you sense God is calling you to do? Whatever it is, He will be with you.
“What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
 – Romans 8:31






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