I get so excited to go to gatherings and events. The thought of meeting new people and building new relationships makes me giddy on the inside. I live for meaningful connection. I long to hug, love on other people, and tell them all the reasons they're amazing. I desire to be noticed and accepted and to fit in just as much.
BUT WHEN I GET WHEREVER I'M GOING MY ANXIETY ROBS ME OF ALL OF IT.
The excitement becomes trapped in my paralyzing fears. All the words I longed to say to others are overwhelming my mind but unable to come out. Instead of an out of body experience it's an in-body experience. I wonder around, wide eyed with panic, praying so hard to become unstuck.
Trapped in myself, I go unnoticed. I miss the relationships. I don't get to hug. I silence my redemption story. I don't meet the new people, and they don't meet me. I'm robbed of everything I was meant to have.
What's wrong with me? Why can't I just be normal? I wanted so badly to be here. Am I not Christian enough? They probably think I don't like them. God, why am I like this?
Anxiety steals intimacy. Anxiety takes away your real self. Anxiety traps your true expressions inside of you and cold, clammy sweat exudes instead. Anxiety turns good things into fear.
As a believer, it's hard to admit that most of the time for me praying doesn't help me. And why? I've seen God do impossible things in my life but why won't He do this? I don't know. I don't have the answers, honestly.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinth. 12:9-11
But I do know I'm not alone.
What I do know is God sees every "hello" and the strength it took to push through and say one word.
What I do know is God sees every tear cried in frustration that I failed at it again.
What I do know is that God comes into those moments and whispers love songs over me.
What I do know is that where my expectations weren't met, God exceeds them.
What I do know is that when I walk through a crowd unnoticed, God's sees every single part of me.
What I do know is that where I am inadequate, God's grace comes in abundance.
And that's His promise.
So I will keep going, I will keep pushing myself into these situations. I will keep trying. I won't let my anxiety and fear win by hiding. I AM good enough.
And so are you.
THERE IS GOOD NEWS. GRACE EXISTS WHERE WE DON'T MEASURE UP.
Grace exists, even in anxiety.