Updated: May 22, 2020
Anxiety curled around my chest, and squeezed me until I thought I was going to suffocate.
Anxiety curled around my chest, and squeezed me until I thought I was going to suffocate. Then, I took a short quick breath, but the vicious coils of anxiety wouldn’t let air flow into my chest, causing panic-stricken thoughts to race through my mind. What was I going to do with my life? Everything felt pointless. I had zero vision for my life, and I was suffering from major self-worth problems. I was in serious trouble.
I was on the phone with my mother. It was the end of sophomore year, and I had not declared a major, but I had to before my junior year so that I could begin to take the classes that would fully impact my major and the rest of my existence. BUT I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT GOD’S WILL WAS FOR MY LIFE! My mother, calmly asked me a question, “What has God already told you to do?”
I hesitated, and did not answer. If I did, I would then be accountable. I would then have to face the reality of my decision. In this case I would have to face the reality of my indecision. I was afraid to fail. I sheepishly answered, “I am supposed to be a writer.”
“Honey, then why don’t you do that?” she asked gently but firmly, in the kind of way only a mother could.
“Because”, I wrestled in my mind, and came up with my best excuse, “because my teacher told me I couldn’t do it.”
“Which teacher?” she asked again, not letting me get away with anything.
So, I told her the story of my first writing teacher in college. I told my mom that after I had failed miserably on my first few papers, my teacher pulled me aside to ask me about my work. She explained that my grammar was horrible, and I was in jeopardy of not passing the class. Then she asked me what I was planning on majoring in. I told her writing. She shockingly looked at me and said, “I think you should find another major.”
I further explained how I was distraught, disheartened, and depressed. I went to my guidance counselor’s office and told him it was all over. We came up with another plan, but by the end of sophomore year I had not really made a decision. I ended my story with a sigh. I had made my case to my compassionate mother about why I could not be a writer.
“Son, I understand what she said, but what has God said?” she asked me, not leaving any wiggle room.
“I thought I knew,” I weakly answered, “but now I am not so sure.”
“If God said it, then you have to trust in His will, His perfect will to come to pass. Just trust Him.”
I don’t remember the rest of the conversation. But I remember the fear getting the best of me. I hung up the phone and walked into my guidance counselor’s office and told him, “I guess I will try to go to law school.” So, we worked out a plan to do that. But things don’t always go according to plan.
It wasn’t until 7 years after graduation that I was really struggling with keeping my heart alive before God. I had not gone to law school. Instead I was working a part-time job and working as a campus minister (something I have grown to love). It was in a moment of prayer-arduous, grueling, deep emotional prayer-that I heard the Lord clearly.
“Son, I told you to be a writer, but you believed a lie, and you went and did lots of other things. I love you.”
And that was it. It was at that moment that I began to pray, “Help me to become a writer, help me to follow Your will for my life.”
Maybe you have a similar story. Maybe you’re searching for God’s will in your life. So, let's grow more in prayer. Let’s get closer to His heart, and find His will not just for your life, but for His Kingdom come. In Luke 11:1, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. Matthew writes down Jesus’s response, which can be found in:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,”
Today I want to invite you on a journey to get free from anxiety. Seriously to get free. I got free in five practical steps:
Daily reading my Bible: this helped me to stay in truth daily
Talk2God: take time to text God, journal, and hear what He is saying
Fellowship: you will only overcome when you are with others
Church: connect to the local church
Firm Foundations: powerful discipleship plan