2017 – The Bold Girl
2017 was a really big year for me. It was the year I turned 18, graduated highschool, and got my first job working full time. I still remember how scared I was when that year was approaching. Somehow it felt like everything in my life was about to drastically change.
I pressed hard into my relationship with God during that time because I knew no one else could truly help me. Though there was still fear, He gave me so much more peace, strength, and joy in the midst of the changes.
Around fall of 2017, I suddenly felt very determined and called by God to get a job. Luckily for me, I had a connection at a local candy shop and the owner hired me after a ten-minute conversation. I was bouncing off the walls excited – as well as a bundle of nerves. But something about it felt right and I knew God was with me. Working at that candy store is one of my favorite seasons of my life. I learned so much and had an absolute blast working with everyone. Despite the high-stress environment during the holidays, I still had a lot of fun and it pushed me out of my comfort zone, which grew me as a person. I think that, after the end of each workday, I was surprised by myself. Shy, quiet little me who hates phone calls answered the phone and took an order? Who is this? XD
2020 – The Fearful Girl
Now skip ahead and it’s 2020. I’m 21 years old and I look back on that girl who had interviews, worked full time, stretched herself more than ever before and I can’t help but wonder… where did she go? What happened to that boldness? Because now that girl is overcome by anxiety just thinking of getting a job again. Now that girl is much more on edge and feels a little more uncomfortable being home alone sometimes.
Somewhere between then and now…she got depressed. Life got a little harder. And as she became increasingly more aware of the dangers outside, she let fear creep into her soul and slowly consume her. Worst of all, she forgot to trust and surrender those fears to God because she started to drift away from her Father.
I have always had my anxieties and fears in life, but, this year especially, they have skyrocketed. Time and again, I’ve chosen a tiny bubble of safety and comfort instead of learning to trust God outside of my comfort zone. Now a question is popping up in my mind… Is this really how a child of God should be living?
Backing up a little bit, I actually did stretch myself at the beginning of this year. I was doing a lot better. I decided to prepare myself for driving, so I went out, had a job interview, and I was hired. I was just about ready to start my new job at a school when…COVID happened. It was a little disappointing, honestly, but I also feel like that was God closing the door. As I was going through training for the job, I started to realize that it wasn’t going to be a good fit for me after all, but I was too nervous to back out of it. So God took care of it for me 😉
Anyway, I know I don’t have to tell you how crazy things got during this pandemic. It’s been… scary. And I guess I’ve let all of it affect me a bit too much. Hearing of all the violence and evil happening was alarming and disturbing – and still is. But in hearing all of this, I’ve been regressing.
Obviously, with COVID a lot of things shut down and I no longer had a job – which meant no source of income. I’ve slowly been running out of money and, while I do live with my parents, it’s stressful to watch your money going away. I know I need a job. My thought was that I needed to be safe, so I would try to find a job that would allow me to work in the comfort of home. As you can imagine… that wasn’t going so well.
The Wake Up Call
I had a coaching call with my writing mentor a few weeks ago to discuss some ways I could make money. When asked why I wanted a stay-at-home job, I had to be honest and tell him that I was afraid of getting a “regular” job. There are a lot of dangers out there and I get anxious just thinking about it. Understanding my fears, he suggested I start my own business. I’d thought of doing the same thing before and it made sense to me. The goal is to work for myself someday, so why not, right? It sounded fun and it felt comfortable.
Yet in the back of my head, I heard a voice telling me this wasn’t right. Why? Because I knew my heart. I knew that if I went ahead with this, I’d be submitting to my fear. Even more than I already have.
My heart is pounding writing these words down. Admitting the truth and why this is wrong is the first step of facing my fears…and it’s so hard. But I know that I don’t want to live in fear anymore.
The truth is, I need a job now. And starting a business and going through that whole process is going to take me months to get off the ground. So do I go on with that because it’s more comfortable for me and just struggle financially for a while? Or do I face my fears and get a job, trusting that God is with me always?
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Here’s what I’ve been realizing the past few days…
Something bad could happen at any moment, no matter where I’m at. My house could burn down, I could get into a car wreck, I could get sick, discover I have cancer, whatever. But I don’t worry about those things. I simply trust that God is in control. So why on earth am I so afraid of getting a job?
All those things I just listed, I barely even think about. I just go about my day and I trust God – without even realizing it, really. If I can do that, then surely I can trust God to protect me when I go out, get a job, or whatever it may be. The point is, I have God on my side. Look at all of the people in the world who don’t have God in their life and go about their days trusting that they’re going to be okay. Where do they get that trust from? How are they more secure than I am?
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
Here I am, a believer in God, allowing fear to build up and control me. As Christians, we should be bolder than anyone because we know God is in control. We know and trust that our life is in His hands.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise.” Ephesians 5:15
This isn’t to say that we should just do whatever and go wherever because “I trust God! It’s okay!” Like, please don’t go jumping off a roof and trust you’ll survive. Just don’t.
We should still be wise and do what we can to be safe, but our trust and faith in God should overpower our fears.
My fears today are valid, but they should not control me. They should not be keeping me locked away in my bubble of where I feel safe. God didn’t intend for me to live this way. He intended me to be bold.
And the sad truth is… this year I have allowed the media and the news to affect me more than the living Word of God. Even when I took breaks from the media to avoid the disturbing headlines, I was still thinking about it all and I wasn’t going to God with any of it. Not taking my fears and anxieties to God and trying to distract myself from them instead is probably my biggest mistake in all of this.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear is not of God. If my desire truly is to be more like Him, I have to stop letting it control me and start living my life courageously. I have to surrender my fears and my life into His hands. Only God can take away my fears. And my life is His alone.
- I will trust Him to take care of me.
- I will have faith that if something bad happens, it is part of His plan and He will use it for good.
- I will live boldly and courageously, knowing He is with me wherever I go.
- I will surrender my life to Him each and every day because I know there are no better hands to trust it with.
I want to discover the girl again who was so confident in her God that nothing could shake her. I want to find the girl who lived boldly and did things to stretch herself out of her comfort zone, even if she was afraid.
I want to be courageous. It’s not going to be easy and I can’t just flip a switch on this. It’s going to be a long process of learning to trust God and surrendering my fears to Him. But how worth it will it be to no longer allow my fear to control me! <3
“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” Psalms 56:3-4