Thursday, February 24, 2011

God enables me to face my fear...

There have been so many things that I have wanted to write about for a while, but I have really just not had the energy-but I don't want to delay writing about it any longer. Although I have been struggling lately, I have also felt the hand of God on my life in a number of ways.

For those that know me well, they know that I really struggle with anxiety in certain social situations, and with feeling self-conscious. Because of this anxiety, for the longest time I have avoided attending a certain home church. This has nothing to do with the home church, since I know that so many fantastic people attend it , and everything to do with me and my own insecurities. But God has a funny way of breaking through the things that I fear.

When I first heard about the Camden Compassion Trip, I was definitely interested, but I was really nervous. I don't have a job, and my parents have already helped me with the opportunity to go to Japan, so I  knew they wouldn't financially support me in this. I knew I would have to completely rely on God and fundraise the full 900$. That scared me because I feared I would not be able to do so....and part of me felt guilty for choosing to do something that would force me to ask for money from others. I prayed about it, and decided to apply for the team. I was excited when given the opportunity, and grateful that God gave me the nudge to do something that would force me to completely trust in Him. But now that I am the middle of fundraising, my fears are still not abated. I want to trust in God and pray everyday that He will increase my faith and my trust...but I am worried.

When a youth pastor suggested that we fundraise by visiting home churches, the first thought that came to mind was, "Please not THAT home church..." Any home-church but that one, is what I thought. However, the first suggestion I got was to speak to that one. I felt ridiculously nervous, but I also felt a sense that I needed to do it. I don't want to spend my life in anxiety...I want to spend it living victoriously in Christ. And so I knew I needed to face my fear and fundraise at that home-church. I find it amusing because I was originally afraid to just attend the home-church, but ended up not only attending but speaking and asking for prayer and financial support. The day that I was to speak I was SO nervous, and prayed more than I ever have in one day I think! But my worry was all for nothing, because once there, God gave me such a sense of peace and confidence, and I was able to speak pretty articulately I think :P. I actually really enjoyed myself! For those that don't understand anxiety, this probably seems like such a small thing to be afraid of. But for me, it felt like a looming obstacle and it really was only through God that I got the courage to go.

There are other areas in my life where anxiety still has a root, and I would be lying if I said I was completely over my fear of home church....but I am much further along than I would have been if God had not worked in my heart and life, and I want to continue trusting in HIm until every area of my life is completely surrendered.

With regards to fundraising, I am currently at 494.54$.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Quotes that stuck...

" I am going to issue you a challenge. Why not put your whole life in God's hands? Why not trust him fully? I challenge you to give him full clearance to lead your life-every area of your life-until the point that he proves himself to be untrustworthy. At that moment you can bail. But until then, give God control. I challenge you to push the throttle as far as you can push it, and live your life wide open to God. See where his way takes you, I have a feeling you'll never regret it." - Bill Hybels

"I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light." - Mary Gardiner Brainard

"Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys." - Billy Graham

"When we become overly concerned about our appearance, our spiritual reputation, our coolness, and our acceptance, we are living as citizens of this world rather than as ambassadors.This is not something that just goes away. It is an ever-present struggle to maintain your true allegiance. Where does your allegiance lie? Do you care about what people think when they see you, or do you care about seeking the truth concerning the Spirit of God and then living in the light of the truth, holding to those promises, and enjoying that relationship?"
- Francis Chan

More to come!