A Whole Other World.

I’m a real thinker – an internal processor. It can take me hours, days, or weeks to toil over a thought before I feel ready to share it with the outside world. There’s a whole other world inside of me. Often it consumes me; dreaming about what the earth would look like if people had the courage to love others and allow themselves to be loved; creating effective solutions to the problems that pop up every day; carefully choosing crafting the right perfect words and sentences to describe what’s going on inside. I just love getting caught in the wonder of another world. It makes me come alive! It’s probably why I love Harry Potter, Discworld, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and pretty much anything else sci-fi.

But here’s the catch – the same thing that helps me come alive is the very same thing that shuts me down. With dreaming comes analysing, more analysing, and over and over again analysing. With problem solving comes the ability to quickly and efficiently see every single potential problem that could ever possibly happen. With the gift of crafting comes a crippling feeling of never being good enough. It’s paralysing. It keeps me locked up in my inner world, and I completely miss what’s going on right in front me.

No Anxiety.

Before we began our journey to the far north I was pretty shut down. I knew it was bad because even connecting with the people I cared about was scary and overwhelming. And then we moved to a whole new city where we barely knew anyone, and they barely knew us. I was absolutely looking forward to exploring the new world of Whangarei (very excited), but anxiety had a grip on me.

What if they don’t like me? Maybe if I tell them everything I’m good at doing, then they’ll like me. I could even volunteer my time and do all that stuff. What if we can’t afford to live here? Why did we decide not to work? That’s not practical at all! I need to find a job. Or, even better, come up with a killer business idea. I need to earn lots of money so that I can actually do all the stuff I’ve always dreamed about. What if I don’t help out around the house? They’ll think I’m lazy and get annoyed at me. If I don’t do the dishes or something, they’ll think I’m not good enough to live here. Heck, if I don’t tidy the room and do a load of washing then Emma will get upset and think I’m a lame husband.

Excruciating. In amongst it all I often thought, “What is this world I’ve created for myself? Why won’t you just fix me God!?”

Then, one day, His voice finally broke through the noise; “No anxiety.” Again and again and again. “No anxiety.” For three days.“No anxiety.” That’s not very helpful God! I mean, great, You’re finally doing something but what the heck are you doing? In fact, this just making me more anxious. And besides, what does it even mean? And then it all became clear. Anxiety was running my life. I was begrudgingly doing things so that I wouldn’t be disliked, rejected and left alone. I didn’t want to do them, but the pain of not being good enough was greater, so I did them anyway.

Courage To Trust.

Since then it’s been His mission to create in me a world where unhealthy anxiety has zero influence on my actions. And it sounds like this – “Will you trust Me with that?” He wants to prove to me that He’s faithful and worthy of my trust. To prove that He’s the loving Father that all the stories talk about, and that I’ve always longed for.

Recently I watched a short clip from Beni Johnson. She shares a vision she had of Jesus with the world in His hand. She says “Oh! You’ve got this! You’re not worried about all this stuff. You’ve got this. And the world looks so little in His hand. He’s got this. Will we trust Him? That’s the biggest issue. Can we trust that He knows what He’s doing?” That rocked me.

Do I continue to carry the weight of my world and let it crush me? Or do I trust Him with it – the one who holds the whole world in His hands? It might kill me if I hold on to it, but at least it would have been my choice. If I let go there’s a chance that He’s not actually reliable, and it could all come crashing down. Just the thought of that is frightening, so for a long time I wouldn’t let go. But guess what? That was anxiety talking.

Since His voice came crashing through, I’ve found a courage inside that won’t back down. I don’t know how or why, but something inside of me is refusing to allow worries and fear to cripple me. An unrelenting bravery screaming to release me from the chains that hold me back. It’s scary and it’s certainly not easy, but I’m learning to feel the pain and take the risk of trusting Him anyway. It’s a journey (a long one) and it’s a daily choice. But, so far, it’s totally been worth it and in the process I’m getting lost in His world.

If you’re feeling brave then I have some questions for you. And, if you’re feeling really brave, I encourage you to share the answers with someone – your loved one, family, friend, or even in the comments below! What’s that dream that’s so big it couldn’t possibly ever happen? What’s that thing that stresses you out? What’s that thing driving you to do the things you don’t really want to do?

And, most importantly, will you trust Him?

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