OK Admit it, You’re a Little Freaked Out


As I clicked ‘search’ at the next website, my heart pounded a little faster. My mouth dried out and there was a feeling of nausea in my stomach. The mouse kept scrolling and my eyes did not leave the screen as I looked upon page after page of digitally empty shelves. All I wanted was paper towels. I wasn’t asking for much; I wasn’t asking for toilet paper. Once I couldn’t find any paper towels I began to panic and I started looking for other things. Nope, they were gone too. My heart pounded faster. It was becoming increasingly harder to breathe. It felt like that super scary scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, where the voodoo priest is getting ready to steal Indiana’s heart. Okay, if you don’t get that reference and you have anxiety, I don’t recommend watching that movie.


Recently, I heard someone say that “now’s not the time to be anxious.” While I know where they were going, I don’t believe anxiety is a choice. It’s not something that you can just say “get back under my bed!” We need to be okay with vocalizing our struggles. This is what brings about genuine healing and community.


The challenge for us is to grow our faith to be more mature than our fear. Visualize it as “faith>fear”.


Faith Comes with the Journey

Picture yourself on a path inside the forest. It’s a beautifully sunny day. The warmth of the sun is on your face and the smell of nature flows all around you. The sounds of the wind gliding through the trees and birds filling the air bring peace over your walk as you move forward.


What if the beautifully sunny day turned into a thunderstorm? What if the gliding of the wind became an aggressive bully pushing you around? Do you continue to treat the situation like it was before the storm? Probably not! Your strategy changes. Fear might replace joy in that moment. The journey is everything for us. It’s not about the destination, but rather how we get there. Sunshine and rainstorms are where faith growth takes place.


I love this quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt:

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Your walk with the Lord isn’t deepened merely from the ease of the path or the downpour of the rain. It’s deepened by a trust that in both situations, God is there.

Your walk with the Lord isn’t deepened merely from the ease of the path or the downpour of the rain. It’s deepened by a trust that in both situations, God is there.

Even when I walk

through the darkest valley,[a]

I will not be afraid,

for you are close beside me. - Psalm 23:4a


It’s Okay to be Fearful

It’s easiest to say, “God, thanks for this peaceful time in the woods,” but it’s hardest to say, “God I’m afraid of this storm!” Growing our faith requires us acknowledging what we feel and what we fear. This tangible response to fear brings a freedom that allows our faith to flourish forward. Fear will try to fight you off and keep you from pulling him into the light, but our faith needs the tension to grow.


Fear will try to fight you off and keep you from pulling him into the light, but our faith needs the tension to grow.

With that being said, I want you to take a long, deep breath and say these words out loud: It’s okay to be afraid. Now pause, take another breath and say this: It’s okay to be afraid, but I’m not going to stay afraid. Feel the captivity leave your body as you speak these words. This doesn’t mean that fear is gone, but it does mean you’ve given yourself permission to be afraid. That’s okay! It’s okay to feel what you feel, but as you progress along the journey, those feelings you were wrestling with will decrease. As your faith increases, your fear will decrease. It’s okay that you struggle; what matters is what you do with it.


Fear Diminishes as Faith Grows

About a year ago, I took my son, Abram, to Bernheim Forest here in the Louisville area. We went on a hike in the woods. The joy on Abram’s face was priceless and incredible. A short distance in, we came upon an old fire tower. The tower, standing 48-feet tall, made my acrophobia stomach sink. At the top was a gentleman working for Bernheim. He encouraged Abram and I to climb up and take a look. My initial response was, “Nope!” but before I could even get the words out, Abram was on the very narrow steps heading to the top. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t try to stop him because I was afraid to go. Reluctantly, though, I kept going. Even once we reached the top, I was afraid. I could feel the thing sway, but the view was beautiful. It was worth it.


It honestly took courage for me to actually climb that tower and I never would have done it without Abram’s leading. It’s funny how a 5 year old can help push you further than you thought you could go.


When we follow the Lord, we’ll go a lot further than we would have ever gone on our own. As we continue to follow our leader, we trust Him more and more. The result of this is our faith increases as our fear decreases. Those storms in the forest are less about self-preservation and more about leaning into our guide to get us through.


As we continue to follow our leader, we trust Him more and more. The result of this is our faith increases as our fear decreases.

So once again, picture yourself on a path inside the forest. It’s a beautifully sunny day. The warmth of the sun is on your face and the smell of nature flows all around you. The sounds of the wind gliding through the trees and birds filling the air bring peace over your walk as you move forward.


What if the beautifully sunny day turned into a thunderstorm? What if the gliding of the wind became an aggressive bully pushing you around? It would be okay because you’re not alone.


Scripture to Reflect Upon:

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.


Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!


1 John 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.


2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

YOU'RE NOT ALONE

I can't imagine what you're feeling today. Maybe the rough days have subsided or maybe you're feeling defeated. Either way, you need to know that you're not alone. I'm on your side and want to help you embrace your journey, no matter how difficult.

Through the Let's Get Tryin' podcast, music, articles and community, I hope you feel encouraged and blessed knowing you aren't alone.

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