So, a peek behind the curtain, I am writing this post a couple weeks before you see it. As you look at this, I’m traveling in the UK with a few friends, hopefully having an incredible time. As I’m getting ready to leave, though, I’m having to wrestle with the anxiety that I normally pretend not to have.
A lot of people have the impression that I’m pretty calm and keep my cool. The reality is quite different. In my head, I am thinking through all of the things that are supposed to happen, and then all the things that could possibly mess it up. My anxiety flares up. Even now, as I type this, there is a very real part of my mind wanting me to go double check my passport and check in information. It doesn’t particularly matter that I’ve already looked at all that, discussed it with the other people I’m traveling with, and know that things are lined up.
I have had to come to terms with the fact that, as much as I like to try and pretend that it’s easy to trust that things will work out, my anxiety does tend to outweigh my confidence and trust in God in these moments. Part of coming to terms with it, though, has been coming to the realization that these moments of anxiety are not a failing on my part. The fact that I get nervous, even unreasonably so, in these moments doesn’t mean that I don’t ultimately trust in God.
My nerves, like any of our other emotions, are a natural response to the stimulus in the moment. What I need to focus on is not my anxiety, but my response to it. Our feelings, our instinctive response to the world around us, are not sinful. Where we could find ourselves in sin is if we choose to focus and engage them. My anxiety is natural, but when I feel it, I can either internalize it and dwell with it, or I can turn it over to God by an intentional prayer.