Sweaty palms. Tight chest. Heart racing. Breath escaping. Body shaking.
I open my mouth and no words come out; instead tears form and heat fills my cheeks as I bolt from the stage to the nearest bathroom.
ANXIETY: Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.
This particular circumstance was my Year 11 solo performance. I’d never sung in front of anyone except my singing teacher before—and public singing was my number one greatest fear with public speaking coming in a close second. Why did I choose to sing then?
Essentially God had put a dream on my heart.
When I was 12 years old, I had a vision from God. In this vision, I saw the students at my school truly engage in worship for the first time and I was the one leading them. To be honest that was TERRIFYING to me..
Also keep in mind that I wasn’t popular in the slightest, a little nerdy kid with glasses (not even the cool kind). I loved studying, was always really quiet and often went unnoticed by most. This dream sat inside of me for a long time. I even tried to fight God and reason with Him:
‘Yes, God, I’ll join the chapel band but I’ll play guitar at the back.’
‘Yes, God, I’ll join the band but no one will ever listen to me because I’m not cool enough.’
‘God, You don’t understand! People will make fun of me; I can’t sing!’
But I knew He would not relent. I prayed about it and cried about it. I was so consumed with fear that it paralysed me. Then one day God showed me this verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV—‘For God has not given us a spirit of FEAR, but of POWER and of love and of a sound mind.’
God showed me that ANXIETY = FEAR, and that FEAR is actually something that we can control, but not in our own strength.
He has given you His power, with Him you already have everything you need to do what He has called you to do.
FEAR is a by-product of the negative voices we allow to speak into our world. This includes our own voice, our distorted perception and our feelings about ourselves. When we feel inadequate, we run away because it’s easier than facing what’s in front of us.
As children of God, we need to listen to His voice and drown out all other noise.
God will never ask you to do something you can do in your own strength; the whole point is to rely on Him! You don’t need to do it yourself, He has given you His power, with Him you already have everything you need to do what He has called you to do.
My first ever music solo was a complete disaster! I left feeling discouraged, humiliated and more nervous than ever. I thought I would never be able to fulfill the dream until one of my friends prayed for me and God brought to remembrance this verse: Philippians 4:6–7: ‘Do not be ANXIOUS about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God; which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.’
God has not called us to live an anxious life. Although we will all face anxiety, God has made it clear that when we bring those anxieties and fears to Him He will give us peace. I prayed that Scripture over my life every day leading up to that chapel service and when I got on that stage all those fears melted away. I just focused on worshipping God and it was great! Not only that but the culture of worship that began that day still remains in that school six years later because of one giant faith step. From there God continued to strengthen me to lead in our youth worship team, to worship lead in church, to become the youth pastor and also to speak in schools, churches and even overseas. Crazy what God can do, right?!!
If you are feeling ANXIOUS I want you to know that God is greater than your fears and doubts and He has called you to a greater life than you can ever imagine. Anxiety is not what God has given you but He has given you a spirit of POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND. Now go live like it!