“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”
– 2 Timothy 1:7
For as long as I can remember, fear was something that controlled who I was and what I did. I allowed fear to keep me away from pursuing my goals. It was a huge factor in relationships as I struggled to trust others and trust God. Fear had become my unwanted guest – the one that overstayed their welcome much longer than I had the energy to deal with. It was a cancer to my soul as it slowly killed off any surge of joy or hope I attempted to grasp. My heart was longing to be set free and open, and yet I was bound by fear and anxiety so much that I became prone to panic attacks.
At first, I was able to manage these, and would try to keep away from places that would “spark triggers”. Eventually, my avoidance led to agoraphobia. That means that my fears had exacerbated to the point where I could no longer leave my apartment for fear of something bad happening to me.
That is a lie I have listened to more times than I would like to admit. A lie I have convinced myself as truth since being faced with a hard dose of reality after graduating college.
I’ve had a love for nature for as long as I can remember. I spent most of my childhood camping, hiking, going to museums, exploring outdoors, asking questions about literally everything. That eventually led to one single class in high school where my passion for the environment truly took root and motivated me to pursue a degree in that field. Unfortunately, I had this unrealistic expectation when I graduated that a bachelor’s degree with no relevant experience would guarantee me a career job. I was in for a rude awakening.
Anytime I go away for a few days and spend some time with God, Satan is waiting around the corner ready to derail my spiritual high with trials and temptations. After the All In Retreat, I was hit with all sorts of trials over a course of a week. I like to say I deal with anxiety and stress pretty well. But I know the war Satan wages in me is in my thoughts. I’m such a deep thinker that it can really take my focus off of God and my mind will go all over the place and look for quick fixes to ease those thoughts.
You may have heard the phrase “The straw that broke the Camel’s back” before. While that seems like a ridiculous notion, that something as light as a piece of straw could break anything, there is a breaking point for everything. Camels are known for being able to travel long distances in the harsh desert, and even carry burdens as large as 1000 pounds on its back. A wise owner of any creature is careful to keep it from being overburdened or overworked, but a foolish or unknowledgeable owner might overestimate the Camel’s physical capabilities.