“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.
Imagine being surrounded by the unknown. You walk through the arch of your destination, one that you’ve never seen before. Scores of individuals are gathered in circles, chatting away with an increasingly loud volume and staring as you slowly and fearfully move from the outside to the inside. As you proceed to move past the swarms of people, the intense pressure and evident intrigue of the locals creates a sense of the room closing on you, as if someone was turning the room pitch black like the end of an episode from cartoons of decades past. You see a silhouette quickly closing in. The person greets you with a smile and asks your name, but most of your energy is focused on staying awake. The one person then proceeds to fire a barrage of questions, genuinely interested yet unaware of your background, circumstances, feelings, etc.
They say our social media is a highlight reel, and they’re right! I wish I could tell you that it all matches up but the truth is, it doesn’t. Believe me, there’s a whole other side of life behind the scenes. A lot of you know this, but I know there’s a lot of you that don’t. Only those close to me have been in constant prayer over me to kneel and stand by my side. This isnt easy to admit and say “out loud” but I think it’s totally worth sharing. I’ve been in a battle. A battle within myself. A spiritual battle, physical and emotional, all at once!