How often would you say that you freak out? And by, “freak out,” I don’t mean you just have a mini moment of being shocked. Brain farts aren’t what I’m talking about.
How often would you say that you
As in, how often have you ever freaked way, way out?
Scary, isn’t it?
Back in 2002 when I started my first full-time job, I waded into an ocean of unknown without understanding what I was getting into. I started up a job that combined a part-time position as a youth pastor and a part-time position as a teacher, educating high schoolers about the Bible and religions. I always planned on being a student pastor, but never conceived of getting into the teaching game. I was unprepared, untrained, and incredibly nervous.
I started that job three weeks into the school year.
The first half of my first day consisted of meeting the at-risk students at the alternative Christian school, Denver Street School. I introduced myself each hour and taught an introductory lesson. It went ok. The second half of my day was geared towards mapping out the rest of the semester. Instead of sitting down and focusing, I proceeded to have 3 separate panic attacks. Anxiety showed up at my door like a thrashing, seven-headed monster. I felt so alone. I thought that no one could show me how to move forward with curriculum planning. I thought no one would understand my situation or be able to give me hope.
Have you ever been there? Feeling desperate and alone? I have found that when I share this with people, of all of my failures or weaknesses, this is the one that gets the most visceral connection. Most people seem to have a point in their life when they feel utterly alone.
Having Jesus in my life was the only hope I had. I understood being desperate for God more than at any other time in my life. I had people who helped me, nurtured me, and encouraged me–people whom I owe so much–but it was really only under God’s protective wing that I felt secure. Jesus is the one who gave me ultimate hope and reminded me that I am beloved by God. Nothing else got me through those trying months.
David Crowder, formerly of the David Crowder Band but now of the band called Crowder*, has a killer song called “I Am.” It speaks to this need we have for our God to hold onto us in our bleakest moments. Just as countless Psalms point us to seek shelter in our Rock, David Crowder has penned a similar kind of song.
There’s no space that His love can’t reach
There’s no place where we can’t find peace
There’s no end to amazing grace
Take me in with Your arms spread wide
Take me in like an orphan child
Never let go
Never leave my side
Holding on to You
Holding on to You
In the middle of the storm
I am holding on
If you’re experiencing anxiety that overwhelms you, spin this song. If you’re in the middle of a storm, let these lyrics sink into your soul. I wish I would have had this song available to me way back when. I would’ve broken my CD player from too much use!
Without the Psalms, I wouldn’t have survived those months of torturing myself. Friends, God has so many great lyrics in the Psalms that speak to our souls. Dig in; read through them. May you find solace in them.
Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me. [Psalm 31:2]
Remember, you are not alone. The LORD is with you. Others might not be there for you or they might not understand the gravity your situation.
Our Redeemer is there for you, however. Always.
You are not alone. The great I Am is alone, in that God is there for you.