I have a sleep problem. He weighed in at a little over 7 pounds when I started writing this post, but by the time you read it I’m sure he will have packed on a few more ounce. His name is Eli, and he’s real cute.
Anyway. If you happened to email me (which none of you have yet, so now is a good time to start) you might get a reply at some weird hour of the day or more likely night.
On Tuesday evening of last week, the Discipleship Pastor of the church we recently joined (and that I’m interning with) emailed me at 11:00pm to ask if I might be interested in teaching on the weekend in my connect group (aka Sunday School) as the teacher needed to be out. I have attended the class only twice, and really don’t know the people at all, though a few of them have brought us food since we had the baby. The food was wonderful.
I missed the email for a few hours until I was casually up in the middle of the night with the aforementioned baby and glanced at my email at 2:55am and read it. A flood of emotions hit me.
How long has it been since you taught?
Do you really think you can do that?
What If you’re rusty and these people don’t think you’re good at it?
What if you say something stupid?
What if you DO something stupid?
If you entertain anxiety and allow it to take root, like a rabid beast it can devour your every thought. But even though this opportunity to do what I love, what I’m CALLED to do made me immediately question myself, I didn’t let anxiety win. I barely even let it in.
I quickly keyed in my response on my bright little phone screen and took a metaphorical step back to read it.
“I know I’m new but I would love to teach!”
I read it again. A third time.
I hit Enter.
Goodbye anxiety. Goodbye fear. I don’t want you anymore. I want life, and love, and passion, and joy. I had the opportunity to teach this week. And without sounding over-confident, it went amazing. I misspelled things on the dry erase board. I spilled my orange juice in front of the whole class. I made them laugh, and I taught them God’s Word. And I loved every second of it.
I’m not fixed. I’m not suddenly cured of any depression and anxiety that I will ever experience. But I am on the right track. This week I did something I hadn’t done in at least a year. Something that God specifically made me to do. And when I was standing up there in front of that class, ready to get started I didn’t feel nervous, or anxious, or scared. I felt like I had been on the longest road trip of my life. One that took me all over the world, but one that was finally coming to an end.
I felt like I was home. And it felt good.
If you struggle with anxiety, or depression, or self-confidence I hope you realize that it’s ok to feel like that sometimes. But it’s also okay, good even, to tell it to go away, and to go live your life. This past week, for me it was simply hitting enter and letting my email reply fly away into cyberspace. It might not be that easy for you. But I hope that it is.
Let me know what you’ve been struggling with or how I might pray for you? I need to read some more comments 😉