How many times have you felt super pumped up for something — whether it be a job, a new position, a new project — and then an overwhelming feeling of dread washed over you?
You feel ready, you feel equipped, but suddenly it’s like a rug was yanked from beneath you. Suddenly, you don’t feel as prepared as you did not too long ago.
If you’ve felt or are currently feeling this way right now, you are most definitely not alone.
When I started recording the first few episodes of this podcast, I felt it. When I first put the announcement up on social media, I felt it. And even right now, as I write this, I feel it!
The ironic thing is that these feelings of doubt push back against the major themes of this podcast — that is, ALL of us have unique gifts that we are encouraged and called to share with the world. These gifts are so unique that God has used them to write a significant thread of the greater story of salvation with it, and YOU are the protagonist.
But one thing I did not mention in all this hype and encouragement is the very clear antagonist in all of this — the Evil One.
You may have encountered him before. He goes by many names and is a master of disguise and impressions. In fact, he does a really mean impression of each of us, and he’s not afraid to show it off.
That is the feeling of overwhelming dread. The devil’s voice is the one in your head that so annoying and yet for some reason, the loudest voice in your head.
The minute I uploaded the first episode to Soundcloud, I was overcome with doubt. Who am I to be speaking on this issue? I have no authority, no theology degree (or any degree, for that matter!), and no formal audio training. People will find my voice shrill and annoying. They’ll hate my music choice. They’ll be bored after one episode.
I bet that at some point, you’ve experienced such doubts. Maybe not as specific as the ones that I’ve listed above, but some iteration of them: I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. What if no one cares? What if I can’t do it?
And guess what? This is totally normal. You’re allowed to feel such anxieties and worries.
But I’m here to tell you — and myself — that this really is the devil whispering in our ears to drive us crazy. He’s speaking lies into our hearts and minds to draw us away from the truth, which is that we are all children of God, co-heirs to the throne, and co-authors in the story of salvation. No one, not even the devil, can take that away from you.
Whenever you start to feel that doubt creep back into your mind, I want you to think back to an earlier time when you felt AMAZING about taking the step that you’re feeling nervous about.
Chances are, if you felt amazing and at peace when you made that first step, then you’re going in the right direction. God blessed your path, He opened a door, and you said yes. That is awesome!
Hold onto that feeling of peace, and come back to it often — especially when you are in a situation where you feel nervous and doubtful.
Our God is the bearer of true peace. If He called you to something and you took a step in faith to pursue it, that action in itself will bring you peace and joy. This isn’t to say that the road will never be hard and that you won’t have difficult choices to make, but you will feel at peace with the situation.
When you feel anxiety, nervousness, and doubt, I encourage you to remember these two things:
1. You are not alone and you don’t have to do it alone. Our God never wants us to feel like we can’t come to Him or that we have to do everything on our own. Come to Him and “cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
2. The devil only spreads lies. If you know that you made a decision out of sound discernment and you’ve felt the presence of God’s peace, then anything outside of that is from the Evil One. He wants you to fail and suffer and run yourself into a ball of anxiety. He tries to rid us of our self-worth! But remember that his words are lies, whereas the words of God are truth.
Live fearlessly and remember who it is that brings you true peace and joy.
Your talents and dreams are enough.
You are enough!
God has big plans for your dreams and talents, and He will not let them go to waste.
To really drive the point home, jam along with this song by Hillsong:
Your sister in Christ,