“Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore
One of the worst parts about being a follower of Christ is that you are constantly exposed to the evils within your own heart.
You can loudly proclaim the name of Jesus and tell other people how great He is without believing it for yourself. I mean, I believe in God. I’m in Bologna, Italy for the specific purpose of talking about spiritual things and sharing why I believe Jesus is the best choice.
And I do believe that.
But I have 20 days left here and I don’t know how I’m going to get through. I don’t want to be here. I want to go home. I’m anxious. I’ve never been so anxious in my entire life. It’s so bad that I can’t even describe it unless it’s to someone who’s been there before. I’m not even sure how to write about it, honestly.
I’m overwhelmed with fear. I’m scared of being so far away from home. I’m scared that my only transportation to my family is a plane. I’m scared that something will happen to a family member or friend while I’m away. I’m scared my boyfriend won’t be waiting for me when I return. I’m scared I won’t return at all. I’m scared that God isn’t a good God and doesn’t care about me.
Last summer I made a friend at church in New York and she explained to me that fears like this have a serious root problem. My main fear is that God is not who He says and that He has ultimately condemned me to hell.
If I believed I was a child of God, I wouldn’t be scared of death. I wouldn’t be scared of losing people. I wouldn’t be scared of anxiety and hardship. God would be enough. And right now He’s not. I want my family. I want to be married. I want a long life. I want a working air conditioner in my Italian apartment because it’s 90 degrees here. I want comfort and security.
Truly what I need is to want to know Christ.
What I need is to want to be obedient to the point of death.
What I need is to be so in awe of Jesus that everything else seems worthless in comparison.
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” – Philippians 3:7-11
People keep telling me that fear and anxiety are not from God. They are darkness and God is light. I’m frustrated that an all-powerful and good God would let me go through this. Wouldn’t it be easier for me to enjoy this trip and joyously proclaim the gospel all over the place? Yes. Yes it would be easier. But I guess I wouldn’t actually need a savior if things were easy, right? If things were easier, I would be fine to do things alone. And it’s not meant to be that way.
I want this trial to be over. I’d like to say lesson is learned, time for joy now. I long for joy.
My prayer for the past two weeks has been for God to take the anxiety away from me. But I’m going to change it today. My prayer is now that I will be able to find joy even in darkness and despair.