Tag Archives: afraid

5 Fears You’re Probably Facing

   
I woke up this morning and was going to write about the five things I’m currently grateful for, but seeing as I’ve spent the last week feeling more fearful than thankful, I thought that might be a little unrepresentative of the truth. I often get told off by friends and family for making everything seem like it’s going swimmingly well when really I’m onboard a ship that feels more like it’s sinking than sailing. As Christians we hang onto the scripture: 

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”‭‭II Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

But that doesn’t mean all of our problems immediately melt away, so here are five of my fears, from the littlest to the largest of problems.

1. My phone battery dying

Don’t laugh, I know you worry too. I think this is the most prevalent fear I have, and there doesn’t seem much I can do about it. I live in one of those awkward locations that doesn’t have a tube station but three semi close national rail train stations with semi-regular buses that I can get home from. Because of this, every journey home is made in sync with whatever live travel app is telling me makes sense. A journey home with a battery under 20% is never enjoyable as I sit on airplane mode praying it makes it home.
If this is you too, we both have to face facts. Taking a little longer to get home because you couldn’t use the bus app to decide which stop you need to get off the train at is not the biggest issue in the world. Sometimes you have to ask yourself, is it worth the worry? Most times the answer is no, in which case you can exhale

2. That the hidden calories in all my food will one day come and bite me on the abs, legs, and everywhere else I am trying to loose weight.

I want to tell you that this is a silly fear and the chances are, an extra banana won’t make you fat, but I think it’s more important to know that being fatter than you’d like is not the end of the world. There’s a hard truth that we should all just accept and that is: you will probably never be 100% happy with your body. 

Sorry for the tough love, on a happier note, God made you in his image, God said you’re fearfully and wonderfully made, God’s opinion trumps societies image of beauty. Simples. 

3. That I’m not really good at the short list of things I think I am

Every time I come to write a blog post, a small knot forms in my stomach and it doesn’t unravel until I’ve clicked share and decided that there’s nothing more I can do to make it better. It’s not just writing though, every time I have to challenge myself to meet my own expectations and am under the scrutiny of others my forehead starts to sweat and my hands get clammy. The usual thoughts are:

What if I’m not good enough?

What if I fail?

What will people think?

I’m not going to lie and say you’ll be brilliant at all things you put your mind to but I have relaxed in accepting that I may not be able to do things in my own strength but in Christ I can do all things. Yes, that means I’m completely dependent on God, and I am learning to be cool with that.

4. That I’ll never have the lifestyle I’ve always dreamed of

There was an article in the Evening Standard that said graduates from my university were the highest paid in the UK and after 10 years, 10% of us earn 100k. Going to a university where everyone wants to be an investment banker/ corporate lawyer that figure is not a surprise, it has however added another stress to the thought ‘where will I be in 10 years time and what will I earn…’ It’s very easy to say that we’re not money motivated people and that we’re driven by less materialistic ambitions, but at the end of the day, the seniority we’ve been able to reach and the pay package that comes along with that will always be a point of comparison. 

So what to do?

Sorry to say but having money is quite similar to having a great body. You will set goals and reach them, but you will always want something outside of your budget and you will always want more money to meet all of your needs. That doesn’t mean stop striving because you’ll never be happy, but let the desire to achieve financially fall into place with a tameable level of importance. Learning to be satisfied with being dissatisfied works the best here.

5. That my looming wedding won’t be Vogue worthy

When you go to weddings you internalise all the things you think were nice and everything that wasn’t no nice and vow to learn from the couples mistakes. Then, when it’s time for your own wedding you create a fantastical vision of what you want it to be like before taking into consideration that you don’t have celebrity money and your parents and in-laws will weigh in with their opinion and expect to be heard. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I want extravagance to the nth degree, I’m just chasing after a wedding that’s close to the vision my imagination has conjured up, and as everyone who has been married will tell you, weddings are pricey. I am so used to being self-sufficient that having to trust God to provide the funds has made me uncomfortable, and hence the battle to combat fearfulness with being faithful commences.

For everyone who is also wondering where the money is going to come from to pay off their next big expense, there is a scripture we can find peace in:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God’s got a plan, even if you are yet to think of one. Don’t rely on yourself one iota, but trust in him wholly and he will give you the direction you need, bring you into contact with the right people, open up the doors for your needs to be met.

We are so keen to share what we are grateful for, we create an imbalanced picture of greener grass and happier days to the onlookers of our lives. I hope that you’ll be encouraged to shout your fears as well as showcase your faith and that together we can encourage each other through our storms.

Happy Friday!

Dani

That Time I Wore An Invisibility Cloak To A House Party

House-party-528x351

I loved Harry Potter growing up. Despite Mum telling me that witchcraft was real and I was frolicking with darkness, I devoured those books in secret, loving the places that the author allowed me to go. In my heart, I became Harriet Potty, Harry’s black adopted sister who was facing a similar fate to Harry. I waited for my letter of invitation to Hogwarts for many years; I waited, hoped and hoped some more but nothing ever came. I was devastated. For some reason I wasn’t eligible for this amazing school of witchcraft and wizardry (in hindsight, I thank God that I wasn’t) and I was forced to live life as a muggle with no special powers. If someone had told me back then that one day I would have the opportunity to wear an invisibility cloak (like the one Harry had), I would have cried tears of joy. Yeah, I’m not the coolest person. 

The first time I wore Harry’s invisibility cloak I was 18 years old, walking around Fresher’s Fair, hungover from the night before. The room was loud and obnoxious to my fragile ears and eyes and it was then, as I walked around the room crossing the paths of hundreds of people, that I felt like no one could see me. The noise and the loneliness finally overwhelmed me and I ran back to the safety of my room, where the loneliness could feel more like a choice than a bullish reality. From that day, the invisibility cloak was no longer Harry’s, it was mine and it became part of my being; not a part I loved but a part that I accepted. I never willingly put it on but after a few attempts of trying and failing to be seen, I stopped trying to take it off and let it merge with my being. I became smaller, fragile and timid.

University, for me, was the biggest hype of LIFE, the biggest hype known to man, known to beast, known to every single living thing. Adults and recent graduates told me all sort of folk tales about their university experience:

You will LOVE it, they said.

You will meet your lifelong friends, they said.

You will meet the love your life, they said.

You will never want to leave, they said.

I experienced none of the above.

University was a trying experience, a time of painful growth and acknowledgment of my flaws. Although it was necessary, I did not enjoy it. You see, in that very first year of university, I wanted to be seen because at that time in my life, being seen would have meant feeling alive, and this was a feeling that often eluded me during this time.

One night I was at a house party (it was really just a boring gathering in a house which was located in the middle of nowhere – I really wish people would label their events correctly: rave is different from house party which is different from gathering; I am too tired of this false promotion), insecure, sad, lonely, and once again wearing my invisibility cloak. I couldn’t seem to take it off, people just kept walking past me. I spent the night in the corner of the room on a chair, with my friend (who had friends there) every so often remembering that I was her +1 and asking me if I was okay. Every time I lied and said I was; I was lonely and on the brink of tears, but I still had my pride! Needless to say, that night goes down as one of the worst house parties I have ever attended.

Later that night, my friend and I got lost (yes, the night got worse) and we wandered around Manchester at 3.am (don’t tell my mum!), looking for a cab, a bus stop or a friendly stranger who could point us in the right direction, which was of course unlikely given the time. With nothing left to do but walk and talk, we began to share our problems and fears with each other in a way that we had not done before. We both fought back tears that night as we told each other how miserable, invisible and alone we felt every single day. Despite knowing deep down that we had so much to give and so much to offer the world, we only felt small and insignificant.

All I wanted that night was to be seen, to be spoken to and to be acknowledged. To this day I can still remember that painful feeling of loneliness and literally counting down the hours until I could be at home in my bed, crying to my then boyfriend about how horrible my life was (notice I wasn’t crying to God about this invisibility problem – this was definitely part of the problem). I’m sure some of you reading this are thinking “look at these first world problems, girl you should have just spoken to someone!” To be honest, I wish I had been brave enough to. But then, if I had, I wouldn’t be sharing this story.

Some of you are wondering whether this post will tell you if I finally took off my invisibility cloak; it does, keep reading!

The next year I gave my life to Christ and began my pursuit of him. God began to break me apart in order to build me back up again. He had to break me apart first because there were deep-rooted lies I believed about my worth and my significance and those lies couldn’t co-exist with his love and belief in me. One day I was reading my Bible and I came across this verse:

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

John 1:48

Before Philip called Nathanael, before Nathanael knew who Jesus was, Jesus saw him. Jesus had his eye on him, Jesus was interested in him and Jesus had already chosen him. Jesus saw him. As I read this scripture, the penny dropped: Jesus sees me too.

When everyone in the room is talking and I’m being ignored, Jesus sees me.

On the days where I don’t feel good enough, Jesus sees me.

On the days when I do not feel as though I can compete, Jesus sees me.

On the days where I only feel anxious and unsure of myself, Jesus sees me.

I am seen.

The good, the bad, and the things I hide from other people because I fear I will be judged are all seen by Jesus and yet he still wants to know me. This truth helped me to take off my invisibility cloak. It wasn’t some great big reveal, it was a slow and painful process where Jesus took it the cloak apart piece by piece until suddenly, I could see myself the way he did.

So to you, reader, the one that feels invisible, as though you don’t matter. You do.

To you, feeling overlooked, you are seen.

To you, in pain, you are seen.

To you, overwhelmed, you are seen.

To you, invisible, you are seen.

To you, insecure, you are seen.

Jesus thinks you’re enough. He loves you. He sees you.

All my love,

Joy x

P.s: I have included a song which I used to sing  and wish could be my reality. Now it is and I thank God. Hope it helps you too xx