Being Still in the Midst of Anxiety| By Jasmine Beard

Heart pounding, thoughts going a mile a minute, scared, terrified for no apparent reason.

I was 18 when I had my last major panic attack. I was leaving college and was headed on my way home when I was hit with sheer panic and confusion. It may have been 8 years ago, but I still remember my thoughts directly after the incident. I thought:

“what’s wrong with me?”

“What is this?”

“Will it happen again?”

“What if something really bad happens when/if it happens again?”

If you cannot tell, I was a bit of a worrier at that age, and if I am not careful, I can still go into a cycle of worrying, fear and eventual panic attacks. I like order, plans, and control, but life is simply not predictable.

Honestly, anxiety makes sense in our world because of the sheer pressure we put on ourselves and on other people. My days are filled with ever ending lists, juggling jobs, ministry, bills, starting a non-profit organization, trying to maintain a normal social life for a 20-something  year-old woman, and much much more, but I will spare you.

On top of all of our ever growing to-do lists, throw in unplanned life happenings, and it can turn some of us into the biggest worrywarts and anxiety-ridden folks. I cannot tell you the amount of acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and relatives I know who battle anxiety on a regular if not on a daily basis.

One day recently in the midst of my ever growing lists and unforeseen situations, I heard the Holy Spirit whispering to my heart for a slower pace and for a season of rest.

If you are anything like me, you cringe when you hear that word. I cringe not because I do not want to rest (because trust me, I really do, like really.) But my question was, how?!

How was I supposed to rest when my world was spinning? That’s when Psalms 46:10 began to ring in my ear, it says:

“Be still and know that I am God…” Psalms 46:10 (ESV)

I have always loved this passage of scripture, but up until recently, I have never dug deep into the meaning of this.

Most of us have heard this scripture before. Maybe when you read it you picture yourself waiting quietly and expectantly waiting for a whisper from Heaven. Although that is not a bad thing, when we dig deeper into this scripture we learn that the Hebrew root of be still is not “to be quiet”, but rather “to let go”.

This may sound crazy if you are a planner, a doer, and maybe even a worrier like me. Even with knowing scriptures like “who has ever added a day to their life by worrying? (Matthew 6:27)”, I still find that worry can be my initial reaction instead of faith.

Maybe you feel like that today. You worry about the big stuff and even the little things that maybe do not matter as much. I want to encourage you to let go of your anxieties and worries and place them into the hands of your Heavenly Father.

It is all little stuff to Him and fails in comparison to how BIG our God is.

So let’s position in our hearts to be still and to know…..

To know that God is making a way for that light bill to be payed.

To know God is making a way for your baby to be healed.

To know God is making a way for you to get that raise at work.

To know that God is making a way for YOU.

He is making a way that allows you to let go of every anxiety, worry, and pain, and for you to trust Him at His word that “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Remember that God is walking through every step of life with you holding your hand, longing to carry your burdens and guide your every step. Let go of the pressure you place on yourself. You are not called to carry the weight of your burdens one little bit. Just let go and know that God is trustworthy and faithful to work all of our anxieties out all on His own if we just trust Him.

“Many put their hope in chariots, others in horses, but we place our trust in the name of the Eternal One, our True God.” Psalms 20:7 (Voice)

When Fear Steals Your Voice| By Tori Savoy

As I sit writing this very blog, I am amazed by how God brought me here. The 25 years that I have been alive, He has spent molding me and preparing me for this very purpose.

Seeing God move through Unveiling Eden has been one of the best experiences. However, so much had to happen in my heart leading up to me joining this team.

I think back to 12-year-old me, writing late at night in my room. I have notebook after notebook filled with words from God, poetry, and even fictional stories. However, each entry was signed by a pen name I created because I was too afraid to ever claim my writing as my own.

Gloria Kingsley (glory to the King) was much more confident, much more talented in my mind. When God spoke to my heart that He was going to use my writing to touch people all over the world, I quickly came up with this name to hide behind. I told myself the name was out of humbleness to put the focus solely on God, but truly it was fear in my heart. Fear of what others would think of me and the words I said. Fear of criticism of my abilities to write or speak.

More often than not, God’s plans for us are scary. It takes a lot of faith and preparations.

God really had to strip me of my fears and show me how to find my voice.

I am always reminded of Moses. He was not well-spoken and begged God to send someone more qualified to free the Israelites.

“But Moses pleaded with the LORD, ‘O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.’

Then the LORD asked Moses, ‘Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.’” Exodus 4:10-12 (NLT)

Although He will use our talents in the process, God does not look for people who are perfect. All He asks is for obedience.

Anytime that I have shared my experiences or a word that the Lord has given me, God has used it to reach at least one person.

However, each time I am going to share an important experience, my heart is flooded with fear. The devil knows the power our voice will have when it testifies of God’s goodness. He will do everything in his power to stifle your voice and make you feel unqualified.

Apostles such as Peter and Paul were very outspoken despite the pending threat of imprisonment and even death. Because of them, the name of Jesus was made known to more people than we can imagine.

In the Old Testament, Esther spoke out to save her people from persecution, when it could have ended in her own death.

Because your voice has power, it will always have opposition. However, your faith and obedience to God’s leading will be rewarded.

Your encounters with God are not meant to shape just your life. They can also impact those around you who may be going through something similar.

We should not hoard all of God’s goodness in our hearts but go proclaim it to everyone around us. When the woman at the well met Jesus, she dropped everything she was doing to go spread the word to all she knew.

“So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”” John‬ ‭4:28-29‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Years ago, I would let fear keep me from proclaiming God’s name. But today, His strength is enough to follow the path He has for me.

Maybe you have talents God wants to use or a story He would like you to share. Do not let the devil tell you that your voice does not matter or your story is insignificant. Turn your eyes to the one who created your mouth, and He will do the rest.

Faith Is Bigger Than Fear|By Jasmine Beard

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Everyone has their thing. You know that thing that you feel like you’ve conquered, but then still you have to conquer it over and over and over again.

That thing for me is fear.

Even as young children the enemy is scheming against us in the very area that God desires to use us in.

Throughout life, we go through experiences – some good and others bad. Unfortunately, some of the experiences I had as a child left me very fearful and unable to trust completely.

Even after giving my life to Christ, fear still seems to be a recurrence in my life. For me, speaking in public is something that often scares me – which is pretty ironic considering I have a degree in Communication and took speech classes growing up.

Just like that doesn’t make any sense, neither does fear!

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

This scripture is proof that God has not given me a spirit of fear and does not desire for me to be fearful. Fear is simply a small scheme from the enemy in comparison to the very big God that I serve.

Over the years, I have come to realize that fear doesn’t magically disappear on its own. Even if God has completely set you free from fear, you will still be confronted with fear in life. It is when you step out in faith in spite of the fears that fear disappears.

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20

The enemy’s scheme with fear is to make us believe that our fears are bigger than our God, but the truth is our faith has to be bigger than our fears.

If we truly feared God, we would fear nothing else. When I say fear, I mean a holy awe, respect, and submission God type of fear! Then we would recognize that there is truly nothing to be fearful about.

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

So the next time your fear is bigger than your faith, remember that God is bigger than your fears and that he is walking with you every step of the way.

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9