(NOTE: I'm so thankful that this blog has helped reach many who needed encouragement while dealing with anxiety and panic. Over time I've come to see that this also was part of God's plan.)
Since my church's minister of music left to help out another church, our choir has decided not to wear the choir robes and to leave the choir loft after our special music so we can sit with the congregation. I had been out of church for the past few weeks when these decisions were made (because of an arthritis flare-up) so I wasn't mentally prepared to leave the choir loft last Sunday. Leaving the choir loft meant I didn't have anywhere to sit, nor did I have anyone to sit with. Situations like these always bring out my insecurity. But last Sunday, I reminded myself I wasn't alone--I had my Lord with me--and I walked to the nearest pew and sat down. A friend of mine and her husband sat next to me. During the sermon, my friend's husband wrote something on a card and passed it to me. It read, "When you fall on your face, you're still moving forward." I smiled and returned the card to him. I had no idea why he passed that little sentence to me, but I believed God instigated it, and I copied that sentence down. The more I thought about it, the more I knew God was reassuring me that despite my failures, I was still moving forward in my walk with Him.
It's been five years since God set me free from intense anxiety, panic, and that horrible cycle of negative thinking. I just knew that from that time forward, I was going to be another Beth Moore or Kay Arthur. At the least, I would maybe write a book or speak at local churches. I waited to see when speaking and writing gifts were going to miraculously appear, but God was silent. Instead, He brought family members and friends into conversations about what He had done for me and how my life had changed. They were the ones to instigate the conversations, and it always blew me away when it happened. I didn't have to go out and testify because God was bringing them to me. Still, I thought I was going to do even greater things for Him. Whenever I did step out on my own to "help" God out, I was not successful. In short, I've "fallen on my face" many times.
So as I meditated on my friend's written statement, I decided that God was letting me know that I was still moving forward. As long as I surrender every day to Him and allow Him to work in my life according to His agenda, I know I will be living "to the praise of His glory" and fulfilling His calling on my life. It's hard not to take control, but if we tell ourselves, "I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20), it won't matter what big or small things we're assigned to do. I know when we get to heaven we will hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Come and share your master's happiness." (Matt. 25:21)