Hi, I’m Destinee and I have a major struggle with social anxiety. I’ve battled it my entire life… As I’ve gotten older and pushed myself to do what God has called me to do it has gotten better.
But it is still there; The breathlessness I feel when having to talk to someone I don’t know, the avoidance of making phone calls to make appts, the racing heart, the shaky hands, the chains that choke out the true me inside.
There was recently an event at my church called Carry the Love and we were invited to come down for prayer if we felt we weren’t giving God 100% of ourselves (basically). I knew I needed prayer for the social anxiety that kept me from being all God called me to be. I want to be that, I want to move mountains, but these chains choke it out of me.
As much as I’d like for this to be one of those things God removes completely with a snap of a finger, I see that it’s a thing he’ll allow me to work through and stick close to him to overcome.
Though I didn’t feel it, even had anxiety talking with the woman who prayed with me, I claimed healing in faith.
About a month later I was talking to one of my buddies from the worship team at church. I mentioned how I was socially awkward, as I often do. Normally I get, “don’t speak that over yourself, don’t claim that.” And well, I can stop saying it but I still deeply feel my awkwardness.
This wasn’t the response he gave me… he said, “Good! The people who did the most in the Bible were awkward!” My mind was blown…. no one has ever encouraged me to embrace the awkwardness as a positive thing.
He even gave a challenge for everyone on his social media to go out and be awkward with someone. When I heard that I was thinking, “yeeaaaahhh, no. I’m not looking for that. No thank you.” I feel anxious just thinking about looking for someone to talk to.
Well, God is funny…. a couple days later I was sitting at Flying Star trying to get some work done while the kids were at school. These two ladies sat down near me and I could hear parts of their conversation. I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, but I couldn’t help but hear the struggle this woman went through, because I had gone through the same thing!
Then God urges me, “Tell her you’ve been through the same thing and show her your website (this one). ” Suddenly the anxiety struck, my heart started beating out of my chest, I couldn’t breathe, and I wanted to throw up. “Noooo, I can’t do that God, I’m so scared!”
I felt completely paralyzed. Luckily, it happened to be the time my friend, the culprit of this challenge to be awkward, was on lunch so I angrily messaged him, and I quote, “You and your darn challenge for me to be awkward! God heard you!! Arrrrgggghhhhhh!!!! “
After he laughed at me, he encouraged me, “just make it real awkward for one moment. You can do it!” After a ton of back and forth and many many excuses of why I couldn’t do it, I said a little prayer, “God give me grace, give me provision.” And I committed to not leaving the café until I said something to this woman.
Leading up to this moment it felt like I was standing in the doorway of an airplane, getting ready to jump from 10,000 feet. Once you hit that freefall it’s a rush of exciting adrenaline and the fear just dissipates.
Both women at the table were very kind and accepted my interruption to their conversation with grace. The other woman even exclaimed, “Isn’t that lovely!? An angel in street clothes!”
God gave me a short word to tell the woman who had gone through what I went through… It kept replaying through my mind as I battled the anxiety to approach her.
“God loves you and He is not disappointed in you.”
I’m not sure what all that meant to her, but I do know that it had to be something deep in her heart that she may have been wrestling with… That’s how the Holy Spirit works.
What if I let the fear win? What if I didn’t get to be a part of speaking God’s healing to this person’s heart? I want to be used to bring heaven down into the hearts of people, otherwise, what are we even here for? We must embrace the awkwardness of being that person who speaks life even when we know nothing about the person or what the word even means to them.
The things we fear never end up being as scary as we make them out to be. And I know as I continue to step out of my comfort zone, face these anxieties, and do what God has called me to (love people!) I will grow in confidence, it will become easier.
So take the dive, trust your parachute (Jesus), and watch the fear float away as you step into those awkward moments; They end up being the most beautiful moments.