I called them my monsters. My monsters are those voices in my head when I am out of my comfort zone that tell me that I am not good enough, smart enough, or equipped to do the job. When I was in college and then Seminary, testing and exams were very difficult for me. I would have so much anxiety that sometimes I would go and take the test and begin to freak out. The monsters were there. They wanted to take away my confidence, make me think I wasn’t capable, or even smart enough to pass the test. With many tears and even failure on occasion, no matter how much I studied, I began to test myself to prepare for exams. In this testing, I began to learn the cure for my anxiety. It is through my weakness that I found the power of God living inside of me.
In 2 Corinthians 13:4-14, St. Paul tells the congregation just like it is – we are weak by ourselves, but we live by the power of God. He says that we are “Examine ourselves to see whether we are living in the faith – to realize that Jesus Christ is in you.” And, how do we do that? Well, for me, it is to recognize that when I fail, or things didn’t go as well as I had hoped, I realized that I left God out of the equation! I often thought that “I got this!” I will be fine. I prepared and studied, what could possibly go wrong? But, I didn’t count on those voices of doubt to seep in and suck my confidence right out from under me.
It wasn’t long before I realized that I could not do it alone. But, the best thing was…I didn’t have to! I began to pray just before every exam. I asked my Lord to keep the monsters away and give me the confidence I needed in knowing I knew the answers. In my weakness, the power of God became evident in my life. Even when there were times that I failed, I always seem to come through. It was an affirmation of my faith and doing the will of God!
Let us pray…Gracious God, help us to remember that we don’t have to live our lives without you. Remind us that when we have the “hard” stuff to do that you will be with us giving us what we need to succeed. Lord, we love you so much. Amen.