I stopped in 1986.
It wasn't easy to break the habit, in fact it was one of the hardest things I ever managed to do, with God's help.
Most people don't realize it but I'm nervous about a lot of things I do, but never let it stop me from doing them. Although I don't bite my nails anymore there are other ways my anxiety decides to show up and I find various ways to conquer it through God's help. It's important to conquer fear, nervousness or anxiety so we can fulfill our callings in life.
Some people just assume things come easy but without exception anything significant I've ever managed to do has required pushing beyond anxious thoughts.
Max saw my suitcase packed last night before I went to bed and started acting depressed. First he laid by the suitcase, then plopped down in my spot on the bed and started chewing on the blanket. He never does that unless he's anxious. I knew he figured out I was leaving today and got upset. I tried to explain to him that Larry was staying home with him but, well, you know...he just didn't get it. ;)
I'm leaving for Oklahoma this morning. I'll be there for a few days, to speak at a women's event at a church there. My host is a delightful friend named Jessica Smith and she's a pastor's wife, licensed counselor and a minister in her own right.
Max isn't the only one who gets a little nervous. Last night a couple in our church asked me if I was coming back after my trip. (Did they think I was going to leave my husband, kids, dogs, and church family and just start a new life out there? I guess stranger things have happened. They mentioned I was just gone last week and now I'm gone again. True, but I always come back. My husband and Max are always real glad and now I know at least two church people are glad too. ;)
I don't get nervous to share God's Word. It's everything else that makes me nervous. I get anxious that my work won't get done before I leave. Going away always means double work beforehand. Last night I finished at 2:00 AM. Although I always leave in plenty of time I get nervous I won't make it to the airport on time as soon as bumper to bumper traffic starts which often happens on 275 in Tampa. Once I get in my seat on the plane I put worship music on with my headphones and start reading Psalms, because flying makes me nervous.
Why do put myself through stuff if it unnerves me? Because for anything I've ever done that has been meaningful I've had to press through some type of discomfort with God's help. It's so worth it to see lives changed.
I will come home to be with our church family in the nick of time for Sunday. Pray that hearts be open and lives be changed, for His glory in Oklahoma City. <3
Now, what anxious thoughts do YOU need to press through with God's help to do something meaningful?