My daughter has danced at Tippy Toes School of dance since she was 3. This is her 11th and probably last year. She has been part of the Indianapolis Youth Ballet Company, a branch of Tippy Toes, for 3 years. I love watching her dance. I don’t love the anxiety she carries before she dances. This weekend was the performance of the companies ballet “Cinderella” and she was a bundle of nerves all week.
I’m one of those weird people who really don’t experience stage fright. I get excited before I have to walk on stage but not nervous. Not my daughter. She has always done well but she is a bundle of nerves days before. I always thought it had to do with being prepared. Seeing yourself through the experience in your head. No one really ever told me to visualize like that, I just always did, and practiced till it was second nature.
One of my girl scouts gets very nervous whenever she has to do something in front of someone else, even a small group. This weekend my scouts were able to present the American flag before a scouting event. She was so nervous she started asking me how she could get out of holding the flag. I just kept telling her. Breathe, you’ve practiced, everything will be okay. It was, she did a great job.
Anxiety manifests differently for different people. My daughter gets snappy and argumentative and well, angry. Where as my girl scout wanted to just flee the whole situation. The good old fight or flight syndrome in action. When you struggle with anxiety you are constantly caught in this state, fight or flight. Many days where I was filled with anxiety I was angry, frustrated and snapping at my family until the cause of my anxiety ended or not discussed anymore. Its not a fun state of mind to live in. So what is the antidote? Well, for me, its trust.
When I trust in myself or those around me or in the past of what happened last time I faced this giant I always fail. For much of my life that is what I have done. But God invites us to trust in Him. If we could only take our eyes of the situation and trust He’s going to make everything work out for our own good we might not have to struggle so much. That’s a hard thing to do, to learn especially when in the past situations have not ended well. Its hard to trust that the past won’t repeat itself.
But God promises us many things and reminding ourselves of these promises is what helps us to trust in Him. God promises He is making things new so that the past won’t repeat itself, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:9
He promises He’s with us, “So do not fear, for I am with you, d not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
He promises He will bring us good, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,”.
Joyce Meyers says, ” You end will be better than your beginning.” That’s the kind of attitude to have when facing daily anxieties. If we can trust in God that the end result will be better we can make it through anything.