I’m scared.

on January 13, 2011 in Scotland with 30 comments by

A few nights before I left for college, I remember staying up for hours and weeping over the fear of going off to school. Leaving my parents, leaving my sisters, leaving my friends, my life, my normal. I remember clearly sitting on the side of my bed, in the dark, saying out loud to God, “I CAN’T DO THIS. I CAN’T. I CAN’T DO THIS.”

I still went to college. But I was super scared.

Whatever that fear is, whatever that deep panic that barely stays below the surface, it happened a few nights before I moved to Nashville in 2008.

I still moved to Nashville. But it was so deeply scary.

That fear, however poetically you wish I could describe it, kept me from studying abroad in college. It has kept me from a few things. And a few months ago, I told you that I was stronger than that fear.

Confession: I’m not sure I am.

[Lucky for you, me, and my friends in Scotland, it is too late to change my mind. And I don’t want to.]

But the fear has been L-O-U-D. So stinkin’ loud. Especially these last few days.

It dresses like insecurity [“why are my friends not texting me back?”].

It dresses like regret [“you are going to miss SO much while you are gone”].

It dresses like pure fear [“what if I get lost in the Amsterdam airport?”].

It dresses like discouragement [“this just may be a bad idea, Annie”].

And it arrives, all dressed up in the costume of choice, every.single.day.

I’ve prayed. I’ve told my friends. I’ve resorted to listening to music while trying to fall asleep so my head will simply be full of some other voices. There’s not much more I can do.

Except pack. And get on a plane. And show this multi-faced fear that it can haunt me all it wants, but it doesn’t win. It doesn’t defeat me. If God is for me, who can be against me?

I’m still going to Scotland on Monday.

So why do I tell you all this?

Because sometimes I think the best thing I can do for you, as my friend, is admit when I’m weak. Admit when I’m getting beat. Admit when I’ve made a plan and know that it is what God has for me but also admit when I am SUPER SCARED.

I am super scared.

Happy Thursday. πŸ™‚

30 comments

  1. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 6:01 AM  |  reply

    thanks for sharing your {heart} annie. i think it’s just fine to be SUPER SCARED. that’s when we learn to be most dependent on god. what an amazing adventure you are going on!! looking forward to hearing more!

    xo

  2. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 6:31 AM  |  reply

    Congrats for not hiding the real you. It is okay to be scared. Embrace it b/c it means you are being real and not hiding it. And you know it is okay to be scared because it will get better and you know the source of all comfort…God. I just learned all of this last night in a small group study. Congrats that you are real and show others yourself. I’ll add you to my prayer list. Have a great time!!!!

  3. Face
    posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 6:44 AM  |  reply

    Praying for you on this side of the pond.
    And, I know this isn’t the point, but the Amsterdam airport is EASY PEASY. Everyone speaks English. Nooo problem.
    Scotland will be a blessed country to have you!!!

  4. Merideth
    posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 7:21 AM  |  reply

    Thanks for being so real and honest, Annie. I can totally relate to the fear you are describing. I’ve experienced it more than I care to admit. A little advice…Hold ontot he truth that you are following God’s will and this is what he wants too. Tell me, though. What do you do when you aren’t sure about God’s hand in something? That is the position I’m in with an “adventure” I’m planning right now. I question/doubt if this is the right thing all the time, and I dont’ know if it’s in line with God or not. It seems like the right thing to do, but struggling with certainty. Any suggestions on what I do with that, friend?
    Praying for your fear, and your trip! Love ya.

  5. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 7:43 AM  |  reply

    Beautiful and honest. Yes, you are Annie! Praying for your safe travel and lean on God…He’s got your back. Can’t wait to hear about your adventure(s). Blessings.

  6. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM  |  reply

    i love hearing truth from writers. because then i don’t feel so alone in my weaknesses. praying for you as you embark on god’s plan.

  7. megan
    posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 9:55 AM  |  reply

    last night my yoga teacher shared a quotation that went something like, ‘the reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they see the past as better than it was, the present as worse than it is, and the future as less resolved than it will be.’ adventure is good for you. i have to keep reminding myself of that every time i, like you, almost hyperventilate when i think about the fact that i am headed to south africa for ten weeks in february. we will both have great adventures!

  8. Erin
    posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:23 AM  |  reply

    I can’t to hear from you while in Scotland and hear about how much you love it!

  9. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:38 AM  |  reply

    I traveled through the Amsterdam airport by myself at age 16, from the US to Nigeria, West Africa. I have faith in you dear! You’re going to do marvelously! We’ll be praying you have safe travels and I can’t wait to read about Scotland!

  10. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:38 AM  |  reply

    Oh girl, I appreciate your honesty. I know the fear you speak of, my hubs & I have both lost our jobs, my mom is in kidney failure in the hospital. BUT…we serve a mighty God who loves us and wants the best for us! I’m so thankful! I can’t wait to watch what He is going to do in your life in response to your obedience to Him. Thank you for your blog, thank you for your vulnerability. It is encouraging and refreshing and it always leads me straight to His throne. Praying for you, sweet Annie. The best is yet to come!!

  11. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM  |  reply

    I can SO identify with what you are saying. I have missed out on many things in life because I let fear have a strangle hold on me in such situations as you mentioned. And I look back with regret. I applaud you for not letting that fear control you. You haven’t been given a spirit of fear. You’ve been given power and love and a sound mind. What great things to take with you as you travel abroad! I hope you have a lovely time.

  12. Julie
    posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 11:07 AM  |  reply

    FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real

    Keep the above in mind and also if I can fly to London, England alone, you certainly can fly to Amsterdam. I had never flown internationally, let alone by myself. It was a wonderful, freeing experience and now that I have done it, I look forward to doing it again. Take it one step at a time, read the signs and you won’t go wrong.

    Can’t wait to hear about your adventures.

  13. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 11:21 AM  |  reply

    You know when you have that fear that disguises itself as all those things you listed up there, you know you’re doing something right :-} When what you’re doing doesn’t make much sense, when there’s more of a chance that it could go horribly wrong than wonderfully right. That’s when God has the reins :-}

    You go, girl. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

  14. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 12:21 PM  |  reply

    Annie,
    Thanks so much for sharing about being scared.
    I proclaimed that 2011 would be a no fear year for me. Yet I’ve been paralyzed with anxiety and fear almost since the first day of January.
    Satan would have us stay put. Your going encourages me to get up and walk, too.
    Thank you, dear one.

  15. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 1:51 PM  |  reply

    Sweet Annie…
    We’ve not met, and I found you accidentally (or maybe because of God’s generous Spirit) through another blog.
    I’ve loved your writings. I love your honesty. I feel like we would be great friends if in close proximity to each other.
    I’m a worship minister in California.
    I am one of THE most insecure people on this earth. It is so amazing that God has placed ME in a roll to stand in front of people week after week and lead worship.

    I have recently, in my studies, found solace in these words when I am overcome with insecure fear…

    His Grace interrupts Satan’s lies.

    So, my “friend at a distance”, when Satan creeps in your head with those ugly, nasty, flat-out lies that allow fear to bubble in you, send him running with the grace you know to be so true.

    God holds you close, treasures relationship with you, and loves you deeply.

    Sorry for the length of this comment! Surely, there is some blog etiquette I’ve gone against!

    Blessings!

  16. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 1:52 PM  |  reply

    *role…not roll! (good grief!)

  17. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 5:15 PM  |  reply

    I SO get what you’re saying…I get super scared before I do something I know nothing about. Once I’m there, I’m fine. It’s just the freaking-out-before-it-happens part I hate! lol

  18. Laura
    posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 5:41 PM  |  reply

    Like my little brother (4) always tells me, “God doesn’t want you to be afraid or worry. He loves you.” πŸ˜€

  19. posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 8:14 PM  |  reply

    I always freak out before a big move or trip! I know that the best thing for me is to still move forward but sometimes the fear can be overwhelming. Scotland is going to be amazing for you, I just know it. I can’t wait to hear what God teaches you and all that unfolds while you’re there. Have a blast!

  20. ashley Eicher
    posted on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:50 PM  |  reply

    I love you friend & can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow & I felt the same way before I moved to LA. But you know what I’m ok. and I loved it….Its all a part of the journey

  21. anna
    posted on Jan 14, 2011 at 5:42 AM  |  reply

    Hey Annie,

    I’ll be praying for you!

    And I live in the Netherlands and EVERYONE here speaks English, so if you have questions in Amsterdam, ask anyone and they’ll help you. Just thought I’d try to ease that fear (:

    have an amazing time in Scotland!

  22. posted on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:04 AM  |  reply

    The hardest part when I’m both excited and afraid is to get through the fear and enjoy the excitement of the unknown and the adventure of it all. You’re not alone in this, you will be okay. You are in my prayers!

    Take lots of pictures!

  23. posted on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:08 AM  |  reply

    Ill also add the verse that’s been following me around for the past few months πŸ™‚

    Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
    Joshua 1:9

  24. posted on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:57 AM  |  reply

    I am not going to tell yo unot to be fearful. No. I think it is a beautiful thing that you realize it and share it..fear I have learned is Satan’s way of stealing our joy,our power to live every day to its fullest. And usually fear’s companion is blessing..because if you can conquer it freedom is on the other side!
    Safe travels to Scotland…and enjoy.every.minute. fearless.

  25. posted on Jan 14, 2011 at 10:12 AM  |  reply

    You will be missed. But you will have a great trip. I don’t know what that means or what it will look or feel like. I just know you are making the right decision to trust and go and you will be stronger for it.

    Loved seeing you yesterday.

  26. posted on Jan 15, 2011 at 11:03 AM  |  reply

    Good luck Annie!
    You will be great and Scotland will love you!

    I will be praying for you on Monday as you travel & I can’t wait to hear about your experiences!

    Have a great time & come back soon!

  27. posted on Jan 15, 2011 at 12:55 PM  |  reply

    Yer goin tae have a bonnie time in Scotland, fer sher!!! {as the Scots might say}

    And if you get lost in Amsterdam airport, find yourself an H&M, shop around until you feel composed again, and then ask for directions! There are plenty of English speakers, you’ll be fine! πŸ™‚

    Blessings for the journey ahead! It’s an awesome place to find your brave heart!!

  28. ali
    posted on Jan 16, 2011 at 4:11 PM  |  reply

    best wishes for a safe and inspired trip!! i love how honest your are about your fears, but there is no doubt that you will shine wherever you are πŸ™‚ can’t wait to read all about your beautiful adventures!

  29. posted on Jan 17, 2011 at 4:27 PM  |  reply

    You’ll be fine in the Amsterdam airport…it is lovely, by the way…there are tulips everywhere! It’s def one of my favorite airports ever! Esp when you’re coming back from Africa, it’s real nice πŸ™‚ Have a fab time!!! Praying for you and can’t wait to read about your adventures in Scotland!!!

  30. Annie
    posted on Jul 25, 2011 at 2:18 AM  |  reply

    I’m leaving for university in three weeks. I’m scared of the change, but mostly I’m afraid of how I’ll react to it. I don’t want to become one of those girls who gets there and spends every day in her dorm room focusing on getting perfect grades. So far in my life I have done very little by way of bravery and putting myself out into the world. Knowing there is someone besides myself, someone I don’t know, who I will probably never meet, out there who has gone through the same thing as me is invaluable. I typed into the search engine “i’m going to college next month and i’m scared” and you came up. Blogs by Annie. My name too. I couldn’t ignore it. My point is… thank you. Thank you for sharing. It helps more than you know.

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get a sneak peek of Annie’s latest book! Click the link to download two free chapters of Let’s All Be Brave.