Today, we have a special guest writer!  Brittany was one of my first 7th grade students when I started my job in ministry, and now she is a junior at a large university in Pennsylvania. She loves photography, books, and her family.  She first shared this post on her blog http://citrus0aurantifolia.blogspot.com, and its a GOOD one! Enjoy!

I’m singing a song that I’ve grown to love over the past few months and I come across the bridge and start belting at the top of my lungs what I think the lyrics are: Fear is my church.

Powerful, powerful lyrics I think to myself, and how intuitive of the artist to write such a convicting line; they fit into the song and they really, truly make me think about what has been ruling my life lately. Unfortunately, when I look up the lyrics to this song, Fear is my church is not actually the correct phrase (it’s the city is my church), but a line I’ve crafted in my mind. But that womp womp womp moment doesn’t matter. My mind has been sparked with my truth.

I’ve been back here at Penn State for merely 5 days and my school-time fears have already crept back into my life after the carefree, comfort of summer. The stress of my routine brings me constantly back on my guard; some devil inside of me constantly asking this condemning question: are you doing enough to get to where society says you should be?

In this question, my fears of failure, bad grades, shyness, self-consciousness, and introvertedness flood my mind. I start looking for a job. I don’t get the job. I freak out, I wonder if this will affect my ability to get a “good” job after I graduate. I need money. I need experience. I need conversational business skills. I apply for 50 billion research assistantships. I get one, I have an interview for another. I don’t feel too relieved. I have 21 credits. I fear that with such a course-load, I won’t have time to socialize. If I don’t have time to socialize, how will I dare become a normal person, able to win over my boss in the future. I’m 21 years old. I don’t really want to go to the bar. I worry that if I’m not going to the bar, I will miss out on those bar-side conversations that will help me get an ‘in’ with the perfect crowd, the students who find time to manage school, work, and their winsome personalities. I wonder what my purpose is in this life, but I know that it’s not this.

This fear is my church. I’ve been catering to it in my daily routine, it’s been consuming my thoughts. I’ve been going to it in my free time, been worshiping there.

And I’ve never felt more convicted in my life. Never felt the need for Jesus more. My fears have been creeping into every aspect of my life and I know, deep down, that I have no need for fear. My church has been fear, but it needs to be trust. Trust in the Lord, trust in my friends, my family, myself. Instead of asking myself daily if I’m doing enough to get to where society says I should be, where man says I should be, I should be asking myself this question: am I doing enough to honor God and become the woman that he wants me to be

With this, I will be free from fear.

Psalm 42:

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon —from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
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