Three weeks until the annual youth conference at my church. Three weeks to prepare lessons, deep discussions, service projects and notable scriptures. I’ve been teaching this young group of girls for the past five years, you would think I would have a better handle on it.

I have a confession to make…I don’t.

My head is pounding and my anxiety level is rising. I scour the internet, study my books and read my tattered Bible, searching for the perfect words that will convey the truth the girls desperately need to hear. Perhaps the teachings of stronger Christian women like Beth Moore, Leslie Ludy, or Candace Cameron will have far better words than I would.

Right around this month each year, unavoidable panic attacks and self-doubts plague my soul and mind. I pray desperately inside my worn and weary soul for Jesus to say the words that I can’t.

At night my mind races with the insecurities that seem to haunt me day and night. The struggles I don’t want anyone else to see.

Lord, how can I teach these lessons when inside I feel like an utter failure?

Will they see that I don’t know as much as I think I do?

What if I’m completely outed as a hypocrite?

How can I show them your love when I have doubts of my own?

That night I took a bubble bath, letting the warm water soothe my tired muscles. I begged God to show me how he truly sees me and not the distorted image in my mind. I asked him to break though the bondage of my thoughts that tell me I’m not enough. I prayed that his truth would be louder than the lies that torment me. And, I asked that he would help my unbelief and erase my fears that my past mistakes mark me and unsuitable teacher.

My love for these precious girls is immense. I want them to know Christ and know their value and worth in him. I sat down with my counselor recently and told her the concerns I had and the inadequacies I felt. She looked me right in the eye and said, “Just tell them the truth, even if you don’t feel it. You know what it is so tell them that.”

And with that I realized… faith isn’t a feeling. I have to remind myself that regularly. The lies that I fear do not have power over the solid truth that will forever stand. I trust that God will reveal himself to my girls and to me in a whole new way. Deep down in my soul, I know God is more than able to speak through me. I have to let go of the poisonous thoughts which try to tell me the sacrifice of Jesus wasn’t enough to cover me.

God knows each of us by name. And yes, he knows our fears and doubts, but those will not stop him from reclaiming us as his own, forever and always. We are inscribed on his hand and his heart.

Anna Kaye Gilbreath

Anna Kaye Gilbreath is a Tennessee native currently soaking up some vitamin D in the sunshine state (Florida). She is passionate about writing, reading and caffeine. Feel free to contact her via twitter or on her blog!

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