We’ve all been there. You’re getting ready for your mission trip, one you’ve been planning and saving for for months. Suddenly it hits you like a crashing wave you never saw coming.
The fear. The anxiety. The feeling of nervousness you can’t seem to shake. It’s all there in the midst of the excitement and anticipation, just like anytime you decide to step out of your comfort zone.
It’s no small thing to go to a country you’ve never been to. It’s no small thing to scrape and save every last penny for months to be able to do this. It’s easy to think the money may not come, or the trip may go wrong, or the hundreds of other worries that may come to mind when preparing for a mission trip.
But that doesn’t have to stop you.
Here are some helpful and easy ways to overcome the fear and anxiety that may arise while planning for a mission trip.
#1 Take a deep breath.
Maybe it’s just me, but when I start to think of all the things that could go wrong… the fear REALLY takes over. I go down this long “thought spiral” of all the terrible “what-ifs.” And not only that, but with each one they get louder and louder.
Take a deep breath in and then let it out. It’s simple, but it will instantly put your mind on something else and make those thoughts quiet for just a few moments, long enough for you to remember WHY you’re doing this.
“Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.”
– The American Institute of Stress
It’s simple and may feel a little silly, but it works.
#2 Confess scripture to disarm fear.
Taking a deep breath is really only the first step. If you stop there, it’s pretty easy for those worries and thoughts to flood back in a few moments. You’ve got to replace those thoughts and fears with the truth.
Again, this is simple. Getting rid of that fear doesn’t have to be complicated.
Find a few key scriptures that are easy to memorize and say them out loud when those fears show up. Speaking God’s Word over your life disarms fear.
Here are a few verses to get you started:
Romans 8:28 (NIV) “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Psalm 27:1 (NIV) “The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
You can use these and then find a few of your own and say them out loud when those fears come.
#3 Remember your “why.”
“He who has a why to live for, can bear almost any how.” – Unknown
Remember why you decided to go on this mission trip. Hopefully you had a better reason than getting “that perfect instagram photo,” or “that perfect vacation getaway.”
Whether you felt “called” to go, or you just wanted to help people, or you believe in the cause of the mission, remember that reason in the moments that feel impossible. When you fear the money’s not gonna come in, when the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone becomes too much, or maybe even when your fear of flying takes over.
Whatever fear you may be dealing with, remember your why. Your “why” will triumph over almost any “how.”
We hope these simple steps can help you overcome whatever fear you may be facing. There are many other ways to overcoming stress, anxiety, and fear when it comes to missions trips, but these are 3 easy ones that anyone can do.
Just know that we believe in your mission, we believe in your cause, and we believe in you. Go change the world.