Giana Hesterberg

I first visited BCF with my family while on college break. When I moved back to Brownsville in 2007 and was church shopping, BCF was one of my first stops. I heard Pastor Beau preach, and joined the same small group. The rest, as they say, is history. When I am not caring for Pastor Beau and our three precious children, I enjoys
cooking and delivering meals to those in need, hosting small groups, and connecting deeply with other women.

 

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:14 (New International Version)

 

    People often comment on my name, Giana, when meeting me for the first time. “What a lovely name,” they say. “Thank you,” I quickly respond, “It means ‘God is Gracious,’ and it has been true my whole life.” I am reminded, with each initial interaction, to bring glory to God, and that I am someone on whom his favor rests, imperfect as I am.
    This past summer, my family and I visited Germany. It was our first international trip as a unit. In the weeks leading up to our journey, we heard about multiple Islamic State attacks that took place in countries we planned to see, like England. We had intentionally booked flights that included a 12-hour layover in London, so we could explore with the children and break-up plane time.
    Prone to worry, my mind started wondering if we had picked the right moment to visit Europe. I asked Beau, multiple times, “What if something happens when we’re abroad? What if we’re attacked?” In every instance, he calmly responded with, “At least we’ll be together.” While I admired his faith (he was not concerned in the least), it did little to dissuade my fears.
    I can only imagine how Mary and Joseph felt after they had been visited by the wise men. Matthew 2:13 describes that, “After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,’the angel said. ‘Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’”
    How terrifying! Mary and Joseph obeyed God, left for Egypt the next day and stayed there until God told them it was safe to leave. They recognized where God was leading and followed Him and He kept them safe. 
    Before our trip I clung to 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” I would like to say my anxiety ended there, but it did not. “Do you truly believe that I will take care of you and your family?” the Lord seemed to ask.
    When we arrived, we had an amazing European adventure, and not once did I question our safety. Praise God! I am thankful that we did not let fear dictate our decision and that God led me in leaving my anxious thoughts behind, so we could fully enjoy the trip. 

1. How do you deal with anxious thoughts?
2. What connections can you draw between Luke 2:14, and 2 Timothy 1:7?
3. How would you encourage a family member or friend that suffers from worry?