Who would have thought that anxiety would be God’s tool to getting my attention?
Ever since I can remember, I have been worrying. When I was a little girl, I would toss and turn in my bed making up stories. The most vivid one was about a fire that engulfed our home and I was stranded in my bedroom, on the second floor.
These stories kept me up for hours. Eventually, this habit of worrying found its way into every area of my life.
Today, I’m writing not as an expert. I’ve been dealing with the worst of my anxiety for the past several months…. So I don’t feel like I have much advice to offer. I’m not writing because I figured out a solution…. I’m here to tell you… you are NOT alone.
Whether this is something you have struggled with since you were little or is a very new reality, this journey is confusing and frustrating. I want to be completely transparent because I believe when we talk about these things…. We can begin to find a life full of joy and peace.
If you haven’t noticed, that feeling of joy and peace isn’t something the world gives. There is no amount of clothes, Reese’s peanut butter cups, or money that can fill those feelings. It’s truly a gift only God can give.
Over the past year, my faith has been all over the place. It’s embarrassing to admit that I’ve wanted to walk away a million times. I questioned how God could be good… when He doesn’t protect me from murphy’s law. How could He love me, if He NEVER gives me the desires of my heart… and doesn’t seem to listen to my prayers. I’ve been deep in the trenches of being angry with Him, for not giving me what I wanted.
A few weeks ago, I couldn’t understand why my anxiety had gotten so out of hand. My husband was home from deployment, we paid off our credit card, and it was summer…. How could life get any better?? But I had a million ways it COULD have been better. At the top of this list, was getting pregnant.
As each month passed…. I became more anxious. I made up stories about how I would never get pregnant…. I would never hold my OWN little one.. I would never give my husband the family he dreamed of. These thoughts spiraled out of control. Until one day…. I burst. I had no choice but to turn to God.
I remember this overwhelming feeling of awareness. Realizing that maybe this build up of worry was actually God’s way of getting my attention. In that moment, I knew I didn’t want to walk away from my faith. I wanted to live the life God had planned for me. It became apparent that I was living with the intention of my wants and not His needs.
That brings me to today. I’m still in the midst of sorting out my wants and His needs. I’ve learned that this is a process… although people talk about an overnight change……. it’s more complicated than that.
There was an immediate change the day I realized how I was living. Mentally I was aware that I wanted to live for Christ…. But I need to be honest, every choice I’ve made since then hasn’t necessarily aligned with that mindset. This is why it’s a process.
I knew I wanted to live a life for Christ.. That was the heart change. But everyday is about learning a new habit. It’s changing my mindset to let go of the anxiety… let go of the worry… let go of the what if’s… the whens… and the I needs. It’s about learning to listen for God.
Today you can change your heart… and start your journey to joy and peace. But be sure to bring along patience and grace…. Because breaking your habits won’t be easy. When you are struggling and feeling that you aren’t making progress, I hope you rest in knowing that God is just so grateful that you’ve found your way back.
If you need someone to vent to.. My inbox is always open. I’ll be praying for you 🙂