Breaking Free From Anxiety
To say that I have been struggling with anxiety, as of late, is an understatement. In fact, calling it an understatement is, in and of itself, an understatement!
I had always placed the onset of my anxiety to be around when the the kids were born, and then, more severely, once I landed head first into my back injury, but I’m starting to see more clearly now that that is not actually the case.
Looking back on my life, I am realizing that I have pretty much been anxious my entire life through. I always attributed my anxiety to situational things, so, to see that it is actually rooted much deeper than that has only served to terrify me deeper still.
Anxiety just plain stinks, people.
I mean, let’s not beat around the bush!
Sure, we’ve all come face-to-face with it at one time or another in our lives, but for some, long after the peace should have returned, the anxiety remains, draping itself slowly and obscurely, inch-by-inch, over every aspect of our lives until, somehow, we have cloaked our whole existence with this terribly dark and sticky mess that only causes further anxiety when we realize we can’t get out…not very easily anyway.
I’ve always had the answer about how to break free from my anxiety, and I’ve always known that it was solely based upon my reliance of Jesus, but there has also been a severe disconnect there between my knowing this and my willingness to let Him and to let go.
I cannot count how many times I’ve gone to Christ and prayed and prayed and prayed. For a few passing moments, I would feel some relief, but on the whole, my anxiety only grew deeper still. How is that possible, right?! I mean, does anyone else know what I’m talking about here?
I’m realizing, though, that while, yes, I’ve gone to Him, I haven’t done so completely.
I haven’t let go of my fear, because I’m afraid.
Does that even make any sense?!
I’m afraid of letting go completely and receiving His peace completely, only to find that I am still riddled with my anxiety. I guess it’s kind of like being afraid of going to yet another doctor about your condition for fear that they too might tell you there’s nothing they can do. Like, in the not going, there is still at least the appearance of hope. So, basically, I have been afraid that, even after hoping in Him and letting go completely, my situation will remain the same.
As deeply as I love Jesus, I can see now that I haven’t let go…that I haven’t trusted Him…that I haven’t trusted the transforming power of His peace. Is it really somehow because I’m afraid that the God Who never fails will somehow experience His first failure ever with this…this very tiny thing…even though He’s the One that made me and created me (and fearfully & wonderfully so, at that! Ps139:14)?
I mean, that’s pretty much what I’m saying…
I’m unwilling to take the risk of experiencing complete and utter peace,
just in case God…the One Who has always been and always will be….
might experience His very first failure of all time.
I MEAN SERIOUSLY, THAT’S RIDICULOUS!!
Over and over again throughout the Bible, God tells us not to be afraid…He tells us that He is our God…that He is with us (Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10). He urges us to be anxious for nothing…NOTHING (Philippians 4:6) He tells us what to rest our thoughts on…(Philippians 4:8)…Over and over again He repeats not to be afraid…that He is with us always (Matthew 28:20)…that His peace that transcends all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds…even mine so riddled and overcome with fear and anxiety…and, yes, even yours…(Philippians 4:7)
He promises all of these things and yet here I am still…reaching for Him with one hand while I have my other hand, not just gripping the ledge of fear behind me, but chained there…by me…
Well, I tell you what…that is quite the picture…and I’ve got to know…
Who else is on this ledge with me?
Who else has bound themselves so tightly to this unpredictable and terrifying ledge,
where the only way to go is down, and down so low
that it’s bottom is imperceptible?
When I look at it this way, I can say for a certainty that I am OUT…Jesus, please get me the key to my chains….please be the Key….
Thank You, Lord, for I know that You have been waiting patiently for me….
There is no risk in letting go and free falling into You…
The only risk is in not letting go at all.
Lord, I thank You for Your freedom. Thank You for helping me to see so clearly the hell I had chosen for myself and was finding comfort in for fear of being let down by You. Please forgive me for ever feeling that way. I did not realize that I was, but I see it now. I trust You, Lord. No matter what it may look like when I let go of that cliff and free fall over that abyss, I know that You have got me.
I know that whatever is awaiting me on the other side
is a far, far greater and more beautiful thing than I could ever ask or even imagine (Eph.3:20)
and certainly ever find hanging from the crags of fear and darkness.
Please forgive me for not trusting in You, and thank You for the life You have breathed so deeply into me now. Thank You for unchaining me.
I free fall now, to wherever you want me to go,
knowing full well that
I am not falling at all, but rather flying…
soaring so very, very high on wings like eagles (Is.40:31)….
because these Wings, my Father, that I am perched upon, are Yours.
**Please note: While I am certainly saying that I myself have not trusted God in my journey with anxiety, that is not to say that you have not. Anxiety is a very real, very terrifying ordeal that now affects over 40 million people in the United States alone. What is posted here is my own personal journey with anxiety. I fully believe that God is the answer, but I also recognize that He can give His answers in the form of others, including friends, family, professional treatment, and even websites, like Calm and Courageous that I currently go to to address this very topic.