I have a really bad habit of wishing time away. No matter the season I’m in, I keep wishing and waiting and dreaming of what’s coming next.
This is especially true when anxiety creeps in. It causes me to shove it back into suitcases, make my to-do lists, and push through to the next season.
Behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.
Allow yourself to feel these things. Allow yourself to feel.
And I’ve been resistant to that. It wasn’t until last night, two cups of Sleepytime tea in, that I found myself, knees-on-the-floor, face-to-the-ground pleading with Jesus to show me where He fit into this situation.
Where are You in this?
I’m right here.
Where are You?
I’m right here. I’m right here. I never left you.
Anxiety is a real thing. So close to tangible it’s ridiculous. And you feed it by denying it’s presence. It’s actually a monster. And he sneaks in when things seem the most likely of a situation for him to fit into. Happiness is a good hostess for him. He makes himself right at home with her. Everything’s going well for you? Not so fast, I can fix that!
And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
I sat at my computer yesterday and went through all of my signs that I’ve been able to call out before. Caffeine intake? Only 1-3 cups a day, which is better than ever before. Eating healthy? Definitely. Staying active? Yes. Sleeping enough? Yes. All of my relationships are healthy? Yes. Taking care of myself? Yes. And then I just sat there, got confused, and the walls started slowly moving in and it got more difficult to breathe. I sat on the couch in my boss’s office, a place I hadn’t found myself in a while, talking to her about it immediately after recognizing how I felt, and she compared it to fear and anxiety tapping on the glass reminding me that, while I may be happy, they were still here.
And I thought I was going back to January. Dark, pull-the-sheets-back-over-my-head, running-until-the-air-in-my-lungs-feels-like-solid-ice, I’m-on-my-8th-cup-of-coffee January. I felt the same feelings I felt at the beginning of January. I think that’s why the anxiety attack happened because all I could think was, “No, not January. Not January. Not January.”
It’s transition phases. Change. These are my triggers. I get knee deep in how over-the-moon happy I am at the new things coming my way, and before I realize it, the water is closing in around me and I have no control over it anymore.
And I’ll be honest: I haven’t figured it out. I think that might be a chronic thing for me, trying to figure things out that actually aren’t solvable. It’s great. And so often, figuring out the very thing that’s driving me crazy ends up taking the throne and pushing God into second place, without me even realizing it until it’s happened. I think trying to make sense of things and feelings can become an idol.
And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remember by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground.
I guess what I’m saying in writing all of this is that you’re not alone in feeling this way. Anxiety is a thing and it will always creep up when you least expect it and sometimes it walks in where you wouldn’t think it fits. That’s just the kind of guy he is. The best advice I’ve been given is to just allow myself to feel it, even when I don’t want to. Especially when I don’t want to. The more I resist it and try to cover it in cups of coffee and to-do lists and friend dates, the harder he knocks on the door.
And right now, I’m still in my season of recognizing the Father’s sweetness, and anxiety won’t rob me of that.
I’m going to feel all of the feels, ride this like a roller coaster, and take it one day at a time. Sometimes it’s as simple as looking at a picture and remembering how happy it’s possible to be because that’s how I felt in that moment, and sometimes it’s as hard as waking up and staring at the ceiling and forcing myself to get out of bed. But I can rest in the fact that anxiety isn’t from God. God doesn’t send things that trap you. In Him is freedom, no chains or captivity.
And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety.
It was strange though. In the midst of trying to explain my feelings, I could hear “It Is Well” playing in the background and I was overwhelmed with this feeling of solid peace wrapped in anxiety. It was so strange, and that’s the only way I can think of to describe it. I find Him in the chaos, and I know that He is good. I need to be able to lean into God & not pull my anxiety around like carry-on luggage. Am I allowed to have both? Can I have anxiety and a relationship with God? Can they coexist?
I feel voices saying yes, yes, and no. Fear and God cannot coexist. I feel that truth all the way to my bones. Fear and God do not live in the same place. Then how do I intensely feel the presence of both? Why are they both so evident in the way I live my life?
And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.
I cried when I typed that out. What a promise. What a promise. I am at a loss for words. I will always come back to Hosea to be reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness. As if it isn’t already evident in His actions, He proves it to us with His words. He comforts us and covers us in His promises. How beautiful is that? Our Father is so faithful. He is so gentle with me in the way He speaks, and I love Him for that.
P.S. Here’s a playlist of all the songs that are currently a) stuck in my head, or b) rocking my world.