When Abby, who is now eight, was a toddler – she choked on a stringy green bean. It scared her enough that she would not eat green beans for several months. But even now, she carefully inspects her green beans for signs of those chokeable strings.
When I have an unpleasant experience, I too am much more cautious of any sign of potential threat.
I have had episodes involving severe pain, large fluid loss, passing out, and an ambulance. But now, I take medication at the first sign of the oncoming doom. I have learned that if I wait too long, I cannot prevent the trip to the emergency room to rehydrate and kill the pain. And now I am very cautious to stay far away from my pain threshold.
But it is not just the physical stuff. I react to an unpleasant emotional experience, too.
I have learned over the last couple years that I do NOT like being depressed or anxious. And it tends to come together in some degreee.
During my first experience with depression – and uncontrollable anxiety – it was all new to me. I felt out of control and hopeless. But once some counseling and medication helped lift the cloud around me, I knew that I needed to prevent myself from falling so far again.
And so, I built a solid foundation around me. I put my relationship with Christ in a new, and more appropriate place in my life. And I positioned my family and friends around me to keep me accountable and encouraged.
But God doesn’t promise elimination from my problems. And so, yes, I did walk down a path of anxiety and depression again. But this time, I knew to seek medical intervention, and most importantly, to fall straight into the arms of my Savior. He didn’t immediately deliver me. But He did carry me through it.
And so, I sit here tonight. And yes, I am a little worried that my mind has been racing. That my hands are a little shaky. Worried that the anxiety will come back to attack me again.
But I am not where God wants me.
Yes, it was a an unpleasant experience. I felt helpless. Out of control. And yet, God never abandoned me. He didn’t just take my hand. He carried me the whole way.
So, at those first signs of increased stress, I don’t have to fear that anxiety.
Because I have a powerful and loving God waiting for me. Waiting for me to simply fall into His arms.
Into His love.