Tag Archives: Anxiety

He Carries Me

The words “burger” and “booger” are not interchangeable.   And yet, my kids have occasionally asked to eat a booger and had a burger up their nose.  They are oblivious to the “r” sound that differentiates between snot and food. However, it doesn’t matter what they say.  I know what they need.  I know if I should feed a hungry belly or get a kleenex. And even more, my Father knows what I need.

 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.                                         Romans 8:26 NIV

A year and a half ago, I begged  God to remove the depression and anxiety that had taken control of me.  My prayers were exhausted.  Worn.  And defeated.

But I praise God that He did not deliver me when I wanted.

If He had rescued me from my misery in that moment, I would have missed a pivital point in my life.  The part where my faith grew.  Where I learned to trust Him.  To depend on Him.  To abide in Him.

And eventually, as my dependency on Him grew, the misery that had descended on my heart lifted.

And yet, recently, the physical manifestations of stress once again descended on my body. Unwarranted.  Unexpected.  And with no known physical cause to my emotional or physical distress,  my mind raced to condemn my rolling emotions.

  There is nothing worse than being ashamed for feeling bad.  And then feeling worse.

But God doesn’t leave me there.

He restores hope, joy, and peace.

He carries me.

l carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.      Isaiah 46:4

Carry Me by Josh Wilson

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jZmBQn_018[/youtube]

 

God Fights This Battle

Abby’s new project has been learning how to fold laundry.  As an anti-sock folder, I am especially anxious for her to learn to conquer the socks.  But the thumbs countering her fingers gives her trouble.  And it’s not long before she gets discouraged.

But tonight, she came running from the bedroom with a proud smile on her face.  And a pair of folded socks in hand!

Abby triumphed over her discouragement.

But I am so tempted to get stuck in my discouragement.

This past year, I have fought some minor battles.  Alongside the onset of postpartum depression and intensified anxiety, I battled a muscle tic, high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.   A diagnosis of Reflux and Lactose Intolerance relieved much of my troubles.

But my biggest hurdle was the physiological element to my blood pressure and muscle tic.   As I relinquished control to God, He has changed my heart.  And His peace in my heart has resulted in control over the muscle tic and blood pressure.

But severely painful abdominal attacks and vomiting remained a mystery.  But after much testing, the doctor has concluded that it is a physical response to anxiety.

With my recent past, I can’t really sustain an argument.   Unfortunately, I felt my mental status being attacked and it set the stage for a panic attack.  And my blood pressure and pulse gave her proof in hand of ongoing anxiety issues.

Regardless of the validity of that assessment,  I am discouraged.

I have no doubt that God has worked a miracle in my life and released me from the choking grip of anxiety.  But it discourages me to have yet another physical reminder of my weakness.    

                   Because I realize that the internal battle will go on.

And yet, I will not be defeated.

Gods love, hope and strength carry me.

God fights this battle for me.

And He cannot be defeated.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14

Unfailing Love

Folding socks equates to inhumane torture.

Consequently, I have dubbed sock folding one of the least important household chores.  But Mike came up with an idea to make our sock issue a little less daunting.  We are going to nab one of the kids’ toy bins which has multiple baskets and sort the unmatched socks by person – an attainable goal…….. perhaps.

I hope it works.

But with God, hope never disappoints.  His love never fails me.

Fortunately, His love does not depend on me.  With four young children, exhaustion and stress wear down my heart.  And the vulnerability of my heart lays open for Satan to tempt me to succumb to doubt and fear.  Anxiety, even in small portions, dilutes the potency of my faith in God.

But even in my failing hope, God stands firm – never changing His unfailing love.  My actions never risk losing His perfect and adoring love.

And in that assurance, my hope in Him soars.

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts…..

Romans 5:5 NIV

Robbing My Peace

Multi-tasking occasionally backfires.

I was talking on the phone, changing a diaper, and giving instructions to three little boys as they loaded the car.

I forgot the diaper.

Hours later, after a trip to the bank, playtime, and lunch – I finally discovered a diaperless bottom.

I haven’t found any smelly presents anywhere.  Yet.

Multitasking God backfires, too.

I expect to rely on Him for His perfect peace AND let my mind run its natural course of insecurity and anxiety.  

It can’t be done – not at the same time, anyway.

On a shopping excursion, I found myself and an older gentleman directly in each other’s paths.  He  impatiently snapped at me to move out of his way.

I know that his impatience and sour demeanor had no relation to my standing in his way.  But my mind automatically reverted to a ‘what’s wrong with me’ mentality.    So, I asked God to take my burden and put His peace in my heart.

But later, I thought about the encounter.  I  can’t stand disapproval - especially undeserved.  And then it revisited me when I finally lay down for the night.

I realized that this measly little encounter was robbing me of peace.  My thoughts were fixed on his words and condemning tone.  I didn’t really give this to God.  I said I did, but in reality, I was choosing to wallow in the effects of my own insecurity.

So, I prayed again.  I asked God to give me His perfect peace.  But this time, I continued to dwell in His presence.    I chose to rest in the assurance of His love.  My thoughts remained on Him.

 

In the arms of Christ, peace reigns.  

 

My security rests in Him.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4: 8-9 NIV

Hold Me Tight

Walking through a parking lot with four young children invites countless opportunity for irreversible mishaps.

I only have two hands.  And so, I balance the diaper bag, my purse, and Leesy on one arm.  And then with my other hand, I hold Zaiah’s hand – who holds Eli’s hand – who holds Abby’s hand.  It’s an excursion rather avoided.

DSCN6856During one of our outings, I let go of Zaiah’s hand to adjust my purse.  But Zaiah was clearly displeased.

“Mama,” he squealed, “Don’t let go.  I might run away!”

He was acutely aware of his own temptation.  He needed me to hold him tight.

And I need God to hold me tight.

Especially in those numerous moments of temptation.

And failure.

But I often fail to lean on Him.   And I stumble.  My concerns slowly penetrate my hearts peace.  And soon, those concerns magnify and occupy my heart.  And that crippling anxiety threatens to overcome me.

But as that fear creeps into my heart, my desperation leaves me acutely aware of God’s loving embrace.

Even in my failure, God is holding me tight.

And I am confident in Him.  I will never return to where I once resided in complete defeat.

His power resides in me.

And He will finish the work He has begun.

 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

                                                                                      Philippians 1:6

God’s Love Covers Me

Behind the plastered smile lays the real FEARSANXIETIES,and STRUGGLES.

I ignore them, and instead of God interrupting my sinful heart, hypocracy invades my sinful heart.

And I fool myself into thinking that plastered smile is real.

I bury my HURT.

I bury my FRUSTRATION.

And I bury my SELFISHNESS.

And then, when I realize the awful path I have chosen, I cringe at my failure to rely on God.  My body physically reacts – my muscles increasingly, and powerfully, tense up until a muscle tic overtakes my control.

Panic sets in.  Then, I realize that I lost focus.

 And I hate it.

But when I don’t pretend perfection,  God heals the hurt, frustration, and selfishness.

But despite my imperfect faith, GOD IS perfect.

Even when I wallow in my imperfection, his LOVE covers me.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear……….

1 John 4:18

This post can be found at Grandma’s Blog Hop

Rely on God

Rely on Him | The Ruckus and Labels

(A follow up from The Baby Gate …)

Lack of Ruckus

My kids seem to get up extra early on the weekends.  Last weekend, they were particularly quiet so I decided to go investigate the reason for their lack of ruckus.  I found Eli and Zaiah covered in those bright garage sale labels.

Smiling big.

february 004

Labels

This morning, I returned to bible study.    This week’s lesson was on the labels we place on ourselves.  The negative ones.

I am socially challenged.  Anxiety driven.  Rejected.

It’s kind of ironic since last week I was consumed by these very labels during most of the study. I failed to rely on Him and instead wallowed in fear and inadequacy.

So this week, I spent a lot of time in prayer.

I prayed that God would guard my heart.  That He would give me clarity and strength. That He would keep me focused on Him.  That He would free me from the bondage of those labels.

And I didn’t hyperventilate.  My voice didn’t shake.  My heart didn’t race.  My palms didn’t sweat.

I can rely on Him.

On His greatness.

His love.

And His perfection.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1 NIV

For a devotional on Relying on God, visit:

http://www.juliabettencourt.com/dev/frogdev.html

The Baby Gate

Plans

I planned on having a positive start with a new group of women.  And I planned on relying on God’s strength to overcome my temptation to succumb to anxiety.

I have hope.  Hope that God is continuing the change He has begun in me.

But, perhaps, I was a little too confident of my ability to lean on Him.

Clumsy Me

I attended a new women’s bible study.  It was the first opportunity I had to connect at our new church.

I was excited.  I knew exactly where I was going – which relieves a huge portion of my potential stress.  And I was early.  However, I walked in the door only to find myself standing smack in the middle of the study – which was already in progress.

This was not part of my plan.  It threw me off guard.

Instead of abiding in God’s peace, I automatically reverted to my old habits of self reliance and insecurity.  And when I get nervous, I am clumsy.

I tried to put Zaiah into his class but He vehemently objected. I tried to force him to separate but we engaged in a push and pull battle leading to my clumsy climax.

 I tumbled.

And broke the baby gate.

Failure

 

Me

As I finally sat down with the other women, I cringed.   I could feel that old, awkward, insecure blanket of fear wrapping around me.  I knew in my head that I had no reason to succumb to the pattern of anxiety that had dictated my thoughts and actions for years.  And I knew that God had the power to release me.

But I panicked as I tried to force away my anxiety.  My thoughts raced, my breathing sped up – I knew I was in the beginnings of a panic attack.

But then, a verse appeared on the screen.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14 ESV

 

This meditation of my heart is not pleasing to my Lord.

I am so fearful of outwardly revealing my anxiety that I am completely and totally focused on ME.

Failure

I had planned on a fresh start.  And I planned on living in God’s abundant strength.

But I failed.

Not because I arrived late and interrupted.  Not because I am a clutz and broke their gate.  But I failed because I retracted into the perilous amiss of my mind.  I dwelled on my own mess.  Me.  Me.  Me.

I feel horrible.  But God wipes clean my mess.  He gives me His compassion.  He is faithful even on these days that I am not.

And tomorrow …..

It is a new day.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

                                        Lamentations 3: 22-23

Continue with Rely on Him | The Ruckus and Labels

For a devotional on God’s forgiveness visit:

Double Jeopardy

 

Bob the Tormato and Spit Up

Bob the Tormato

The sirens blared.  Eli and Abby had polar reactions.

Eli, in his three year old innocence, considered the events quite exciting.

“Don’t be scared,” he squealed, “Bob the Tormato is coming!”

He believed that he was safe and his calm demeanor reflected his honest assessment.

Abby, however, cringed in fear.  Her tiny little body rolled into a tight ball.  And she was sweating from the tight grip on her pillow.

She, no doubt, believed she was in imminent danger.

I did not understand, until recently, that my actions, or reactions, reveal exactly what I believe.

In fact, only a few months ago, I remember being totally bewildered when my counselor told me that he didn’t think I understood that my anxiety directly connected to my spiritual state.

After a long period of a discombobulated silence within my soul, conviction finally tore down the barriers of my heart.  And I realized that he was, indeed, correct.

I failed to grasp that my anxiety – my reactions – revealed what I truly believe about God.

Simply put:  I did not believe His promises.  My actions confirmed it….

Spit Up

When my daughter, Abby, was an infant, she had acid reflux.  Because of her excessive projectile spit up, each feeding necessitated a change of clothes for both of us and a shampoo for the corresponding area.  However, she didn’t simply cry in pain – she also aspirated her spit up and needed me to clear her airway.

Understandably, the situation created an edgy spirit in our household.   I constantly feared that she would drown in her own spit up during a moment I wasn’t specifically attending her. The moment she started to spit up, I panicked and my heart started racing as I scrambled to locate a bulb to suction her throat.  I never left her.  Not even with my husband.  I constantly woke during the night.  She slept upright in her carseat.  But my increasing spirit of fear revealed distrust in God’s limitless power and sovereign control.

So, instead of taking necessary precautions and leaving the situation to God, I carried the burden. My anxious and urgent spirit prolonged getting her the necessary intervention.  It was quite obvious the pediatrician considered my concern to be first time mother jitters and he quickly disregarded my complaints. So, I considered my concerns invalid and  I did not consider God concerned.  I knew He could interfere if He wanted but I believed that my job was to manipulate my circumstances for the best possible outcome. I unnecessarily carried it on my shoulders.

Pursuit

So, to fast forward eight years, it only got worse.  I continued to distrust that God was concerned in the details of my life.

But, when I realized that I didn’t actually believe God’s loving promises, my heart ached.  First of all, I was quite embarrassed that years of being a Christian could result in such a deficient faith.  And most of all, I had no idea how to fix it.  Knowledge was not the problem, my heart was the problem.

Simultaneously, my counselor asked me to begin a project of reading the bible from beginning to end.  And I got an unexpected result.

I found a love story.

I couldn’t stop reading.  All these static promises suddenly became part of a story about God’s unending, jealous pursuit.

Of me.

And that changes everything.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

 Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

 

To read more about trusting God, visit the following link:

http://www.knowjesus.com/Dev_trust.shtml