Anxiety

Anxiety is like teenage acne …it seems to erupt at all the wrong times  turning your countenance into a canvas of embarrassing blemishes for all the world to see.  Last week was …”one of those weeks” !

As if it weren’t enough that I’m a woman and hormones tend to rage wildly like rapids unleashed, the forces of nature also unleashed making me feel like I was in Egypt with the plagues descending upon me !  Flies !!! I might have swatted 50 this week??  The trash pick up somehow “passed over” our house the week before creating a virtual breeding ground for …the flies .   It felt like an infestation — a scene from a scary movie.  It was okay until one landed in my freshly poured cup of coffee with delicious cream!!!  I declared all out war!  If you’ve never seen a hormonal woman swatting violently at the flies on her windows …well, let’s just say it’s not a pretty sight !

Then came the gnats or fruit flies or whatever you want to call those tiny little pesky things !!  I’m not lying when I tell you they not only were annoying  my space but they actually had the audacity to occasionally fly up my nose !  Really !!!???   What did I ever do to deserve this !!??  A  homemade remedy of apple cider vinegar and dish soap in a cup on the counter is supposed to attract them and trap them … in theory.  They flew all around it and even on the inside of the cup but NEVER actually IN the liquid  as if to say, “Na-na-na-na- boo-boo!  You can’t catch us !”

By now I’m acting like a mad woman and to top it off, my anxiety is multiplying as much as the little pests in my house !  You know I get all wrapped up in worrying about that little bump on my body that is sure to turn into some disease or cancer and my mind just goes into “groove thinking”, I’ll call it.  By that I mean I get stuck on a worrisome thought and I create a groove that gets deeper and deeper the more I focus on it.  Before I know it, I’ve created my own Grand Canyon by letting one simple  innocent thought trickle  into the stream that flows through my mind.   I worry about how that rusty metal  is going to send neighborhood children to the hospital with serious tetanus issues or the dust from that window I sanded outside is most surely going to cause brain damage to anyone who touches my clothes afterward (I threw the clothes away in a moment of insanity!).  At this point I’m praying, “Oh God !  Please deliver me !”

That’s when I sat with the hummingbirds!

I opened my Bible to Matthew 6 because wasn’t it  Jesus  who said to “Look at the birds of the air”! And in a desperate cry for help , I look out my window and watch the hummingbirds and talk to  their Creator and listen for His voice to speak  into this grand canyon of mess … now turned into a flood of worry !

God speaks …

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

And I try to look at the flood  of worry through the window of God’s word …

Hurricane Isaac had nothing on my own  hurricane of worry!  My “hurricane”   had  created a swirling groove in my mind allowing a stream to form –now swelling to  flood stage.  It’s a flood of  anxiety about my own physical and emotional health — as well as a myriad of needs in my neighborhood ranging from serious health issues and addictions  to children struggling with school because all their school work has been  put on-line  and the under-resourced  don’t have easy  internet access  !    Every day there’s a knock on our door from someone who needs a friend and the door of my  heart tries  to be the load bearing wall .

I look at the hummingbird again …he  literally just tapped on my window as if to tap me on my over-burdened shoulders and  whisper God’s truth —  that he doesn’t worry or stress and the flowers out there  don’t labor or spin either and I think how often I labor and let my thoughts spin around in circles making that deep groove again and I want off this track !

I look around my house … full of reminders of God’s peace …

beautiful creation by my friend April Rheault

even my shower curtain from Bed Bath & Beyond speaks truth ! Thanks Michele !

Rocks courtesy of Linda Demick and Kristen Walsh

from my friend, Anne Gibson …thanks Anne !

I want to have all this peace …this peace that fills my house.  I want it to fill my heart and mind until a new groove is created …a groove that fills with living water straight from the River of Life until I’m overflowing with it all.  And the only way I know how to do that is cry out to Jesus for help to  fill my mind with His thoughts — not mine …or the enemy’s !

My friends know what I need to have in front of my face ! …thanks Christie Rheault !

This  life-giving peace of God begins to trickle in and He also reminds me that it’s really in my weakness that He is strong, as author Sarah Young describes what God might say …”My Power plugs in most readily to consecrated weakness” !  Consecrated weakness !  Can you even wrap your brain around that wild  thought ?  And what about the Apostle Paul’s words — “that is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses …for when I am weak, then I am strong.” “Delight in weaknesses” ??!!  Am I there yet ?  Can I “delight” in my weaknesses  knowing that God is making something beautiful out of this ash heap when what I really  want is a fly swatter to whack all these anxious thoughts and be done with it forever !

The hummingbirds know the answer …they come frequently to drink of the sweet water we put out  for them.  I read  they need that frequent energy boost to do all that figure – 8 – wing – flying – hovering  thing they do.  And I’ve learned something from the way God created them … feed frequently on the Bread of Life — and drink deeply of the Living Water  because whatever you feed on … fills you.  If I feed on anxious thoughts, I’ll be filled with anxiety.  If I feed on the life-giving word of God, I’ll be filled with life and peace. So I’m choosing again today to  fill up on Jesus Christ …the  “bread of life” ( John 6:35) and the “spring of water welling up to eternal life”.  (John 4:14).

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of lifeRevelation 22:17

Years ago, I drank of that Living Water Jesus offers for salvation but I also know I have to come to Him often with all my burdens that weigh my heart down — so  I can find daily rest for my anxious soul …

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

You can come too you know !

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9 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. joy, am praying for u & your family.this is a word for all of us who forget at times to dwell on the good things when Life gets hard but it always helps to listen to gods voice above all the things that trouble us.love u phyllis

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  2. Oh Joy, you know that I so know your pain on this one. My anxiety creeps in at the worst times and sometimes I feel like I have a handle and others I don’t. I was praying about this not too long ago and God was so clear in his explanation. He said, “anxiety is like a poisonous snake.” I couldn’t argue with that. Then he asked, “why do you keep picking it up. You know it can hurt you, why are you cuddling with it, entertaining it, taking that risk?” I didn’t know what to say. He’s right. Instead of turning away from my anxiety like, like any normal person should when they see a poisonous snake, I walk right up to it, pick it up and wrap it around myself and then wonder why I feel so scared! “Walk away from it, look away from it.” He said. Of course, this is much easier said than done but I’m attempting to try. I’m noticing that indeed, my anxiety lessens when I force myself to think about something else. It doesn’t make it go away, in fact, sometimes it comes after me but I’m trying to find higher ground, safer ground, until it passes.

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  3. This was so good for me to read! I feel like I have years worth of grooves in my heart from unfettered anxiety. Then I think I should be able to read the Bible once and feel immediately better. I wonder what is wrong with me when I don’t. Thank you for reminding me that I need to be constantly filling up with the Words of peace. Love you.

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    • Oh kathy …just like “The Emperor’s New Groove” !! …we’re starting new grooves 😉 I say this often but, we walk together on this one ! You know very well my anxieties and I wish it were a “one and done” deal but it’s the walking with Jesus minute by minute that seems to be the best route . Keep filling up on the good stuff ! I love you too !

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  4. Pingback: Word Filled Wednesday – Enough | Lkg4btrlife's Blog

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