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Posts Tagged ‘anxious’

hope

My eyes popped open with that distantly familiar feeling in my body and mind. My heart was racing. My body filling with an adrenaline rush of energy.

I looked at the clock … 4:09am.

Perhaps it was a forgotten dream, my mind dealing with stress of the day or an unwise bedtime snack … perhaps, but I will probably never know for certain what sent my body and mind into the flight or fight reaction.

I tried getting up to use the bathroom, hoping that would readjust my inner responses. I tried focusing my attention on deep and slow breathing (a trick I had learned years ago, when frustrated by insomnia), but nothing seemed to steady my heart.

Fear,

known or unknown, valid or absent, self-induced or left in our hands

can become our only focus,

robbing us of peace, of confidence, of joy … of hope.

The Bible offers us hope in times of fear:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 
Joshua 1:9

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.  Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:13-14

Though a Bible verse is more of a bandaid than a cure (especially if the fear is connected to anxiety or depression), it is the bandaid of hope … than you and I are not alone.

As Corrie ten Boom said, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”

And that love of God is the hope that is stronger than fear.

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It’s been a week …

Here I was (again) feeling

low. uninspired. discouraged. uninspiring.

That anxious, overwhelming feeling descended upon my heart.

The ‘to do’ list longer than the hours in my day.

The hindrances to accomplishment seemed to come from every angle this week.

If you believe in Satan, as I do, you will understand when I say he utilized every internal and external force to get under my skin, and infect my being with thoughts of doubt, frustration and discouragement.

So, as I sat down to locate the link I wanted to share today, I was in a mood to ‘just get it done’ so that I could move on to more pressing matters (like laundry).

logoI went to the home page of incourage.me. This is a blog I have just started following, since being drawn in by the fact that one of it’s contributors is Canadian author Ann Voskamp (a little Canadian pride surely won’t diminish our ‘nice’ reputation). The home page featured a different, newer post … I rolled my eyes, knowing I would now have to remember what day’s post I had wanted to share (and I cannot usually remember where I put my car keys).

Then I started to read …

I’m trying to type words onto the screen.

But, there is only blank space staring back at me.

If you’ve ever experienced anxiety — the kind that wraps around your heart with the cloak of stress — you’d understand how it can tether you back.

It keeps you silent.

Keeps you in your home.

And on the hours or days you need to be with others, you may end up retreating from being seen. Or heard.

You are working hard.  You are getting things done.

But, you might feel like I do, unsure if things can really be different.

Whether you can really be known.

This is soul wearying.

Because you may have been hurt, like I’ve been — by words that wound you still — that made you regret that you shared.

Words that made you feel even smaller than how you’re already feeling.

Words that make you feel pressured to get over what you can’t get over.

Words that make you feel more alone, standing on the outside of where you want to be: belonging, loved and understood.

It’s then, at that moment, you and I chance upon a glimpse into our soul.

To the little girl inside us who is broken, feeling cast off and lonely …”

Then I started to weep …

And I remembered something, a song, from my teens, that I would sing,

over

and over

and over again

until

I meant every word I had sung.

And so I sang it,

over

and over

and over again

until

I meant every word I had sung.

If you need to remember, like I did, that

our peace,

our futures,

our very souls

do not have to be controlled by the sufferings (whether from our own hands, or from the hands of the Destroyer) of our lives …

“Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.”

Click on :

Walking The Little Girl In You Out Into The World

by Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista, serving up shots of faith for everyday life.

“In the quiet crucible of your personal, private sufferings,
your noblest dreams
are born
and God’s greatest gifts are given
in compensation for what you have been through.”

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Back to school arrived last week, for me.

The first week back, after summer vacation, is always a difficult week at work for me, for a few reasons.

One is that summer is over (it really does not matter what the weather is, or what the calendar says about the end of summer being a month later, summer ends when school begins, period).

Secondly I work in a school … with students, and before Labor Day weekend, there are no students at school. Work without students is … boring!

Another reason is that, in my line of work, every year can mean a completely new assignment, with completely different students, in completely different classes and grades, working with completely different teachers. Everything, and I mean everything that I was confident in just two months ago is gone, and is replaced by something new.

And, finally, people ask how I feel about being back, and well, considering the above mentioned reasons for the first week being difficult, that is an answer that I really do not want to give … because it makes me sound terribly negative, and feel terribly depressed.

Once I get to work, on this first day back, I am (along with my colleges) given our schedules, with the reminder that we should not write down anything, except in pencil (things can still change for the first couple of weeks of school). It is then that full panic mode begins.

For the past few years when I receive that initial schedule for the year, I really start to feel panicky because I feel as though I am so inadequate to do the job that has been handed to me. And then, from that moment until the first day of school, I get increasingly panicked.

I often consider resigning, saying no, running away. Anything that will allow me to put distance between my job assignment and me. At this point, I am convinced those little butterflies in my stomach have changed into buzzards, and they have come home to roost inside of my innards.

As I was driving to school the final day of the week I was drawn in by the lyrics of a song that was playing on the radio …

“A thousand times I’ve failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I’m caught in your grace”
Oh man, how did God know that it was fear of my own failure that was making me anxious?
“Your will above all else,
my purpose remains

The art of losing myself
in bringing you praise”
Oh ya! This job, this life, it’s not about me, it is about me decreasing so that He would increase.
“My heart and my soul, I give You control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise, become my embrace
To love You from the inside out”
Oh, how I needed embrace right then. And He met me where I was was at, and the reminder that in giving Him control, justice and praise would fill me from the inside out.
“Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, O my soul cries out.”
I get it. I remember now. I will praise You, from the inside out, and leave the anxious, fearful thoughts of my job assignment to You, because You are everlasting and faithful to me.

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