Oh, My Anxious Heart!


A tidal wave is an exceptionally large ocean wave, especially one caused by an underwater or volcanic eruption. Just as with nature, our inner struggle can create outward signs that hit so unexpectedly our emotions become shrapnel which imbeds itself into our well-being.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. The urban dictionary defines a panic attack as, “the worst, most uncomfortable thing that could ever happen to someone. (Death comes a close second)”

In the last few years I have met humans of all ages, shapes, and backgrounds that are experiencing life altering anxiety. The social norm, much less the spiritual one, is to overlook this condition, thinking someone should be able to simply “get over” the crushing emotions they are experiencing.

As Christians the road can be hobbled by road blocks which hinder the security of our faith. From an early age I was told, “don’t fear, but put your trust in God.” There are numerous scriptures that speak on this very topic:

The Lord said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” – Judges 6:23

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4

God is our refuge and strength,
[
b]A very present help in [c]trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the [
d]sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. [
e]Selah. – Psalm 46: 1-3

The beauty of an anxiety attack is it always leads me to fervent prayer and open dialogue with God, but it doesn’t mean that my fear or anxiety go away. In the rolling black of my tornadic emotions I know God is there, but there are times where I have felt so weak and incapable. I am certain I have broken His heart by not really giving my fear to Him. I can have an anxiety attack over the worry of a previous one. I have felt weak, faithless, and underserving of God’s love.

My sister posed a question in one of our change the world conversations, “Is anxiety a sin?” (I do not believe it is.)

“Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all you concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares for you watchfully. [Psalm 55:22.] – “1 Peter 5:6-7 (AMP)
***

“And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and he knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done. Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.”
-        Luke 22: 41 – 44 NASB

Jesus sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. A representation of His anguish over drinking the cup He was destined to partake in. I believe He felt exactly as I do when my world is unraveling. And, the Father did not take the cup from Him, but was a comfort to Him in the midst of it.

Our society does not leave margin for error. You need to have your stuff together. We try to juggle our life with ease and dexterity. We hide our pain even from ourselves.
In truth, those who suffer from anxiety really are strong and courageous in the midst of fear. We are great at handling large amounts of stress and trauma, keeping our family and friends together. Yet, there comes a breaking point for our body. It is as if we experience system failure. Our body shuts down and resets.

A panic attack, for me, will trigger over the most irrational things. One night in bed I began to think about my heater catching on fire, because it is right outside my bedroom door my mind spiraled; if this did happen I would be forced to jump from my second story window and die. My mind pitched and heaved until my body was a physical wreck.

Be thankful, if you don’t experience anxiety. Anxiety, at times, has hindered me from doing life. However, it doesn’t keep me down.  I am strong (so are you). Our bodies can only handle so much! In this age, I fear we all suffer a form of PTSD. Anxiety is NOT weakness. It is NOT a lack of faith. And, while I am no psychiatrist or physician, I believe it is your bodies fail safe. A way to manage everything your facing.

In our weakness He is strong.

“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size – abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” 2 Corinthians 12: 7 – 10 (MSG)

 He walks right alongside. There are times I wish I didn’t have to feel crazy, but I am grateful for deep feelings. I am afforded the privilege of experiencing deep love and show true compassion to those who are hurting.

To anyone who has ever felt anxious or experienced a panic attack, know that God has not abandoned you. You are not weak, but courageous, because you still face life head on. God is not disappointed in you. He is working out of the ashes -the result with be beautiful!!

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of our Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who morn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

-        Isaiah 61: 1 - 3

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