Today, My Anxiety Almost Won...
My anxiety almost won today.
The eager anticipation of a new year seemingly dissipated and the incessant feeling of a never-ending Ground Hog Day set in, once again. The happiness and joy that had surrounded my heart and soul was suddenly in the hands of the enemy, and his power felt nearly unbeatable this time.
Sneaking in, like a slithering snake, just when I least expect it. So intentionally wrapping his stronghold around my entire, trembling body until reaching my ear and hastily whispering, “This happiness you felt these last few weeks won’t last, you know? Something bad is bound to happen, just around the corner. Too good to be true, isn’t it? Your God never promised a life without trouble. What kind of God is that?”
And my mind immediately became overwhelmed.
No warning. No clue it was coming. My heart racing; mind spinning.
It was one of those moments.
One of those moments you know all too well, if you suffer from anxiety or depression. One of those moments that flips from joyous to fearful, in a heartbeat.
One of those moments when my heart somersaults from a feeling of complete joy, while simultaneously, my breath is completely swept right out of my chest, and panic sets in once more.
So powerful, the lies.
Like an inescapable spell, cast upon my heart and soul. One that has had its grasp on my entire being, for as long as I can remember.
The ultimate mental game of tug-o-war. Joy versus fear.
Joy. What a great holiday season this was, huh? Such a joyful few weeks of celebrating and relaxing together as a family. Fear. This is only temporary. You really think you are worthy of this happiness?
Joy. Everyone is healthy and cared for. Fear. You know this won’t last. Something bad is about to happen. Keep worrying; it’s the only way to keep up your guard.
Joy. A moment of intense happiness completely overcomes my soul. My entire being, exhaling and inhaling; feel completely natural. Fear.
It’s not going to be long. That breath is not yours to keep, and neither is this moment. You aren’t supposed to be this happy.
Such a tug. Such a pull. Such an unexpected yank of my soul.
And, then, there He was...
Not at all when I expected. Not at all how I expected. But, once again, my Father showed up.
Gently, picking me up, piecing back together my weary heart and setting me back behind Him. As He grabbed a hold of the power in Satan's hands and began to pull it away and back toward Him.
Every tiny and big tug manifested in a different way...
...a baby's untainted giggles.... ...a tween's warm embrace... ...an unexpected nap, cuddling on the couch... ...a phone call from a beautiful friend... ...dinner and a movie before bed... ...turning off the news... ...a needed delivery, arriving a day early... ...a pure and magnificent, early-January snowfall... ...grace...so, so, so much grace...
Tug-by-tug, my Father fought for me.
Filling my vulnerable cracks and crevices with His Heavenly whispers and promises. Pulling back everything Satan had taken from my body and soul, and carefully repairing it for me...
"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7)
"Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution He will come to save you.” (Isaiah 35:4)
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
...breathing new life into my overwhelmed heart... ...breathing new air into my exasperated lungs... ...breathing new armor across my entire being...
Today, my anxiety almost won. But then, my Father showed up.