Now, on to my anxiety. God is going to have to do a lot of chiseling with this this one. I think this is a part of my make-up. Was I born this way? I don’t know. I just know that I have had these issues for as long as I can remember and they only seem to get worse as I get older. Would medication help? Probably, but I have chosen to just be me for now – I am sure those closest to me will let me know when I need extra help. J What type of anxiety do you ask? Well, of course I have the normal issues – I sing occasionally at church and teach in our youth group. I have the standard sweaty palms, cold sweats and nausea that anyone has before those times (that is normal, right?) But I also deal with anxiety when it comes to many normal life issues. One I am dealing with soon is the concept of going away. Any time I leave my home to do anything out of the normal, I deal with an amount of anxiety. My sweet newlywed daughter and I plan to go away for just a few days to visit one of my best friends at the beach. About a week before we were to leave, I started getting nervous. What if we get lost or break down? What if my dogs miss me? What if someone gets hurt while I am gone? What if???? The level of anxiety is so great in me about leaving the comfort of home, that my racing heart tells me to just cancel. That life is just so much easier in the comfort of my own home. I have to argue with myself all of the time. No, we will be fine if we break down, the dogs will survive 4 days without me, etc. I literally have to choke down feelings of panic. To help cope, I make detailed hour by hour lists for everyone left at home (it gives the old beast some sort of a feeling of control) and I will pray and ask God to calm my spirit and I will make myself go. And, I know we will have a wonderful time. I always do. I might cry even while I am gone, but I always have a amazing time. I know most of you can’t even imagine what I am describing. Everyone in my family are wonderful adventurers, so I know they can’t relate. Worse part is that I have to psych myself like this anytime we leave the house to do anything besides the normal routine of work or errands. Even a day trip to the mountains or an extended shopping time with friends. I bet you didn’t know that about me, did you? Only a couple of close friends besides family have seen my true craziness, and my family graciously has learned to ignore it. I so appreciate those dear ones for loving me anyway.
Why do I share this? Just so you know how loony I am? No, besides this just scratches the surface. You know that second part of anxiety? The strong desire to do something? Yes, that is why I don’t like heights – I always feel an incredible urge to jump. (See, I really am strange!) I share this because I can’t be the only one that deals with issues that seem beyond their control. And your issues may not look like mine, some people have anger issues, depression, other control issues etc. I don’t know how people get through things without the Lord. Left up to me, I would be the crazy dog lady that never leaves the house. But when I read verses like 2 Tim 1:7, I read that God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. That tells me that God has given me the power to overcome that fear and anxiety and if I let those things control me, I can’t show people the love that He has also given me. God also give me the self-discipline to help overcome my issues. I also love John 14:27 - I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid. There are so many great verses on trust and not being anxious. So, please take it from your loony friend – do the things you are scared to do. Even if you aren’t ready to do something big, do baby steps. See how God gets you through it. My big goal is a mission trip in the near (but not too near please) future – talk about out of my comfort zone! But, for now, my goal is to have an amazing 4 day girls get away and I plan to leave as little room as possible for anxiety in the suitcase!