Anxiety freaking sucks.
Being a Christian with anxiety sucks even more.
Not only does your soul feel weighted and like it is about the burst, but then you have that lingering feeling that maybe the reason you feel that way is because you aren’t relying on the Lord enough. That you’re focusing on too many worldly things. That you haven’t rested in the Lord.
But here’s the thing, what if I don’t understand how to rest? What if I have never been able to rest? What if I’ve never learned how to stop and have my soul filled to the point of really feeling satisfied, content? What then?
Though the anxiety doesn’t hit me often, it hurts when it does. It weighs me down, making my entire body feel like I’m on a kick of adrenaline I don’t want to be on. I feel trapped on the edge, like I’m stuck dangling over the edge of a cliff and I just have to hang there and endure it until someone can come and pull my back up onto the solid rock. It’s exhausting. It sucks. And I don’t wish it on anyone.
The worst part about anxiety is there’s no way to really “fix” it. You either ride it out, let it take its course (which usually results in a panic attack) or you spend even longer trying to suppress it. Quite honestly, the former is the better of the two choices – it’s so much easier to come down once you’ve just ridden out the attack. And usually after an attack, I feel better than I did before the anxiety hit in the first place.
It’s weird. I am only writing this because anxiety is hitting me right now for the first time in a month or so. I’m on break from college, and honestly realizing more and more each day that I don’t really know how to rest. Each day of break, I have been running back and forth between work, errands, and friends. I’ve tried to sit and relax in the Lord, getting to know Him and rest in Him, but try as I might, I just never feel quite as full as I would hope to. Why is that? Am I doing something wrong? I don’t understand it. And I’m not really sure how to cope with it right now, but something propelled me to open up this Word document and just start freaking typing out all the feels.
On the days that I am not struggling with anxiety, I would say that my anxiety is a gift. And despite how much I want to disagree with that in this moment, as I sit here and wrestle this feeling of being trapped on the edge, I can’t help but continue to stand by that statement. My anxiety reminds me that I should boast not in myself, but in my Lord. Even though I struggle to rest in Him and figure out exactly what that looks like, He is still good. And He is oh so strong in my weaknesses. So strong. His power is made perfect in my weakness. My anxiety draws me nearer to Him. Through my anxiety, He comforts me. He shows me He knows best. He reminds me that I don’t need to (and can’t) carry the weight of this world on my shoulders like I want to so very often. And what reminders those are that I need, in this moment.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
So yeah, I’ll sit here, and yeah, I’ll endure. And it will suck and it does suck. But despite the fact I can’t quite figure out how to rest and that is what leads to this anxiety, I trust that my God will continue to work through it, shaping me into who He wants me to be through what the world would see as an undesirable weakness. His perfection will shine through this weakness, and I only pray I can keep that reminder in my mind the days I feel like this. He is good, He is good, no matter how I feel or what I do; He is good.