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Monday, February 20, 2012

Finding Rest in Anxiety


I knew I was in trouble.

The overwhelming feeling of just wanting to be home was about to overtake me.  I couldn't get there fast enough, to the safety of my own living room.  Warning signals went off in my head; anxiety.

It's an unidentified nervousness that overtakes me without warning.  My stomach is in my throat, and my skin crawls as if bugs are under the first layer of skin.  It's frightening, it's scary, it's maddening.

I got home and headed straight to the couch with a blanket and my husband.  My legs shake with overactive nerves, it's hard to relax;  I can't get close enough to him to soak up the safety within his strong body.  I'm ready for bed by 9 pm, knowing that sleep will be the best combatant to ease the tension away, to escape and hopefully, to wake to a brand new day.

I awake the next morning; it's Sunday.  As soon as my eyes open, my mind begins to go over a check list, examining every symptom.  Physically I appear to be fine, but my mind is wrapped in fear and apprehension.  It's hard to let go of the "what if's".  I arise earlier than usual, wanting time to sit quietly and pour over my bible before getting ready for church.  I'm searching for the armor that will sustain me for the day.  As I so often do, I turn to one of my favorite passages to comfort and encourage my soul, Colossians 1:10-14, and I am again greeted with words that give life, words that embolden courage:

worthy of the Lord                knowledge of God                   strengthened with all power


  endurance and patience               glorious might                   joyfully giving thanks


   redemption              inheritance of the saints                    kingdom of light


                forgiveness of sins                                                rescued

I read it over and over again, soaking it in, as deep as it will go. As my bible lie open on my lap the opposing page is steeped in underlines and highlights.  I glance over to see what scripture I had felt connection to, for that is why I mark in my bible, to remember the connection.  I see Philippians 4:6.  Irony is not something that lives hand-in-hand when living the faith.  So I don't take lightly that God is reminding me to put this verse into practice, right at this very moment.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." 

I sigh deeply, knowing this is not merely a suggestion by my Lord, but a command.  How can He work in me and through me if I do not bring everything to Him?  So I lay it all out before Him, surrendering those worries, concerns, and anxieties.  I whisper thanksgivings, ready to enter into worship at church in the coming hours.

His presence is felt, ever near, surrounding me with peace.  I sing out in my loudest song, How Great Is Our God.  Tears stream down my face, as I continue laying those concerns at His feet during worship.  

And He gently reminds me of this:  HE. IS. IN. ME.  I cannot hide, I cannot escape, He never leaves, He never alludes.

I take my seat next to my husband while our Pastor takes the stage.  And my soul is restful. 


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Today is my first post over at Sisters in Bloom.  I hope you'll join me there today talking about online friendships.

10 comments:

  1. Sounds like you need a date with your favorite daughter =] pick me! pick me!

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    1. A date over cheesy bacon fries always lifts the spirits, doesn't it sweetheart? Love you!

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    2. I am glad your soul is restful... that is a good thing ~take care.

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  2. I know that feeling of anxiety. And I can just visualize you all wrapped up in His Word. He is so incredibly faithful to point out in His Book what we most need to hear in that moment. Just today, I was feeling guilty over something that I had already confessed and I asked Him to help me distinguish the lies from the truth. And I saw Psalm 103:9 in my mind. It's all about how He does not continually accuse us!

    This is such an encouraging post - would you consider linking this up to Soli Deo Gloria this week? The link opens at 7:30pm CST at http://findingheaventoday.blogspot.com.

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  3. At times when I am anxious, He always reminds me of His closeness through His Word. I love that visual - wrapping myself up in His Word!

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    1. Wrapping up in the safety of His Word....I like that too!

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  4. I'm struggling against the battle of anxiety at the moment. It's a constant fight that at times I feel like I'm losing. Yet when I read the above scripture I sometimes feel worse, guilty that I'm not doing as God asks.

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    1. Sara, I know be both struggle with this, feeling like the world is just going to crash down around us. I pray you will find peace today. Remember guilt is not an attribute of God, but of Satan trying to keep you far away from the only One who can bring you peace and joy. Seek Him Always!

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  5. You did a good job of hiding that Sunday! I could have given you a hug!!

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