Not too long ago, I was living with debilitating anxiety. The smallest things made my spirit cower inside; afraid to act, afraid not to act, not knowing how to act. I would become paralyzed by the very idea of making a poor decision, so I wouldn’t make any decision. It was a broken cycle of thought that tore at me, my spouse, my children, my job. It was unbearable.
After we moved to Nebraska, I discovered that what I was constantly experiencing was anxiety. A name. A description. A way out. Relieved, I have worked for months with my counselor to unpack this overstuffed mind of mine to understand what is going on inside. And most importantly to re-wire the way my thoughts are processed.
I am finally crawling out of the darkness that I have lived in for too long and I am embracing this new freedom of living without fear. I know that I am not in control. I also know that I am not supposed to be in control. God is enough for me.
I am learning more and more about the way I was created to live. I am meant to walk side-by-side with Jesus and allow Him to set the pace, find the path, and to learn everything I can as He points it out to me. I now sleep soundly, wake rested, and feel joy again. Probably true joy for the first time.
Each day I am met with people who are living in fear. Fear for themselves, for their loved ones. It could be fear of losing a job, an opportunity, a child, the recent election. They allow their fear to color their thoughts, their actions, the way they respond to those they encounter each day. It works like a constrictor, slowly squeezing anything positive out of their lives.
It breaks my heart. I know that fear. I was wrapped so tightly that I didn’t know how to draw a full breath anymore. But I also know, that I am not called to be a Child of Fear. I am called to be a Child of Faith. The God I sing to on Sunday mornings, the God I pray to in the mornings and during the day is big enough. He is big enough to hold me and the very world He created. I may not understand what He is doing, but I am not supposed to. If I did, then I would be god. And I am not.
The whole earth knows that God is in charge. Birds don’t fear for lack of care, God has them in His hand. When my boys were young, I had them memorize this poem to remember this truth.
The Robin and the Sparrow ~Elizabeth Cheney
Said the robin to the sparrow,
“I should really like to know,
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”
Said the sparrow to the robin,
“Friend I think that it must be,
That they have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me.”
When we learn to embrace Faith and not Fear we become someone new. We learn that we can rest in the hands of the very God who created us. We can know that He has us.