God has been pushing me to share this for months, and I keep putting it off. I’ve said over and over to Him, no one wants to hear about this but He keeps whispering that someone does. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried arguing with God, but I have and it doesn’t typically turn out in my favor so here it goes. (Ps, whoever this is for, I’m here.)
I’ve dealt with anxiety my whole life. The fear I had over talking to people, the inability to even order my own food at a restaurant or the simple task of making phone calls for myself. Anything like that, if you put me in that type of situation tears would soon come and I didn’t know why. I would sit in my room and hyperventilate and cry to the point of being sick. I remember my first real panic attack vividly, trying to write it now I can feel it. My parents are divorced and I don’t have a relationship with my dad, this is the last actual conversation I had with him actually, without getting into that it fueled the biggest panic attack I’ve ever had while I was driving home. If you’ve never had one nor dealt with anxiety, it’s all-consuming. It consumes your entire head, it makes it to where you can’t breathe, you can’t see straight. It’s like your trapped and you can’t get yourself out. At the time, I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t have the best relationship with God so I didn’t turn there. I didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t want to face it that something wasn’t right with me. I went to the doctor hoping for a quick fix in the form of Lexapro and being told that there’s a good possibility I would need these pills to function my entire life. But that’s not all, the funny part? Usually anxiety doesn’t come on its own, it brings its friend depression. I spent my entire senior year of highschool and the majority of my freshman year of college fighting this. I missed every day I possibly could my senior year to get out of having to talk to people. I did awful in classes because I just didn’t care anymore. I started drinking more, trying to date and find a guy who could make all the emotions go away. I kept saying to myself, if I do this or this it’ll fix it; if I can just get the right medicine it’ll fix it. I’ll get better. But that’s not how it works. Those pills aren’t your forever, God is. I was running to all the wrong answers when I had the One right there with me all along.
It took a long time for me to realize the battle I was fighting wasn’t my own. The emotions that I felt weren’t something I could overcome by myself. Nothing I could possibly do on my own would help. I remember the night I finally stopped trying and told God to fix me. Screaming actually, telling Him I didn’t care how He did it, I just knew I couldn’t keep going like that. I begged Him to fix whatever it was in me that was wrong because in my head He could never use someone as screwed up as I was.
I think He laughed a little when He heard that one. God loves to use all the stuff that we think is messy to spread the gospel. He doesn’t look down at us and think “oh she’s not perfect, she obviously cannot share My word.” “Nope, not him either. I mean look at what all goes on in his head, he’s not good enough.” God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, because Jesus is. That’s the constant, no matter what kind of things are going on, God is constant. He’s there, He’s the security in the midst of the chaos.
What I’m saying is, having your own issues doesn’t make you unusable. It doesn’t make you less. Being on antidepressants? That doesn’t make you a bad Christian. You can choose how you let it affect you. Take those issues to the Cross. Give God your problems. Dig into the word and equip yourself so that when you start to feel that all-consuming storm of emotions you can use God as your shelter.
Remind yourself that It IS finished, and this battle is not your own.
Scriptures to remember:
Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, with passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:25-27 (NIV)
…O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’ Or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:30-34
I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4