Calm This Anxious Heart

“Take my negativity, take my doubting mind, And just give me true faith like a child inside of me, Inside of me!  Take me up down anywhere You want, I’m just along for the ride. I know that You’ve already got this planned, yeah, and it’s all in Your hands! Take me left right anywhere You want I’m just along for the ride. I know that you’ve already got this planned, yeah, and my life’s in Your hands!” – Left Right by Benjah feat Beckah Shae and Trip Lee (off his album, ‘Vanity Fare’, 2013)

 

Last night I went to my church parking lot to pray, as I so often do, and ended up dancing and singing. As I was enjoying my freedom with the Lord the song “Left Right” came on and the opening line struck me instantly, “I’m so sick of my mind running, so here I am just running to You, Lord and all I want to do is grow! I’m so sick of my mind running so here I am just running to You, Lord I know You’re always in control!” I was crying out to Father last night about a certain situation in my life and how crazy and emotional the whole thing is. I told Him that I wanted to know what was coming, I wanted to know His timing, I wanted to know what was ahead. I then stood there with arms outstretched staring up at the stars and told Him that I was done trying to figure it out and I was surrendering it all to Him. I am done.

 

When I was in Florida this past summer I had been looking forward to going to Disney and Universal more than words can express (especially Disney!) and I finally had my chance! On the night before going to Universal I was up researching a certain ride that I wanted to go on, but fear of heights and motion sickness made me question if I would be able to. I could not see pictures of the ride or blueprints of the track, (I tried everything!), but I could find a write up that went step by step through the ride. Based on what I read I thought I would be up to it. It was going to be pushing myself past anything else I had ever rode, but I wanted to try. The next day my friends and I are in line, I was excited to challenge myself with something new, but then it changed. This ride is hidden. It is secluded that you cannot hear it running and my anxiety was starting to go up. How could I process something and trust I would be alright if I could not see it and analyze it. I tried to calm myself by reciting the facts I had learned about the ride the night before, “It’s max speed is about 30 miles an hour. It’s completely safe”. I was silent as we got closer to the end of the line. One of my friends made the comment about how concealed the ride was and how that must be helpful for me. My reply was something like, “actually it’s not. My anxiety level is so high right now”. I continued on refusing to opt out until we were part way up the stairs that lead to the boarding area. My anxiety got the best of me and I turned around and walked out. I found an employee who lead me to where my friends would exit and there they found me against the wall in the fetal position and crying. It was definitely not the worst anxiety attack I’ve ever had (that one occurred when I was 18), but it was an anxiety attack all the same. Once my friends got back and had retrieved our backpack from the locker we had rented I had to have one of them get my phone out for me because searching for it almost sent me into another attack. It was a couple hours before I had fully recovered and I avoided rides pretty much the entire day.

 

Why am I sharing all of this? Because sometimes it is hard for me to trust God with my future. Woah did a Christian really just say that? Yes, I did. It is easy to say “trust an unknown future to a known God”, but for me that is incredibly hard to do. I know that He has my best interest. I know He has never failed me. I know He is faithful. I know He is a good God. And I believe those things. But when I cannot see what lies ahead, when I cannot process, when I do not know the facts of what is to come, I get anxious. Father rarely lays out the plan for us and tells us what is coming. It is not common for Him to give us details of our future. You would think that after 26 years of that I would learn to trust Him a little more. And I am. Slowly. The past year “trust Me” has got to be the number one thing Father has asked of me. It is getting easier, I have more peace, and I am learning to live in the moment more and more. But there are days when trusting Him with situations is so much easier said than done. When it seems the hard season will not end and I start to make jokes like “due to budget cuts the light at the end of the tunnel has be temporarily shut off”. I have an odd and complete peace about my future right now, I pray it lasts. A few weeks ago, a few months ago, back towards the end of 2016, that was not the case. Father has brought me a long way in a year. Though there are still some unknown things in my life that cause me anxiety and stress my future is not on that list. Not today, and I pray not tomorrow. As I learned at Universal that one day, it is impossible for me to possibly know everything about what is ahead for me. If I would not have worried about what was coming, if I would have enjoyed each moment, then maybe I would have gotten on the ride and had a good time (but probably not because coasters and I do not mix). Even if I would have decided not to do the ride the rest of my day would have been better.  I would not have pushed myself to that emotional edge that left me emotionally spent for hours afterwards. I may not know my future, but I know the One who holds it and that is enough. He has never failed me before, He is not about to start.

 

I like having a plan, I love having all the information to make a decision, I adore facts, but life does not always work that way. Right now I am in a season of unknowns, but I am learning and growing in this time. I know I cannot be the only one dealing with this. I pray this encourages someone, you are not alone, the Lord has got you. Use this time to grow in Him, to strengthen the most important relationship you will ever have, with Christ. Trusting Him in the middle of a mystery is not easy, but I fully believe that it is so worth it!

Comments

  • Jeremiah on

    Excellent post, sis! Your willingness to be vulnerable about these circumstances adds such depth and authenticity to your words. Glad to hear the progress that God has brought in your life in regards to anxiety about future events. As I was reading, Matthew 6 and Philippians 4 came to mind. In particular, Philippians 4:4-7: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

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