Monday, August 12, 2013

For those times when you need to be broken.

I talked about being anxious one time. And I thought, this is fun to remember and to reminisce on in order to help others. Then, just when I thought the anxiety issues were all buttoned up, the "What If's" moved back onto Peace of Mind Avenue bringing with them a trail of exhaustive thoughts. 

These last couple of weeks my tendency to worry has reared its head in scary, momentary thoughts. Like, as we walked into the movie theater on Saturday night and I thought, for just a split second, what if another massacre happened here? Like stepping onto an elevator and cold sweating as soon as the doors begin to close because what if it malfunctioned and I got stuck in that car in that concrete shaft with no where to go, or, even scarier, if the chain snapped and I free fell to my death. Like what if Jason gets in a horrible accident on his way to work and they can't figure out to call me to let me know where he is or how he's doing.

Though these thoughts are nothing more than fleeting, they're long enough to be recognized by my anxiety-prone heart. As my brain goes out on a rogue limb just for shits and giggles, my heart is troubled and terrified. I know my anxiety won't get me anywhere but the Land of the Exhausted, Frustrated, and Crazy, so, this time, I'm going to acknowledge it now. Now which happens to be before the rituals and bleach, the insomnia and avoidance, the disinterest and apathy. 

While worry won't heal my dad, there's this small part of my heart that believes worry and clutching to everyone else precious in my life will keep them safe. I desperately cling to my family making sure they're being safe, taking care of their minds and their bodies while working my hardest to show them how special they are to me. 

I read a quote once:
"There isn't enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. You must decide which will live there." 

Previously, I chose worry and hosted that life-sucking bugger for years. This time I'm pursuing faith. I'm choosing His words, His truths rather than my rituals, my lies. As I drove to work this morning I wanted to fall into my old, needy habits and talk to someone on the phone or listen to talk radio (voices filled with meaningless chatter calm me). Instead, I listened to Him. Well, a song about Him. 

The words rocked me to my core. 

I am broken at Your feet //
Like an alabaster jar //
Every piece of who I am //

Laid before Your majesty //

Sometimes I need a reminder that I'm broken. Anxiety is just that. So, I lay myself down and let Him put the pieces back together. I let Him renew my essence while I rest at His feet. And, for the first time, I'm good with this broken, tired, neediness that requires me to be dependent -no longer on myself, Mr. T, or my family- but on His skilled hands. 

Very practically, this looks like turning off the news for a bit. Disengaging from all the local scariness going on in our small town. Very realistically, this looks like being honest with my family and friends about my fears and triggers. Being vulnerable in spirit and in heart (something that doesn't come naturally for me). Very honestly, this requires me to focus on Him and His promises and His words rather than on my wishes, my take on current events, my fears. 

Reminding myself daily that I can't keep bad from happening, but I can choose where to set my perspective. I can have a heart ruled by terror and paranoia (which I happen to do so well) or a life that delights in His light and easy yoke. 

Who better than to close with an encouraging challenge, but C.S. Lewis himself.
“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. 
There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. 
Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. 
But trying in a new way, a less worried way
Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. 
Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, 
but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way 
because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.” 

Mere Christianity (emphasis added)


  1. love this. love that you chose c.s. lewis. love that you shared this.

  2. "Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith. I don’t agree at all. They are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the Passion of Christ." C.S. Lewis never ceases to amaze me. Once again, I painfully relate to your predicament. Anxiety can get the better of me in ways I cannot stand, but it is such a beast to attempt to control. It is especially frustrating when those anxieties turn into obsessive, nagging thoughts that seem like they are never going anywhere. Fortunately, we do have an anchor to hold on to who knows us each inside and out. As comforting as it always is to know, believe me, the crippling nature of the reality of those anxious feelings speaks very loudly and sometimes I have to remind myself of the actual truth.
    Thank you for sharing your heart. <3


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