Yes, I realize that I already wrote a post today, and here I am posting again. I'll be honest, since I wrote my post earlier I've been thinking a lot.
You see, I am fed lies from Satan, and I begin to believe them.
I believe that because I struggle with anxiety and depression, I must not have joy.
I believe that because I struggle with anxiety and depression, I must just be a self-centered person who doesn't care about others.
I believe that the way I feel doesn't matter and I should just stop talking about it.
I believe that I annoy others by how I feel.
I believe that I should force myself to feel another way, and if I don't, there's something wrong with me.
And all of these thoughts/feelings that I have are lies. Just another way to be down and not able to focus on serving Jesus.
I don't enjoy anxiety. In fact, most days I wonder if I'll ever live without it. And that is very difficult to grasp. I constantly hope that some day it'll just go away, but the reality is that it may not. What do I do with that?
I honestly don't know. I am sitting here in the midst of yet another anxiety-filled evening, and I wonder... why? I wonder how it affects my family. My friends. My co-workers.
I make changes and hope that the change will help. Then I realize... it's not circumstances... it's ME.
I am praying that God will lead me in the right direction so that I can have peace once and for all. But I struggle with having faith that He will do that. Can you pray with me?
Sunday, October 20, 2013
One of the things that I struggle with in the midst of anxiety and depression is being completely focused on myself. I don't like it; I despise it actually. But when I'm having anxiety attacks, all I can think about is what it is I am anxious about... and it usually involves something about me, myself, and I.
Typically, the anxiety is happening because of what someone thinks about me, how I'm affecting someone else, what I'm doing wrong, what I'm not doing, fear of the future, fear that someone might be taken from me, what I've been through...
Instead of focusing on the joy of the LORD, the joy that He brings to me through the blessings, and how I can benefit others, I am focusing on myself. I am full of pride and fear, and the Lord doesn't call us to live this way.
Recently, an old friend of mine (from college) was taken Home to be with Jesus. She left behind a husband and three babies (6 and under). My immediate thoughts were of doubt, frustration, and fear.
All of feelings (and weight) of the death of my brother, grandfather, and cousin came up. Instead of grieving for her and her family, I again made it about me.
Today, I had the privilege of listening to her husband preach at her memorial service (here's the sermon: Meg Was, God Is- you may have to scroll up and click on the correct sermon), and I am blown away at not only her selflessness, but the fact that her husband knows without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is sovereign and good in the midst of this terrible tragedy.
Here I am anxious about trivial matters, and she, who was an amazing, joyous, godly, people-loving woman was taken Home to be with Him, leaving a hole in her family and community.
I can't even begin to share with you how sick it makes me that I focus so much on myself. I only hope that when I die, these things could be said about me.
I don't want to be anxious any more. I don't want to be depressed any more. I want to be focused on Jesus and loving others. I want my first reaction to be prayer, not anxiety. I want to rejoice and be joyful always. I want to have this joy that others and the Bible speak of.
As I move forward, my desire is to learn to train my mind to be joyful and hopeful; not full of fear and anxiety, but love for others and my Savior. The only way that I can truly do this is by saturating myself in scripture and going to Him in prayer constantly. It's not about me, but about Him and others.
I feel like I don't have the words to even describe what God is teaching me in the midst of this.
I don't understand everything in this life, but I do know that He is sovereign and He knows what is best. He has a plan for His glory, not mine. When I think about the fact that I am serving Him through teaching the majority of my day, and I don't understand why He doesn't have me home more, I know that He is sovereign and He is good. He has me serving Him the way He does for a reason and a purpose. He "fills in the gaps" when I can't be where I think I should be. It's not about me, but about Him.
When I don't understand why people are dying that are serving Him faithfully, I know that He is sovereign and He is good. When I don't understand why there is so much pain on this earth, I know that He is sovereign and He is good. It's not about ME and what I can understand, but about the fact that He is sovereign and He is good.
"Not to us, but to Your name be the glory."
My prayer is that God would give me peace and joy and that He will give me what I need to live a joyous, others-focused life.