I’ve written a lot on anxiety because I know this area all too well. I feel compelled to write about it because it’s something I thought would be my end. Now, I laugh because I can’t believe I was so bent out of shape over everything…over nothing. The whole experience actually reminds me of a reoccurring dream I use to have. In the dream, I would desperately try to say something but no words would come out. I would fight to force words out but my voice would crack only allowing two or three broken words to escape from my mouth. I would fight aggressively to speak. In my efforts, I would grow faint and pass out. That’s usually when I would wake up. So where did it all come from anyway? I picked it up. Why I would willingly bring anxiety into my life is beyond me. So, for a five year period I went through this cycle. I would always worry something horrible would happen. Every time someone would call, I would expect it to be bad news. In fact any uncertainties I had in my life would always play out in the worst case scenario (in my mind). Nothing good could happen for me because I was always waiting for something to come along and mess it all up. Looking back on it all, I realize most of the strife and failures I experienced were self inflicted. I couldn’t enjoy any of the good in my life because I believed chaos stalked me. I felt the only way I could have any power is to always expect the worst so that I could never be let down. I spent half a decade living in the shadow of dread. So I guess the million dollar question is this: how did I escape anxiety’s death grip? Well to answer that question I had to understand the source of my affliction. I picked up many vices in order to treat/cure my anxiety. They all failed and created even more problems.I just couldn’t find a way out of my mess because I selected the wrong starting point. See, my struggle with anxiety was deep yet I was using superficial means to bring an end to it. I was using physical weapons to combat a war that is completely spiritual. It would take me coming to a place of complete physical, mental and spiritual exhaustion to finally say “Jesus I give up, you have at it.” If I knew that is all it would take to be free of all that nonsense…I would have said that a long time ago! So that’s where my anxiety story ends. Yep that simple. (Giving up and laying it all at the cross, and leaving it there!) I was like Jacob who wrestled with God. Through that tussle, Jacob was broken. It was through the act of being broken that Jacob was finally freed from a prison he created for himself. The same could be said for me. I went to the Lord completely broken…so broken that all I could say was: “Jesus I give up, you have at it.” That’s all I needed to say. And all I needed to do was let go and let Jesus work it out. Yep it’s that simple.
“If you’re tired of things not changing
It’s time for you to get out the way
Don’t get stuck in how you feel
Say Jesus take the wheel
He knows the road that you need to take
(But it only works if…)
If you wanna be happy” ~Kirk Franklin