Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hi, my name is Anxiety and I'm, well, anxious

I am anxious. I always have been. I hate it. I hate having my mind jump to the worst possible conclusion. I hate not trusting my Lord. I have struggled with it for years. I have even been on medication for it at one point when it was making me so physically sick that I had lost tons of weight. I lay awake at night and sometimes have to use a relaxation script (thank you, podcasts!) to calm myself down and get to a place where I can slow my mind down enough to fall asleep.

A week ago Friday (7/8), I heard this broadcast of Erwin Lutzer's "Running to Win:" Renamed By Christ. I've heard this sort of message before, but this time it really hit me. Maybe because it was out of the blue or perhaps it was because of a particular phrase that he said. He was talking about coming to the place where we can admit our position to Christ. He said that we should come saying,

"'My name is Anxiety.' Then Jesus can say I'm going to rename you and call you peace."

My name is peace. No, literally, it is. My middle name is Irene.

Irene is a name derived from the Greek word εἰρήνη (eiréné) meaning "peace".

How have I lived for all these years acting the complete opposite of my given name? I know where my hope lies. I know who guides my life. Matthew 6:27 says, "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" I don't know why I do it, but I know that it certainly isn't adding anything to my life other than more sorrow. And I was not made to live in sorrow.

I've been stewing over how to write this out and if I should post about it for over a week now. This past Friday, I decided that I really needed to. You see, Friday afternoon, Ben lost his job. He's been with his company for just over a year and has worked his tail off on the job and in the apprenticeship schooling program (electrician). Due to a boss losing money and Ben being in the wrong place at the wrong time (in the way of someone looking to get rid of someone on the job), he received a termination notice on Friday.

I have watched my sweet husband display the exact opposite of anxiety in the past few days. I have watched him display complete trust in a sovereign God who takes care of his children. I have watched him take care of me as I worry (surprise!) about what will happen and if we'll be able to pay all of our bills next month. I have watched him tear up at God's provision for us through our church family, who have already flooded him with contacts for job possibilities. I have watched him get excited about finally having the time to meet with men in the church that he hasn't had time to meet with due to an hour commute that started anywhere from 4:45 to 5:45 am.

Again and again, he has reminded me, not even knowing that I have been going over this in my head for a week.

Something that has also really helped me is praying through Psalm 23. Our Community Group has been using this strategy for praying. Taking a verse at a time and praying through that particular verse. Amazingly enough (ok, not really), by the time I get through the 4th or 5th verse, I'm already starting to calm down enough that I start to fall asleep.

I know that I have not conquered this sin. I know that I have miles to go, and that, in fact, it will be a lifelong journey. It is a constant placing of my anxious thoughts under his sovereign care. And there is no one better to give them to than my Lord.


Maggie @ Chica es Artistica said...

I saw your prayer request over at Along for The Ride. I just wanted you to know that you're in my prayers. My dad and 40% of his company recently lost his job this past friday. Glad I found your blog. Lot's of nice things here. I'm now following :)

Mrs. T said...

Saying a prayer for you! Glad I found your blog, and this was really a great post. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks... not fun. Know how you feel, lady!

Anonymous said...

Prayed for you!

Heather Irene said...

Update: Ben just got offered a job by another electrician! Just another instance of God reminding me that He is sovereign!