I remember reading about some women with anxiety in fiction novels. They would often be characterized as frail, weak and sensitive; all in all, pretty pathetic and a burden to people more than anything else. Admittedly, I would smirk as the authors would target these women using sarcastic humour: “Oh my poor nerves, I just can’t bear it!” Little did I know, back then, that I would become one of these stereotyped women.
It is so incredibly difficult to not be taken seriously when you are struggling to survive through a day without completely crumpling to the ground. Never before have I had so much respect for the people who go through this pain. There is so much strength in the humility it takes to ask someone for help. The fight is REAL.
Today as I read my chapter from Numbers (NIV Bible), Joshua scouted out a foreign land for Moses so he would know how to proceed with the Israelites. Joshua’s account brought back the pleasing fruit of the land and a hopeful message, but it was challenged by a second account which focused on the giants of the land! Had God not promised the Israelites they would be given this land flowing with milk and honey?
Anxiety can be such a giant in my life. Last time I wrote about it, I was able to put on paper the things that were causing it; things I could do to alleviate that awful feeling. This round, I could not put my finger on a single thing to blame. I would just wake up and there it was for weeks. I dreaded putting my head on my pillow and shutting my eyes knowing I would face the same thing tomorrow.
After reading this story in Numbers, I felt God was calling me to change my perspective. The anxiety that would tower over me day by day was like a tiny speck (if that) to God! If He was calling me to follow Him through my daily life, then no “giant” could take that away from me… if I didn’t let them!
So I changed my perspective. Instead of focusing on being scared, feeling haunted and dreading tomorrow, I began to focus on what I have to offer, how I can bless and what I can give. The idea was to get my focus off myself and on to loving others and God again. That was the key for me.
What did this look like today? Making some salt dough fingerprint ornaments with my baby, writing a humorous and personalized Christmas poem, looking up some yummy recipes (hi gingersnap cookies!) and getting organized to write out some heartfelt Christmas cards.
What does it look like for tomorrow? I don’t know yet, but I am looking forward to it! 🙂