“you are more than your anxiety,“ I heard a voice in my head as I read my latest devotional. And I kept hearing it, over and over as I read.
“you are more than your anxiety.”
You’d think this would be comforting or reassuring or something for me. It wasn’t. Not because it wasn’t a comforting or reassuring thought, but because of the circumstances around it: I heard this little voice while reading my devo at 3 in the morning– too scared to go to sleep.
My anxiety had been so severe it had kept me awake all night.
So hearing this little voice, while reading this devotional that felt like it was written for me in that moment didn’t lift my spirits or make me snap out of my thoughts.
It made me angry. It was a yelling/screaming (in my head) at God angry. I was at a loss. I was whining. I was pissed.
In the midst of a miserable anxiety-filled day and night, now is when I hear this? Now?
How, in the midst of some of my most anxiety-ridden days and weeks can I believe I am more than this? How, on a night where I’m so overwhelmed with my thoughts I’m sitting in bed crying, can I believe that there is more than this hell I’m in?
I don’t get it.
Most of my days are consumed with this fear, this creeping sense of something is wrong with me, or that something bad is going to happen; my thoughts are overrun with worst-case scenarios and things that could happen based on whatever circumstances I’m in at the moment.
I am overwhelmed with to-do lists and things I need to do and want to do and should be doing.
All the while trying not to run scared to WebMD or Google when every random ache or pain or feeling appears (read: do. not. recommend).
Even when things seem to be looking up. Even when everything is going okay- even great in some ways. My brain takes the good, twists it and turns it all upside down. It leaves me feeling helpless and scared and miserable when I should be happy.
So, yeah. I’m not comforted right now. I’m annoyed, scared, and just plain angry that this stupid anxiety monster decided to rear its ugly head into my life at all.
The devo kept talking about how the women (it’s the story of the woman who bled and was healed on the Sabbath) wasn’t identified by her illness anymore, like she had been for 18 years. He healed her, restored her health, yes. But he did more– he gave her a new identity. He called her his daughter. And her whole life being known as the sick, disabled woman was forever changed.
“Yes, He healed and restored her body, but more importantly, He reaffirmed her identity—He called her daugher.” (via SheReadsTruth)
He didn’t just restore her health. He restored her identity.
That’s great– but if I can’t be healed of this anxiety (or at least the panic attacks and instense anxiety episodes), how can I see my identity as restored? I don’t want anxiety to be an identifying factor in my life. I want to see my identity as daughter- not as someone with an anxiety disorder. But when said anxiety disorder is basically consuming every aspect of my life, it’s hard to see anything beyond it. I want to feel like my life is more than this anxiety, but right now, it’s all I feel I am.
I don’t feel more than my anxiety right now. Right now I feel like it’s swallowing me whole.
Jesus saw the woman that needed healing. He called her into his presence to heal her. Why can’t he see me? Why can’t I hear him calling me into his presence?
Is it because this is a mental issue and not physical? (though it’s manifested into physical pain,thus causing more anxiety- it never ends.)
Is it because this isn’t something that can be seen? Does it go unnoticed? Is it something I’m suppose to fix myself? (therapy and medicine have worked wonders, but it ebbs and flows- this has been a low,low week).
I want to believe he sees me and knows me well. But if he does, why doesn’t he see this pain that’s grippling me and do something about it? Why can’t I be healed, too?
I know there is more to life than this. I just can’t see it right now. Maybe someday, when it’s not overwhelming me, I’ll feel like I’m restored like Jesus says I am.
I want to believe I am more than my anxiety. I just can’t right now. I hope I can someday (soon).