the choice. {an anxiety-induced honesty hour}

I’m sitting outside, on our wonderful, brand-new deck. It feels perfectly cool outside, and I can see a few stars above me (I could probs see more if I turned the deck light out, but writing a blog post in the dark doesn’t sound all that funsies). Stars bring me comfort instantly, so I keep looking up towards them for some sliver of hope and peace that tomorrow’s going to be better than what today has felt like. That peace is barely there, but barely is better than nothing so I’ll take it.

Honesty hour: My anxiety has slowly been increasing over the course of the day, mostly this afternoon/evening as I start to prepare for the week ahead. Trying to figure out transportation stuff, plans for tomorrow and the upcoming week, realizing that I had something to do that I didn’t realize I had to do (oops). It all adds up and sends me spiraling. My nerves are pretty shot, I’ve been a bit shaky all day leading up to the first official week of work. We don’t have kids until next week; this week is mostly preparation for kids, training, office hours and such, so our “real” jobs haven’t even begun yet.

And yet, I have a pit in my stomach that hasn’t gone away all day.

Mostly the thoughts and worries are unwarranted and silly. Some of them need to be dropped for now and brought back when I can actually process them.

But alas, they’re still here. Pounding inside my brain, refusing me one moment of peace before I start this new chapter tomorrow.

Transitions are always hard for me, but I’d thought I had already conquered this one, gosh dangit. (Or I thought I’d get a break this time, since it was relatively easy. Guess not?).

But I realized all the worries, concerns, bad thoughts all share the same voice:

You are a failure. 

You’ve failed before you’ve already started. 

You’re going to fail this. 

You’re not ready for this. 

You’re not up for the challenge. 

You’re a screw up. 

You can’t do this. 

You’re not wanted.

All the minute worries and fears all spiral together into this one colossal  anxious train of thought: i am not good enough for this.
I’m going in to a brand-new place, living with 4 virtual strangers that are slowly becoming friends (I hope), doing a job I’ve never done, given more responsibility than I’ve ever had. How am I supposed to be good enough for something so much bigger than me?

yesterday i wrote about how I was freakin’ chosen for this role, for this time in my life. And yet today, my brain decides that all of that was a lie.

I don’t want to believe that, y’all. I really don’t.

So in the midst of my shakiness and my pacing-the-floor anxiousness, I’m reminding myself that I have a choice. 

I can choose to live into what anxiety says. Or I can choose to throw myself into who God is, and what he’s doing. 

He’s in the middle of my mess, front and center in the chaos.

He’s not watching it unfold from afar. He’s smack dab in the heart of it with me, trying to show me what He’s doing and why He’s working this way. I’m just too caught up in all these feelings and fears to see Him in the midst of it. 

A passage from my current read I Don’t Wait Anymore has stuck in my head the last few days:

he's there in my“So you see it comes down to one thing. Every day I have a choice. I can focus on how life doesn’t look like I wanted it to, how it’s moving at a crawl… I can worry if something much worse is going to happen if I walk on into what’s ahead of me. 

Or I can choose a song. I can choose to sip my coffee slowly and keep my eyes on the goodness tumbling down from the sky, choose to keep my heart in a place of total, unwavering praise. Because He’s there in my snowstorm.”

He’s in the storm with me. He’s in the fears and worries and concerns. He’s in the unsureness and stress and unanswered questions.

I want to choose to believe him when he says, in Grace’s words, Come. I’m here. And it will be okay, instead of choosing to think that everything is not okay before it’s even started.

He’s not waiting on us to beckon him into the storm to help us; he’s waiting on us to see Him already there, ready to fight with us. He’s already there. I’m wavering between that being comforting or upsetting. Comforting because of who He is, and his love for me to be in the storm with me; upsetting because of how I’m feeling and how could he be here in this with me and not help me?!? UGH. 

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credit: dallas clayton

Anxiety happens. The questions, fears, overthinking and internal fights with myself are going to happen- they just are a part of my life. Especially when I’m at a more stressful/transitional point in my life as I am now. But I have a choice. I can give in to fear and believe what it says about me. Or I can trust that God is in this with me, even when I’m not feeling or seeing Him just yet. 

 

I can believe in what my brain and emotions tell me I am, or what He tells me He is.

I want to choose Him. But the fears are so loud, the questions and uncertainties playing like a constant record in my head. It’s a battle that is nowhere near over tonight or tomorrow, but I am working towards choosing Him. Choosing to trust and believe that He is in the storm with me, that He will calm the storm and bring peace and hope, even if it’s in small places.

Choice is a powerful, slightly scary thing. I long to make the choice that leads me to less of fear, and more of Him. I hope I can figure out how.

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