Anxious? Don't worry, God is saving your soul


I woke up at 1:30 am to my heart beating out of my chest and a tingling chill running through my veins. I’m no stranger to panic attacks, having struggled on and off with anxiety since my early thirties. I know what I’m dealing with.


I slipped out of bed, careful not to wake my husband, and settled into our living room recliner. I’ve fought countless physical, mental, and spiritual battles in that spot, huddled under my favorite fuzzy blanket in the middle of the night. “You’re ok,” I assured myself, initiating a de-escalating protocol I’ve tweaked and refined over the last many years.


I begin by regulating my breathing, replacing short, shallow panting with long, slow belly breaths (Inhaling through my nose and exhaling through my mouth). It can take anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour for my heart rate to steady and for my wild, racing, catastrophizing thoughts to quiet just enough for me to focus my attention on the present moment, noticing the softness of the blanket against my skin and hearing the gentle, rhythmic whoosh of the ceiling fan above my head.


It's detachment that I'm longing for, to escape the hurricane in my brain and the panic in my body by seeking rest and stability deep down in the depths of my soul, insulated from chaotic fear and confusion. After a million incidents of dialoguing with my anxieties, and becoming swiftly consumed by despondency, I now know better than to try and fight against them.  Thus I found myself, yet again, surrendering everything and everyone to God in the silence, calling on Christ for deliverance, and wholeheartedly yielding to prayer instead of running from it. 


And here is where my real work of carrying (rather than resisting) my cross began….


God, thank you for these trials and difficulties that keep me running back to You


Thank you for this opportunity to seek you out in the still of the night


Thank you for revealing again and again my inability to protect or change others so I may increase my faith by releasing them completely to You


Thank you for humbling me so I can repent of my pride and be healed of it


Thank you for making it impossible to find true fulfillment in anything or anyone but You


It was 2:30 a.m. when I became enveloped by transcendent calm and nearly wept with relief. I was exhausted but mercifully emptied of my inflamed reasonings and ominous predictions. Here is what I heard in my heart:


Don’t ruminate, react, micromanage, or be lured into darkness and despair. Meditate on Christ. Cling to Christ every moment. Only In His light can you see light. This, too, will pass. Be patient in affliction; God is saving your soul.


Much of our modern-day afflictions are psychological in nature, requiring increased vigilance against attacks from the devil to ravage our souls with turmoil and hopelessness. Victory over that hopelessness is won not by the cessation of suffering but by willingly entering into our suffering and meeting Christ there.


Oh taste and see that the Lord is GOOD!  Happy (peaceful, liberated, fruitful, rooted) are we who, over and over and over again, take refuge in Him!

You can view a video version (vlog?) of this post HERE



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