i've been having a host of physical problems lately. after a few doctor visits and some tests, turns out it's stress and anxiety related. i secretly knew that was the answer. i've always been impressed and a little terrified at the way my mind affects my body. i'm no stranger to the stress and anxiety battle. it's been years since i was on medication, and for now i'm choosing to continue without it. that could change, but i really want to try and change some things in my life first. my doctor said something like "what you need to do is identify the stress in your life and avoid those things". i laughed and replied something like "well, i can't run away from home, can i?"
my home life isn't stressful in a negative/scary way, i think i make it negative by being selfish, but it's just a part of life. marriage, motherhood, child with special needs, paying bills, skinny bank accounts, living in an undesirable apartment, having only one vehicle, constant issues with that one vehicle...it all adds up to me yelling serenity now! every now and then.
i also can't seem to stop dwelling on things that make me fearful. i dream about my family being hurt, i obsess about my son's future and his day today. is he happy? is he getting enough, are all his needs met? am i enough?
i think something switched in my brain and heart when we moved. moving is stressful, everyone knows that. because i've moved many times, and i expected stress and anxiety, i somehow tricked myself into believing i was managing everything ok. i thought that simply being aware of my feelings was dealing with them. does that make sense?
stress is real, anxiety is real. they're crippling and not things to try and shake off on your own. sometimes there may be a need for help through medication, but even that isn't enough. why is facing these emotions so difficult? until i face them, more than being aware, but really examining their roots, i can't find true peace.
thank the lord, he not only provides the true peace, he helps me on the way there.
scripture is full of "i called to the lord, and he heard my cry" verses like psalm 18:6. that's deeply comforting. sometimes i don't even know what i'm praying, i just call out to him. knowing he hears me, knowing he responds, that peace a signpost to the complete peace to come. the hard part is, accepting that complete peace likely won't come to my heart this side of heaven. i still sin. i still have a broken body. i still have a human mind, bent toward human things. trusting the future hope, eternity with jesus, and being eternally free from myself and my worrying. that's what i cling to. that's what keeps me getting out of bed and loving my family every day. that's what keeps me running to jesus for forgiveness when i trust myself instead of leaning fully on him for everything.
i am sure i will have more stress and anxiety attacks. rather than work hard on trying to avoid them, i want to just rest in jesus and chill the heck out. rely on him. talk to him. listen to him. he is faithful in all things. and while i know he doesn't work my way or in my time, he does work. and he never fails.
*my earlier post today didn't count. i challenged myself to sit for five minutes and write something every day this week.