Do you live with anxiety? Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you avoid things because it appears to be less stressful than addressing them?
A couple weeks ago I came home after going out shopping for my birthday with my mom. The gate to our fence was open and my 4-year-old daughter’s green bike was sitting near it in the driveway. I was concerned a bit as I thought she was playing with the gate open, but as I walked around the yard I couldn’t find her. I asked my husband and my dad who were supposed to be watching her, and they thought that the other one was watching her. I started to panic and we all started running around the house and yard trying to find her. Not to stereotype middle children, but this little one likes to blend in and apparently LOVES to hide. This wasn’t the first time that she hid in a corner of our sunroom (that’s where I found her). I was relieved and prayed aloud thanking God that she was safe, and the smile on her face showed me that she had found some sort to of thrill out of this hide & seek game that she created. Needless to say we play a lot of hide & seek games now to get this out of her system! It was scary.
I was quite upset for a couple weeks – I had a hard time sleeping getting over the situation. When something traumatic happens psychologists say that it’s important to not stay on ‘high alert’ – it’s important to recover as our body needs to relax and rest. It’s important to talk about what happened, face the fear, look for joy in other things, etc. My husband and I went away for the weekend recently, and I started to wonder if something would happen to the kids while we were away (mostly concerned that it would be of their own doing!). I had a hard time sleeping that night we were away, but I prayed with my husband and started feeling a sense of gratitude – that my in-laws could spend time with their grandkids. Immediately after this I got a peace and went to sleep. It’s amazing what gratitude can do!
In my Bible Study we are going through The Broken Way, by Ann Voskamp and the book talks about how the average human has 25,500 days in their life. Do we want to waste our life living in anxiety? The Bible says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6. If it’s a command, then isn’t it possible with God’s help? Ann Voskamp lost her sister at a young age in a tragic circumstance. She struggled with anxiety much of her life growing up. In her book she propels that anxiety can be defeated by being broken before the Lord. I’ve seen this in my own life. By doing this He will provide opportunities for gratitude and healing, and by helping others in service and obedience to Him, we will find true joy.