When a conversation with God starts like that I should know that I need to hold onto my hat. It's gonna be big and its gonna happen fast. Or at least Gods timing fast. If you know Gods timing like I do, it's never as fast as I want it. Which means that I am impatient. It's on the list...now back to the biggest awakening I have had so far.
I woke up anxious, just like every other morning. I am getting better at that every day. On good days, I don't even try to figure out what's wrong. On bad days, I get caught in the mental squirrel cage (as my dear friend in sobriety used to say-he died in an accident yesterday. God rest his soul.) and I spend all day falling into rabbit holes, looking for a solution in every place but God until I wear myself out and give it up.
Sometime in the past few weeks I realized that I hadn't quite given my anxiety all over. Not really. I "asked" for his help by telling him what I thought I needed and then asking him to give that to me. Why oh why can't I remember that God is the most trustworthy individual in existence? Romans 7:16-18, is why (yes, go look it up.) Or maybe its my ego. Or, or, or. God had been dropping hints about handing it over s, little thoughts would pass through like "have you really given it over?" and "you know what's next, right?" I knew something was coming. I could feel it.
I really thought that when he told me about shame underneath my anxiety (see the post titled Shame in Anxiety's Clothing), I thought I had hit the root of it all. It connected so many dots. I understood so much about myself. I saw the lie I had been believing and the truth I needed to replace it with. However, since I still woke up anxious, I knew I hadn't hit the root. I was disappointed. I have been attacked by this burning anxiety in my chest as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I tried to describe it as butterflies. I was 5 or 6. I thought I would finally be free. Not yet.
I got dressed and headed out to the studio. On the way, I thought "It's probably time I really give this over to you". I proceeded to ask him to take care of it however he sees fit. Over the next few days and through a series of small things from many different people, he told me that my struggle is because I don't feel needed. I don't have kids, I don't have parents, my husband is independent, I am self employed, Iall my friends are new and don't ask for help. Before I moved, I had a community, a church, a friend who is good at asking for help and another friend who is always better at giving help more than asking for it. I knew my place, I knew who to call and I had all their numbers in my phone. The truth is that I haven't felt needed since I moved here a little over a year ago. It probably isn't true, but sometimes I feel things about situations that are imagined or real. And then he said:
"and I need you"
I replied, "I want to feel that it is enough, I want to know that deeper"
and he said "I paid for it all on the cross".
I felt a giant weight lift off my chest. Literally. I physically felt it happen.
I was sitting at my wheel with my hands covered in clay. I had a conversation in my head about this being the part where I am supposed to get on my knees and thank him for what he did for me. Muddy hands and all, I fell on the floor to my knees. It wasn't far. I put my forearms on the floor and then my forehead. The plywood on the floor was covered in clay dust and cool from the a/c. Before I began to pray, more connections started tumbling out of my brain. "So that is why I do this and have issues with that and what I was looking for in booze and what I was looking for in this other thing I did and that other thing....and I just sobbed. And then I thanked Him. He showed me all the lies I was believing about myself. And it all stems from something I learned very young about working my way into worthiness. Working my way into being lovable. If I can get people to value me then I am valuable.
I've been breathing quite a few deep deep sighs. You know the kind where you can feel your bottom rib moving. Blowing the air out feeling more junk leave my body. Stretching. Breathing. Praying. God is so amazing. He is the great healer, the great counselor. And so personal. And mysterious (punk rock). I am blown away.