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Shame in anxiety's clothing

As I sat in the morning sun, my eyes taking in all the beauty surrounding my home, my heart just ached, desperate for relief from my anxiety. My insides were tired from the constant state of fear. And I feel like such a self indulgent brat for whining. I've struggled with anxiety most of my life. I've lived with this fear that something is terribly wrong and there's a solution but it's out of reach unless I do something I simply can't figure out. So the something I can't figure out is my constant pursuit, disregarding the cliches I know about anxiety because they don't work for me.

Even after i was saved, I immediately started studying the Bible looking for answers. Cast your cares, lay them at the cross, lean in, no relief. I thought I just needed to be patient. It took me this long to get this way, it will take as long as it takes. So I got comfortable being uncomfortable. But I didn't just sit in it.. I also found some earthly based solutions that work, but are distractions more than solutions. At least I had some relief.

This particular morning (yesterday), I really opened up my heart. I pleaded. God gave me this beautiful life, and I can't enjoy it because i am always afraid. I pleaded like Hannah pled for a son. Then God made it known to me that he's been waiting for me to let him have it for real. I'm such a cliche! I decided to try it AGAIN for the millionth time to let it go completely. And before I even began to pray for the willingness, God said to me "it's not anxiety, its shame." Boom! Everything started to make sense. Shame at not being able to figure out what I need to do to keep the bad thing from happening. Shame for not being able to respond appropriately to God's gifts because I always felt like it was all going to be taken away at any minute. Shame over not being able to take care of my fear, shame over knowing that God is in charge and it's all good but not being able to believe it. Shame. I've not really had shame over what I've done but more about what I can't do. Like I can't do my part so that God can do his part and I can be free. Today, I feel a lot less powerless, a lot less in danger, a lot less fearful. Today I can ignore the fear because I feel a little more like David and less like the army Goliath kept defeating. And I also have this post to help me remember hope when I have none!

Head over to the forum if you want to join in the discussion about anxiety!

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