Throwing mountains…

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It’s everyday conversation…. How are you? How’s your family? Nothing out of the norm. Nothing deep. But as sweat beads roll down my back, I’m reminded, I struggle with an anxiety disorder.

You might not know. I speak in front of people. I love to laugh and joke. I come face to face with crisis and homeless situations daily. I’m a normal person. But inside, it’s not always easy.

I choose grocery store lines where the cashier doesn’t appear chatty, that way I won’t have to talk. Sometimes, I avoid outings with friends. I prefer the safety of my nose in a book, or eyes locked on my IPhone. It’s just easier that way. I evade the inevitable sweating that comes with social interaction and they dodge my awkwardness. It’s better that way, right?

My flesh tells me I should base my life, and all the things I do, around what, where, and how I feel most comfortable. That if social interaction makes me nervous, it’s okay to tuck myself away in the bedroom. That the message God gives me to share in public places or private conversations are not worth sharing. That my communication will always be ineffective because of the anxiety that lies behind it.

Those of us who struggle with anxiety have another level of difficulty when it comes to saying yes to God. We want to say yes, but everything in our bodies says no.

For example, I might say yes to a speaking engagement. But this means stomach problems for days before the event, choosing an outfit I won’t sweat through, and having my face break out in acne due to all the stress.

It’s not just a mental battle. It gets physical.

Racing heartbeats, shaking voices, sweating bodies, hives, psoriasis outbreaks, sleepless nights…and the list could go on and on and on.

I have been through counseling. I have hashed and rehashed my past. I am a Licensed Counselor myself. I take an anti-anxiety medication every single day. Yet at times, the battle rages on. Anxiety continues to rear its ugly head, especially when I am super stressed.

It would be easy to give up. Mind you, I have wanted to several times. But God gently spurs me forward.

I thought by now, after years of seeking and trusting the Lord (plus counseling and medication), He would have emptied me of these symptoms. They have improved, but never completely disappear.

So why am I sharing this with you? Because I want you to have hope. So often we view issues like anxiety or depression as an identity. A defining factor in our lives. When in reality they are little more than mountains.

Mountains you say? Yes mountains. Mountains are not easy to climb. They can be treacherous and daunting. Climbing them can be painful. At times we may fall down. But Jesus says this about mountains:

“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. (Mark 11:23 NIV)

Mountains may be impossible to climb. But with Jesus, they can be thrown. Might we still struggle with symptoms? Yes. Might it be difficult at times? Yes. But these mountains have absolutely no power to keep us from traveling where The Lord would have us go.

So what about you? If you struggle with anxiety or depression, now is the time for action. Pray about it. Maybe it’s time to see a doctor. Or a counselor. Or maybe just time to step out in faith. Whatever God is asking you to say yes to, anxiety and depression are no excuse. It’s time to throw some mountains and get on the move with Jesus.

Awesome art credit: http://southernbellesoulmountainbrideheart.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html?m=1

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Comments

  1. LaToshia Jordan says

    Thank you for your testimony. God is awesome. Thank you for being transparent I pray your anxiety gets fewer each day. I truly understand.

  2. says

    Thank you for sharing. I have suffered from anxiety my whole life. I cannot even imagine speaking in front of hundreds of people, I get anxious just to speak at my monthly staff meeting that has anywhere from 10 to 20 people.
    I have never had to be on medicine, however I do sweat, so I always need kleenex. I was a courtroom assistant for 18 years, and when it came for me to read the verdict, I would get so nervous, and perspire. It was always known that I would have kleenex with me for my hands and upper lip.

    In order for me to obtain my degree, I had to take a public speaking course. It was the hardest 16 weeks of my life. each week i checked the days until completion. I received a B because of not giving enough eye contact. Receiving a B for how nervous and anxious I was was a great accomplishment. I wanted to just not go to class, however I needed this course, so I pressed on. That is what I have tried to do my entire life, press through.

    My anxiety has been the cause for me living a very safe life. I do not walk away from a challenge ,but I do not seek them out. Reading Lisa Terkeurst saying yes to God and following the OSB study is a real challenge for me.

    When I retire from my job with the courts, I want to get into counseling as well. Thank You again for your post.

  3. says

    Yesterday I dealt with this exact problem!! First, a friend wanted to chat who was in desperate need of a listening ear, but I didn’t feel like being one (shame on me). I went to talk to her and I think we both felt better for it. Then, my husband told me I had to go to the food bank with him so I could understand how it worked if we needed the food and he was out of town working. I REALLY didn’t want to stand in that long line and be humbled. But I did and the people were so nice there that we decided we would start volunteering there also. God wants us to step outside of our comfort zones and I am glad I did!!

  4. says

    Thank you for being very real, open and truthful about your struggles and also your testimony. I can relate with this struggle because I have been through it myself and only God brought me out. I praise God for your life and for His faithfulness. Your testimony is truly inspiring. Thank you once again.

  5. PennyMelendez says

    Thank you so much for this post! I, too, suffer from anxiety. Some days are better than others. I love hearing about a Christian woman that is not perfect. I don’t mean that in a negative way, at all. It’s just that sometimes I feel all alone in this struggle. Sometimes I feel that if my faith was stronger, then my anxiety would be less…I feel like I am not a strong enough Christian. Reading posts, like yours, helps me to remind me that that is not the truth. Thank you for speaking the TRUTH.

  6. Courtney says

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve struggled with this for years! I also lived in denial for years, until it lead me to a suicide attempt in January. Honestly, I should have died from the overdose; but God has a job that I haven’t completed! After a week of hospitalized, I finally got help! I’m now seeing a counselor once a week and taking an anti depressant and anxiety medicine daily. I was ashamed and felt labeled until you shared your story. Thank you!

  7. says

    Stephanie, Thank you for sharing. It does give me hope that I, too, can step out and say #yestoGod. Having seen you speak I would never have known you struggled with those issues. You are such a great example. Thank you for being real and showing others your true self. <3 you!

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