Anxious and worried sums up my life pretty well. I’ve been blessed with the gift of planning and forward thinking. However, I haven’t used this as a gift to trust God, but instead taken hold of it with all my might and I’ve gotten to the point where I’m living daily right on the edge of total meltdown.
I confess loudly that I live my life in fear. Not your typical fear, but fear of myself and my failures.
Growing up, I was that little girl on the playground that didn’t really fit in. Big untamed hair, glasses the size of saucers and so into sports I thought my small frame would play in the WMBA. I was often rejected and didn’t feel like I had a place I belonged. I had forgotten about these feelings until recently when someone said that my fear usually comes from somewhere really far back in my minds before I knew how to deal with the emotions.
Since this realization, I’ve taken a look at my whole life and how every day was spent seeking the approval of others. I can’t believe how those playground days in my youth have led to a lot of mistakes as an adult and that’s where the fear of myself comes in, all because I didn’t have my worth anchored in truth and didn’t deal with the real feelings of emotions. The pain I feel today is because of my poor choices while in the pursuit of ‘fitting in’ to the world. So, I fear the pain that comes with my poor decisions. I’ve caused myself so much pain by living foolishly that I don’t trust myself to “get it right.” I don’t trust my words or actions, I don’t trust that I can be a good mom, wife… I, honestly, see myself as an average and ‘less than’ woman. Maybe you can relate?
Humility is the Answer
I live in constant fight or flight, and it’s exhausting. As I work to heal my anxiety and unhealthy/untrue feelings about myself I listened to a sermon about anxiety. The pastor goes on to say that the answer to anxiety and worry is humility.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
I walk through life like a bomb ready to explode. Pressure and attacks from Satan coming constantly trying to remind me that I’ve failed and that I am not capable of anything worth making a difference. Satan screams in my mind; reminding me constantly of all my mistakes and tells me over and over “you’re a failure.” And I believe him.
So, I walk through life telling myself biblical truth to replace those lies, but it’s not helping me overcome satan.. the lies only get louder. Why? Because my mind says over and over that I trust God to take care of everything, but my heart and my actions say “God I trust you, I just don’t trust me, so I’ll just hold on really tight still.”
So, yesterday I read 1 Peter 5:6-7 where we are told to humble ourselves and cast all our anxieties on God.
Pride is in the way of my Humility
I wouldn’t consider someone who is broken inside prideful, however, that’s exactly what I am. I am so afraid of failing and making mistakes and causing myself pain that I let my pride control everything and it leads to intense anxiety. I’m too focused on myself and my shortcomings.
My pride (focus on me) leaves me unable to ask anyone for help. To admit I have a problem with anxiety and fear as a Christian. How embarrassing… Especially when I know what is true. Its the connecting of my intellect and my heart that needs some serious syncing. I need to drop the perfection and humble myself by asking God to heal me, to help me and then … Fully trusting him because He cares for me!
God has proven every day of my life that He takes care of me one day at a time. He actually promises that He will take care of us every single day.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]? Matthew 6:26-27
This journey of humbly giving up my life will take some time, maybe even a lifetime. But what I do know is that God cares for me, that He will heal my brokenness, that He wants me to have and live abundantly and that He wants me to find rest and peace in Him. The only thing that can be done next is to live like I believe it so I’ll start by:
- I’m going to live Loved
- My broken places always tell me that I’m not enough. That’s a lie, so I’ll replace those lies with the truth over and over again.
- I’m going to ask for help
- From God, from friends, from my husband, from church…
- I’m going to stop thinking about my failures and shortcomings
- The more I think about my failures, the more I fail. God has created all of us to soar. He did not make a mistake with me, I am not a mistake. I cannot be ruled by my past or my sins – I can only walk forward knowing that God is with me and working all things out for His glory! (His.. NOT mine – stupid pride)
And so, here we go. Day 1: I will stop leaning on myself and give my time and duties to God. Doing them all in peace and without the anxiety of pressure, time or failure.