May 2, 2019 | Timothy Peace
I was talking about my anxiety once with my friends Erin and Leslie, and I made the remark that last year (2018) was one of the best years of my life, but I missed a lot of the experiential fullness of it because I was too busy ruminating about worst-case-scenarios in my head. Erin responded, “Duh, that’s what anxiety does!” Her friendly, yet blunt response kind of woke me up. I was verbalizing the reality of my anxiety, but not seeing it clearly for what it was.
I’ll confess, I’ve prayed that God would take my proclivity toward anxious thinking away, but, alas, he has not yet. At the same time, my openness about it has sparked many conversations with friends, long-time and new, that struggle with the same thing as me. I think God might be using me, and my anxiety, to help others. I think I’m cool with that. Which is a funny little secret about anxiety: Anxiety doesn’t want you to be cool with it, that’s how you know things are trending in the right direction.
I resonate with David in the Hebrew Bible (or, Old Testament) because when I read his Psalms, I find a fellow anxious person. Through his triumphs and failures, through his trials, real and perceived, David persisted in being a man after God’s own heart. Having anxiety doesn’t make you faithless, but it does want to attack your faith. Learn to be present with God, persist in your faith, and do the heart and mind work to learn to keep your cool and things will get better. To my anxious friends and those that love us, we’ve got this because God’s got us, even when we’re worried He doesn’t.