Roads That Cross: Anxiety x Peace

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I can relate to Charlie Brown in this cartoon. I am a messy mix of anxiety and peace. The road map of these two roads, in my heart, is more than one neat intersection. It’s a tangled twist of peace/anxiety that would make the MacAuthur Maze 800px-MacArthur_Mazelook like a straight shot country back road. This is going to shock some of you that know me, but I’ll move forward anyway. I had my first panic attack in college. They lasted, off and on, for almost a year and then went away. I should have sought out help, but sadly ūüė¶ I did not. They did not come back (that I know of) until we had health issues with one of our babies. (She turned out to be fine.) They went away again for a while until bandaids and a kiss did not make my daughters hurts all better.¬†Then, another respite from the heart-thumping, sick nausea of spinning out of control until my health issues started bearing down hard.

In between seasons of anxiety and in places I should have experienced great anxiety, I would be immersed in seasons of great contentment and peace. I’d think to myself, I’ve finally found “the right drinking water,” Paul’s secret to be content in all circumstances. Philippians 4:12¬†New International Version¬†I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.¬†I’ve had people comment how calm and collected I seem all the time. I’m not pretending. I live there often when I can keep God right in front of me: a graduating daughter, a first date or a new driver driving my precious girls to school, traveling out of the country with someone else’s child, a home renovation while living here, sharing a personal testimony to a large group of women, walking through Russia on legs that felt like rubber, natural Lamaze childbirth, etc. etc. etc. None of those life crazies triggered one. . .I felt at peace and fully supported in His arms. Even when the symptoms of ALS started and I knew something was very wrong, I remained caccooned. Until. . .

The doctor appointment’s began. Diagnosis loomed over me. I’ll find myself in another one, like being hit on the bullseye in a dunking booth, and down I’ll splash into another freezing attack. I don’t have any answers here. Oh. how I wish I did, for your sake and mine!!! Then, even in the thick of this progressive paralysis, peace will settle in a stay for a while: I’ll be immersed in prayer for another, lost in a creative venture (thank you T and Gaye), the busy dynamics of my girl’s diverse personalities together: entraces me in their energy, Bucky feeds me soup and the hunger abates. Peace lasts but a while. Then I need a new bed or a discussion about my need for a feeding tube ensues or it starts getting dark at the end of a hard day: and here I go again into some endless variation of panic. I am just here in the mess and mystery with you. I am getting medical help with this part of my journey. I’m doing everything I know to maximize my relationships with family. Just getting a good night’s sleep is a little¬†miracle.¬†I don’t¬†think we “arrive” here on this earth. Peace waxes and wanes likened to the cycles of the moon in the darkness of night.¬†It seems so thus far for me. Maybe you know something I don’t. Please share your secret with us!

When it comes to anxiety x peace: Do not walk anxiety issues alone. There are ways to help you cope and to control the symptoms.

Pursue:

  • Bible Studies
  • Prayer
  • Discuss/memorize His Word
  • Listen to Worship Music: Pachebel’s Cannon in D
  • Process Feelings but Focus on The Truth
  • Learn From Those A Step Ahead on their journey
  • Awareness of what triggers an attack
  • Profession Guidance: Counseling/Physician’s Check Up
  • Self-Comfort: a warm bath, a good night’s sleep, healthy foods, fresh air, a warmed blanket, etc.

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:25-34 ESV

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

1 Peter 5:7 ESV

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Isaiah 35:4 ESV

Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‚ÄúBe strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.‚ÄĚ

John 14:27 ESV

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Proverbs 12:25 ESV

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Proverbs 12:25 ESV

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Matthew 6:34 ESV

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Romans 15:13 ESV

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Psalm 94:19 ESV

When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.

Isaiah 26:3 ESV

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Psalm 121:1-2 ESV

A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Isaiah 43:2-5 ESV

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.

Image found: miriadna.com

Image found: miriadna.com

“I will gather you.” Thank you God, as I am scattered, you gather me up in your arms. Amen

8 thoughts on “Roads That Cross: Anxiety x Peace

  1. So, so, so on time!!! Your posts are great reminders of God’s great grace!! “When I can keep God right in front of me”…oh yes!
    Love you always ūüôā

    • Me too Ashie. . .Ps. 121:1-2
      Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent – Member Book
      Moore, Beth (Author), was my first Beth Moore Bible study. It gave me a life-changing
      perspective shift in the way I saw things. . . mom

  2. Thank you, Tracey. You never cease to amaze me with your timely postings and words from the depths of your being. You’re right – I never saw you with anxiety and it is hard to imagine! However, I believe that at some level, it is part of our humanity – for all of us – and I certainly am no exception. That you continue to share and minister to others through your own trials is humbling and awesome at the same time. You continue to be in my prayers daily. Love, Judy

    • Dear Judy,
      Thank you. This was hard to write. I’ve experienced such diversity of peace and anxiety. Thank you for prayers! I do hope that God will use this journey to encourage others. much love, twe

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