My finger hovers over the delete button as I look down at the next few sentences. They’re not recent, but it’s better to share what’s real.
I want to go back to the start. To what holds me together. Because sometimes I feel like I’m falling apart. Even now, even as I write this.
I feel the thread growing thinner, unraveling down to weary line. Anxious. Sometimes panicked, worried. And I don’t always know what I’m worried about, but the feeling lingers. And the anxious heart lingers. And my mind hurts.
Anxiety had revisited my life for a few months, and if you’re at all familiar with it, you know the relentless nature of it.
Silent questions of… Am I doing the right thing? Am I not?
Feelings of pressure and strain… Should I say that? Should I keep quiet?
The stomach drop of forgetting something kind of important.
Not feeling hungry. Wanting to crawl in bed and pull the covers over your head but knowing you can’t really rest.
As uncomfortable as it got at times, there was always the opportunity to draw closer to God. To move forward and feel around in the dark. To lean into my faith more than ever, remembering that God’s in control.
Then one day the lines from a 90s Coldplay song floated into my mind:
Running in circles
Chasing our tails
Coming back as we are
I sat there and thought. And felt. And it arrived: I’m going back to the start.
Something changed–and changed in a distinct way–the day I stood in the middle of the swirling whirlwind of plans and opinions and decisions and reminders and texts and kids’ school events and life events to say… I’m starting this moment, right now, with God.
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Seeking God First, Even in This Moment
We learn in Mark 4:39 that when Jesus told the wind and waves to stop they did. And there was a great calm.
Isn’t it true that we find a calm… a clarity… when we turn our attention to the Lord?
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.”
When anxiety sets in, where we turn first matters.
Years ago when I discovered breathing methods to reduce stress instructors would say, “Notice the breath going into and out of your nose. Focus on the breath. Focus on the warmth of the breath.”
Today I like to think of the one who gave me that breath as it goes in and out of my nose; to remember that even that breath is provided by Him. Job 33:4 says, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
Our daily lives will include times of high stress, distraction, tiredness and overwhelm. Certain issues might feel like they’re taking center stage, and we can start to feel weary and weak. But take heart, because Jesus is still in the boat. He can calm the storm within.
Next week I’ll be writing about some practical ways to stay grounded in faith during the times we’re stretched the most. Stay tuned…