When Anxiety Strikes
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I didn't know what to do.
My heart was beating faster than I could catch my breath.
I laid for hours on my bed, sleepless. If I dozed, my body got jolted awake by a pounding heart and a lump in my throat I couldn't swallow down.
At the cusp of a childhood dream coming true—writing my first book—I was launched into a debilitating season of panic attacks, insomnia, and anxiety.
I had done much harder things in my life, free of panic attacks. I grew up as the oldest child in a single parent family, put myself through college, and launched first-to-market technologies in the high-tech world. I've even traveled halfway around the world as an overseas missionary.
I had never been afraid of anything or anyone.
Except, I was now.
Even though I was all grown up—mom to two adorable boys and married to a loving husband—emotionally, I was still the little girl who survived on her own.
It’s hard to admit, but some of us grew up surviving painful childhoods, with mothers or fathers who weren't very loving or who were absent. God, in his grace, gave us strength to get through hard times. But the wounds remain inside, even if we've forgiven.
Writing my first book triggered these memories, and I began reliving them.
Faith does not grant us immunity from brokenness.
When we come into contact with stress, our natural response is to push through. We don't want to be in need, or fail to meet others' expectations—especially our own. We beat ourselves up for not trusting God.
But, God offers us a different response. Instead of being harder on us, Jesus whispers, "Come to me, all those who are weary laden and I will give you rest."
Just as beautiful art needs whites space—space on a page left unmarked—our souls need spiritual white space. We need rest.
We are not project plans for God. We are not God’s stock investments, where our value rises and falls with performance.
We are God’s work of art.
"For we are God's poeima (the Greek word for 'workmanship', from which we derive the word 'poem') prepared beforehand…"
Make room for you. For God. For rest.
QUESTION FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How is God taking you on a journey to rest?
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, draw me closer to you. I need rest. But, I don’t know how. Help me to confide in you today. Amen.