Let’s walk on the lines of the sidewalk, stepping fearlessly on the cracks, unevenly, freely skipping along.
For many people, this sounds like a lovely image. For me, it sounds absolutely terrifying. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I have anxiety, “with a flavor of OCD” as I’ve heard it said, although I think that part is quite worse than I sometimes care to admit.
Please excuse my the use of my sociological imagination, but something that I learned in class this year is that people want to feel connected to one another, and deeply loved. How in the world are we supposed to feel connected if we don’t know others’ weaknesses and our shared brokenness. And it is my hope to share some of that with you:
I have anxiety. This might seem like a simple statement, but it has been a long time in the making for me to be able to openly share that window into my broken and messy life. Anxiety looks different for everyone, but once you understand it, I’m sure you’ll find that it is nothing to fear. As my counselor described it, everyone has anxiety. In fact, anxiety is good because it is a physical response to danger that helps our body go into survival mode. The problem with anxiety disorders is that my body doesn’t always know the difference between what is dangerous and what is simply overstimulating for me. And so, concerts and crowded places make me go into the panic mode someone else might only experience before a test or in a scary situation.
But I do not share this to make you pity me, or for any other reason but I hope this: that God is using anxiety to refine me and draw me into closer dependence upon Him, and I thank Him that in my weakness, I must cry out to Him and am able to know more of Him. What a gift that God chooses to use my weakness to redeem me to becoming more and more like Him every single day. Y’all, God is a faithful and incredible Father. He cares about me deeply enough to use my anxiety to draw me nearer to His loving side.
Sometimes my anxiety leads to me trying to control things in my life like food, and things like healthy eating and good grades become an obsession for trying to hide the ways that I am broken, yet Paul calls us, as believers, in 2 Corinthians to rejoice and even boast in our weaknesses, so that Christ’s strength is magnified.
And so it is with joy that I share my brokenness and weaknesses that others may see the beauty in my ability to have joy in the midst of depression, peace in the middle of the storms of anxiety, and hope throughout this broken world that Jesus loves me and is shaping me to be more like Him each and every day! ❤