I suffer from terrible anxiety. In fact, I have anxiety so bad that sometimes I think my anxiety has anxiety. I can create scenarios in my head that are not even the slightest bit realistic and make myself believe they will come true. Some nights I lay in bed actively grieving the loss of loved ones who are still there because I am just sure something bad will happen.

I battle with this anxiety every single day of my life, and yet, I still have a tremendous amount of faith. Some days I think if I just had more faith, I could overcome my anxiety, but we all know that is not how it really works.

Through the years, I have had internal struggles over giving my fears to God and trusting in Him, and trying to control every situation in my life. I love to be in control. I’m one of those people who just prefers to overwork myself and do everything because I’m pretty sure I can do it best. I’ve tried for years to find a way to not be like this, and honestly I can say that after all these years, I don’t feel like I’m much closer to an answer than I was when I started this journey. I have tried praying harder, breathing exercises, doctors, essential oils . . . everything I could think of, but I don’t ever feel “better”.

And then, the strangest thing happened. I finally found my answer in the most unlikely of places. I found what I was looking for in a tree stand, talking to God.

Yesterday, I decided for the first time to go out hunting by myself. I have never done anything like this without my husband because it is still fairly new to me and I do not want to do something wrong. On a whim though, I ventured out on my own, bow in hand, and headed for a tree stand in the middle of a wooded area. After a wrong turn I finally found my spot, hooked my gear up to the pulley, and started to make my climb.

Did I mention I’m afraid of heights?

As you can imagine, being tied to a tree 15 feet off the ground is not the most relaxing thing for a gal with anxiety who is also afraid of heights.

After I finally got myself set up and ready, I took a deep breath and took in my surrounds. That is when it hit me: sitting in a tree stand is just like giving your fears to God.

I was literally 15 feet off the ground, trusting this tree stand to hold me up safely, and if I fell, trusting my harness to catch me and keep me safe until I could get my footing.

In life, God is our tree stand and His grace is our harness. We trust Him to hold us up, to support us, and to carry our weight. But when we fall, and sometimes we do, we DEPEND on His grace to catch us, to be our extra support.

In that moment, I felt freedom like I have never felt it before. I knew that I was safe no matter what the outcome of my day.

Caitlin Rodiek

Caitlin Rodiek is a proud stay at home mother to a 3-year-old and 1-year-old. She’s a lover of God, her family and Nebraska.