Anxiety. My all-too-real nemesis for as long as I can remember. It comes and goes, at times a non-issue and at other times filling my mind and heart to overflowing. A few times a year, I am hit with a wave of overwhelming fear and it seems I have a split second to either go down the rabbit hole or fight to bring myself to some level of rational thinking. It’s a battle. And it’s exhausting. Imagine your body being constantly in fight or flight mode, but with no concrete object to fight with for flee from.
I’ve taken medicine, I’m in therapy, I’ve done breathing exercises; all of which have helped enormously. And yet I am still hit with this ferocious monster every so often. When I have these days, it’s easy for my thoughts to turn to those of failure.
I am failing as a mom if my kids see this in me. What if I pass it on to them?
I’m failing as a mom because my kids will watch TV most of the day so I don’t snap at them.
I am failing as a lover of Jesus because shouldn’t I be over this by now?
I am failing at making enough progress in fighting this battle.
I am failing in my friendships because people must be so sick of me asking for prayer over this.
I am failing in my marriage because I cannot give anything else by the time my husband gets home.
I wonder at how my husband and a few friends have never experienced this and long for what that must feel like. I also know that I’m not alone with this struggle, though. Oh how I hope you cannot relate, but my guess is that if you’ve read this far, you probably can.
It’s a tough road, isn’t it?
But it’s not a road of failure. Or a road of defeat. And maybe you need to hear that as much as I do right now.
The truth is:
You aren’t failing as a mom if your kids know that you have hard days sometimes. And as a mom, if your kids ever begin to exhibit signs of anxiety or other struggles, you will already be hyper-vigilant and able to recognize them early.
You aren’t failing as a mom if your kids watch TV all day so you can work through your thoughts and emotions without snapping at them. In fact, by their account, you’re probably #winning.
You are not failing as a follower of Christ. You are on a journey with struggles, hills, valleys, disappointments, and victories, just like everyone else. And He will never leave you. Run to Him and to His Word over and over again.
You are not failing at making progress. Keep a journal. Intentionally sit down and think about how far you’ve come.
You are not failing in friendships. These people are in your life for a purpose. You are there for them in their time of need, and they are there for you in yours.
You are not failing in your marriage. Be honest with your spouse about how you feel, even if he cannot relate. Where there is open communication, there is victory.
Anxiety sucks (to put it eloquently). It makes some days nearly unbearable, but it cannot make the lies it tells you be true. You are loved. You have a purpose. You are a fighter. And most importantly, you have a faithful and true God on your side. He will walk every grueling step with you, even when you feel alone. Keep fighting friends. Stick with Jesus. There is still so much joy to be had.
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