So, I promise that I don’t plan to make every blog entry more of “Morgan’s Anxiety Diaries.” There will be other things that God is teaching me about – I’m sure! But for the time being… God is teaching me a lot about and through my struggle with anxiety.
Near the end of July I had a significant anxiety flare up. It seemed to come out of nowhere, and I was really frustrated and disappointed about it. I thought I had things under control! I was doing so well! I thought this wouldn’t happen anymore. But alas, there it was, like a stubborn weed that just keeps popping up as if you want it there. (I don’t, by the way.)
My spiritual mentor has wisely suggested to me that when I encounter these moments (e.g. being triggered, becoming aware of an emotion that surprises me, experiencing anxiety, etc.) that I take a second to invite God into that, and see if maybe God has something to teach me, or show me, or heal, in that.
So, I did that, and I didn’t like what I heard. “You’re trying to do it on your own again.” That can’t be right, this is a harsher correction than I had received from God in a long time. So I ignored it. But a few days later the same message came up again, and again. Oh. I guess it’s not completely out of God’s character to try to direct me back to Godself when I’m trying to do things on my own. Oh, wait, actually that is totally something God would do. 😛
The tears began to flow as my outer shell of needing-to-do-everything-myself-ness started to fracture and crumble. This happens a lot with me and God. I get this sort of crust around myself that builds up, and God will come in and break it & cut it away, and return me to a state of being soft-hearted and teachable once again. Luckily, as I continue to become attuned to the voice of the Spirit the crust becomes thinner and less painful to get rid of each time.
God’s correction can be uncomfortable, but I am always happy when I come out the other side a teeny tiny bit more Christ-like. And I know that God always wants nothing but the best for me. If you are experiencing some painful correction at the moment, or maybe you’ve got a crust of your own built up around you, I want to encourage you to soften your heart and reach out to God, who is waiting with open & loving arms. The de-crustification process may not be pretty but the results are worth it – it’s always for the sake of redeeming & restoring & reconnecting us with God’s overwhelming love.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
– Psalm 51:7-12