Different- December 8, 2016
You know that feeling, when you’re surrounded by what seems like a sea of people, but you can’t help but feel so alone. These past couple of weeks I’ve felt so alone, so far away. Far away from the ones I love. Far from the one who loves me more than I’ll ever know. You see, I struggle with anxiety and depression. I hate to admit it and few know the demons I battle on a daily basis. I’ve been in therapy for a while now and yes, it’s helped. I’ve learned how to better cope with these illnesses and truly allow myself to feel what I’m feeling. However, the anxiety has been at an all time high. Lately each day seems like an extreme uphill climb that takes everything in me to get to the top. Anxiety is an invisible villain. I feel it in my back, in my arms. The pressure built up. The constant need to move or do something because if I stop the discomfort is too much. Anxiety is so hard to explain. Especially to someone who’s never experienced it before. It’s so incredibly isolating without trying to be. I find myself pulling away from the ones I love the most because I can’t accurately explain how I’m feeling. The anxious feelings I experience are so different from being anxious or stressed about a test or a speech. It’s constant. It doesn’t leave. It stays with me like a moth to a flame. Yes, it ebbs and flows and some days are better than others. But it’s always there. Lately, I feel like I’m suffocating. I can’t catch a breathe or a free moment without it. I’ve come to the realization that I can’t keep living like this. I need help. The struggles it brings each day have gotten to be too much. But I’m stuck, as I so often seem to be. Where do I go from here.
Normally when I’m struggling, emotionally and mentally, it draws me closer to the Lord. I find comfort in knowing that I can pour my heart out to him and that he hears me when I call on him. However, lately I’ve never felt more distant. The frustrations I feel with my illnesses have pulled me farther and farther away. I find myself again crying out with the same questions. Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? But I feel a strong pull to change my perspective. I’ve been here before. Crying out in confusion and frustration at the path my life was taking. Was the Lord with me as struggled in high school? Did he use my deepest struggles to bring me closer to him? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then why do I doubt? Why do I even question that the Lord has a greater plan in all of this? If I look back on key moments in my life the Lord has always been there, waiting for me to come running to him in my sorrow and my joy. In Psalm 116 it reads, “I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!” The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.” I truly believe my God is a God of compassion and comfort. No matter how lost and alone I feel in this moment, I need to rest in the fact that the Lord has compassion on his children and he always keeps his promises. So regardless of where I’m at right now, I know the Lord is calling me to him and waiting for me to make the first move. Today, regardless of how overwhelming my anxiety is, I’m resting in the notion that the Lord has a far greater plan in all of this than I could ever picture for myself. One day I will look back on this period in my life and see how the Lord used it to bring me closer to him. And in that moment, it will be beautiful.