The one thing no one tells you about anxiety.
What happens when our fears are based in truth.
Something that has happened in the past, (a loss), something that we know will happen (a presentation at work), or something we see on the news. These are legitimate fears grounded in real things that have actually happened or going to happen. Sometimes we have rational fears; yes, I know that sounds like an oxymoron but it’s true. I realized today as I was leaving for a trip to Vegas to meet my husband and I left my kids behind, that a lot of triggers were happening. I kept thinking of what if my kids lose their mom and their dad or what if they lose their mom and their dad is out of town, or worse what if I lose them?
My pride and joy.
Sometimes our fears are rational.
At first, I was annoyed with myself and stressed about my anxiety, I mean I’ve left the kids before and not felt this way, or at least this intensely. What I realized is that the perfect storm was brewing. March 21st was the twenty seventh anniversary of my father’s death, and it just so happened that two days before my trip a bomb with a trip wire had exploded only a couple of miles from my home. Any normal person would have fears after a bomb has exploded a few miles from their home, while two kids were leisurely out riding their bikes, but this instance triggered something more. It was a reminder of that feeling when I lost my father, that your life can change in the blink of an eye. It’s a reminder I’d like to leave behind.
In some way fear is a good thing, it’s a reality check for your priorities, a push for your prayer life and a heightened level of gratitude for what you have.
All this said, the fear is still there, and the fear is still real. This one is harder to talk myself through, this one makes sense, this one is rational. Sometimes the rational fears are the hardest ones to conquer.
This was taken a couple miles from our house, after the trip wire bomb exploded. Image courtesy of HPM digital team.
The juxtaposition of free will and God's love.
I spent Monday morning at Bible study and I realized how much I needed it. Sometimes you don’t leave Bible Study with all the answers, sometimes in fact you leave with even more questions, but knowing that you aren’t alone in your fears, is sometimes the best medicine. Reconciling Scripture which talks about God being our protector, our shade, our fortress, just doesn’t ring true when people are dying from opening packages on their front door step. Those verses are comforting when we have irrational fears, and we are reminded of who God is, but when tragedy strikes or the idea that tragedy could come at any second, I need more than those verses. They don’t make sense to me in these moments. The juxtaposition of free will and God’s love is one of the many theological paradigms that is hard to understand. Our desire for justice is so great, but yet if that justice was turned on us, the fear alone might kill us. No one wants to be told who to love and yet we forget that God is the same way.
He longs for us to run towards Him the same way we long for our children to run towards us.
We live in a world that is not how God intended it.
Still we have to remind ourselves that we live in a fallen world, a world that is not how God had planned, with free will comes real consequences. This only fuels our desire for restoration and heaven. Our longing to go home where we are no longer wrestling with these juxtapositions but where everything is made complete, and whole. Justice has been served and we are on the right side of justice. So, in these moments when our fears are rational and real, we must hold on to the hope of the future. The hope of heaven, the desire to go home is real, God has placed that desire in our heart, don’t run from it, hold on to it. The fear will pass, day to day life will distract, but God is longing for you to come home as much as you are.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelations 21:4
What are some fears you have encountered that are hard to conquer?