This may be my sign

This may be my sign.

Anxiety may be a serious problem for me if I have found myself in the fetal position, on the bathroom floor, for the last two consecutive mornings.

Anxiety could be a bit of a struggle if I am having diarrhea almost every day and usually multiple times per day.

Maybe just maybe if I\’m shaking at the thoughts of responding to an email or making another decision, I could have a problem.

Some days this silent, vicious killer eats me alive from the inside. Maybe some people can see that I feel like I am dying, but I think most of the world doesn\’t notice. You know how it is, we are all so focused on what everyone thinks about us that we never notice how others really are. Maybe you don\’t do that, but I can be so self-absorbed and lost in the world of me and my problems.

The enemy wants to own me with this anxiety mess. I\’m convinced. And the sad part is, some days he does. I\’m a child of the Most High, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. Jesus lives in me. The Spirit of God lives in me. I have access to all power, but somehow the sneaky jerk can own me. When that happens, I am furious. Furious at the slime ball, furious at my situation and mostly furious at myself. My ability to berate myself is second to no one. My issue with perfection is not pretty. So, when I let satan take me to my knees, I feel so utterly beat down and most of that beat down is from my own self.

The funny thing is, satan takes me to my knees.  Maybe he doesn\’t realize the stupidity of that, but he is taking me to my Lord. Where does our power lie? On our knees. When we are most desperate for Christ, we are most connected to Him. Something about desperation helps us shut up and hear His voice. Something about desperate teaches us to let go of control and hold on to Christ with all we\’ve got. Something about broken makes us seek a Healer and Restorer. There is just something about it. The valley is our place of deepest growth. The deeper we go into the pain, the deeper we connect to our Father.

The doctor gave me the nerve pills once. My weight was way too low and she was concerned. I tried, I really did, to take those pills. I took the full dose. I tried to cut them in half. The more I tried the crazier I felt. I\’m not sure what it was but I couldn\’t handle it. It felt like those pills were making me a different person, lost somewhere in a fog, and I hated it.

So, for now I battle the beast. The beast named anxiety. Or more accurately, some days I battle and those days I lose. Other days, I get out of the way and let God battle for me and on those days He wins. Some days it\’s a mix of my control and Him.  I\’ve learned I\’m controlling and that gets on my nerves.

I like order and hate disorder. Irony has me in the midst of what may sometimes (or all the time) feel like chaos, but God is showing me order in the midst of what seems insane. God\’s order for my life looks a lot different than I expected. God\’s order isn\’t always the spreadsheet, my checklist and my plans. His order is moment to moment. Do this now, ok talk to this person, next pray, keep praying. Prepare extra for dinner in case. Spend more time in my word today because you are going to need it for what I put in your path. Stop and read this email. Call that friend now.

It\’s hard to explain, but you probably experience your own God order in what others may see as confusion. I\’m not talking about an oxymoron here. It\’s really a beautiful thing. Preparations are allowed but flexibility is required. He\’s always got some surprises in store. Always. A few years back I read an awesome book where the writer challenges the reader to pray for thirty days \”Surprise Me God.\” The stories that follow that prayer are incredible. The stories are endless.

Lean in close, let me tell you a secret. God is always working among us. God is always incredible, amazing and WOW. God is always full of surprises. The issue is – you and me, we are clueless and unaware. We miss the surprises because we aren\’t paying attention. We chalk it up to coincidence and luck. We don\’t believe that God could be a part of everything. We ignore the interruptions because we think we don\’t have time. We fail to listen to others because we are consumed with ourselves. That\’s why the prayer of \”surprise me God\” is so powerful, because for thirty days we learn to notice. Every day before and after the thirty day experiment is amazing too, we only need a change of perspective to \”get it.\”

Anxiety isn\’t a surprise for me, God. It\’s a lingering annoyance that I can\’t fling off my back. Anxiety can drive a sane person crazy and a well person sick. Maybe the surprise is God uses our deepest aches to show us who He is. God comes in the dark with us and reminds us, He will light the way for us. God listens to our self-pity and He keeps heaping us with mercy. God never abandons us when we fail to notice Him. Maybe that\’s the real surprise, the surprise that will keep coming past the cool, shake ourselves out of the complacency, thirty day experiment.

Tears are ok so I don\’t have to hold back.

The birds are singing again this morning and they are loud.

The hours it\’s not on me, I feel so free.

God isn\’t finished with me.

Anxiety may always be the beast, but God is going to use me when I\’m weak and meet me on my knees.

\”For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:14-21

This is my sign.

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