Never in my life had I struggled with anxiety, until I did. Fear, yes, and more than a little creative “depression,” but nothing clinical. Recently, I waded through my old art trunk filled with sketches, paintings, and projects, and recalled that I too, like Picasso, had a “blue” period. Poetry and other writings from my teens and twenties were often dark, even though in retrospect, they pictured wildly dramatized but relatively small problems. What a gift it has been to be in a church that never shies away from difficult subjects. I am thankful to hear the testimonies of others who have battled the affliction and to understand that anxiety is not a trifle that can be shrugged off or banished by just having more faith.
For more than a decade I have been like a freight train running full speed, while random parts have been breaking down and falling off. Finally, a combination of death, illness, brokenness, and loss stopped my train in its tracks, like a squeezed-in accordion, crumpled and scattered. I couldn’t just push through it anymore, so I did what comes naturally to me—research! Along the way, I found several supplements and foods that helped me cope, but I am grateful that God stretched out my season of incapacity to increase my trust in Him.
I love that picture of the barn on fire while the mother hen is feverishly gathering her chicks. The ONLY thing that will save each chick is the thick feathers of the sacrificial mother hen. I don’t imagine any of them running about, looking for a fire extinguisher or a cell phone to call 911. Each one needs its mother, and she is the only solution. Even this week I have come up against some pretty stressful circumstances. Today, I had a business appointment in a noisy café. Later, I ran some errands, took Kazzy to the park, and completed my volunteer work of returning bottles to the clangy depot. Mundane tasks for sure, but when I wanted to disappear or run away, I heard God saying, “I am your shelter, refuge, and place of safety.” I am sure there will be many more days when I feel like my legs will give out on me or that I will die when I’m sitting with a life insurance client (thinking they will buy a lot from the next agent), but I know God wants me to take those thoughts captive and realize that I don’t need to know the answers, just the ONE who does.
The Calm in the Storm (reflections on the psalms)
Sharon would also like to share this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUZhTMZF_1I