A curious gift of 24 hours commenced at 11am this morning when three daughters to Grand-mommy’s house went. I find myself, presently, alone atop my bed. There are no wee mouths to feed, no cartoons blaring from television, no bedtime struggle yet looming; I am completely drenched in pure silence aside from the puttering of my fingertips to these keys. A curious gift, indeed: I shall use this time to organize closets, medicine boxes, and scrub the long-stained floor downstairs. Things I cannot invest my concentration towards when small people roam about.
The drive from dropping the girls off was a sweet one. I turned up the music and my voice, and the steering wheel took a beating. I smiled, breathed, and longed for the very quiet house at the end of my journey. It made sense that I would write when I first got home; I have not for too long, and surely this will feel wonderful. I am most easily peaceful here, after all. No sooner that I began piecing together my thoughts for this writing – it hit me.
It has been… probably 3 months since last it gripped me. Not a shallowed breathe, not even the twinge of pain in my chest. Nothing.
I had an obvious choice to make (one thing I will say about anxiety is that it teaches you to be vigilant}: Give in, or give it to Him.
For so long, over so many days and weeks, I gave in. Completely surrendered to the notion that this is how I would feel forever. That, well shit, I guess this is my life now. I’d say it really began some time after Delaney’s birth – the kind of regularity I could depend on. It was not if, but when. Anxiety has been a thing that just happens to me, and I have no control.
Except today, I tried something new.
I recognized it for what it was.
What was I doing when I felt it come about?
I was painting in my mind a composed piece of work. Preparing emotionally and mentally to do my work. The gift God gave me, utilized.
You see, I do not write “enough”, and I assure you there are a myriad of excuses I could blast forth now as to why I think I should be writing, but most of these is that it is my gift, and the enemy knows this.
Today, I was excited for my work. I have the time, the peace, the … freedom. To write. A gift for me. But, wait a moment there, girl… Not. So. . . Fast.
I felt it squeeze my chest. I felt my throat clench tight. I felt my mouth salivate, and my brows furrow. I sensed the shift immediately.
Thus trailed the thoughts:
you’ll never be good enough
you never follow through
it doesn’t matter anyway
… Many things that go through my mind I would not mention here, but it goes much deeper still.
Or give it to Him.
I began to chuckle, audibly, as I drove down the interstate. At one point I realized my right hand had literally been clenching at my chest, almost as if holding my heart.
He knows how to bring me down. He knows I have good work to do, maybe not today, but if I find my courage he knows what these words could do. So he figured out how to stop me.
Or so he thought.
I serve a mighty God, and though I fail in my flesh, in my heart, and in my mind, His love for me is steadfast. If I have that. If I truly believe that I do, then what in the hell am I afraid of? He who overcame death stands in my place and rips that gripping hand out of my chest, soothes the lump in my throat, and relaxes my worried brow. What should I fear? What is worthy enough a cause that I would betray my faith and give in? Have I so little faith that I have lived this way, crippled by anxiety, for so many moons and never once before now saw the truth? I fear what…
Some anxiety? Uncomfortable feelings and thoughts that I will be an ineffectual failure, so why even try? Worst still, that I will succeed and from lofty heights realize I sold my soul along the way. If this is a gift, then it isn’t for me to dictate where it takes me, it is only that I do not waste it.
I suppose it is the same for how I mother my children. That they too are gifts to me. I freeze up in my imperfection towards them, when I am nasty with my tongue, too quick to assign blame, and lose my control completely. These moments of failure – when how much better I could have done taunts me – I have the choice to give in to it or give it to God, experience grace, and try harder the next time. The enemy has his sights on my guilt for my children’s unique situations. He has his hands in my anger, in my impatience, and in my selfishness. I could wallow for days about how I fail them, and it hurts me deeply.
Or, I could rest my head on Jesus’ shoulder, tell Him all about what it is like to be their Mama, sigh in His wisdom, and exhale out the self-judgment – He reminds me that He is in control of their lives, and He CHOSE ME to be their mother, so though this may be very hard at times, and I am not the mother I’d ideally like to be, we were all picked for each other by the one who made all things. He knows what He is doing… I give it to Him. Suck it, stupidhead satan.
It was interesting to watch the struggle between what brings me down and what lifts me up today. I stood back from myself a bit and surveyed the war: Give in, or.
Has it always been right in front of me? Perhaps He has just never made it so clear or suppose I was too wrapped up in the torture of my anxiety to notice. It is a battle between what is good, and what is not. A physiological, mental, and emotional manifestation of my own personal sin, anxiety – it steals my joy, and it does it well.
It DID IT well.
Not today, asshole, I’ve got important work to do…