I'm just amazed on how things can change in a matter of a month or two. I had a very stressful Christmas season, and certainly having to celebrate it without my uncle was on the top of that list of causes, but I let it lead me to a very dark January. I've dealt with anxiety issues before but this was different, or at least much darker it seemed.
It was also very different in another way; I've never felt that close to my God before. My prayers and tears went from crying out in agony, to crying out for mercy, to crying out in joy as I released some of my baggage to Him.
Just like the roots of this tree I felt as if I was being completely and totally exposed. My weaknesses and fears weren't buried, they were front and center. As I sit here now in February, I still feel some aftershocks, but I am undoubtedly in a different place.
I prayed often "Lord, increase my faith"
I prayed often "Lord, renew my mind"
When I was ready, He knew there was only one way to begin that journey. It wasn't waiting for that lightning bolt moment to happen, but He gave me the opportunities instead. Opportunities to give up my worry to Him and show Him (and myself) that faith heals. He gave me opportunities to renew my mind by showing me through prayer, individuals, and the Word that this isn't a battle I need to carry on the rest of my life. That while still a process, I "can" turn this over to Him.
I heard a speaker one time tell us to ask ourselves one question. "What is God trying to show me through my greatest limitation?".
Well, my greatest limitation that keeps me from experiencing the life that I know I was meant to live would be my anxiety (in particular, being a moderate hypochondriac). I never knew the answer to this question. I never could grasp what He was trying to show me through this. But I think I have the answer to it now, and it's simply this:
"That this is His burden, not mine." He wants it ... because He cares for me
If I can free myself from what to me is such a crippling issue at times, imagine what else He can do for me. In those darkest moments I still was able to smile, find joy, and know that no matter what, He's still my God.
My prayer now is not for freedom from anxiety, but simply a commitment on my part to fall in love with Him more each day. Either through the Word, Prayer, or serving in a way that I was meant to serve. Any relationship takes work, and the more work you put into a relationship the more fruitful and intimate it becomes. I say I love the Lord more than anything, but my life hasn't show it, and that's my change. My challenge. As I've heard it said before, God may not have His favorites, but He does have His intimates.
I've read Romans 12:1-2 so often ... prayed for it so often ... and for the first time in my life, I feel real transformation happening inside me ... I love you Lord!!!
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen." (1 Peter 5:10-11, ESV)