When you’ve had an emotional rollercoaster for a work week, sallie mae AND uncle sam are deep in ya pockets, you have a laundry list full of important tasks to complete that anxiety creeps up and puts you in that Debo & Craig type choke hold until you end up sitting in a parking lot drinking a smoothie that you didn’t even want…
5/13/17: Snapshot of my mental state.
That week had been one of the best and worst of the year. While I sometimes deal with anxiety, I feel as if, for the most part, I have it under control. Working on my relationship with God has helped me quell my boisturous inner critic, allowing me to function normally most days. But some days it’s like fighting a losing battle. Like a bear in a trap. I try to up my hustle when i feel it coming on because i know if i stop, it’ll only get worse.
Guard your heart.
“But today? I have so much to do.”
It’s mother’s day weekend. I had a full day planned, but I couldn’t even make myself stand up from my desk. I sat, head in hands, mind racing, heart thumping…paralyzed. I really don’t have time for this today. It’s saturday, i have to make it to the bank by 9 if i want to have money over the weekend and make it to the thrift store by 10 to shop with a friend. I. AM. losing right now!
At that point, i do the only thing i could think to do. I prayed. i started repeating the Lord’s Prayer to myself and even though i didn’t feel the urge to cry, the tears begin to roll. A transcendent feeling comes over me. This isn’t the first time i’ve felt this sensation, but it’s the first time i can remember having this experience in the midst of so much chaos. Even still, i can’t put it into words for you today. If i could, i’d compare it to being enveloped inside a sunshine bubble. it was warm and comforting.
Anyway, as all of this was happening, my cousin/roommate came in joking like we usually do. By this time i was nearing a blubbering mess of emotion and could only raise my hand in a makeshift signal that meant i need space. i realized that in almost a year of living together, i’d never displayed such emotion aside from mild annoyance, so naturally, she showed concern. “What’s wrong? What happened?” i could only shake my head. Finally, i was able to say that i was praying. She apologized. i said, “It’s okay.”
i don’t even know if she heard me, but what i do know is that there was an unusual calmness in my voice. Even during this exestential crisis, i felt a calm that’s not even there when i’m NOT in the middle of a complete meltdown.
So…i finished praying, finished crying and drove myself to get a smoothie. I carried on with my day, puffy eyes and all. This is why i go so hard for Jesus. This is why i’m a proponent of having a personal relationship with God. This is why i’d perform in a Psalms 23 jersey at a Curren$y concert. Not because everything was all good after i prayed, because it wasn’t. i still had a lot of “what ifs” swirling around my mind. i still had some doubts. i was still anxious. But i also had peace. An unexplainable peace.
i now understand that this was the Holy Spirit doing it’s job as my comforter, letting me know that it’s okay to feel both at war within oneself and also feel the peace that supasses all understanding (Phil 4:7). Over the past couple weeks, i’ve learned that the presence of pain or suffering does not negate the presence of joy and, subsequently, happiness.
Nehemiah 8:10 says the joy of the Lord is your strength. As a follower of Christ, it is perceived that the objective of our faith is to pray away the bad in blind ignorance. Well, if that’s the case, why would i need the joy of the Lord to be my strength? Because that’s not how this works.
The reality is that God is in all things. By denying the love of Christ reign over our lives, we invite our consciousness to become overwhelmed by the perceived bad things that happen to us. John 14:26 tells us that when Jesus left, an advocte was sent in His place. One that teaches you all things and will remind you of everything you’ve been taught. The bible never promised us a stress free life, but it does tell us that even though weapons will form, they will not prosper (Isaiah 54:7).
So, what’s the takeaway?
Fashion is an outward expression of the inner contents of our hearts; and whereas i was once afraid to wear my heart on my sleeve, i now display who i am like a jersey for my favorite team.