My mind is pacing and if I’m still I can feel the beat of a thousand ants crawling under my skin. In these times the pressure is so great I feel like a balloon.
Perhaps one day you’ll finally pop. NO! I won’t.
I’ve learned from experience food doesn’t fix this, neither does Xanax, nor pacing or the constant dialogue turning within my mind and heart. It will only get worse. I head upstairs to my bedroom. It isn’t long before my speakers are blazing and I am standing in the center of the room, crying my eyes out, completely overwhelmed. No longer by the ceaseless banter in my head but rather by the fact that He’s there. I can feel His spirit. His arms envelope me as I sing “you’re the God of miracles,” over and over and over and over, so absorbed. Until I can think of nothing else. Until my tired mind and body believes just as much as my heart and soul does. I should have done this an hour ago but I tried to do it myself again. Again.
Almost no one knows about these times in my life. How awful they feel, how absolutely crippling they have the potential to become. Sometimes it feels like a fox whose tail is on fire running through a field of dry wheat. A conflagration fast and steadily growing at a rate I can’t possibly control. And that’s the key. I can’t control it, but if I will just let myself get alone with God, He soothes those raw edges. Those unbearable moments when speaking to people is like sandpaper and getting myself together just isn’t happening. When regret and temptation and fear coalesce into a tidal wave of anxiety, depression, worry, what ifs, and whys. I find divine comfort in the truth. He is greater than even this. And I find that praise drives the fear away and I can face this moment, this second, the tomorrows. Fear never sleeps but neither does God.You don’t have to wait till your in a sanctuary to invite Him into your chaos. He’s ready and willing. Never once have I ever walked alone.
But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.- Psalm 3:3
The thrumming tones of worship swirl throughout the room. A smile of adoration tugs at the corner of my lips. There’s a sweet tug, much like the one on my lips, moving my heart. Like a poppy, inclining it’s petals to the sky when the sun rises. My heart begins to unfurl and everything in me is arrested in wonder. But then it happens, No no not again, my mind rebels. I can feel the doubt like a vine searching out the fortified walls of my focus. Feeling around for cracks in the mortar, soft places, newly patched areas currently a work in progress. My hands that just a moment ago felt light as clouds suddenly feel like I’m one of those people who visit monuments and take photos pretending to hold them up for fun. Only the weight is real. To my dismay, as the images of previous sins, thoughts, and a multitude of other “infractions” come rushing to the forefront I can feel the pull to drift in self recrimination. To abandon His wonder and wander in my own sea of things I can’t seem to forget even though God has.
Satan comes at me in whispers that, if ruminated on, swell until they becomes an outright noise. Static threatening to drown out my focus on God. He’s a thief and with a few choice phrases he has robbed me, and those that God would have me minister to, of their blessing. Would it surprise you if I said satan didn’t just rob me but that I let him? I’m willing to bet that you have too.
Sometimes during worship, I must take a deep breath. I speak to that voice of chaos and condemnation, “Shut up for I go before my king and He has said in His word that I am to come boldly,” “I am holy because His grace stands between me and the chasm of sin,” “Through Jesus I am whole and free indeed.” And then, I lift my hands anyway becoming a worshiper once more instead of the weightlifter sin dictates I become. Seriously, I speak to the enemy. I even speak to myself because sometimes you are your greatest enemy. Command silence in the name of Jesus and seize focus as you seek His face. You will not be disappointed sweet friend.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5