There are times in life when the ground beneath your feet doesn’t feel solid, fixed, or secure. It’s a scary feeling. It’s as if the rug’s been pulled out from under you and you’re left to drift through life, desperately seeking a footing.
Hi. My name is Michele and I’m a perfectionist. I tend to beat myself up over the slightest “misstep” and wrongly executed “shoulds” (the “shoulds” I place on myself, mostly). I feel that my lack of perfection in all areas of my life shines a poor light on who God is; making me a “bad” Christian, and, therefore, causes me to turn my head in shame.
I make too much of myself and the role I play.
We’ve all been there. Some of us are there now. We approach God and hear nothing. His overwhelming presence isn’t like it once was and we wonder why, why does He feel so distant?
Well, I’m here to tell you: I don’t know why, exactly. But, after being through times of silence and distance from Him (even if they’re just perceived) I’ve learned a few possibilities.
Sleep is a gift.
I never realized how much so until I couldn’t get it. It’s not that I didn’t want to sleep (I don’t know many adults that don’t want to sleep!), or that my body wasn’t craving it, it just wouldn’t come.
It was elusive.
Though sleep was hiding from me, I was still dreaming, dreaming of those lovely moments when I can feel myself drifting away – my body getting heavier and heavier and my bed getting comfier and comfier. Musing over the moment when I can feel myself sinking in, my bed welcoming the weight of my body and wrapping me in its warm embrace. (Okay, now I’m just making myself tired.)
I had a few of those moments, but they each ended with a jolt of consciousness and sleep hiding in the shadows. (I don’t find those moments as lovely.)
I’m doing it again.
When it starts, I don’t even realize it.
My heart feels like an ocean wave pulling away from shore. It’s longing for the furthest sand but the tide is pulling, keeping it from reaching its desire. I want to be vulnerable, to share my heart deeply, but I get caught in the current.
I’ve been holding back.
What’s the story you tell yourself about God?
A.W. Tozer says that “what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” I think the reason he believes this is because how we view God – what we believe about Him – shapes who we are, how we live, and how we see the world – so basically everything about us. And I’d say that’s pretty important.
So, is the story we’re telling ourselves about God right? How can we know? Well, by checking our story against the one Jesus tells in Scripture. If what we believe about God isn’t in line with the God Jesus shares, then we need to erase the story we’re telling and replace it with the one of Jesus; because if what we believe about God is really the most important thing about us we want to get it right.
When the attacks come they normally aren’t in the most convenient times. For me, they tend to come while I’m committed to something else and can’t do some of these tips (like in the middle of a massage session). But, if it’s bad enough and I just can’t handle it, I excuse myself for a minute to regain composure and use some of these weapons.
Even with the preparation and use of the spiritual (part one) and practical (part two) weapons to prevent anxiety the attacks still come. At least for me anyway. I prepare and strategize and the ugly beast of fear and anxiety still shows up.
I guess knowing that the beast is coming helps in motivating us to prepare.
Maybe I should have titled the other posts as ways to prepare for an attack, not necessarily prevent one. Either way, these are some spiritual weapons I use in the midst of an attack.
Life is full of the practical:
1.of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas.“there are two obvious practical applications of the research”
The actual doing of something.
We have to actually do something to win this battle. The spiritual weapons create a call to action and we have to fight. Not every weapon we use looks spiritual, but there’s where we limit God. He’s in the “spiritual” and in the “practical”. He’s in it all and uses it all. The practical can be just as spiritual.
Let’s fight with some practical weapons.
(By the way, here’s post one on some spiritual weapons to help prevent anxiety)
I have a lot of experience in the realm of anxiety, sadly. Like I shared in my last post (here), I’ve had an anxiety/panic disorder (rooted in fear) more than most of my life. I used to think that when I got older I’d be better (like there was a perfect age that would just switch this off), but it’s not like a pair of pants – you don’t just outgrow it, you have to fight it. (James 4:7-8) In this four part series I’m going to share with you some of the weapons I use most often, both spiritually and practically, to fight this awful sin (because, let’s face it, this anxiety is a sin).
(The first two posts will address weapons used before the anxiety comes, ways to potentially prevent it, and the last two posts will be ways to fight it during an attack.)