Articles

Eleven Things Anxiety Has Taught Me

In Perspective on May 27, 2011 by The Spillover

If you were at church last Sunday, you may have seen my video testimonial. You also may have heard me mention that I have an anxiety disorder. I wanted to share a bit more on that topic, and how God has used it in my life.

For a while I was having a hard time accepting the fact that I have an anxiety disorder. I felt weak, like I hadn’t tapped into the power of the Holy Spirit, or like I was doing something wrong. I was frantic for answers to both the cause of and solution to my problem. I couldn’t have imagined that God would allow me to have a disorder that would at times hinder my ability to share my faith, go to church, or even leave my house. The anxiety-ridden version of me was so different than the outgoing, social, talkative me I’d been for the previous 25 years. And so different than the me I envisioned for the future.

It would be foolish for me to claim a definitive reason as to why God allows me to have an anxiety disorder. I am far from having it all figured out, nor do I expect to fully understand God’s reasoning in its entirety while on this earth. But by God’s grace, He has allowed me to understand (or more fully understand) a few things, as they relate to my condition. Here are eleven of them:

  1. I have an anxiety disorder, it’s (for the most part) out of my control, and that’s OK. I’m a human, and humans are messed up.
  2. For a long time I saw my anxiety as “out of place” because it directly contradicted my view of myself both now and in the future. In reality, what was “out of place” was my foolish presumption that I knew what God was going to have for me at any time, even as it relates to service in His Kingdom.
  3. Plenty of tactics I used to try to overcome my disorder were, in fact, manifestations of pride.
  4. Plenty of the reasoning behind not wanting to accept my disorder were, in fact, manifestations of pride.
  5. Frequent anxiety attacks are great for growing humility.
  6. I am not in control, at all. My perception of reality can be significantly altered in the blink of an eye. This can be a source of tension as well as, oddly enough, a great comforter.
  7. The depth of a relationship between a man and his wife can illustrate God’s glory in ways words cannot express.
  8. If I’m temporarily stripped of the millions of things that make my life busy every day and I’m left with only prayer and the Bible, I still have more than enough to live on, and more than I deserve.
  9. You never know what someone might be going through just by observing them.
  10. Little things in life like being able to drive, go to work, and attend small groups at church can be cause for big praise to God.
  11. Most importantly, God is enough. Knowing Him intimately is everything, and He can be trusted through crazy circumstances that make no sense to me. Nothing I go through can change the fact that He is perfect, He is holy, He is almighty, and He is enough.

3 Responses to “Eleven Things Anxiety Has Taught Me”

  1. Adam,

    I was unable to make it to CBC on Sunday. Is there a link to the video online?

  2. God displays his power and grace in so many different, sometimes (to us) unusual ways. He is truly unpredictable, which is why He is so cool. 😉 I hope that if anyone reading this post is struggling with unexpected trials, you are able to cling to God and rest in the truth that He is enough.

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