Thursday, 16 February 2017

Demolition Derby by Susan L.

  Rather than facing down the anxiety with a blank piece of paper, there was time before work to create a small form, an anxiety worksheet. There are a few prompts to help me focus in the midst of the screaming heebie-jeebies. It starts with location then has space to break down feelings. There's room to explore the source of those feelings and any questions that might pop up. Lastly is the question, "Where is Jesus?" It is only a quarter page in size. Small helps the process become not so overwhelming.
  Extremely anxious before meeting with my pastor and his wife it was nice to have this small tool to use. As I jotted down the emotions, in the midst of worry and fear was a real and most enjoyable sense of excitement. It's easy to lose the good stuff when the bad seems so overwhelming.
  I spent some time using the back of the page to walk through a process of repentance and forgiveness. There's a lot of oaths that were uncovered in this step like, "I have to do this on my own" or "I can't rely on anyone being there for me"..."Needing help is a weakness". There was a lot of choosing to forgive those who helped reinforce those beliefs. It also meant I had to forgive myself for believing them.
  Some of these oaths are deeply rooted in past experiences. I've prayed through them many times but they keep popping up in different ways and in different areas of my life. As much as the thinking part of my brain knows they aren't true, it takes time for head knowledge to become heart knowledge. I don't expect one small worksheet to uncover everything but these small steps have already eased my state of mind.
  It's okay if this isn't done every time anxiety rears its ugly head. That's another thing. I don't have to.
  That's another area that was revealed. Knitting mitts has also generated anxiety because I absolutely had to knit as many pairs as possible for next year's gift drive.
  "God gave me the ability. He provided for the wool. Do something with it!"
   Somewhere along the line, I took on a responsibility that wasn't mine to have. There was no trusting God's ability to provide those nearly six hundred gifts. He's forgiven me for that.
  Will knitting mitts continue? Yes, but with joy in my heart at being able to serve in some small way. I don't have to knit 600 pairs! (Sheesh, Sue, what were you thinking?!)
  Thank You, Lord, that Your patient and gentle convictions come with the ability to laugh at myself.
  "No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, "Know the Lord," for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Jer 31:34

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