Friday, April 07, 2006

Anxious Faith

First, I need to address something to my fellow LBY studiers. As I am in the midst of learning about myself, and combating the demons that I have known my whole life, I need to tell you all that I am going back to square one with my Christian walk. Rest assured that I will still be doing the LBY study, but that I need to do it on my own schedule. After a long discussion with Therapist last night, I need to go back to "baby steps". The study is a bit much for my anxious mind at this point. I hope that you will all continue to stop by, but my post might not necessarily be in regards to our study. I need to take it all one day at a time. So, if you feel the need to remove me from the LBY list, I TOTALLY understand...I just need to commit myself to the smaller steps of Christianity at this point.

On to the lessons of therapy. I am so thankful that Therapist is a Christian, and that she can help me with all of this. We relate EVERYTHING to God, and His plan for me...that I have trouble waiting for.

I walked into therapy last night with a list of questions. She doesn't necessarily give me answers, but helps me to understand the whys.

1. About Therapist: How do you change gears from one appointment to the next? (This has been bothering me for quite some time) Her response was...it is God. He allows her mind to change gears very quickly, and focus her attentions on the person who needs His help through her the most at that moment. Pretty cool.

2. Do hormones play a role in depression? YES!!!!! After months of the cycle of lost and found, anger and acceptance, it is very clear to me that women's hormones can affect their actions, words, and thoughts...sometimes sending them into a downward spiral. 28 days from now - you will probably hear me screaming....God is bigger than the hormones!

3. Why can't I pray? I cannot finish a prayer, I haven't said Amen to one of my own prayers in MANY years. This is where an anxious mind falls easily to the ways of sin. My mind races. I cannot control it. If I cannot pray in 3 seconds, I won't finish it...which makes me feel as if I am sinning...which makes my mind take off....(this is why the LBY Bible study is so difficult for me right now) Baby steps...I am going to take one verse per week and memorize it. Repeat it as often as I can. Baby steps.

4. Why do I see every thing as black and white? Why does the light have to be off or on? ANXIETY will push you for answers...anxiety will make you impatient for a black or white answer...anxiety will make you unable to hear or see God's plan. Anxiety is a fancy word for impatience. How do I overcome this? Name it, call it what it is, when anxiety pushes for an answer, admit that is what is happening, and decipher if I am being anxious or not. Decipher when I am hanging on to anxious thoughts because I want a certain outcome, or if I am accepting reality.

IT'S NOT ABOUT ME!!! It is about Him! Listening, waiting, protecting, honoring. By honoring myself (protecting the little girl), I am honoring Him.

I might someday write a book about all of this...if I can ever slow down enough to actually write something like that...it might be a VERY short book if I wrote it now. Can you call it a book if it is only three sentences????

For today...God does not respond to what we do, we respond to what He does.

16 Comments:

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Chaotic Mom said...

I am going to follow you on this, and PRAY for you, too!

For different reasons I feel as if I'm at square one with my Christian walk, too.

I'm glad you have a Christian therapist, too. This is something I wished my mom had done years ago.

I just called yesterday to make an appointment with my doc re: my anxiety. And a resounding YES when asking if hormones play a role, too.

Hang in there. I am struggling a whole lot right now, too. And I am going to specifically pray for you and this struggle you're in.

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger the voice said...

Amen! There, I said it for you. Remember that being a Christian is not about a sudden transformation into something perfect. It is about a gradual transformation, one that takes place at a different pace for each person. And perfection will never be realized by even the best Christian. There was only one perfect life, and That was the one Jesus lived. Do the best you can, accept the mistakes and stumbles, and keep your thoughts planted on Him. As for praying, God knows what is on your heart. Keep your prayers simple to start, and build on them each time. For example; "Lord, please grant me peace and serenity, Amen" I will continue praying for you.

 
At 11:17 PM, Anonymous eph2810 said...

Sweet M ~ it is okay to take baby steps. It is okay to question our faith walk. God is faithful at all times, even when we questions things. Being a Christian doesn't mean we don't have difficulties in this life; it just means that we had someone Who helps you along the way.
I will be praying for you, dear sister.
Living in His grace...

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger BooMama said...

I spent most of my 20's feeling like I had to be some homogenized version of a Christian - a cookie-cutter, Bible-toting, Scripture-quoting soft-spoken girl who used hot rollers. :-) My 30's, however, have been all about the freedom of letting God use me right where I am. Problems and all. Remember - Christianity isn't about perfectionism...it's about transformation...and it won't happen overnight (I just read "the voice"'s comment - we seem to be on the same page). :-) Wherever you are in your walk, God will meet you right there...and He will love you like no one else. Regardless.

 
At 12:20 AM, Blogger misha said...

i have bipolar, and i don't really see a therapist, but i do understand.

i just wanted to say, besides "hi", that when i can't say a prayer, i just recite the LORD's prayer. we say it so often, but i have it memorized and i think about what the words actually mean when i say it. so when i can't think of my own words, i just use His.

this canadian blogger says "bonjour/hello"

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger Carol said...

That's a lot of stuff.

I'm going to zero in on #3. This is a common complaint from believers - that their mind gets destracted during prayer and they can't ever get to the Amen part. They've tried everything, but they just can't stay focused.

Awful, isn't it? To not be able to focus your mind on God for a few minutes? To allow anxieties and worldly concerns to cloud out the Creator so you and He can't even have a decent conversation. If we can't talk to Him for even a few minutes without distraction, how can we possibly expect to remain calm and focused long enough to hear His voice on our hearts?

God is even bigger than that, don't you know? Ask Him. The next time you kneel in prayer (and do this kneeling down - it does help with the focus issue), start first of all by asking Him to keep your heart and mind focused on Him. Ask Him to bring you back if you should stray during your talk with Him. If this is truly the desire of your heart, He will give it to you. He has so much power, this is a very little thing for Him to do.

So, how bad do you really want it?

 
At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Janna said...

Hi M -

The important thing is that you are taking steps forward. Keep taking those steps, one at a time. Baby steps are fine so just do this study at your own pace. I always tell people that being a good soldier takes practice (boot camp) and doesn't happen overnight. Consequently, we can't become good Christian soldiers overnight either. Keep pressing on, sister.

 
At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Patricia said...

M - I will certainly keep you in prayer as you work through the root issues of your anxiety and depression and look forward to your testimony of healing! In Christ!

 
At 8:50 PM, Blogger flipflop said...

If you haven't read the Purpose Driven Life, then I suggest it for you. It really is a great read.

 
At 10:59 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Have you tried meds? Email me directly if you want. I'd love to share my experience with you.

As for a few other things...

God's in control of your relationship. You're not. Try to let go of the anxiety and allow yourself to fail. Because the truth is, we ALL fail. It's our job. God will show you himself when he picks you up, brushes you off and puts you on your feet again.

As for prayer... yeah, there's formal prayer and then there's the prayer of the heart. I love the second. I constantly talk to God through my day. I know what you mean about not saying amen. I don't see it as a non-focusing thing, rather, as an all emcompassing talk. I love to chat, so I do it often. ;)

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger GiBee said...

Continue seeking God. He is there. He loves you. And He will never leave you.

I'll continue praying for you!

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger Praying for your Prodigal said...

Your honesty and vulnerability within this post were refreshing. I, too, have suffered with depression and anxiety. I am so glad that you have a Christian therapist to walk with you through this time. I'm trying to think of things that I do that help me when I am anxious--to share with you--but wouldn't you know it--I'm so anxious about the possibility..I become paralyzed in my thinking! That's when I take a deep breath...breathe, breathe, and calm my body down. I take my shoulders down from my earlobes...I smile (you'd be surprised how much a smile makes a difference...) and I remember all that God has brought me through and given me so far! I also have a treasure box that a dear friend made for me....it is filled with specially selected verses. I open up my treasure box and select a verse...and read it--sit over it....and pray over it. Maybe praying with a verse would help you to finish a pray. Try it...and let me know.

I'm with ya!

Diane

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

Hormones!! Oh those crazy things sure can mess with a girl - I developed a nice anxiety disorder with my prgenancy and it is still here having fun with me four years later.

It is so tough - my heart goes out to you.

Great therpaist - so nice to have a Christian!!

And no worries aobut not following th LBY format - the important thing is that you are allowing God to work in you!!

Thanks for your honesty! It will be so nice to be in Heaven one day, healed and CALM! I look forward to it - although I try to allow God to heal me and calm me down here too!

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger Lauren said...

M, I don't see a reason to remove you from the list... let's not even go there. Baby steps, we all have to take them at times or go back to square one. Carol is so right about her advice on prayer and it's important to pray that God would stop all hindrances and distractions so that you can bring all the other things that are bothering you to him in prayer. (((hugs)))

 
At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Blair said...

Just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you. I completely understand needing to take "baby steps" ((HUGS))

 
At 11:39 PM, Blogger Faith said...

Oh girl, we are all at different stages of our Christian walk. Please do not apologize for that. God will meet you where you are.

I'll be here, checking in.

Praying for you!

 

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