April 11, 2016

Anxiety, Burdens, & Grace.

Often I wonder why God made me the way that He did. I'm not referring to my physical self, but rather my emotional and mental self.

It takes no time at all for me to "burn out", in every aspect.
I feel stress so easily.
Anxiety is probably the biggest battle I've ever fought--and still fighting. I can go for days, sometimes a week or two at a time without feeling any sort of anxiety. Then, when I notice that I'm not feeling anxious, I'll start to feel anxious about not feeling anxious. It's as if I'm sitting on the edge of my seat in gut-wrenching suspense just knowing and waiting for it to hit, because it IS going to hit whether I'm "ready" or not. No matter how much time I spend with Jesus, no matter how much worship music I listen to, no matter how many Bible verses I read, it's still going to hit.
My anxiety and/or anxiety attacks consist of aloooooot of crying. For practically no reason at all. Also, I start to feel excessive amounts of dread...such as dreading a certain event, a certain person, or even going to bed because I know I'll be closer to a certain day that I'm dreading. Anxiety also shrinks my stomach; the more anxious I feel the smaller my appetite gets.

I feel like I'm a person who can't handle much. If we're talking plates, I am just a girl holding a saucer. My "plate" is a saucer, like half of the size of a normal entree plate. Therefore even though the amounts may be small to some, I constantly feel like "I have alot on my plate" because it's just a saucer. Then you have people like my husband, whose plates are more than just average-sized, they're like large serving platters. People like him only get caught stressing out about once a year. That, is amazing to me and I'm jealous of that fact.

I don't like telling others about how stressed out I am feeling or how I feel like I'm way too busy because I'll more than likely get a response like, "you don't know stress until you've worked a 60 hour week like me, you only work 40 hours so you don't understand", or "you don't know chaos until you become a mom, you have no idea", or "you just wait till blah blah blah, you don't even know how good you have it right now".
I don't want to hear that, I don't want to hear any of that! That's just disrespectful and full of judgement; people spew out statements like that as if they know my whole life story and the battles that go on inside my head. We all have our different plate sizes. The people who have normal plates don't understand me and my little saucer. Just like how I will never understand how women who work full-time jobs can somehow juggle two kids, a husband, a dog, church, Bible study, serving at the homeless shelter, work-out sessions, and time with friends on a weekly basis can even survive; I feel burnt out just thinking about this scenario.

It very much so helps me that my husband and I are vastly different in this way. I can't even imagine being married to someone like me. I'm NOT saying that he's not allowed to feel anxiety or stress, I'm only saying that I'm so thankful he doesn't feel it as often as I do/hardly ever. He doesn't really understand my struggle, but he tries he best to care for me; he helps keep me grounded and reminds me of God's promises to me. {He also knows when I need a Sunday afternoon spent in bed by myself watching movies and eating junk food.} :P

Having so small of a plate, I often wonder how God can use me. How can God use somebody like me to bring glory to His Kingdom? How can God use a girl like me who dislikes being busy, loathes not getting enough alone time, can hardly handle life without 8 hours of sleep a night, and struggles with anxiety?

I had pretty big fears about starting a full-time job. As someone who relishes in free-time, slow mornings/days, finding fulfillment in being productive at home, I knew that starting this full-time job and being out of the house for 10 hours a day would be HARD. But I also knew that we had been praying for a full-time job for me, and we had been praying for the extra income. Me working full-time was just something that needed to happen in order to help us reach our goals. I can't even believe this, but I'm already two months into my job now! And I'm still alive! This season of busyness is a struggle but I am adjusting, living, learning, seeking God, and taking it all day by day. {At least, I am trying to!}

The fact that I am handling this busy schedule, is a great encouragement to me. I have huge huge huge fears about becoming a mom one day simply for the reason that I'm rather selfish with my time. I grasp it so tightly that I can't picture myself letting go and giving all of that time and energy to a baby. So, if I can give 40 hours of my week and time and energy to a job and still live to tell the tale, I think maybe one day I can give 168 hours of my week to my own child. Plus, there is love in the mix. Obviously I wouldn't DIE for my job, but I will DIE happily for my own flesh and blood. Right? {Are you SEEING the places that my mind takes me on a regular basis?! I'm not even pregnant and I am already struggling with giving my time to my future child. As they say here in the US, "bless my heart"...but for real though...bless my heart!}

The question about whether or not God can use ME is one I have been asking for prayer about in my women's Bible study {Freedom group}. It's ridiculous how the Bible is filled with promises for me and yet I still choose to doubt it. I mean, my head believes it, but my heart has its moments where it wavers away from belief in those promises.

I'm learning alot from my Freedom Group, one is that if I'm the one carrying all of my burdens {my stresses, anxieties, worries, ect} then how can I be of any good to others? What kind of fruit will I bear? If I handle it all myself I can't give others the best parts of me, I'll only be giving them my tiredness, my crankiness, and my irritation. Right? And what good can that possibly do?
We need to carry burdens in life, if we don't, we are simply just living, and not being challenged. And when you're not challenged, there is no opportunity for growth.

"Then Jesus said, 'come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light" -Matthew 11:28-30.
Jesus says that HE will take all of our heavy burdens and exchange them for his light burdens. So Jesus can carry my stresses, anxieties, fears, and worries, and I can carry the light burden of loving God, loving myself, and loving others? This trade doesn't seem fair in the least bit. Well, neither was Jesus dying on the cross fair in the least bit. I don't deserve to have someone carry all of these things for me, I really don't. But that's why Jesus is so amazing; his grace is never-ending!

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." -Ephesians 2:4-9
As for God using somebody like me...I have NO clue what He has in mind, but I like to think that He has created so many different personalities so that everyone can be reached in their own unique way. I don't know what God was thinking when He made me, :P {haha!} but I do believe with all my heart that we are capable of great things when we give Him our heavy burdens and let Him live through us. <3

Also, I don't know if any of this made any sense at all, but I appreciate you taking the time to read my crazy thoughts. Even if it did go in one ear and out the other, it felt good and therapeutic to type it all out nonetheless. :)

3 comments:

  1. It gives me comfort knowing that God has your little saucer in his hands :) you can still do big things with a little plate. Just look at what you've done so far!

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  2. ^^^ THIS POST. You and me both girl :)

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  3. I've been thinking about this so much lately! I also feel like I have a "small plate", but I've realized that's because I'm so sensitive to everything going on around me, and it's exhausting. That kind of empathy and attention to detail is a giant gift for a creative person though, a gift you're already putting to use in the way you care for people, write, bake. :) I think your plate feels small because it's already heaped high with plenty of good stuff.

    (Side note: breathing practises have changed my life a little in terms of anxiety - yoga is amazing and "box breathing" for 6 mins has gotten me through a couple panic attacks!)

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