Here I am, nearly 17 months postpartum, claiming to be healed completely. But the truth is, some days I am not so sure.
In my life prior to being diagnosed, I had experienced anxiety, but not to the extreme that I feel it now. When things trouble me, when I am worried, when life is not panning out the way that I had planned, I get an anxiety that hurts in the deepest depths of my soul.
My bones feel weary. I feel weak. I feel physically afflicted by the mental stress that is plaguing me. I begin to spiral down into thoughts of “this is not normal”, “its all coming back”, “normal people don’t feel this way, there must be something wrong with me still.” The doctor’s call it a form of PTSD. Being diagnosed with anything makes me feel worse. Even when I have weeks in a row of not experiencing these feelings, when they come I feel broken in the worst way…..
But, today, I learned something. Something that I had heard MANY, MANY times is beginning to resonate with me.
Jesus got overwhelmed. He got anxious, stressed and worried about what He was about to face. When Jesus goes into the garden at Gethsemane he says to 3 of his disciples, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” I NEVER understood what he meant by that, until right this moment. I never understood that your soul could be so overwhelmed that you could feel physically ill…
But it can.
It happened to Jesus, and it happens to me.
But the difference is what Jesus decides to do about it. He doesn’t sit in the garden, drink coffee with his disciples and complain about what is to come, what he can’t control or what he doesn’t like about his job. He doesn’t sit there and let his thoughts run a mile a minute about the awful days in front of him.
He falls down on the ground and he cries out to his Father. Not “god the almighty king who might listen if I pray loud enough but is probably to busy to listen to me….”, but ABBA, his loving father who cares about how he is feeling in that exact moment. His father who he knows loves him and is listening to him. His father, who is going to encourage him to push through his fear and accomplish what he came down to earth to accomplish, in spite of fear, in spite of being overwhelmed.
Jesus does ask if there is any other way out, but only if it is God’s will. And God doesn’t change His plan, but Jesus’ attitude changes. He tells his disciples to keep praying because “the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Sometimes, in the midst of all of our life’s messiness, I tend to spend more time thinking up ways out of it, or just venting to friends, than I do in going to God. I need to remember that, like Jesus, my body is much weaker than my spirit. There are seasons in life, especially as a mom, where we get so overwhelmed, burnt out and plagued with anxiety that we just physically feel like we can’t do it anymore. We begin to doubt our capability as a creation of God to fulfill our purpose.
But, God doesn’t doubt us. He wants us to come to Him, to vent, seek wisdom and even ask for changes.
So the next time when you are so overwhelmed you feel as though you can’t breathe, cry out to the one who knows what you can handle even more than you can……