Overcoming

I should be packing right now.  We should have been packing all weekend.  But instead I’m sitting here wondering why I’m so prone to procrastination.  What is it inside of me that causes me to wait until the last minute with every important task I don’t want to complete?

I suspect it’s probably the same thing that keeps me from Mass on Sundays when I know I should be there.  The same thing that causes me to make plans with people all the time, and then flake out at the last minute.  That thing that kept me from completing my college degree.  Anxiety.

I’ve struggled with anxiety my entire life.  It permeates into all corners of my little world.  My stomach twists and turns into a knotted mess, my heart races, breathing becomes shallow.  While I’ve accepted anxiety as my cross to bear, I know that God calls me to a better life.  Because while as inconvenient as the above circumstances may be, the worst part of my anxiety is when it causes me to run and hide from God.

When I know I haven’t been on the right path for some time, when my quiet times have disappeared and my Bible hasn’t been cracked open in ages, I get that same sense of anxiety.  I try to fill my time with Facebook, Pinterest, shopping, cooking, even just hanging out with my hubby and baby.  But what I should do – what will take away that anxiety altogether – is lean into Him.  Time spent in prayer, in Bible study, in adoration … these are all things that restore my soul.  Instead of being fearful of God’s disappointment over my absence, I should freely receive His grace and mercy.

As a Catholic Christian, I have a remarkable, tangible source of this grace and mercy.  It is found in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  It is where we humble ourselves before God, admit our sins and ask for forgiveness.  When we are truly contrite and genuinely make the effort to not repeat the sins again, we are assured of our forgiveness.  And if you’re not Catholic, or it’s just been a long time since you’ve experienced His grace in this Sacrament, I can tell you that it is the biggest anxiety relief I’ve ever found.  It gives you such a sense of peace.  You feel restored, not only in your soul, but in your relationship to God.

As I wrap this up, I am reminded of 2 Timothy 1:7

“…for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self control.”

With Him, we can overcome anything.  The more time we spend with Him, the more like Him we will become.  And while my anxiety might always be around, it doesn’t have to keep me from living my life.  Thanks be to God.

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