GUEST BLOG: When anxiety is a narrative …

Written by Sarah Trombley

Most of my life has been filled with fear of impending doom.

Ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but I guess you could call it anxiety.

I haven’t been diagnosed or anything, and for the most part, it’s manageable, but I spend a lot of time contemplating the worst-case scenario, waiting for rejection, betrayal, and the poop to hit the fan. It’s not fun, and sometimes the fear can be debilitating. Not in a physical way, but I find myself stagnant with the narrative of anxiety over my life. Afraid of letting people in, and being hurt. Fearful of trying and failing. Getting hopeful, about what God has next and in an instant, worrying and ruling myself out. What I’m left with is isolation and the status quo.

I know that that’s not what I’m called to. I know that my fears are the enemies lies, but here I sit, on my couch, analyzing every conversation, wondering if good things will come to an end and if I’ve failed once again.

This past week I was reading a message I had written many years ago, and I was a little annoyed. You see, anytime I speak at church, I seem to be drawn to the same scriptures. It all just seems cliche, I thought. Doesn’t God have anything more to say to me?

Today I was reading What is the Bible? by Rob Bell, and I came across this quote,

“… it’s easy to spend – or more accurately, waste – an extraordinary amount of time and energy on things that we can’t control. Worry is lethal to thriving because it’s a failure to be fully present. Worrying about something means you’re there, not here — stuck ruminating on the future, not enjoying the present. Jesus teaches us to be fully present in this moment, not missing a thing right here, right now.”

These words spoke to me, a message that is not new to me but is still so needed. While soaking it all in, my fears of the “what if’s” starting creeping back and in that moment God reminded me of the verse that he often speaks over me, you know, the one that’s so cliché,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

This is indeed a familiar lesson for me. That God is in control, he has good plans, and I don’t need to be afraid. If you’re like me, you’ve heard it a thousand times before, but today I needed to listen to it, and it was fresh and new and powerful. See when you’re like me, and you struggle with anxiety and fear, you need to be reminded that God is in control. He loves us, and he wants what’s best for us. Even when life seems messy and doesn’t make any sense,

HE HAS A PLAN.

In my fear, I keep people at bay, I stay in my comfort zone, and in vain, I try to control. I sometimes joke that I have a fear of missing out (FOMO). Seriously though, in my anxiety or fear of missing out, I miss out on the plans God has for me. I rule my self out or tell myself I’m just not ready yet. How much time have I wasted waiting for doomsday, how much have I really truly missed out on just worrying my life away?

So here I am, having God whisper the same passage to me, but it’s not cliche, it’s relevant–true–necessary. He is faithful, he is in control, and he’s got some awesome stuff in store for me.

I’ve gotta start letting my guard down, and taking some chances, come what may! And yes, I’ve heard all before, but I’m stubborn, and some lessons take a long time to sink in, and that’s ok.

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