Lightness

Something happened a couple of days ago: I woke in the morning feeling lighter. Something in me had changed. I didn’t even realize it at first, and when I did, I was awed…and thrilled.

I’m not experiencing anxiety! Like… none! 

Sure, I have butterflies going into a new situation or with a new group of people, but that’s normal.

No, I mean anxiety – the friend that depression brought with it when it invaded my life 7 years ago.

For me, anxiety starts as pain in the pit of my stomach that moves upward to become pressure in my chest. My heart beats faster. The same sour taste at the back of my throat that I have with stomach flu. The shortness of breath, my shoulders pulled together, teeth clenched, swirling catastrophizing thoughts, crushing dread that relentlessly pushes me down.

It’s gone! No heaviness, no dread!

Maybe it’s because what I was dreading is here. I’m moved. I’m dealing with the grief and loneliness – the situation and emotions that I had been afraid of.

I told God that I’m in it now, and it’s ok. No fear or anxiety of it, because I’m here now, I’m living it, and I’m surviving!

I shared all of this with my therapist today; she asked when I last recalled the anxious feelings. It was a few weeks after our cross-country move. We went back to Minnesota for a special event, and I know I had it then. It snowed on the day we were flying back to Florida, and I remember telling my husband that I was ready to go “home.” And that’s my last memory of anxiety. My therapist pointed out that I “left it there.”

In Philippians 4, The Bible says

v. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

v. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

That first verse gets thrown at Christian anxiety sufferers a lot. Just do what verse 6 says, and poof! your fears will be gone. For years, I prayed these verses, tried to practice them, held onto them tightly. And when nothing changed, I’d pray them again, practice them, hold onto them. Still no change.

It wasn’t that I didn’t believe God’s Word. I did, and I still fervently do! But Phil 4:6-7 isn’t a magic phrase that I do one time and all my fears disappear. I had always thought that if I practiced verse 6, then the next verse – the promise of God’s peace – would follow immediately.

I got tired of people quoting Phil 4 to me. I know already! I know I’m not supposed to be anxious. I know that I’m supposed to pray. I know I’m supposed to ask. I know I’m supposed to be thankful and express my gratitude to God. I know! Quit telling me – it isn’t working!

But now I wonder. I wonder if I simply didn’t understand the verses. Or had expectations that were incorrect.

Because I am experiencing ‘the peace of God which transcends all understanding.” But it’s been a long time coming. The second verse is a promise, but for me, the fulfillment of that promise took awhile.

God never breaks His promises. I did pray, and ask, and thank. Over and over again. And eventually, when God was done teaching me what I needed to learn at that time, He fulfilled His promise, and now I have peace.

God’s Peace. No heaviness. Only lightness. Spring in my step, spring in my heart.

I like lightness.

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9 thoughts on “Lightness

  1. Simple Praise 2020 June 25, 2015 / 10:57 am

    I got an email this morning. It read: “You may get a mountain to move, but God may give you a shovel with which to move it.” I would add that at times, we may be given a teaspoon!

    We need to learn to be as patient with our Lord as He is with us. Accept what He gives as He gives it.

    Steven

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gary May 29, 2015 / 4:22 pm

    Peggy, glad to hear things are going well and for this turn around!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Phyllis Heck May 24, 2015 / 1:16 pm

    So happy for you Peggy. I love hearing about God at work in your heart. There is nothing that can compare to experiencing Gods word, physically, personally, meaningfully. Something He does for only us. Love.
    Miss you friend, but know that you are where He wants you to be. Nothing beats that!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. peggyricewi May 23, 2015 / 10:47 am

    kbailey – (not sure why I couldn’t respond to our thread…) I was thinking about your “me” day. I think the practice of taking time to nurture myself is one blessing that has come from my depression. I always felt guilty if I wasn’t doing something, being productive in some way. Go, go go. But depression forced me to stop – literally – and sit on the couch, or nap, or practice relaxation techniques – and a myriad of other ways to slow my pace. And now I understand that I need it. A sabbath, a rest, within a day, certainly in a week. It’s not just I want to – I HAVE to! I’ve been reminded, I bet you have too, that we are created by our loving God as human beings, not human doings. Of course, easier said than done!

    Like

  5. kbailey374 May 23, 2015 / 9:24 am

    I love your last line: “I like lightness.” What an understatement!

    and yes I have had those verses thrown at me, many times. Ironically Thursday night those same verses were thrown at us during a message, and I felt the same sadness that they are not that true for me. Although I have had degrees of peace; I have!

    It is also ironic that I have had 3 of the worse days anxiety-wise that I have had in a long time.

    Today I am purposely having a relaxing day – not answering the phone if it is a person who will ask me to do something for them – nuh uh! I do plenty and today is a “me” day. Am just going to nurture myself and try to bump off this “creature in the night.”

    I like lightness, too.

    We’ll see 😉

    Thanks hun 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aunt Peggy May 23, 2015 / 7:17 am

    … and what a joy to wake up to your uplifting words… Keep pouring them out to us as you are teaching us many lessons of peace… We can strength our walk with Jesus as we share your journey … Hugs tied up with prayers and love…

    Liked by 1 person

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