Sunday, February 24, 2013


She stood, in a dress with feathers. Smiling at those in the room around her. My heart was filled with love for this dear sweet friend as we celebrated her birthday.

Her daddy spoke. How proud he was. How much he loved her. Her mom spoke. How she treasured her.

And a little place in my heart that stays out of the light opened. It's a deep place. Full of sadness. The despair of a forgotten little girl lingers there. She longs for someone, anyone to choose her. To love her. To be proud of her. She longs for her mother and father to give her the things the world does not- safety, acceptance, and peace.

This place is one that stays hidden, closed away by a Savior that washed it clean and set it aside.

But sometimes the door opens. And stays that way for a while. I know in these times that this pain is important to sit with.

Some people believe that God washes away pain, and that it stays away forever- that it is forever healed. That is not true for me. In my case, the anger and sadness come back from time to time. But like everything else in my life, the pain is an amazing teacher.

I am sad that I have never had what so many others have. I am angry that I was cheated of these things. I am angry that I spent so much time feeling unsafe that even now as an adult I have to work through issues of debilitating anxiety and depression.

I am disappointed that God did not save me from these things.

And I also have a God that is not intimidated by the anger or sadness that keeps others away. He isn't put off by tears. He isn't fooled by the facade I put on for others.

He is not angered by my disappointment. He is not vengeful at my questioning of his plan.

I don't know the answers to why some have love and some do not. I don't know why some have childhoods of safety and sunshine while others have to fight tooth and nail for scraps of happiness.

I used to be envious of these other people. I used to be jealous. Ugly ugly emotions that can trap you into a cycle of feeling sorry for yourself. A cycle of questioning your own worth. Of validating yourself by how others have valued you.

The truth is, I was not treasured by my parents. I was not kept safe. At times, I doubt if I was loved.


When I feel this way, I remember this: I am cherished by a Savior that died for me. He has walked with me every single step. He has followed when I turned away. He has waited when I strayed. He has welcomed me back when I ran to Him, desperate for love.

And I also remember what He has given to me:


You are driving the speed limit.

The windows are down.

It's a beautiful day.

Your children are in the back of your car chatting to each other.

You drive through an intersection, look to your left and see a semi just yards away, getting ready to slam into you and your family.

Close your eyes.

Can you feel that? That rush of adrenaline, the sweaty palms, churning stomach, swirling head? Can you feel the racing heart and the weakness in your body?

That feeling right there is what an anxiety is.

I know. Because I've been having an ongoing dance with anxiety for the past month.

This isn't the first time I've gone 10 rounds with panic. I've done my fair share of time fighting this particular demon.

However, this time it is prolonged. It is severe. And it is debilitating.

I am still functioning. I can get up, take care of my kids, and appear to be my normal self. But underneath the exterior I show everyone else, I am in an almost constant state of panic.

It comes from nowhere, slams me down and holds me there. A wave of panic so severe that I want to run far far away.

Ive tried everything to stop it. I've hidden it from almost everyone.

I've been ashamed. After all, it seems so self indulgent. So selfish. So petty and small.

I'm a seasoned pro at pretending everything is okay. And I've hidden it well.

But hiding it makes it worse. Imagine being in a room full of people you love where you are safe...and yet feeling like you are drowning. Lonely is not the word for that feeling.

This didn't come out of nowhere.

There are life changes behind this anxiety. Tough times. There is alot I have buried that my writing has begun to dig up.

As with anything hard, I have learned that God teaches through it.

I'm just waiting to learn.

(hint hint, God. Go ahead and school me, already!)

I am also a pro at never ever wanting to burden anyone. And never ever wanting to accept help.

But I am learning that I can't do that anymore. The people I have been given in my life are there for a reason. For me to serve.

And also, at times like these, to be served in turn.

So. In the past few days I have been saying- "I am scared. I need help. I don't know what to do."

And you know what? Nobody has rolled their eyes. Nobody has sighed and thought me dramatic. Nobody has acted as if I was being foolish.

All anybody has said is- "I am here for you."

So maybe God has already taught me part of this lesson- that pride and friendship cannot go hand in hand. That asking for help is an important part of my spiritual walk. And that being humble often includes admitting you are troubled and in need of prayer and love.

I can't say when and if this will end. Will it be with new medication? Will it be when our troubles are lightened? Will it be when life settles and I can see the light again?

I just don't know.

But what I do know is that I am not alone in this darkness. I have people who love me enough to walk with me until the light shines again, until this panic subsides.

They are willing to love me even when I am not the person they knew. They are willing to wait and pray until I return to myself.

I hope that when that happens, I will have learned what God is trying to teach me.