These two things are both wholly true:
I trust God. (And) I have anxiety. When I was diagnosed with OCD, an anxiety disorder, I did what I often do when struggle appears: I prayed. I read devotionals about fear and anxiety. I shook through worship at church, hoping that God would reach down and pull me out of the fire. When my proverbial rescue never came I was devastated. I dug in harder, clutched to my faith by my fingernails. I couldn’t understand.
I trust you, God. Why am I still so afraid?
I began to feel like my faith wasn’t strong enough, that I didn’t trust Him enough, and this is why I was flailing. “Is my faith really this frail? Is this a test I’m failing miserably?” Stuck wondering whether my ailments were evidence of some spiritual void, I tried harder. My Bible crumbled from use. I have scripture tattooed on my body. Prayer cards are taped all over my house.
Here’s the heavy question: Am I lacking spiritually? Or am I just… sick?
I wish I could say that I wrote this because I have the answer. Truth be told, I haven’t one iota of a clue. I have a gut feeling, though.
Mental illness, like diabetes or cancer, was never my choice. This glitch in my brain, in my amygdala to be more specific, doesn’t understand logic or reason or even faith. Jesus offers mercy and grace but my nervous system will not compute. But because of my faith and hope in Him, it’s okay. It is well. When I was being knit together, this was to be a part of me. I can’t pretend to know the reasons but persevering through these storms has brought purpose and meaning to my life. If I had been able to sail through my formerly easy, care free life, I wouldn’t have needed a savior quite this much. My brokenness would never have been such a part of my story, and Jesus would never get the glory for the redemption of it all.
So, I worry and worship. I live my life on fire with purpose for motherhood, marriage, and service in ways I’d never have known if I hadn’t gotten sick. Hopefully, after a life full of persevering, every worldly worry of my lousy brain will dissipate. I will be home.
In the meantime, I plan to make my life a story worth telling.
Redemption stories are my favorite. This is mine.