Anxietys Clever Trap and Why We Fall for It
Aha! I discovered a secret. You may already know about Anxietys scheme against you
An anxious heart weighs a man down,
but a kind word cheers him up.
This verse states the truth so plainly; it seems like common sense, but for some reason I am just now getting a hold of it. Anxiety does weigh us down, doesnt it? The more we are anxious, the less able we are to move. The less we move, the less likely we are to rise up and be victorious in the moment, the day, the week, the month, the year and within our life-time. And even if we do have quick moments of light-hearted victory, Anxiety waits to pounce upon our heads again and sit on us until we give into its pressure, again. Its like we are in one of those bad movies where the girl is running for her life in the forest and a twig breaks, and bushes rustle, an owl hoots, and we hear her heart pound quicker and quicker and quicker as Anxiety lurks in the dark background waiting for the opportunity to grab her by the neck! I dont think I can be too dramatic. I dont think I can even paint a horrible enough picture to capture the essence of this for you. If you have ever wrestled with Anxiety like your life was at stake, you know what Im talking about. The little movie-image I just painted seems like childs play compared to what youve really endured with Anxiety. And the thing about Anxiety is you dont even have to be alone and vulnerable for it to be able to attack you, granted, it makes it easier, but you could be in a crowded restaurant or your schools library and there Anxiety hangs on your neck trying to sink its teeth into your jugular. Nobody notices. Your friends walk by, your professor says, Hello, The librarian asks if you need any help finding anything. You smile and say, Hello, Hi, and oh no thank you. They walk away and there you are bleeding with Anxiety. Theres nowhere to run and nowhere to hide so you almost get used to it hanging around (literally), and you try to focus and work, despite your Anxiety. Its like you are living in Hell, but you are supposed to be living on earth. After all, you are still alive! You constantly wonder whats wrong with you. When in reality its not You thats wrong, but Anxiety thats sitting right on your shoulder! But you are unaware of this (even if you have enough insight to be aware of it you dont know what in the world you are supposed to do about it anyway), so your subconscious comes up with a clever way to try to control the Anxiety: Obsession! So, Obsession enters our life. We become obsessed with the details of what we are doing, or obsessed with the details of what we are not doing. Either way, we develop obsessive behaviors that give us some sort of quick relief to the anxiety we feel. We dont realize, however, that the obsessive behavior (though it reduces our anxiety for a second) doesnt work long-term. Long-term, we actually become that much more weighted down! We become that much more anxious! Its like we were wrestling with the alligator of anxiety, and 3 to 30 more alligators showed up except their names are Obsessions. Our living Hell gets worse and we feel like we might die on the spot, but we dont. So, we just sit there with Anxiety and Obsessions around our neck and snapping at our feet and butt!
And so, I say, Aha! I now understand that Anxietys ploy is to keep you, me, us from truly living! If it can suffocate the life out of you, you will never have the energy to truly live. I paint Anxiety as the bad-guy, but I must also bring up the part we (me included) play in this bad-movie. We are so used to living with Anxiety that if we ever notice it is off bugging someone else, we call out its name like its a long lost pet, Here boy, Here boy, Here boy: come to mamma. And when it leaps back up on our shoulders, we have a tendency to pet it and continue to talk to it, having a long-drawn out conversation with it like its a friend or something. Deep down we know its our enemy, but feeling anxious has almost become 2nd nature to us, and wed rather have the familiar feeling of anxiety around rather than the ambiguity of the possibilities of life. Its like we use Anxiety as a protective measure to keep us from having to live not really live per say, but take risk (which is part of life). Its almost like the ambiguity of life scares the heck out of us, and wed rather just be anxious; Anxiety is at least familiar to us. Ambiguity that one is soo unknown that it terrifies the ba-geebers out of us!
So, I conclude that Anxietys trap is to trick us into not living. May we then, take a running leap into Ambiguitys Arms and with Faith claim the truth and knowledge that God will catch us in His hand! For me, I want to be sitting in the newness of His hand rather than with the familiarity of Anxiety around my neck! Its got to be better than this Anxiety.
If the Lord delights in a mans ways,
He makes his steps firm;
Though he stumble, he will not fall,
For the Lord upholds him with his hand.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina’s Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can’t survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.