“This anxiety is ruining both of our lives”.
I keep replaying those words my wife Corrie spoke to me over and over again in my head. She said them on Thursday night last week. She said them because the plans that we had made, for us to travel to Spokane together this coming Friday morning had to be scrubbed. because my job would not give me the day off. In order for us both to go on the trip it would require Corrie to leave Friday morning and for me to fly by myself later that evening after my work day.
I have had tremendous anxiety about flying, because I have been dealing with unrelenting dizziness since the summer, thanks to a low dose of an SSRI called Lexapro most of my dizziness has subsided but I still have some other anxious issues that I am working through. I have made considerable progress since starting the drug in January, but flying alone? It felt like too much, too soon, so I had to face my biggest fear. Having an anxiety disorder means you fear a lot of things, catastrophic things, things that most folks don’t think about on a daily basis, but if you really want to know what scares me more than anything? It’s hurting Corrie. It’s watching her cry and knowing that, directly or indirectly, I am responsible for those tears. It’s hearing her say that in her head she sometimes hears thoughts that tell her that if I loved her enough I’d be able to do what she needs me to do without hesitation. It’s to hear her say, with tears, that my anxiety is ruining both of our lives.
This led me to the healing chair on Sunday, where some great guys spent some time praying for me and speaking with me. It’s also led me to reflect on what Lent is to me, why this time is so special. God uses this time to teach me, more than any other time of the year. He breaks down strongholds during this time, he reminds me of who I am, and why I need to look toward him and not myself, not anything else in this world for my comfort and security. With His help, and only with his help can I find the strength to weather the storms that life is throwing at me. He also reminds me that I cannot keep those I love from getting hurt, and also that I cannot fix the hurt always. Sometimes the proper response, the only response is sadness, grief. Sometimes we have to be upset, and just sit in that together. So that’s kind of where I am with all of this. I am upset that things worked out the way they did and I am just sitting in that place and waiting on Jesus to show me where we are going next.