The spiritual aspect has been a bit more difficult. As the time gets closer, it's also harder to trust God with everything and easier to start letting the doubts creep in. I've always had a struggle with anxiety. Some of it when I was younger, but it mostly started around the time I graduated from college, about 7 years ago. (Wow, I've been out of college for 7 years!) Anyway, it's been a roller coaster ride. But for the past 3 years, it has gradually been getting better as I have learned to turn over fears to God and remind myself over and over that He is in control. I always hesitate to tell people about this struggle because for some reason people think it's something I can just snap out of. I can't begin to tell you the number of times I've heard people say, "Just trust God!" or "You need to relax!" Seriously...I wish those people could just be me for one day. It is not that simple, nor is it that easy! Of course I believe God is in control, and I do trust His ways are best. But after years of my body physically reacting and turning stress into anxiety...well, it's kind of on auto-pilot. I often get to anxiety level before I even have a chance to think and pray about what my fears are. Basically, it's a lot of work. I was complaining to Derrick about this the other night, and he has said this to me before, but it hit me in a different way this time. I guess I was just ready to hear it. He told me I need to stop "fleeing". You know the whole, "fight or flight" thing? Well, I'm not a runner in real life (nor will I ever be), but when it comes to dealing with my issues, my first instinct is to run far and fast away from the problem. This usually happens by doing whatever I can to distract myself....and I have figured out lots of ways to accomplish this! Instead what I need to do is face it head on. Pray, cry, scream if I need to! But just deal with it instead of waiting until the feelings build and build and suddenly I am physically incapable of calming down. I had a panic attack a week ago, the first one I've had in a few years. It really scared me, because I've been doing so much better! And made me realize I need to take advantage of the victory I already have in Christ, and go to Him with this. Not just on a daily basis, more like on a minute to minute basis! God reminded me of this verse yesterday and it really sums up how I feel about this struggle. This is written by Paul, and though he never says what his weakness is, he mentions that there is a struggle he has that he wishes would go away, and even asked God to take it away. These verses are God's answer to his prayer, and Paul's response.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
English Standard Version (ESV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
OK, enough about me, time to get going on my day. I'd like to enjoy this weather before it starts raining all week!