I am about to do something that I do not have peace about. And that’s okay.
I know many of you read that and thought “she’s crazy, God is peace so she must have peace to do what God is telling her to do, did she just write a whole blog on going against God’s will?” or something along those lines. That’s okay, a month ago, I would have thought the same thing. Then I read this article: http://theblazingcenter.com/2016/10/you-cant-trust-yourself-or-why-peace-is-a-terrible-basis-for-decision-making.html
but I still was not convinced that we could make decisions without peace. Until this past week. And God taught me something.
A little bit of background: In high school, my family and I decided to explore the possibility of medication for my ADHD/anxiety. We had tried a couple of medications and couldn’t find the right fit so, my doctor referred me to a psychiatrist. HOLD THE PHONE. A WHAT?! No thank you, I am a 16 years old, I make good grades I can somewhat function in society, I do not need a psychiatrist, have a nice day Doctor, I will see you when its time for a checkup.
Fast forward a few years. Senior year of high school. I was a wreck. College was approaching fast and the world that I built for myself over the last three years had just fallen apart. All my plans and most of my friends were gone with the wind. It was time to run to Jesus. So, as most of you probably know, I did. When that happened, I started having bad anxiety attacks again. Summer before college I was put on medicine for my anxiety.
You see, the medicines they give out for anxiety are depressants, to calm you down. Spring of my freshman year of college, I was on a higher dose of medication than originally planned, and I became depressed. I was numb. I was a zombie walking around trying to fake emotions so no one would notice that I felt nothing. But that was okay with me, to feel nothing, because that meant I did not have to feel the anxiety that constantly lives in me. One night, I sat on the cold tile of my college dorm in the complete darkness, my last class had gotten out at 5pm, I went to my room collapsed to the floor without turning on any lights and sat there until the alarm on my phone went off at 8pm telling me to take my medicine. Not sleeping. Not thinking. Just sitting. Numb for three hours.
I broke down. I want to FEEL. I want to laugh and meant it. I want to cry and get angry. I want to FEEL. SOMETHING. ANYTHING. It was then that I had the first thought (that later turns into many). Pain. Pain is feeling. I can hurt myself and I would feel something, right? No no no, I can’t do that…or could i? It was a thought I struggled with for weeks.
Finally, I quit my medicine. Cold turkey. I was taking my life into my own hands. I could do this. I do not need to take a little blue pill in order to live. I am strong, and independent, I can do this. Eventually, at a checkup, I told my doctor I came off the pills because I wanted to “try it on my own.”
So I ran from it. I covered it up. I filled my life with anything and everything that distracts me from having to think. I got farther and farther away from God. And I wasn’t anxious anymore.
Fast Forward: Present Day. I am closer to God than I ever have been. And I have more anxiety than I ever have. I am having multiple anxiety attacks a week. And crying to God. WHAT ARE YOU DOING GOD? HELLO? DO YOU NOT REMEMBER WHAT YOU SAID? ALLLL THOSE VERSES IN THE BIBLE ABOUT ANXIETY?!! YOU BREATHED THEM ONTO THE PAGES AND YET HERE I AM CLOSER TO YOU THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN AND STRUGGLING TO BREATHE BECAUSE I’M HAVING AN ANXIETY ATTACK!!
Frustration. Doubt. Anger. Confusion. Hatred. Embarrassment. Weakness. Fear.
That was me. WHY. Why was it that the closer I get to God, the more anxious I feel? That doesn’t make sense. Nothing about this makes sense.
“Time for a doctor visit” – my mother.
No, no, I can’t. I won’t.
Friday, I sat in ACT II bible study and our team leader asks us all to go around and share how we are.
SCARED. THAT’S HOW I AM. I am about to go to that crazy women again. And I am scared. But could I say that in front of these people? Can Taylor Whitmire, a strong independent, self-sufficient, 3.6 GPA junior in college tell these 11 people that she is scared? Scared of something that most of them will not understand? No, I couldn’t. But before I could stop myself, it was my turn and I was hearing those words come out of my mouth.
“I’m scared…” I am not really sure what else I said, or what else happened before I left. But I did. I left the room. I went into the next empty room (which is a bathroom) and I broke down and cried out to God.
“God, I am scared. I cannot go back to that dark cold tile floor. But God… I don’t know what to do. I CAN’T FIX THIS.”
At this point, I like to imagine that God laughed. OF COURSE I CANT FIX IT, BUT GOD CAN.
God hugged me, real tight, and told me: I have to let go. I have to stop running from it and pretending it is not there. I have to give it to God.
Once I did that, it started to make perfect sense. I have been trying to do this on my own. I have been covering it up with all these worldly things that kept my mind off of it. When I got close to God, he was taking away those things and showing me what was still there. What I was still holding onto. And that was my anxiety.
In that moment, I knew I had to go to the doctor. But I still fought God on it for about an hour. “You’re telling me that I have to walk back in there and admit to her that I can’t fix this? That I can’t do it on my own? That I am a mess? That I am not as strong and independent as I thought I was?!? God, that’s CRAZY. I cannot admit that”
God probably laughed again, and pointed me to His word. Where I found this:
Yes, there are about 33 verses in the bible about not being anxious. But there is also, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
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
God never told me to be independent, but dependent on him.
God never told me to be strong, but to rejoice in my weakness because He is strong.
God never told me to fix it, but to give it to Him.
So, here I am. My junior year of college, and letting go of my anxiety. I am going to that dreadful doctor’s office and talking to them about my anxiety.
Do I know what will happen? No, but God does.
Do I have “peace” about it? No, I am scared out of my wits and that’s okay. Because there are over 20 times in the bible, where God does something HUGE… and the people were afraid. It doesn’t make me any less of a christian, but human.
I am choosing to not trust my feelings. My messy, sinful, twisted feelings. I am not waiting for that “peace” before I make this decision. Because my feelings want to do this on my own. My feelings are selfish and try to be independent. My feelings are deceitful and wrong. My feelings can twist anything into “peace”. I cannot trust my feelings.
I am trusting God and my feelings will catch up eventually.