My Last Pill

Today may just seem like an ordinary Monday. But not to me. Today is the day I take my last anti-anxiety pill. MY LAST PILL. 

Last July, I sat in the doctor’s office as she explained the side effects of escitalopram.  I remember sitting there desperate. My panic attacks had become more frequent and I would wake up every morning with the overwhelming feeling that my world was going to end. I had been struggling with intense anxiety since Summer 2012 and was at my wit’s end.

It will come to no surprise to those of you who know me (have read a few blog posts of mine) that I struggle with trusting Christ with my life. And over the past 2 years, God has been teaching me a lot about trust by allowing me to succumb to my over-controlling mind. On my worst days, I would be on my knees in tears, crying out to God to still my anxious heart and take away my desire to control things. On my best days, I would be questioning every detail of my life, trying desperately to see God’s hand in it. I felt very distant from God. I was distracted in church, my quiet times were difficult to do with my racing mind, and my prayer life was suffering. I would question myself… “Is this is all my fault?”, “If I just trusted more would I be suffering from anxiety?”, “Is God punishing me for something?”.  Scripture tells us not to worry but my body wouldn’t let me stop. For someone who lives to control, losing control of my own mind and emotions was terrifying. I would pray for relief. I would cry out for help. But God was silent. Or so I thought.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Though God didn’t take away my anxiety in those moments, I learned to find rest in the midst of them. I learned how to be anxious while trusting God with those thoughts and feelings. One of my favorite movie quotes is from Evan Almighty where God (played by Morgan Freeman) explains how prayer works:

“Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”

God didn’t give me what I wanted. He didn’t zap away from anxiety forever. Instead, He gave me opportunities to learn to trust Him. Slowly I began to trust Him, turning to Him on a daily (some days hourly) basis and now, two years later, I am taking my last anxiety pill. Is my anxiety gone? Not completely. Do I still worry? All the time. But now I know how to handle those fears and anxieties. I know how to trust God in the midst of them. One of my favorite Christian artists, Rend Collective, puts it this way in their song “My Lighthouse”:

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won’t walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea

In the silence, You won’t let go
In my questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea

So though my sea will see waves, it will see winds, and it will see storms, I’ve found my Lighthouse. He is faithful and today, I celebrate His faithfulness.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Pam Snow says:

    Ali….you are one brave lady!!!! we probably all have felt that, but to continue to try and trust God in all he does usually takes us more years than you have been around….this has been an encouragement to me in my life. i hope God shows you more and more how to trust him even thru difficult times….love you

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