A couple of evenings ago, while putting away laundry, I heard the strangest sound in our bedroom. The best way I can describe it is that it was like the sound of scratching mixed with the sound of static. Oddly enough, it sounded as if it were coming from inside the wall. Now, we've had mice and squirrels inside our walls before, but this noise was distinctly different. Uncertain what else to do, I called for Jason.
Evidently, he had heard the same sound that morning and had dismissed it, thinking it was coming from our neighbor's yard. Now, he knew it wasn't, so he began to investigate. He pulled the dresser out, peeking behind to see if he could identify the source of the noise. I'm sorry to admit that my mind had already played out the worst possible scenarios. What if it was a water leak that had been pouring away all day long? What would that cost? What kind of damage will it have done? Shaking my head and assuring myself it wasn't water, my mind moved on to the next worst-case scenario. It definitely has a static-like sound. What it there's some sort of electrical short inside the walls and any moment now, the entire structure will begin to fill with smoke.
Anxiety is a thief. It will steal our joy, our peace, and even our sanity. It creates problems where they don't exist. It takes everyday occurrences and the assorted odd situation and turns them into floods, fires, and devastating circumstances. While working on the principles laid out in my book,
Rise Up and Build
, I have come along way in my journey toward freedom from anxiety and depression. But this experience with the mysterious sound reminded me that anxiety doesn't take "no" for an answer. It is determined and adamant to have its way. In a matter of moments from the time I first heard the noise, my mind had conjured up the thought of losing our home and spending the rest of our lives homeless and destitute. Good grief!
That's the way anxiety works. It doesn't stretch the truth. It stretches what we think might be true. It turns our daydreams into nightmares and our lives into an endless sea of fear and dread. It is often the source of discontentment and hopelessness. And, I hate to tell you this, but it never takes a vacation. I learned this the hard way.
Despite the urgings in my book to be on guard, ever watchful for the attacks from anxiety and depression, I let my guard down. After working hard on building up the walls of protection in my life, I saw such significant progress that I evidently let my guard down. I didn't mean to. In fact, I didn't even realize that I had done so until I noticed the anxiety pouring in through small cracks in each of my walls. It began as a stray thought here, a panic episode there and quickly escalated into an all-out battle for my life. Now, I find myself like Nehemiah's crew--working to repair the walls with one hand while defending my life with a sword in the other hand. Yes, anxiety is a formidable foe, and we must be on guard constantly lest it slips in unawares.
You would think it would be easy to resist anxiety. After all, most of its predictions never come to pass. For example, that horrible, dreadful, deadly noise in my bedroom that was undoubtedly rooted in some form of major electrical damage actually came from a bug. Somehow, a curious and crazy insect had wedged its way between a picture and the backing of said picture that was hanging on the wall and gotten himself stuck. The sound we were hearing was the bug flopping around, trying to escape its self-imposed prison. I understand exactly how it must have felt!
Fortunately, for the bug, there was someone outside of its circumstance who could see and understand its predicament. Jason adjusted the backing of the frame, allowing the insect to fall free from its captivity. Praise the Lord, I, too, have Someone who sees and understands my situation and can set me free from my imprisonment. His first word of advice? Do what you know to do. He's given me the keys to my prison. He's taught me how to build and protect my walls. Now, I need to do what I know and leave the results up to Him.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:9)
What about you? Is anxiety a formidable foe in your life? Do you live each day in a prison of your own making? If so, I encourage you to take the steps necessary to build up the walls of protection around your heart and life and to keep doing what you know to do. God can set you free, but often He requires a little participation on our part.
Why not begin your journey to freedom from anxiety and depression with a free copy of my book,
? It's free on Kindle through 11/30/17, so act fast. But don't just download it. Read it and follow it. Use it as your guide to freedom, and stop letting anxiety ruin your life!
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. - I Peter 5:7