Anxiety, Rest & Jesus

Anxiety, Rest & Jesus

Hey, remember when I had this big goal to write on here once a month during 2018? Yeah, me too.

I had been looking at my watch the date change from August 31 to September 1 signaling the start of a new month and the failure of my self-imposed goal.

August was like hitting pause and play all at once. I finished my summer internship on August 9, which also happened to be the same day I got really sick. I definitely felt like I was crossing the finish line of a marathon- very proud and satisfied but also so tired and desperately in need of a break. I guess my body felt the same way since it physically forced me to rest for a week.

So, I slept and vegged out and was sick. Then, I started working at my school’s newspaper, the North Texas Daily, as a senior staff writer. And then a week later I started my senior year of college. And then August was over.

September felt like hitting fast forward, I genuinely can’t believe it has already come and gone. And now we are almost done with October. Between the constant stories I’ve been writing and the fast pace of school, sometimes it feels like I really can’t catch my breath.

September was hard for other reasons, too. I started taking new medicine to help me with some ongoing health issues I have struggled with for years, which is a good thing.

The medicine kind of messed with my brain though and the weird chemical imbalances mixed with the intensity of school lead me to spiral into some anxiety attacks that were really hard to deal with.

I felt overwhelmed by all the things in my life- all the stories, all the homework, all the pressures, all the unknowns of my future.

Everything has felt so heavy and, at times, very hopeless. I feel stuck running a million miles a minute in a circle that leads to anxious, fearful thoughts.

It’s really easy to forget why I’m doing any of this, Who I am living this life for.

Because that’s the thing…I am living. I am alive. We all are. But I think sometimes the world wants to get us to believe we aren’t.

Sometimes the world wants us to believe the only option is to feel like we’re drowning in our own lives all the time.

Or maybe my problem is I am more comfortable spinning out of control in my own mind because it’s just easier.

Either way, it’s a hard place to be- one where anything beyond the next few minutes feels like too much.

And do you want to know the funniest thing is? The word God spoke over me this year was “rest.”

I think He picked that word because He knew this semester would happen, this past summer would happen and ultimately that I would happen.

Because I don’t do rest well, but He does.

And it’s when I realize I need Him that I strip off the Christian lingo that has turned “rest” into a spiritual word that is attractive to think of but not so attractive to actually do.

I’m realizing under the over-spiritualized term, in its most uncovered, bare form, is the action of trusting God.

So, when I look back on the moment I realized I had missed my own deadline to write a blog post at the end of August. Or the moment I stayed up until 3 a.m. last week to write a story that I really didn’t want to finish but forced myself too. Or the moment I was so focused on what was ahead of me that the anxiety attacked and my vision was blurred with tears…Jesus was there.

He has always been there offering me the breath I needed to fill my tired lungs. He has always been there to lift my head so I could look up and remember that in the rushed moments of the world, He is holding me still in His presence.

It sounds so sweet, so beautiful. And it is. But I am learning how raw and real it is too. It’s when I am crying into my pillow at night from the crushing weight of anxiety and fear of the future that I encounter the One who sees me.

And when He sees me in those dark moments, He doesn’t get upset or look away in disgust or discomfort. He wraps me up in His strong arms to remind me that He is the sweetest Rescuer.

Jesus doesn’t just live in the put-together moments of worship on Sunday mornings, He breathes life and redeems and rescues in the darkest moments too.

I don’t know what the past three months have looked like for you but God knows. He knows and He is offering you exactly what you need right now, whether it’s peace or joy or just the strength to get up tomorrow morning and face the world.

He’s got what you need and He is the greatest rescue, just relax into His arms and let Him carry you through.

“Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you.

When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you. For I am the Lord your God, the holy God of Israel, who saves you. I will give up Egypt to set you free; I will give up Ethiopia and Seba.

I will give up whole nations to save your life, because you are precious to me and because I love you and give you honor. Do not be afraid—I am with you!”

-Isaiah 43:1-5 (GNT)

5 thoughts on “Anxiety, Rest & Jesus

  1. Great post Rachel! My favorite line ‘I don’t do rest well, but He does’. Keep up the fight my warrior princess, and remember when you are fighting for more of Him, the prize at the end of the battle is always worth it! Love you

    Liked by 1 person

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