Anxious Mind…Angry Heart

Ever feel like this guy???

…Ever feel like Ole Leonidas? No, I don’t mean full of valor and ready to take on the whole Persian empire!

I didn’t pick up where my last article left off, but I think this will be beneficial for those of you out there that struggle with anxiety. This is pretty common through out the world. It’s not looked down upon and it’s even glorified though out our media today. I’ve personally struggled with this for as long as I can remember. I’m just an anxious little person. Living with a high level of stress is a norm and when the burden is lifted…I almost go into shock. My body and mind don’t really understand what it means to live calm it down. When the level of stress increases…we’re in for trouble..because I’m already functioning at a pretty high level..so when it rises..yea.. that’s not fun for anyone around me. It takes a toil on my mind, body, and soul. Since moving, there have been days I’ve woken up feeling as though I’ve been run over by a Mac truck. Sometimes, I can even begin to feel myself getting ill…so I[try] turn it down a notch or two…

I’ll try and be more visual so that you can understand what the heck is going on…Our lives are crazy. Let’s all be honest. We have a lot going on. This may be a range of responsibilities like work, school, family, etc. Within these networks we have strife between co workers, family members, or friends. We can also have extremely busy schedules with no time to breathe. Let’s add another layer of big decision that need to be made…changing majors, breaking up with him or her, ministry failures, confusion about the next step…the list can go on and on…A majority of the time we have multiple layers of life piled up on top of each other and our poor little brains are trying to weave through the chaos..it looks something like this….

Bare with me a moment as I get to the main point…

The reason we are so anxious all the time is because we are angry. You don’t necessarily feel angry.. do you? The anxiety stems from the lack of control that we have over our lives. Therefore, the root of this issue is not the outer layer of anxiety that we see. This is just a symptom that’s reflecting a deeper heart issue…

[CONTROL]

Did you know that anxious is a derivative of angere? What does that word look like to you? Anger? Yes, there is a correlation there, but the term angere means to strangle. You probably have a lot of anger for someone if you can strangle them. This seems to be an accurate description of the way I feel most of the time. When I am so worked up over issues in my life…I feel strangled. Well, who is strangling me? I am! The Lord keeps graciously reminding me that He is not the one who places these burdens on my shoulders. “ His burden is easy and his yoke is light.” — Matthew 11:30…is correct guys.. You can go ahead and analyze your life now… if you so desire.

We so desperately want to micromanage our own lives by knowing who, what, when, where, and why…

This lack of control creates an angry heart. The visual I see is someone clenching on tightly. Maybe it’s to a dream of what they want their life to look like. Maybe it’s an identity issue..Maybe it’s {PLANS}…Oh the infamous plans. I quoted this in my last article, but I’m going to use it again because it’s good… “ The thing that is holding us back in our lives is the idea of what we think our life is supposed to look like.” — an awesome person

I have found that most of my anxiety stems from PLANS…What does my schedule look like? How can I rearrange it? How can I fit everything I need into this day? What if this doesn’t get accomplished? What if my life doesn’t turn out the way I thought? What if I never get married? What if I’m an old dog lady?…yea I know it’s supposed to be cats..but no thank you…

What if..What if..What if…. [ IT’S EXHAUSTING]!!

My heart is angry because I won’t let go and live freely. This sounds so cliche, but it’s very true.

“ For freedom Christ has set us free” — Galatians 5:1

Going beyond our own micro managed lives and delving into our sin that we cling so tightly to…Yea.. that’s a little more difficult to discuss. We are shackled to the shame and burdens of our sin. We cling to them because we know them. They are familiar to us. We live as slaves because we don’t know how to do anything else. Freedom is a scary thing when you’ve been in bondage for so long.

The whole point of writing this was not to condemn you for living a busy life. I do however want to point out that just because your life is busy or productive does not mean that you are living. You may just be keeping yourself busy. You must just be passing time with things that don’t really matter.

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Whether it’s a schedule, life plan, or sin that’s controlling your thoughts and heart you have a choice to break free from that. The biggest step towards healing that can be made is through the recognition of our own state that ..You can’t bind up the wound until you have the supplies and can actually reach it…

….My encouragement for you this week comes in the form of a challenge…

Sift through the muck and mire of your own life so that you can begin to realize the core issues that are keeping you hostage. For me, that has been my desire to control my life and my circumstances. It’s created an angry heart. Even though there is still much to be sifted through in my own life; I can see how Christ is pruning away my old nature. He graciously reveals in due time what we are capable of walking through in each season. When He begins to pin point the underlying issues..You can then begin to deal with them..Until then you are just putting band aids on gaping wounds.