Archives For anxiety

I read Hebrews 2:14-18 yesterday.  Read it slowly, out loud, a few times:

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.  For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

I am a person who struggles mightily with depression and anxiety. It comes and goes and is subject to a diverse array of stimulus.  I also have a lot of good ways of coping with it, which are sometimes enough to feel better and sometimes aren’t.

Usually when we think of Jesus’s atonement, we think of him as the substitute for our sins. We deserve a penalty for our sins, hell, and Jesus took that hell upon himself on the cross so we wouldn’t have to take it on ourselves for all eternity.  Then when the Judge looks at us, we are declared innocent (righteous). Not because of what we’ve done, but because of what Jesus did on our behalf.

All of this is true, praise be to God! But something even deeper hit me yesterday. Continue Reading…

One of my uncles died last week. He was 67. My dad is also 67.

I turned 35 today. If you cut my years on this earth in half and went back in time, it would be the summer between my junior and senior year of high school.

Blink.

Now I’m 35.

If you double the years I’ve already spent on this earth, I’ll be 70.

Blink blink.

It’s been a reflective couple of weeks for me. It’s a reflective time when I start realizing my parents and their siblings are the generation of people who are dying. Like when I was in 3rd grade and my grandpa died. I was sad, but also gained a pragmatic understanding: that’s what old people do, they die. Continue Reading…

Too often in Christian circles it’s taught that if you have faith, pray and obey, God will take away your problems.  If you are worried, give those worries to God and he will solve them.  If you’re going through a challenging time, God will fix it.  Things typically don’t work out this cleanly in real life, often leaving people wondering what they did wrong, or why God abandoned them.  Thankfully the Bible tells a different story.  Continue Reading…

[Photo credit: EKG Technician Salary]

I hate my depression.

But I’m thankful for it.

While not always related, anxiety and depression usually go hand in hand like onion breath and flatulence.  I get anxious over the things I want to control but can’t, then get depressed whenever things feel out of control.

There are a million hits on Google if you search for “ways to get rid of anxiety and depression.”  If you’re a Christian, there are even more.  Many of these are good and need to be explored; I have and will continue to.  But for many, anxiety and depression never really go away.  They go to sleep, sometimes for a good while.  But then they wake up jumping on your face, pulling out your hair and blowing sirens in your ears.

Depression feels like an anvil on my chest and five or six wet blankets draped over my brain.  It typically can’t be prayed away, willed away or Bible-versed away.  But what I can do is be thankful for it. Continue Reading…

I am a product of my culture.  We all are.  A microwaved, instant, lightning fast, on demand, hurried, frantic, now culture.

I hate waiting.

waiting on Godwaiting on GodNot only do I hate waiting, it exposes me.  When I’m going really fast, I’m such a blur that you can’t get a good look at me.  I can’t get a good look at myself.  But when I’m stuck in the traffic jam, everything is revealed.  My rust, my bald tires, my broken windshield, my engine that needs its oil changed.

When you’re a person like me who accomplishes tasks in order to prove their worth, waiting can be a lonely, depressing and scary place.

Over the past year and a half, ever since I read Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton, God has been trying to rid me of my false self and let me live in the freedom of my true self: the freedom found in his unconditional love and grace for me as his son.  As it turns out, I’m about as moldable as hardened concrete.  As a result, God decided he needed to pull out a jackhammer as his sanctification tool of choice.

I am specifically waiting on the purchase of a new church building (our 5th, and final, in 10 years), on a publisher to get back to me, and on hiring a new youth pastor.  3 weights, weighing on my chest, where all I can do is wait.

Insert all of the Bible verses there are about waiting on the Lord, contentment, peace, gratitude, God’s sovereignty and faithfulness. Continue Reading…