This post is like that!
I could easily be an emotional mess.
There I said it...out loud.(And yes, often times I am)
I am talking 24/7 I could let emotions and thoughts get the best of me.
I struggle with fear, anxiety, guilt, anger, depression, and loneliness.
That is why over the years I turned to food. In my letter to Chris Powell, I said “God created me a little on the sensitive side with a flare of drama queen, these emotions were handled with food and still are to this day. As much as I showed emotions I covered them up inside, calorie after calorie. I could never figure out how to allow Christ to fill the space that I allowed food to stuff.”
Since I started my journey, I have significantly decreased my abuse of food!! There have been moments, plenty of moments, but I am feeling more than eating....more than I ever have. It's scary and real. I am still learning how to allow Christ to fill the space!!
So many thoughts, feelings, and emotions creep into my spirit and I have to choose, yes I choose not to use food to push them away, and I have to face them.....really face them. THIS. IS. HARD.
Then I have to figure out what to do them. THIS. IS. HARDER.
Emotions have always made me feel like I am drowning. In a previous post, I said "There are days when I feel like I am drowning...and on those days I want to swim with sugar instead of holding the hand of Jesus." When one is chasing what matters, including their health, one can not swim with sugar. In my quest to chase Jesus I am learning to allow Him to feel the spaces and hold His hand, but I easily loose focus and began feeling suffocated and stressed.
Just like I am choosing not to use food, I have to choose not to let emotions take over.
Recently, my husband told me he wants to go deep sea fishing. When he first mentioned this adventure I was not really moved, but when I realized how serious he was, I was struck by fear . He has always wanted to do this. This time we have more than enough planning opportunity....it could happen. At the dinner table discussing this, even my oldest child showed fear when it was mentioned. (And that was without her knowing how I felt!!)
She got this fear thing from me. On one hand I am thankful it will help keep her safe, yet on the other hand it will keep her from amazing experiences. I know what a spiritual, emotional, and mental battle fear is....along with many other emotions.
As far back as I remember I can recall fear being a struggle, but it was after I was married it begin to physically affect me...I had my first panic attack, it was a result of a medication interaction, but it was still a panic attack. I can recall feeling like my heart popped, my chest felt heavy. I wanted to rush to the ER. I called my mom, a nurse, and a person who easily brings me comfort. We both knew my heart had in fact not popped. For weeks after this night I felt like icy hot had been rubbed on the inside of chest. I could not sleep and when I tried I would tuck my bible under my pillow. I was paralyzed by fear!
Around this time my OCD personality reared it's head in ways it never had. I began checking...checking locks, checking the stove, checking lights, checking medicine, checking my jewelry...over and over again I would check things, making sure everything was in its place and things were off. This kept me at times from just living in the moment and increased my eating.
My husband would have so much fun with my OCD. I would have completed my nightly inspecting, crawl into my cozy, warm bed, get comfortable and he would say, "did you check your ring?". I would lay there only for a minute, attempting to control the urge to get up and check yet again, before the pressure was too much and I would need to check once more. We have had good laughs over this memory and a sweet apology.
Fear is at the root of anxiety and OCD. Fear has kept me from adventures, from weight loss, from doing what God has called me. It has hindered my parenting and my role as a wife. It has stolen joy from my moments and rest from my nights.
But, I realize too that feelings are a gift. I love that I am a little dramatic. I love that I am passionate. I also know that Satan wants to use that against me...he wants me to be taken over by feelings, tempted by thoughts, and paralyzed by fear.
Jesus made me fearfully and wonderfully. He created me a little on the sensitive side with a flare of drama queen. But, Jesus did not give me a spirit of fear. The outcome of fear is not living. Not enjoying the fullness of life God gave us.
I want to live! I want to chase what matters. And I want my children to as well!
Do I face my fear of deep sea fishing? Do I allow the thoughts of what could happen to drown me? Do I allow fear to win? Do I allow fear to keep me from chasing my journey to health, my journey to chase what matters, to chase Jesus and the hearts of those I love?
What are you letting fear keep you from? Are you going to choose to hold the hand of Jesus or drown??
Chase what matters. All things through Christ.
"When I am afraid, I will trust in You." (Psalms 56:3 HCSB)
Look for updates about deep sea fishing in August.