To those with anxiety, that could be the question!
We are leaving for vacation today for 4 days. A much needed trip to the Outer-banks on the North Carolina coast. We are renting a home to celebrate life with some very dear friends. I can't wait.
My favorite place to be is the ocean. Something about the endless views, crashing waves and powerful presence. I feel so close to God there. I'm reminded of a song lyric, "May you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean". Small is an understatement. Yet peaceful and relaxing, those are the feelings I long for. I am always confident the beach will deliver.
Yet I am up at 5:30 in the AM, and to be clear, I am not a morning person. It wasn't that I felt rested, the sound of alarm clock going off or the pets needing their fix. It was fear and worry. Anxiety rears its ugly head when I am traveling. Even if not on a plane (which is when anxiety flourishes like nothing else). Since it is less than 5 hours away, we are driving. But still, everything from not being packed well, forgetting to renew AAA, to a car accident, to bad travel weather and so on. Now bring on more anxiety at the destination worrying about my kids, pool safety, riptides, drowning and, ugh; my mind is lost!
Anxiety. It's a rippling effect of sorts that starts at the onset of plans, progressing to the day of travel. Even on the last day of the trip, the desire to make it home safely brings upon intense worry. There have been times I have avoided a trip, vacation, visits because I wanted to avoid my anxiety flaring up. I actually missed an "All Expense Paid trip" to the Atlantis in the Bahamas b/c of my fear of flying and because it was during hurricane season. A side note, the patrons that went had a very turbulent flight and it rained the whole time. But I digressed and stayed safe at home.
Anxiety can hold us back from amazing places and experiences. For some, we let it win. But as I have traveled down the road of anxious thoughts and their dominance over me, I've learned the combating method of Mind over Matter and Giving my worries to Jesus.
Anxiety is never cured. You can cure without healing and you can heal without curing. Curing means "eliminating all evidence of disease," while healing means "becoming whole. "You CAN heal from anxiety by becoming whole again in your Mind. You just need to learn how to get there and HOW to manage it. With an insertion of common sense, I need to tell my Wise Mind, "Jodi, people travel everyday. Safely, Successfully and Joyfully! You can too!" Ultimately shifting my mind to Jesus. I need to tell my Jesus Mind (the holy spirit if you will) that I desperately need him. Thoughts shifting to this:
Reminding myself of his promises of abundant life.
That he is very present in Armour when I feel attacked.
He is my strength giving me courage when I feel weak.
And most of all, HE IS listening when I am praying:
Father God I am anxious to travel.
I need your strength during this time of weakness. You are my Armour when I feel attacked, my Hope when I feel lost and the mighty Calm when the mental waves are crashing about me. I need your peace. A peace only you can provide. Go before me in this day, throughout this trip and always. I will say YES to you.
It is humbly and lovingly in Jesus's name! Amen!
At the Sea I shall be still! I can do this. And so can you!