This week I’m going to have to do something I haven’t done in a year. I’m going to have to get dressed, put on makeup, fix my hair beyond a messy couch potato style, and go out in public. I am lying if I say I am clam and collected about the whole thing because I am not. In fact, when the full impact of having to go to a simple dentist’s appointment hit me yesterday, I became shaky. Frantic. I could feel that old foe of anxiety creeping its way up my spine and into my mind.
If you’re familiar with anxiety, and similar attacks, you know that they come in many forms. While this isn’t the worst attack I’ve experienced, in fact it’s quite mild compared to normal, it is still something I have to endure. Or is it?
I am careful to never claim anxiety attacks as my own. I know most people would tell me to own it, that owning it is the first step in properly dealing with it, but I believe that anxiety is a spiritual attack and not something I want to welcome into my life. I will not give it more power over my life and claiming it as my anxiety does just that. It opens the door and lays out the welcome mat. It is an attack on my person and I will treat it as such.
I have been fighting against anxiety since I was a pre-teen. While still dealing with that original thorn in my flesh from time to time, I have learned of other areas where it’s come in and assaulted me. I have found ways both physical and spiritual to fight against it, depending on the situation. This is one of those times where I’m just clinging to God’s goodness, praying for Peace and Comfort as I emerge from a year long self-quarantine.
Yesterday I read about King Hezekiah and the siege of Judah by the king of Assyria. God told Hezekiah not to heed the words of Assyria’s king. When King Sennacherib came back with more words of destruction, Hezekiah went into the temple and literally placed Sennacherib’s words before the Lord and prayed. It didn’t strike me until later just how much anxiety and fear Hezekiah was probably going through. His city, his country, was under siege by a king and kingdom who had yet to be defeated. Just a few years prior, the kingdom of Israel had fallen to Sennacherib’s predecessor. At this point, there was no one in Judah who could successfully stand against Assyria. Hezekiah knew that Judah’s only hope was the Lord, something he constantly reminded his people and Assyria constantly spoke against.
Yesterday, I was under siege by anxiety. I’m sure it won’t be the last attack this week. However, I can be as Hezekiah, listening not to the words of my enemy but laying them before His feet, along with the feelings they invoke. I’ll center my focus more on God, breathing deeply as I speak my request for His Peace and Comfort.
Do you believe in claiming Anxiety? Why or why not? What do you do when you’re attacked by anxiety?