when anxiety rises

I kept feeling like the world was gonna break me, but that’s because I was living for the world’s applause.

I’ve always thought about living for applause from a performance perspective. I’ve removed myself from performing a number of times in my life because I am aware of my tendency to allow polluted intentions arise. But I was ignorant to the fact that this disease of needing adoration and praise had taken hold of every area of my life. I trapped myself into thinking that it was only my competitive nature, but constantly trying to prove your worth is a whole different thing altogether. Looking to the people around you to validate your work, your heart, or character is a dangerous game to play. It will consistently leave you broken-hearted.
It’s funny when we go through a season and feel like we’ve handled a certain area of our life, and then we find ourselves fighting the same issues in a different way. I had a season where I dug through all the issues about my identity and thought I had won. I thought I could move on and conquer new areas. What I am learning now, is that there are so many layers and depths to each area. I handled the aspect of identity that I needed to in that season. But now I’m older and wiser, and God is revealing new things within myself that need attention. We are never truly done. We are only reworking our capacity for growth. Which means no season is ever truly easy when we are challenging ourselves to be ever evolving.
I was so excited about this season that I’m in. While God is absolutely moving, it is still so much harder than I expected it to be. My position has changed, therefore my perspective had to as well. The more we grow, the more we are given. And I found myself looking to the Lord to move in the ways He had before. I’m a dreamer. I pray for miracles. I expect miracles. I looked back into my journals believing that God would show up big and demolish every obstacle in the same ways that are written on the worn pages of my past.
I sat being disappointed. I woke each morning expecting it to be the day that everything changed. I’ve had some radical miracles in my life that I absolutely treasure. Which left me sitting here in the waiting thinking, why not now Lord? Why has your heart hardened towards me? What have I done to lose your adoration? And a verse hit me in my chest.
The people of Israel knew the acts of God, but Moses knew His ways.
Psalm 103:7
I don’t want to only know the stories of God’s faithfulness. I don’t want to look in the past and expect God to only be or do what I’ve known Him to do. We cannot live thinking that if things are difficult that God doesn’t love us. I found myself chasing people’s acceptance instead of walking in the acceptance the Lord has already given to me. When anxiety rises, I know I am looking in the wrong direction and listening to the wrong opinions.
We must constantly pursue God in a deeper way than simply knowing His actions. When we know His ways, the circumstances of our lives won’t rattle us. We can then trust Him in what we don’t know or understand. Knowing His ways, His nature, His constant ability to provide exactly what we need in the way that He sees fit, that is how we remain secure in every season.
I am strangely grateful that God hasn’t moved the obstacles out of my way. They have slowed me down and given me the beautiful time to find comfort in the midst of uncertain circumstances. They have allowed me to know the goodness of the Lord beyond worldly gain. The stillness in the journey brings me back to who I’m meant to be.
a prayer:
Lord, you are much greater than my current circumstance. I want to be able to walk through much greater tests with you and not waver in faith, not fall to anxiety, or envy the mundane safety of this culture’s standards. Lord help me keep my eyes on you. Help me release control. Help me to live a life full of expectation, faith, and unselfishness. Help me trust beyond my limited view. God help me be satisfied with just enough. Teach me to live with less and to find my joy in you – not things. Not impressing people. Not lavish gifts. Show me your love father. That is greater than all these things.

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