The first part in a series about bringing our anxiety before The Blessed Sacrament
(Image Courtesy of K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash)
Anxiety. The word itself can stop you in your tracks. Ball of confusion, heart racing uncertainty. It’s hard even to pray…
I am in a discernment process, a search for truth for where God wants me and what He wants me to do. I reached out to a friend I met on Twitter who comes from the same law enforcement world I come from to help me wade through some of this anxiety. His answer was unequivocal;
keep doing what you’re doing, make a commitment to go to Adoration for the next 30 days, God will show you.
He already confirmed the way the Lord was leading me, asking me to come to Him in the Blessed Sacrament, and to sit with Him. Like a good scribe, He also asked me to take notes,
With that confirmation, I continued on my thirty-day journey. First week in, the world around me exploded, but I stayed the course. The anxiety would come and go. Then this morning, it took over.
I told you all previously that God does not condemn anxiety but uses it as a “check engine light” to get our attention. There is no shame or lack of faith in that, actually quite the opposite. It shows us that all things are working, and to look further into it. What manifests itself as an external symptom, is the revelation of an internal one.
My anxiety is high, my check engine light is on, it’s time to check in with God and ask why.
The readings today were about the cross. Moses lifting up the serpent to heal those that had been bitten for complaining against God. Jesus being “lifted up” as a representation of that healing, not through the resurrection, but through the crucifixion. The pieces were starting to come together for me.
The anxiety started to lessen. The voice of the Holy Spirit started to sink in.
“Melissa, what is the cross I gave you?”
Pictures started streaming through my mind like an old movie reel. Memories, times in my life of my greatest trials.
“And what was it that made it a trial Melissa,” I could hear Him whisper, “What caused the anxiety.”
I answered, “That I had to stand up for the truth.”
It was true. My cross has always been as someone chosen to speak hard things. Call out unethical or illegal behavior. Ring the bell. Tell people what they don’t want to hear. Be the truth. I don’t like it. It’s not the cross I want. I am not courageous, I am weak. And that is why He chose me, because I am scared to death to do it.
And I find myself again in the same situation with different facts. Dealing with an ethical issue. Calling out a wrong. Not for the sake of anything else except it’s what God asked me to do. And through that comes the anxiety, comes the shame, comes the rejection, all from the evil one. Except this time I recognized it right away instead of suffering for so long.
When you identify what your cross is, it takes out the sting of it all and allows you to apply the cross as healing ointment rather than feel it as pain. He has chosen you for a specific cross, for a specific time, in a specific place. But He hasn’t left you alone, He’s there to help you carry it.
As I began to recognize that He had placed me in this situation for such a time as this, the anxiety lessened and I could once again breathe. I can do this. I’ve been here before. There is a resurrection on the other side.
God has often told me after I have been obedient during my time of trial, either I will remove them or I will remove you. This is something I always keep in the forefront of my mind. It gives me hope and lets me know that the trial, the crucifixion will present itself again and again in my life. But now I have the power to recognize it.
Anxiety- Check Engine Light, Despair- a time for prayer, Peace- Him Reminding me there is hope on the other side