Today I realized I’ve come a long way. God has blessed me so much through this journey of anxiety that I’ve had, and now it is finally done with. It isn’t in my way as much anymore. I am able to go place I once thought I couldn’t. I am able to live a more regular life, even though there are still my ups and downs. I am recovering, and I’m further down the path than I ever thought I would be.
Just today, I visited a place where it all started. This was where my anxiety fully began to take over my life. This was where my life became ‘managed’ instead of ‘lived’. I left this place still being overtaken by anxiety and fear. I left this place broken and hopeless for my future.
I thought it would never get better.
But more than a year from now, I am.
I’ve changed dramatically.
Where I once was panic stricken and overwhelmed I am now at the very least able to manage, and at the very best, calm.
Where I was once too scared to even get inside a certain building, I am now able to walk around inside and stay for hours on end.
Where I was once broken, I am now beginning to be whole.
I was shattered, and then put back together piece by piece.
I am still being glued back together.
There are a lot of pieces missing, and there are still a lot of broken bits, areas where I need to find healing. But there are also a lot of areas that have been glued back together, that are growing and thriving where they used to be falling apart and rotting to bits.
Today, when I went back to the place my anxiety first began, I was a little nervous at first, I was even frightened that I might lose all my progress, all of the ground that I’d gained. But, I decided, that was way too long down the line for me to go just for a place. I would not sacrifice all I’d gained just because of a little prick on a map.
So I went, and I was barely even that nervous. I walked around, I chatted, and before I even had time to realize it, my anxiety was gone. I didn’t feel nervous at all. It was just another place, just like all of the other ones I’d been going to daily and being okay in. And even though I left this place feeling anxious and afraid, and I went away for a while, I didn’t even get anxious upon coming back. I was just nervous, and then it went away.
At that moment, I realized how far I’d come. This afternoon, when I first decided to go visit this place again, I could feel the old voices rising up in my head. I could hear them whispering the same old things:
“Are you sure?”
“You won’t be able to stay there very long.”
“Maybe this will set you back, maybe you won’t be able to manage this one, maybe it’ll seep into the rest of your life and you’ll be exactly where you started.”
And I thought, “These aren’t valid. I don’t listen to these anymore.” I realized how long it had been since I even heard from them. It was like they just took a vacation, and now they were just here for a visit, a momentary drop-in. And I wasn’t staying to listen.
They were packed and out of there before I even knew it. I just ignored them, even when they really bugged me. Then they wen’t away.
My road was really long (you can read more about my story here). It was a winding, scary, am-I-ever-going-to-get-out-of-this kind of road. But it taught me a lot about God, how faithful and wonderful He is, and how to trust Jesus. It taught me how to find closeness with Christ. It taught me so many things, and I was so glad to also be able to record it in the book I wrote, to see how God worked through that time and have it in words for me to read.
Even with all that it gave me, I am glad to be transitioning out of it, even if it isn’t quite finished yet. I am glad to have gone back to that same place where it started and have no anxiety, have no freaking out, and actually be able to be normal there for once in a long long time. I never thought I would be comfortable there again, but I was, I am.
So this is a milestone for me. I realized how much God has worked in this past year, even with me being busy, He has done so much secret work inside my heart and it is showing in my life, because I am no longer a slave to fear. I am getting out of slavery, and I am being led into freedom.
I wanted to record it here today because I wanted it to be a testimony. I couldn’t have done any of this, or gotten anywhere, if it hadn’t been for God and the wonderful support He’s given me through all of this. None of this could have happened without Jesus. He was my comforter when no one else could be. He was my salvation even when I felt I was too deep under the burden of fear. He was my counselor through all of this, assuring and reassuring me even more than I could imagine. He still is, and He always will be.
Thanks so much for listening to my story and for being with me through this time of anxiety and into the transition. I just wanted to say that wherever you are, if you relate to this then you can definitely say so in the comments. I’d love to hear from you no matter where you are in your journey. I would love to listen to your story and what God has done for you in your season, so if you’d like to share your story or ask for prayer, feel free to do so.
See you next time!