The year I turned 31, I was in a funk. My husband and I were transitioning where we were living, so we had moved into an apartment for 3 months. I spent a lot of time in bed in that apartment. I thought I was depressed so I started researching depression. I read blogs, forums, and medical websites.
I figured out something. I didn’t have depression. I had social anxiety. Going out into the world seemed impossible because my brain was betraying me. I would have wacky thoughts. Here’s an example. No one came over to talk to me right after church ended, so every lady in the church thinks I am annoying. My voice must be like nails on a chalkboard to them. The reality was, as I was too caught up in wacky, immature thinking to realize, that every lady in my church has a lot going on in their life. They have babies or foster children or teenagers or money struggles or illness or other issues.
As I began to learn more about social anxiety, I decided I needed two kinds of help. First, I went to the doctor and was put on the lowest dose possible of a anti-depressant. Since I’m uncomfortable with taking medicine, also an anxiety issue, I started the medicine with the stipulation that it would only be for a short time. I knew I needed a boost to get me looking at things in a more positive light, and I knew I needed to put my trust in the Lord. Three months after starting the anti-depressants, I found out I was pregnant. I was ready to stop taking the medicine.
The second way I needed help was figuring out how to recognize things that were true and things that were just plain false.
I knew I needed to get my mind straight. I needed to figure out how to live my life with social anxiety. I needed to know that I could live the life God had called me to live without social anxiety holding me back from anything God called me to do.
I found a journaling website that had you analyze your thoughts and thought process in social settings. It was a Godsend. It wasn’t a Christian site, but what it asked me to do was actually something we are called to do as Christians. Paul tells us to take our thoughts captive and interrogate them.
When I had thoughts that were negative about myself, those thoughts were not honoring the God who made me. Those thoughts did not honor the Savior who died for me or the Holy Spirit who dwells in me and makes me His temple.
The reason I am sharing about my social anxiety is because I know you’ve got something in your life that can either be a weight that anchors you to your chair or anchors you to The Lord.
Jesus is our forerunner. Hebrews 6:20 tells us so. Back in Roman times, when boats would come into a port to dock during a storm, they would send the small anchor boat ahead to make sure the boat could be docked into the harbor. Jesus has done that for us. He died for us, was rose again, and He is there docked in Heaven. We can choose to anchor to Him or remain in the storm.
If you’ve anchored to Him, it is finished. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a big something weighing you down. God doesn’t want you to carry that load. Cast all your cares on Him. He can handle it. How do I know that He can handle it? I’ve tested Him. There’s no weight limit with God. There is no too hard or too complicated for God.
For me my social anxiety was my big something. Trying to carry it on my own ended me up in bed, blinded to the woman God made me to be. I couldn’t see past my nose. Giving that big something to God was not an easy thing for me to do. It was a process. I had to learn to think differently. I still have to remind myself to think differently. I had to learn to lean on Him. But as I did, I could see places and go places that I could never have dreamed.
Love me some Jr. Jr. They are one of my favs. This song is one of those short ones at the end of the album. Kind of like a bonus, but aren't the lyrics genius?