Have you ever had anxiety hit like a freight train?

The feeling hits you out of nowhere.

Where instantly your heart is racing faster than the most intense cardio imaginable could make it race, where you can barely breathe and the thoughts come rushing in of simply pain.

Nothing but pain.

I do not suffer with chronic anxiety, so I cannot even begin to relate with people who do.
But I have felt that panic in my life.

The fear
The intensity
The panic

Concentrated in a few minutes that seem to last a lifetime.

To be honest, this has happened to me when the circumstances of life seem to be spiraling out of control.

When I have zero control over the situation.

It’s in those times when my mind takes over and every negative feeling and scenario play out in my mind. All at once.

Truth: I cannot control everything.

I cannot control people.
I cannot control certain circumstances.
I cannot control life.

And it’s that lack of control that makes me anxious.

Because I like control.

No… I’m not some control freak.  I am not trying to make everyone in my life do my own will.
But if I’m honest, I do have a ‘perfect’ picture of how things will turn out in my mind.

But life is often not that perfect picture.

Jobs are lost.
People betray you.
Family members die.

That’s life.

Sometimes it really sucks.

It’s what we do when all the crap of life hits at once that matters.

Do I stay in the panic mode?
Do I turn angry and bitter?
Do I try to ignore it and hope it goes away?

Do I pause and take it one step at a time?
Do I seek help and wisdom?
Do I rely on faith?

Yes, sometimes you cannot control the horrible situations of life.
There is no avoiding them.

But honestly, when I look back at the worst of times, those are the ones that have shaped me.
Those are the times I have grown.

Those times made me… me.

Do I want hard times?  Those times that create the instant panic?  Those times that double you over in hurt?

Um… NO
No. No way. No how. Nope.
I really really don’t.

But I can make the most of them. I can learn from them.
I can use the horrific to help someone else.
I can use the horrible to create a stronger me.

Good can come out of it.
I’ve experienced it.
It can.

So in those times when the floodgates break open and panic rushes in,
Next time your world is spiraling out of control,
Remember life is not always perfect. But it’s ok.
God can use the bad, the horrific, the awful.
He can redeem the bad.
God can create a beautiful story.
A beautiful picture.

Out of you.

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