How fear, anxiety, and worry give us an unquenchable thirst for “knowing” & what to do about it.

There is a darkness that swirls around our mind.  This darkness glues itself to the soul and gets comfortable.  It’s not going anywhere soon.  It fully realizes that few things can get rid of it.  This darkness is the fear, anxiety, and worry that is in our lives.  It’s a cunning force that does a great amount of damage to our mind and soul.

Fear causes us to panic.  Are they alright?!  Fear understands that we have no control over our lives.  It gets that we live in a big scary world and it pushes the alert button!  You are not in control, do something.

Anxiety is the result of fear and worry is what we do when we are anxious.  We feel continuously uneasy because there is so much uncertainty in life.  That uneasiness makes our heart beat faster, we talk faster, and our mind races.  Fear feeds our anxiety and in order to get relief we act.  The thing is we normally act by worrying.  We fret over everything.  Letting thoughts race through our mind about what is happening, and what could happen.  We might not even understand what we are thinking about.  We might just live in a general state of angst, but we are thinking specific things.  Some of those thoughts are legitimate worries.  We live in a very scary world and there are legitimate concerns for our welfare and the welfare of those we love.  Many thoughts are based off what our imagination can conjure and those thoughts can be terrifying.

Knowing

Fear, anxiety, and worry can drive us to do some crazy things, or they can drive us to do some subtle things that are disguised as being nice.

My son served in the U.S. Navy for five years.  There were two times he was deployed and we didn’t get to see him for a year.  My son was engrained in his life and focused on his friends.  He would call home frequently, but there were times our conversations would only last two or three minutes.  He was calling home to be nice, but didn’t really want to talk long.  He didn’t want to share all the details of his life and I understood that, but that didn’t keep me from fearing what might happen to him.  That didn’t help reduce my anxiety or spend less time worrying.  In fact the shorter the conversations the more I worried.  When I finally couldn’t take it anymore I would text him and say are you okay?  He would say yes.

I never got enough details though.  I still don’t.  I always want to know more.  What have you been doing, where did you go, what’s going well, what isn’t, have you been to any good movies, or good restaurants lately?  I think he always knew what I really wanted.  I wanted to know if he was “really” okay and I wanted some kind of assurance he was always going to be okay.  No amount of knowledge about his life was ever going to satisfy me.  Even if I knew every detail of his life today that wouldn’t guarantee that he would be okay tomorrow.

Fear, anxiety, and worry drive us to know.  They will only be satisfied if we are certain and the only way to be certain is to know.  They thirst for knowledge and that thirst drives us to get information in many ways.  The problem with this type of knowing is that it is never satisfied.  There is a thirst that is unquenchable.  Like a drug addict in need of a fix, or a porn addict in need of stimulation.  It wants more and more and more.  This thirst can drive us mad.  It has and does drive me mad.

Quench

No one in this world can guarantee anything.  Nothing can guarantee that I will get home safe today from work, or that none of my family will get a disease.  We don’t know where the next mass shooting will be, or when we will get the phone call that our kids in fact are not alright.  Even God Himself doesn’t guarantee that everything is going to be okay in this world.  He says it will be okay in the next.  Since I am not in a place to change His mind than I guess we have to live with it.

Perhaps it’s why God’s Words are so important.  I am not saying this to be cliché.  I am not saying read the Bible and this darkness will leave you.  I have actually prayed, read God’s Word and worried at the same time.  I am not saying read your Bible because I am some squeaky clean Christian who has family worship time and sings gospel songs at night.  In fact I am a midlife woman, prone to want to drink a glass of wine and binge Netflix versus doing anything that looks biblical.  I do pray, read the Bible and attend church, but I am dirty not squeaky.  Yet, God’s Word is the ONLY thing that has ever satisfied.  It is the ONLY thing that can quench fear, anxiety, and worries thirst.

Drink too many beers and you numb what ails you.  Smoke a couple joints and you will start not to care.  Binge watch Netflix while eating a bag of chocolate and you will gain some temporary relief (well until your stomach hurts and you get bloated).  Talk to everyone who will listen and you will gain support and empathy.  Worry day and night and you will feel momentarily satisfied.  Try any of a million things and you will see improvement, but remember that we were made to read God’s Word and be satisfied by Him.  It is a part of who we are and eventually every thing else will fade and leave you more thirsty than when you started.

I wish it were some other way.  Knowing God is how we cope.  It’s how we fight fear.

How are they?  I don’t know, but God’s Word says to trust Him.

You don’t have control.  I know and I know that some bad things can happen, but I know God promises not to leave me when they do.

Worry, it’s a way to take action.  It is and it’s a way to drive yourself mad.  Worry never ends.  It is never satisfied which is why God doesn’t want us to go down that road.

Reading the Bible hasn’t cured my fear, worry, and anxiety over night, but it does satisfy the thirst for “knowing”.  Knowing God satisfies.  Knowing what is going on with loved ones doesn’t.  Knowing God gives me something solid to place my hope in even though I don’t fully understand Whom I am hoping in.  When I focus on God I can battle the voices that cause me panic.  I can battle my racing heart and I can satisfy worries desire for control.

Read.  Read anything in the Bible.  Read, pray, cry, and worry if you have to.  Pray a million times that God will help you trust Him.  When we are utterly focused on Him we will be at peace regardless of what could happen, what has happened, and what will happen.  It won’t stop bad things from happening, we can take that up with Him later, but it will stop fear from causing panic, anxiety from ruling our lives, and worry as our choice of action.

As spoken by a fear, anxiety ridden, worry addict trying to give it all to God,

Marcy Pedersen

 

 

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