Friday, July 31, 2009

Second Day at Target and a Rough Homecoming

This morning went pretty well. I am starting to get the hang of working the line. I know I must be doing good when they forget about me every once in a while. I have worked my best to learn the ropes quickly and today they did have some hours to give that I was very tempted to take. I am glad that I didn't.

I came home and Peanut, our little English Budgie, was struggling to breathe and walking as if he were limp on one side. I remembered a vet that I passed on the way into work and wondered if they took care of birds. I knew whatever was going on was pretty serious. The odd thing is, he was fine yesterday. He was running around and playing like normal. He didn't eat or get into anything out of the ordinary. If he had, undoubtedly, the other parakeets who follow him around would have gotten sick, too. I called the vet that I passed on the way to work, and they agreed that they could see him right away. Eight in the morning used to be early for me. Now, I have already been up for five hours or so. Tim and I brought him in and the vet took one look and I could tell from her expression it wasn't good. She said she thought he had a brain tumor as he was very slow on his responses, seemed blind, and was showing behavior concurrent with nerve damage. He hadn't pooped yet that morning, either. While I was holding him, there were a couple of times that I thought he was going to stop breathing. The doc told me what I was afraid of when I brought him in. She said the most humane thing to do would be to put him to sleep.

I may have a lot of birds and I might just be crazy, but I love these little guys so much. I can tell you their stories, their goofy behaviors, and things that you just can't help but laugh about. I might have "eleven more", but the one I lost is mourned like the member of the family that he is. I keep thinking that I need to go and find him and see what he is up to or if he is behaving. A tear rolls down my cheek as I realize that isn't going to happen any more.

Peanut was a beautiful bird with a lot of life. He loved to be ornery and jump on other birds' tails just to be silly. He was the first budgie that the cockatiels ever saw and so he took great pleasure out of chasing them around and listening to them hiss. He was gentle and after he got to know the cockatiels, he would preen them and cuddle with them. He did that for Buster yesterday while Buster was in the hospital cage. He even sang Buster to sleep at one point. Peanut loved to be chased and would always put up a good chase if you wanted to put him somewhere or if you just wanted to play. He would routinely sing himself to sleep at night using all the sounds that the flock made in his song, including conure screams, quaker warblings, and cockatiel's whistles and their version of the "Big Rock Candy Mountain". Since we got two more budgies, he actually began to sound more like a budgie again. It was a shame that his life was taken from him before his first birthday, but we gave him all the life that we could. He was loved from the beginning and cherished. I will miss him greatly. He will always have a special place in my heart.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

First Day at Target

Well, technically second if you count the orientation. After finding out my hours start at four in the morning, well, I don't know if I want to count being cushy in the training room from nine until one. This is where most people would be drinking an espresso (I *hate* coffee- it's a Diet Dr. Pepper for me) and grumbling about the morning. That will probably be me in a week. Right now I have the nervousness of starting a new job and worrying that I am not going to be good enough keeping me awake. In a week I am sure that I will be hitting the snooze and contemplating rolling over for that extra five minutes.

So far so good with little Buster. We have been rotating some of the members of the flock (that are his size and that we know get along with him) to put in the hospital cage with him. Angel seems to be his constant companion right now. He was like that when he was a baby, helping clean off the baby food on his siblings faces when I would feed them. He may not be the smartest, but sometimes I think he has the most heart. It was a laugh riot when I stuck the budgies in there. They would run around and play and goof and Buster would tolerate it for a while but then would get upset and threaten them away. We can't keep Miracle in there because then Buster just courts her. Here he has a major injury and he's courting his mate. That's love for you right there.

Still plan on having a to do list when I come home. I won't make it now because I want to see how I feel in five hours or so. I might be wide awake and I might want to sleep for the rest of the day. Time will only tell! This is how God has chosen to provide for my daily bread for a while, and I will take the opportunity to its fullest. God will provide and has provided a job for me that will help support me and I thank Him for it. God is a God of promises and He has promised my daily bread. Today, I know He will provide because He has said so.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New To Do List... The Same To Do List

Well, yesterday turned out to be much more stressful than I figured on it being. After getting home and getting myself something to eat after work, Buster got bit on the foot pretty badly. I am still not completely sure what happened. It didn't really seem to bother him, though it scared the crud out of me. His toe was hanging by skin only and I am pretty sure he's going to lose the end of it. I held it together and kept the bleeding at bay until Tim came home, and then we bandaged it up. Hopefully, that helps with infection as well as keeping that wound clotted. The funny part about it all was that I was ready to do my to do list even with his injury because working on stuff like that helps keep my anxiety at bay. While I was waiting for Tim, I put Buster in an empty kleenex box with a paper towel so I could monitor his bleeding and catch to see if it was seepage or if it was worse than that. I wanted to keep him still, so the box was perfect because it was just his size. Well, he wouldn't let me leave, and it wasn't because he was so enamored with his mom and needing the reassurance that he was going to be ok. He wanted to go back and play with the rest of the flock and if I left, he tried to go find them. Considering I don't even know what happened or who attacked him for that matter, combined with the fact that he has a very serious injury, I didn't think that was such a good idea. So, I sat around staring at my computer screen with a bird pouting in a box for several hours waiting for Tim to go home so I could have the extra hands I needed to wrap up his foot.

SO- That means the checklist remained undone last night. I think that's perfectly understandable, don't you? So, I think I have a pre-made checklist for today, which is good. I have to be at work at four am tomorrow, so I want to try to get to sleep at about seven pm. I'll need to be nice and tired for this to work! So, here's to my exhausting, full, and to-do list filled day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Job and New Checklist

So, I had my Target orientation today. Things went well. I have to admit to feeling rather anxious about "unloading the trailer" at work because I have never done it before. I am worried that I am getting in over my head and I won't be able to do this work. I know God will provide and if I put my mind to it, I'll be able to do it, but I am still very scared. I know it will get better when I get into it, but it still gives me anxiety pangs.

I need to make my checklist and get on with the housework. I also should remember to write my work schedule on the whiteboard so Tim knows what days that I am working. God provided me a job, helping provide for my daily bread. I held Him to His promise, and He fulfilled it. My God is a God of His promises!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Checklist Complete and Then Some!

I started off with a fairly full checklist today. I didn't want to take any medicine and I wanted my day to be full to help with that. My goal was to make a crock pot roast, some homemade bread, clean up the kitchen, living room, and dining room from the disaster that was this weekend of going down to Chicago and generally trying to make the apartment presentable. I also wanted to ride my bike and crochet as a reward.

Well, the day started off as planned. I made bread and waited for it to rise, bake, and generally be edible. The roast went into the crock pot and boy did it taste all yummy when it was finally done. Tim helped with the dishes so they went by faster and so when I was cleaning from the breadmaking and the dinner making, and the dishes that just get made through the course of the day, it wasn't overwhelming. However, doing all those dishes made me realize that the sink was still leaking, so I had to go down and tell my landlords again. It was a rusted out garbage disposal. So, they replaced it and it is so quiet! I love it!

When I was finally done with enough that I could ride my bike, it poured rain. So much for that idea! When the rain finally stopped, it was getting dark so I knew that I wasn't going to ride today anyhow. After finishing all of the stuff on the checklist, I decided to do some extra chores, so I ran the vacuum sweeper and cleaned up one of the bird play stands. I trimmed Daffy's wings after she flew into the kitchen a half a dozen times today. She snuck into the pop can box and hid in there for a while. She decided she wanted some butt roast and jumped on the crock pot (I am so thankful that she didn't burn herself!!) She flew to the sink for some water and almost fell into the dish water and then flew in a couple of times and then turned back around the moment I yelled at her, so I figured it was time for her to get her wings cut. Now she'll have to walk and I doubt she can climb up smooth wood cabinets to get where she wants to go. Maybe she'll realize that she's a bird again! Oh! I almost forgot! She also went onto the counter top where I kneaded the dough to try to eat the bread. I guess she didn't care that it wasn't cooked. She's the only bird who is that stubborn in our flock. She's also been with me the longest. Wonder where she got that stubborn streak from. ;)

Now I think it's time to rest up, put on a good movie, crochet a bit, and relax. I have done everything I planned and more. God provided my daily bread today in a wonderful way- through my own hands making that bread. What a wonderful gift!

Let's Start off the Week Right

Well, I have quite the task at hand after the weekend. It's always hard to get ready for the weekly trek down to Chicago, especially when I have the responsibility to remember everything we need: food, clothes, bird stuff, sermons, Bible study stuff. Generally, I do a pretty good job, however, in getting all of that and preparing two meals ahead of time, I ended up making a pretty good mess that I need to clean up from. That will be on my checklist today as well as making butt roast in the crock pot and making a loaf of bread. I woke up ready to go this morning, so I know I'll get it all accomplished. And who knows, maybe I'll get a job interview for a full time job today, too! Who knows! What I do know is that God will provide my daily bread and He is a God of promises, so I know he'll do it!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Long Day

Today started off with a question mark. How on earth did I not notice the huge rip in Tim's black pants before I packed them? They could have easily been repaired had I seen it, but I didn't. So, this morning when Tim went to wake me up, it was to tell me that there was a huge rip in the backside of his pants and a question as to what to do about it. I told him to run to the nearest Wal-mart and get a new pair whilst I packed up our hotel room and five birds and ate breakfast. This happened at 7 am, Tim was back with new pants and I was finished with packing and getting ready by 8 am.

We got to church just a little bit later than usual, so I had to rush to help Tim get his Bible class materials out, the hymn boards set, communion ware set up, make sure his vestments were where they were supposed to be, start the pot of coffee (that I don't drink- that stuff is nasty!), and be ready to greet parishioners before the 9 am service. Oh, did I mention there is a twenty minute ride between the hotel and church? Yeah, lots of stuff to do. On top of that, our organist was ill, so one of the ladies of our congregation who hasn't played in fifty five years helped us out (and did a wonderful job) and our acolyte wasn't here, so I was the candle lighter. Oh, and I sang a solo for Communion because the folks there are not used to silence during Communion, that's what an organ is for. Wow! What a whirlwind! By the time service was over, I wanted a nap!!

I was able to come home and rest for a while. Poor Tim had to work! Can I have a weekend to recover from my weekend? Sometimes I think I need one!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Waiting for God- Impatient Patience

Tim is officially off of CRM status as of last Sunday. He was called to a very part time call at Lamb of God Lutheran in Pleasant Prairie, WI, as an assistant pastor. However, it's still not as we want it to be as wonderful as this call is. We would love it if he got a full time call to a wonderfully Confessional church out there. Not just for money, not just for daily bread, but because it's who he is. He is a pastor. After he comes home from Wal-Mart, he's exhausted, downtrodden, and is easily put into a bad mood. After he comes home from preaching, he's upbeat, happy, and content. It's hard to deal with the frustration we feel from having been in this situation for over three years.

Don't get me wrong. I can see God's hand working while we have been going through this. It has brought us closer as a couple, it has shown us that the fear that many pastors have, of losing their call, is something that that can be worked through. It has helped us deal with our disorders in a completely different way that ultimately has allowed us to better control and help better understand anxiety and depression.

However, I find myself asking, "How long, oh Lord? How long shall we wait?" I want to put down roots, start a family, and feel like I belong somewhere instead of being a transient, wandering here and there and not having any direction like I feel that I do now. I know that will happen when Tim gets a call again. But, how long shall we wait for it and how long should we wait? That's the begging question today.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's Friday!

I am not sure what that means, anymore though. Before it meant that I had two days off and I could relax, but I have been able to "relax" more since I don't have a job. I have been able to get some things done that have needed to get done for a while. Today I'd like to tackle the bird cages and give them a thorough cleaning. Tim really wants to go for a bike ride, and that sounds fun to me, so I am game! I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast using bisquick. I'll have to write that recipe down so that when I start to make my own bisquick mix, I'll be able to make it again.

God will provide my daily bread, of this I am sure. I may not know how, but He will provide it today. Even if it is in the form of cinnamon rolls and soup that seems to be lasting forever! :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Taking Today a Bit Easier

So, I had my job interview with Target today. It's only a part-time position from 4am to 8am, but it's much better than what I have right now. During my interview I also talked about possibly cross-training or taking on other tasks. That would be a wonderful way to get into the Pharmacy, so I went ahead and accepted the job. I had to go pee in a cup and prove that I am drug free. I am so glad they don't do blood tests for that sort of thing! I don't know if I would ever work if that was the case.

As a reward for getting through the interview process and the like, I am going to let myself rest a bit more today. I'll do some housework, but I will also give myself a chance to sleep and rest. It might have been only a two hour process, but it felt like an entire shift for me because of my anxiety. Tomorrow, I'll go back to the checklist and see what else I can accomplish off of it. It is definitely a great system.

God showed once again how He will provide my daily bread. Today, again, I shall pray for it knowing it will be provided.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Didn't Check It All Off, But That's OK

So the day did not exactly go as expected. The leak in the sink got *really* bad and I had to to the apartment office to ask for it to be fixed. That took over an hour of my time. The good news is that it is fixed and that we have a sink that works, sorta. The sink part is fixed but there is a leak somewhere else that I found, now. Well, I'll call the office again tomorrow and let them know that it's still making a bit of a mess on the bottom of my cabinet.

I did manage to get some housework done, make dinner, and even crochet a bit. I am running out of places to apply to quick and am now just browsing Monster, Career Builder, and Jobing. I am hoping that something will come up soon. I made a soup from scratch today that would make most restaurants jealous, or maybe that's just me! I thought it was good, anyhow, and I'll see what Tim thinks of it when he gets home from work.

I did go to the Divine Service today and that is always a good thing. That's the best daily bread that I can ask for. I have a job interview tomorrow for a part time position, and we'll see if I get it. I hope I do. Something is better than nothing. Today I prayed for God to give me my daily bread, and He did. I will be provided for because God promised it.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

I have to admit that I am starting to worry about how we are going to provide for ourselves. We have applied for food stamps, but there are other bills that my salary paid that I am worried we won't be able to pay yet. I have applied to fifteen jobs now, and there is only one job interview. I can't help but wonder why people don't want to hire me. Am I not a good worker? Did I not try my best at each task I was given? I don't know why I am not getting more interviews, but I am hoping that it will change. Each day I eagerly wait by my phone hoping for something to go down. Perhaps today will be the day. However, I am a cynic and afraid that it won't be.

I guess this is why I am on the checklist "to-do" system. This way I'll be able to keep myself busy if that phone doesn't ring. I am not sure what all will be on that checklist today, yet, but there is a Divine Service at 6:30 at Lamb of God that I will definitely be at. It will be good for me to get out of the house anyway. I do need a couple of things at the store, though I have to admit to being scared at spending any money at all. I have spaghetti noodles but no sauce and things like that.

I will make it through today and this evening, I will have the best food ever, Christ's own Body and Blood for the forgiveness of my sins. God will provide. He is a God of promises and He promises that He will take care of all my needs to support this body and life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Checklist Complete

I did it! I am so proud of myself! I made the checklist and then systematically (or just unorganizedly) started checking accomplishments off. It helped my anxiety today, as well, since I was Ativan free all day. I am still disappointed that I didn't get any more job interviews, however, the good news is that my head is above water and still in relatively good spirits. I know that the next couple of days are actually going to be the hardest because my energy is up and I keep expecting something to happen and something may or may not happen or happen the way I want it. However, each day I will pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" and I will work on worrying about one day at a time. God will provide.

Today's Checklist in Hand

I thought about making the to do list last night, and then decided that since I pray "Give us this day our daily bread", I should probably take things one day at a time in both worrying about what I will get as blessings and what I should do. I made the to-do list up after I woke up.

I have now applied to thirteen jobs and have one job interview on Thursday for a part time position. I am hoping that this will amount to something as I am worried that Tim's hours might get cut at any time. Then again, give us this day our daily bread, his hours were not cut *this* week and he is at work currently. I need to try my best to keep things to one day at a time, as hard as that really is.

My anxiety level is up but I am happy to say under control enough that it doesn't need medicine, yet. I am hoping that it stays that way all day. If not, I have to remember that it isn't a failure on my part but merely one of the tools in the tool box God gave me to help me deal with this particular situation as well as my disorder in general.

I am thinking about riding my bike around for exercise. At my previous employer, I would take regular walks with the kids and hardly sat around. I am hoping that some physical exercise outside of the apartment will help my mood. I have already decided that no matter how messy the house is, the windows will be opened daily for as much natural light as I can get. I might feel like life is dark and dank right now, but I don't need my house to fit my mood. God will provide as He has so far and will continue to do so.

The birds are checking on me on a regular basis. I think they can tell when I am all anxious as well. One or two of them check up on me on a fairly regular basis if there is not already one on my computer or on my shoulder. I often wonder how they know these things and then I remember that God uses them too, even if they aren't cognitively doing it. Yet another way that God gives me my daily bread- even if I don't have people calling and checking on me, the birds do and that makes me feel less lonely as well.

Well, one job application down for today already so now the housework and recreation things await. God will provide my daily bread today as well. This I know because He has promised it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Didn't Check off All the Items

I think the idea of a checklist was a great idea! Unfortunately, I got a little behind when I had to take some anti-anxiety meds to help me make it through the day. I think part of it is that I am more of a target for my own anxiety when I am alone and I can't keep my hubby home to keep my mind off of things. I'll work off of a checklist tomorrow again and keep my original goal of weaning myself off of the anti-anxiety meds. It's not that they are bad for me, it's just that I don't want to go around with cotton on my brain if I don't have to. I would rather be me with no cotton.

I do keep looking forward every day. Perhaps Tim will get a full time call and the push for me getting a job to keep our finances above water won't be such a push like it is now. Perhaps something that I don't even expect will come out of the woodwork. It's not like God reveals His surprises to me- it ruins the gift! :) Anyhow, I think I'll take my sleep medicine and call it a night. Tomorrow's goals include another job application, some housework, and who knows what else. I'll worry about the rest tomorrow.

Today I prayed, "Give us this day our daily bread," and God provided my daily bread. The Lord is a God who fulfills His promises and on Him I lay my cares. He will provide again tomorrow because He promised to do so. I will be at peace, even if my disorder in my sinful flesh won't allow it, I will be in my new self.

Organization for an Anxious Day

Things are not what they should be for me right now. Yeah, there are some good things happening, but there is a very major problem in my life that I will not post on a public forum such as this. Needless to say, it has caused me more anxiety than I care to handle. I am back on my anti-anxiety and sleep medications as well as the regular SSRI. I don't want to be, though. I hate taking them and worse, I hate the fact that I have to take them at all. I seem to be beating myself up over the fact that I could backslide so easily. However, I am not without recourse. I may not be able to control outside circumstances, but I can control some.

I have decided I am going to make myself a "To Do" list today of both things I have to accomplish and things that I want to accomplish. This way I keep organized and don't fret over what I should be doing. These are my goals for today, and God willing, I will complete them and then not feel so horribly out of control for today (with a secondary goal of getting off the anti-anxiety and going down to just the sleep medicine). Wish me luck! I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Should I Be Afraid?

I have an anxiety disorder. It's something I have lived with my entire life. It's something that I will probably deal with until the day I die. It's part of who I am and I know it's not normal, but I consider it rather normal for my life. I am plagued by fears that most people could brush off without thinking about it, but I can't seem to. I have learned to live with that and accept it. However, I have learned that not everyone is as comfortable with this as I am.

People seem to be scared of the idea of a mental disorder. I am not sure if they are afraid that I will completely lose control and be unable to handle things in life or if they are just afraid of seeing a bit of themselves in me. The unknown is very frightening, especially when it comes to something so dark and mysterious. Afterall, with something like diabetes or cancer, we at least know what causes it and why it happens, and that seems to make it easier for some people to deal with those diseases. Mine isn't so cut and dry. The experts aren't completely sure what causes my problems, nor is it clear why it affects some people and not others.

However, I can assure you that there is nothing to be afraid of with my anxiety. First of all, it's not contagious. You can't catch it from being around me. It's not deadly. I won't fall over dead one day from a panic attack. In fact, I have found that the worst of situations don't even merit an anxiety attack for me- I seem to wait until things are fine before I fall apart. You may not understand it, but I can assure you that I am not all that different from anyone else. I have the same fears and worries, stress and tension, just for whatever reason, my body doesn't handle it quite the way that it should. There are many like me, some diagnosed and some not, who are out there. You have seen them and interacted with them though you might not have known it. It could be your sister, brother, father, mother, best friend, school teacher, or cashier at the grocery store. It doesn't affect just one type of person or race, it's across the board.

Should you be afraid of someone with a mental disorder? Nope. There's nothing to fear. Instead, love, understand, and care for the person. Help if you can and take your cues from them on how to help.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Evils of Medication

In a perfect world, we would never need anti-anxiety and depression medication. We would be perfectly happy with everything that we were given and every situation that we face. There would be no shame associated with needing the medication nor would there be a feeling of failure if you have to take it. It simply wouldn't exist. Until we reach eternity, that just simply isn't the case. Here in this sinful, fallen world, we need medicine sometimes to help us through our lives. Sometimes things get so overwhelming that assistance is needed.

I always find it ironic that most people are willing to take pain relievers when they have a headache or antacids when they have indigestion, but they are scared to take their anti-anxiety or depression medication when they need it. I haven't been able to decide if it is a fear of the medicine because it's strong enough to need a prescription or if it is a fear of what it stands for. So what does it stand for?

I am a sinner. I am a failure. I cannot control myself on my own, I need something to stabilize me. That is a crippling thing to think that it stands for! It makes one out to be nothing; someone who cannot function without help. It makes it so that we are not self-sufficient and that is something that we do not want to be. On top of it, what will others think of us? Will they think that we are crazy and that we should be avoided? Will I be shunned in society?

Unfortunately, if this is what admitting the disorder and taking the medication entails, many people want nothing of it. They would rather suffer in their own personal hells alone than admit to the problem, and in that they have a prison of their own making, spiritually and socially.

Socially, if you don't have something to stabilize you and you really need it, people are going to shun and avoid you. If you cannot control your temper, your depression, your incessant worry, and the like, people are going to steer clear of you because they don't want to deal with such negativity! They are dealing with enough on their own!!! They don't want to carry your burdens because they are overflowing onto their lives. They will try for a while, but eventually, they just won't be able to keep up with their stuff and yours. Untreated disorders bring exactly what some see medication as bringing: detachment from others. If cognitive behaviour therapy and other natural means control your disease, congrats! For those that it doesn't work for, remember that untreated is so much worse than treated!

Spiritually speaking, it's an even bigger mess. This idea that we can do it on our own without any help can spill over into our life with God as well. After all, if you think you can beat your disorder on your own, you might very well start to think that you can beat your sin on your own, too. All of the diseases on earth have one common root: sin. This root means that no matter how much we try to prolong or improve life, the wages of sin is death and that means disease as well, including depression and anxiety. It has many varieties, but the cause is all the same and we know that we cannot defeat sin on our own. If we could, there would be no need for Christ. Christ, who felt everything we felt, including anxiety that caused Him to sweat His blood, was perfect in keeping all the Commandments so that He was given as a perfect sacrifice for the redemption of His people. He did it all for us because we couldn't. Sometimes that's how God works with medication, too. When we are in our depths and cannot help ourselves, God works through means- a tablet or capsule- to alleviate the disorder within it. Spiritually, He gives His body and blood in with and under the bread and wine in Holy Communion as the medicine of immortality, and the medication for our disorders as the specific and temporary balm for our brand of sin.

Do I think medication is evil? Not when you really need it, so don't fear it. Instead, respect it and give glory to God that you have been given a gift by Him to help you work through your disorder.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Stiff Upper Lip

Sometimes the mask is just hard to maintain. It's hard to pretend like everything is okay when you want to cry your eyes out. It's hard to look at the world and smile when on the inside you are a writhing mess. You want to cry out to the world the pain that you feel inside only to know that they either won't care or will turn a deaf ear. Sometimes these moments last for hours and sometimes for days. Sometimes the silence of your own pain is as deafening as a concert at Summerfest. Either way, it is hard to be at home feeling the hurt and the rejection and then walk outside and smile to the rest of the world acting as if there is nothing to care about. It's hard to have the anxiety of a dreaded upcoming moment masked by the proper way to behave in public, that is, act like nothing is the matter. Wouldn't it be easier if we could just fall apart sometimes and let people know how we really feel without the bumpers of society? That sort of raw emotion is especially hard to process when it is a mix of anxiety and anger.

However, as Christians, it is important that we do just that. It is important that we bumper our raw emotions because we don't know how others might take it. In helping rid ourselves of hurt we don't want to hurt others. That is sin. It's not that simple, though, and often we fail. There are times that our emotional outbursts do hurt others and in our expression of raw emotions, we don't always say what we mean. In those times, it is Jesus' forgiveness that covers our failures, our sins. We ask the forgiveness of Christ and others in those moments and work to do better next time.

I haven't had one of those moments recently, but I fear that I will tomorrow. Pray for me that I keep myself in check but also do what needs to be done.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What to Do When You Can't Do Anything Else

I'm an easy one to peg in a tough situation. I am the worrier. I worry about everything. From how people are going to react to the logistics of what the outcome of the situation might be, I worry. I worry about things that never cross most people's minds. Let there be no doubt about this. This type of worry is a sin. What's worse, there seems to be nothing I can do about it. Oh, I can read the self-help books. I can get stubborn and decide it's not going to bother me. I can dig my heels in and use every technique I have learned to help myself get through it. However, when all of these are said and done, they are merely coping strategies. They are things to ease me out of the tangled mess I get myself into internally each time I worry about what is happening in the world around me. The truth is, the moment I worry and take the situation out of God's hands and try to do something about it, even by just worrying about it, I have sinned. It has become second nature to me to do so in every stressful situation. Scratch that, it was first nature to begin with according to my old Adam. I was born this way- blind, dead, and an enemy of God. My worry may be how that particular reality manifests itself, but it is a sin. The wages of sin is death, the Lord says (Romans 6:23).

That seems very accurate for my worry, too. When I get the old anxiety motor revving, I feel rather dead inside. I want to do something to fix that feeling too, but I can't. Again, I can work to overcome it eventually, but at its core when it first starts, I am powerless. It's just there. It's sickening and hard and I can't just wave my hand and make it go away.

That's the start of the blessing about this disease, however. If I could wave my hand and make it go away, I might get cocky about it. I might just think that if I can cure myself of this anxiety, I might be able to do other things, like cure myself of sin. After all, my particular brand of sin, namely anxiety and worry, is still just as sinful as other things that people struggle with in their lives. So, by not being able to cure myself at the root, like I would like to, I have to rely on something outside of myself to make me right inside.

So, off I go to the hospital I go, where I receive the medicine to cure my ailing flesh. It is a weekly thing for me and I cannot even really take credit for going, for if He hadn't called me to be His own, I think I would still be trying to cure my anxiety apart from Him through some other means. The hospital is the Church, where I receive forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. The medicine is the Medicine of Immortality, namely Christ's body and blood, given to me in, with, and under the bread and wine in Holy Communion. I was called by Him in my baptism, where He marked me as His own through ordinary water and the Word of God.

Where I drown in the weight of my sin, including anxiety, God plucks me from the murky waters and crowns me as a princess in His kingdom. He works through things like self- help books, psychologists, medicine, and His pastors to give me a glimpse of what has already happened to me that I cannot fully see yet. The anxiety has already been overcome. I have been made whole again already by Christ's death on the cross. I know it is true and that I will have an anxiety free body and life in heaven because Christ rose from the dead and I, too, shall rise again, and with all the saints, live sin free, anxiety free, and worry free in heaven with my God forever.