Quietness: The Anxiety Antidote

morning-desk

Isaiah 30:15
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In [repentance] and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

I wish I could say this is how I live all the time, that at every turn my heart is quiet and I am trusting God. But it’s simply not the case. This world we live in gets the better of me sometimes. Shock, sadness, and disappointment fed my anxiety this week, but I recognized it for what it was and knew where to go with it. Thank God for the 5 am quiet. 

Who knew I would ever thank God for 5 am??

I don’t know why I am still surprised when Godly people turn out to be fallen creatures who are just as in need of God’s grace as everyone else. Or that brokenness is sometimes the tool God uses to shape a life like nothing else can. Or by that helpless feeling that creeps in as I watch the look of disappointment on my son’s face when the job interview didn’t go as planned. Or even by the recent news that the failing health of a dear friend just got worse.

Life is hard.

As each of these circumstances threatened to dominate my mind this week, I whispered a desperate prayer throughout my day: “Jesus, help me…” Just saying his name caused the tension to loosen its grip and I could breathe again.

God is good…All the time.

It is when I lose sight of that that the anxiety slides back in, threatening to take control. I want to be the strong one, the one that can somehow fix what is going on. But this need to fix things, this need for control is what feeds the anxiety. I sit here and worry about things only to come to the realization that they are simply beyond my control. The illusion begins to crumble and I look for ways to escape this feeling, to find peace again. But the strength I am looking for doesn’t come from anything I do, it comes from what He has done. 

…in quietness and trust shall be your strength.

It is only because of His sacrifice that we have the priceless privilege to sit in His presence, at any time, to let the quietness wash over our anxious heart, to let go and fully trust in Him. This is where strength of heart is born, not in anything we do, but in who we trust.

Your feedback is such a blessing to me. I would love to hear what you are discovering in the quietness, or to pray for you if you can’t seem to get there. A simple comment or reply might be exactly what someone else needs to hear to realize that they are not alone. No matter how big or small your community is, your faithful influence in their life might be just the thing they need today.

5 Comments

  1. Very beautifully written and communicated. THIS is exactly why I have kept this habit for over 35 years. It changes my perspective….to His perspective when I am facing these very things. This habit did not come naturally or easily for me. I shared my story on Terah’s facebook page. And after I started getting up early I had to battle things that tried to keep me from continuing with this habit. Fortunately, I had a friend who encouraged me through those tough times.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Mom! I have always admired your early morning rising but I thought I just wasn’t built for that. I am still committed to this for 30 days, but I know there will be carry over into my habits beyond that. No where else in the day when I am homeschooling 3 kids, am I able to find a chunk of time like this just to be quiet and think.

      Reply
  2. I don’t know if it’s because I am listing to some emotional instrumental music with headphones while I read this or if it’s because I hear the emotion in how you write or if it’s knowing my nephew experiences disappointment. Whatever it was, it make my heart ache for you and your family. It makes me want to hug you and drop off a casserole for you and your family to enjoy so it could just relieve one small stress and pressure of your day. Then I read mom’s response and it emphasized my emotions and I think it’s reading true venerability. People I love and care about showing life isn’t easy and how critical it is that we all have someone to be vulnerable with, who truly knows us and is there for us…

    Reply
    • Awwww, Shem, thank you. You have always had a deep empathy for others. Although there have been some hard things this week don’t miss that my peace comes from trusting in God. When He is the one I am most vulnerable with I find peace that ai can find in no other way. So, while I may have gone deep in my writing know that God did not leave me or my family in that place. There have been smiles and family bonding in the midst of what life brings.

      Reply
  3. Your vulnerability and openness is brave and will draw your readers in. I love it!

    I had my own “light bulb moment” earlier this evening with the realization that I need to build a quiet time into my afternoon schedule to “get me through” to the evening. This post was a great confirmation of that for me. Thank you!

    Reply

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