Faith, Thoughts

Life in the place where faith and anxiety intersects

Many people think that having a bit of anxiety means you have no faith.  This is far from the truth.  It’s not a lack of faith that causes anxiety.  Anxiety comes as a result of the love you have for family and friends, people you care about.  It is the outcome of the myriad of thoughts that arise concerning the future care of loved ones.  It is impossible to truly love someone and never have a measure of anxiety.  That does not mean that faith is not present.  Anxiety is what keeps us conscious of our priorities, of what is important to us.  The trick is to not let it overwhelm us.

Faith gives us the strength to move forward in the dark tunnels we sometimes find ourselves in.  Having faith does not diminish the possibility of the occasional anxiety attack.  This is why it’s always good to share your experiences with people you trust, people who you know will add to your faith to keep you going forward, people who have the ability to help lower the anxiety level to clear your mind with words or with just their presence.  I am immensely grateful for my family and the small circle of friends that I have been blessed to be connected to with whom I am able to share and pray.  They keep me balanced and grounded.

I have recently experienced quite a bit of physical challenges.  One, in particular, landed me in the ER.  The issue was life-threatening.  Needless to say, in spite of it all, I was more concerned with who will be there for my family than I was about myself.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am much more concerned about my health, more now than ever before, because of the people that I care about.  It is because of them and my desire to be there for and with them that I made better health choices.  After some meditation, I realized that this is what caused me to feel anxious.

These are the moments when you can clearly define why you are here, why you are alive, why you insist on living.  We all entertain the question of why we are here and what our purpose is, but we don’t really define the reasons within ourselves until we are faced with situations that force us to make those definitions.  We normally don’t clearly define our priorities in order of what is most important to ourselves as opposed to what is important to others.  Faith mixed with a pinch of anxiety does indeed sharpen your perspective and your worldview and gives you a more clear view of your place in the bigger picture and how you are connected to so many others.  No one is an island.  We are all connected in some way, which is why, to some degree, there will always be moments of anxiety in our lives, even as we walk in faith.

3 thoughts on “Life in the place where faith and anxiety intersects

  1. Anxiety, depression and panic attacks are diseases just like cancer, heart disease or hypertension. For many People these are not temporary issues but life long diseases that you learn to live with. Even the most eminent doctors don’t know the causes. Could be a traumatic event, head injury or hereditary.

    Over most of my adult life I’ve been in and out of doctors offices plus being hospitalized for depression. However many Christians and a few churches still ostracize folks with these illnesses. The stigma is still there and Lord knows Christians are judgmental.

    There is no mercy or compassion for anyone who battles these type illnesses on a daily basis. That’s why People stay quiet because you don’t know how others even folks you’ve known for years will react. Especially church People.

    1. You are right. These are issues that many, not all, deal with the entire span of their lives. And the root causes, for many, remain unknown.
      I don’t know what all you have experienced in your journey, but try not to paint all Christians and churches with a broad brush. The sin of being judgmental rests on many of all types of faiths.
      But know that there are many of us who do indeed care. It breaks my heart to think that your experiences have made you believe that mercy and compassion are not available to you and others who share your plight.

      1. I don’t judge the entire church world. In fact I recently joined a Baptist church near my home. Also even with my crazy schedule at the Museum I made time for church as much as possible even if I only attended mid-week Bible study.

        Now with nervous breakdowns spreading to the clergy church leaders are dropping judgments and recognizing mental illness as a disease that can and does affect everyone regardless of station in life. No one is immune.

        Gradually the Black community is removing their blinders but you still have many Christians who see mental illness as a character flaw and a personal failing. Trust me when I say that nobody asks or wants to be a pariah within their community. However I’ve lost several Christian friends when I confided in them therefore I choose to remain silent.

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