My anxiety abides within my gut, within my skin, within countless compromises and desperate attempts to be accepted. My anxiety abides.
My anxiety abides within my biology, within my earliest memories, within restless sleep and twisted dreams, within racing thoughts, shifting eyes, fidgeting legs, and perpetual foreboding anticipations. My anxiety abides.
My anxiety is a tide ebbing and flowing or maybe it’s a moon waxing and waning. Then again, maybe it is more like an ill-trained beast continually regressing. Regardless, my anxiety is more than a feeling, it is a substance that I wade through every single day of my life. My anxiety abides like breath, like heartbeat, like thought and flesh.
My anxiety seeps through partitions and resists all attempts at compartmentalization. It does not take vacations, nor honor truces. It scoffs at all logical and illogical forms of negotiation. It hems and haws at all attempts to draw boundaries and borders. In both the public and private corners of my life, my anxiety abides.
When the party is over, the lights are out, the doors are locked, and the people have all gone home, my anxiety abides. It waits for me like a pestering friend whose insecurities require a private conversation after every public event. It’s a conversation I don’t want to have. It’s a moment I don’t want to feel. So often, when I’m alone, my anxiety abides.
So what are the answers? Medicine … meditation … prayer … scripture … counseling … companionship … and other worthy solutions come to mind. To be sure, I’ve found many ways to stem the tide, push back the urge, and live a very full life in the face of genuine struggles.
Even so, today I prefer another path. Today I choose to simply write and speak about this little struggle of mine. I choose to let the world in on a not-so-hidden secret. Doug Bursch is an anxious man, who was once a very anxious little boy. Even so, he is doing more than just alright. He has a really great marriage, a good family, and a genuinely wonderful calling as a pastor, evangelist, radio show host, and columnist.
However, even though Doug loves his life, he still struggles with anxiety. He still has areas of his life that feel broken, undone, incomplete, and marred by the weight of living in a fallen world.
The good news is rather simple. You and I are not defined by our faults, struggles and weaknesses. We are not measured by our feelings, thoughts and habits. No, we have a better measurement to comfort us when we face troubling times and troubling conditions. We have a confidence that we are dearly loved by God. Not only are we dearly loved, but we are deeply known by our Creator.
Even when I feel the weight of my anxieties, I am confident I have a loving father God who is with me and able to give me what I need to stand. I am confident my God knows me and knows what I need. More importantly, I am confident that His love is greater than whatever else might define me. I am confident that eventually my anxiety will fade in the light of eternity. Even more, I am certain that my heavenly Father’s love will always abide.
“Live from Seattle with Doug Bursch” can be heard 4-6 p.m. weekdays on KGNW 820 AM. Doug Bursch also pastors Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets at 10 a.m. Sundays at 2407 M St. SE next to Pioneer Elementary School. He can be reached at www.fairlyspiritual.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.