Anxiety is a reality of life. It can come upon you like a thief in the night, robbing you of your sense of well-being. I can name dozens of anxiety-producing circumstances in my life: my kidney disease, my son, my grandchildren, financial issues, my husband’s health. The list could go on and on.
Admittedly, the sources of anxiety are diminishing in a very real way, because my life has settled into a predictable and comfortable pattern. My anxiety is smaller because I have a village that supports me. My anxiety is less troublesome because I am slowly learning to lean on God more fully. My anxiety is less because I am learning how to enjoy nature and the simple things of life.
My anxiety is lessening because my previous career is over, and because of that, I have given up the feeling that I am responsible for changing the world, caring for every victim of violence, protecting every abused child, and making sure that perpetrators get what they deserve.
I lived most of my life under the delusion that I could actually do all of that, and every time I failed, anxiety took over my being. It was not a good way to live. Fortunately, those years are over, and in the past two years, I have learned the most valuable lesson of all, and it is found in the words of the Psalmist in the 94th Psalm.
If the Lord had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul . . .
The Lord has become my stronghold,
and my God the rock of my refuge.
There is a beautiful hymn that speaks of hiding my soul in the cleft of the rock and of God’s hand covering me. You may want to listen to the hymn on YouTube at this link: