Learning to Breathe in the Midst of Anxiety

If there was a phrase to describe how it feels in this season of my life, it would be I feel like I’m “holding my breath”.

I have so many new things happening that there’s not really much of a ‘normal’ right now. Oldest has graduated and moved a million miles away. Youngest is counting down the days to her first day of preschool. I’ve started a new business. I’m about to launch another blog and consulting service. And I’m holding my breath. I have no idea what the next 6 months will look like or what they will bring.

I’m a little afraid – which I talked a bit about HERE a few weeks ago. But there’s also a lot of excitement for this place I’ve never been before. So, I’m holding my breath.

But, as I hold my breath, anxiety seems to creep in. What if’s seem to fill my head as my lungs don’t release air. What if something happens with Jaci and we can’t get there? What if Journey cries at preschool and doesn’t want to go back? What if my business flops and I lose my {minor} investment and the time I’ve spent trying to build it? What if I have no idea what I’m doing with my blog and consulting venture? 

It’s in these moments that the Lord breathes His breath into my lungs and reminds me to “just breathe”. Breathe in His peace, rest in His presence. Be excited and know that He has me – no matter what happens.

And so. Every time I realize I’m holding my breath in life. I exhale. I let Him fill my lungs with peace and I exhale that suffocating anxiety. And I remember His promises in Psalm 23…

The Lord is my Fierce Protector and my Pastor.

I always have more than enough.

He offers a resting place for me in His luxurious love.

His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.

That’s where He restores and revives my life.

He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure, 

and leads me along in His footsteps of righteousness,

so that I can bring honor to His name.

Lord, even when Your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness

fear will never conquer me, for You already have!

You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way.

Your authority is my strength and my peace,

the comfort of Your love takes away my fear.

I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.

You become my delicious feast even when my enemies dare to fight.

You anoint me with the fragrance of Your Holy Spirit;

You give me all I can drink of You until my heart overflows.

So why would I fear the future?

For I’m being pursued only by Your goodness and unfailing love.

Then afterwards – when my life is through, 

I’ll return to Your glorious presence 

to be forever with You!

(The Passion Translation)

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