Today it happened again.
I’m ashamed. Embarrassed. Frustrated. And, honestly, feeling a little defeated.
I thought I’d come so far. I thought this was behind me. But then….it just happened.
However, that’s not exactly true. It didn’t JUST happen. It had been coming for awhile. There wasn’t just one decision that made it happen. There were lots of little decisions. Lots of moments where I caved…even if only a tiny bit. All those miniscule cracks eventually shattered and now I find myself sitting in a pile of rubble. Of broken glass. Of tears. Of cuts and bruises and blood.
For the past five years, many of you have walked this journey of anxiety and fear with me. And I want more than anything to tell you I’ve beat it. That it’s over. That it’s behind me.
That I’ve been victorious.
But I can’t.
Yesterday I might have said differently. But today I know I still have some road to travel. I still have some demons to fight.
I haven’t had a panic attack since May…..until today. And I’ve been so proud of that fact. But the truth is that the past few weeks I’ve struggled. Sure, I put on a brave face and pretended it was all good. But deep down, I let fear take root. I’m dealing with some health stuff again – nothing horrible. But some of the same stuff I dealt with 5 years ago when this anxiety began to eat me alive. And instead of turning to God, I turned to my usual outlets – namely GOOGLE. Instead of giving me the relief I craved so much, it made me spin more and more and more. Then this morning I snapped.
And I felt like a full-blown loser.
The enemy was all over it too, whispering all the same venomous lies in my ear that he always does. Let’s face it, he’s not creative.
And tonight I’m sad.
Sad that I caved. Sad that I let him win.
But I’m also happy, and proud and hopeful because I’m not defeated. This is only a setback. I’ve had them before and I’ll have them again. My biggest mistake today wasn’t the panic attack. It was the shame I felt afterward.
God never wants me to feel shame. He is full of grace, mercy and truth. And when I finally lifted my eyes to him, that’s all I saw. He wasn’t shaking his finger at me. He loves me. He has grace for me.
Instead of shaming me, he held me.
And I know I’ll be okay. I’ll never be perfect. I’ll still fall. I’ll still stumble. I’ll probably still panic every now and then. But I won’t quit. I won’t give in. I’ll surrender to God time and time again. I’ll lay my fear at His feet.
And one of these days, maybe, just maybe I’ll leave it there for good.