Sunday, July 17, 2016

Fighting Anxiety

Fighting anxiety is, to me, almost an oxymoron.
Anxiety consumes me.

Hard as I try, I am one of the most stressed people I know. And on top of that, I am aware of how blessed I am, in my home, in my country, in the world. This leaves me laden down with immense guilt. I want to 
live a happier life...and I want to have inner peace.

There was a time about nine months ago, when I desperately sought comfort and peace. And I received it. I wrote about it for those of you interested in the summarized version. Scroll back a few posts to the blog How I Met God. It was during a most desperate prayer, on the worst day of my life since my divorce at 21, that I felt the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

Now, since then, I have gone up and down with feelings of comfort. Sometimes I can bear the burdens placed on my shoulders and other times I am overcome with grief. I distinctly remember that night I prayed fervently for the stillness, the quiet, soft, cloak of the Spirit of God to just-momentarily-help me survive the bedlam I was in. 

Today, I am suffering from a great deal of pain. I have counted my blessings and tried to remain positive. But I also thought, Hey, why not blog about the Spirit in an effort to invite it? I desire the comfort of the Holy Spirit and, for those of you who aren't familiar with its presence, I'll tell you what it feels like to me.

Close your eyes. 

(open them to read)

Imagine yourself describing the sun to a deaf person. Would you take them outside at noonday, let them feel the prickle of sunshine on their skin, see the reddish flare on the backs of their eyelids, and feel the sheen of perspiration on their neck from heat? What does it LOOK like? How does it brighten the world? What does the world look like without it? Now, stand inside of an enclosed area, like a tent. There are no windows, yet you can sense the sun outside. If is still hot and bright, and you KNOW it is there even though you aren't directly looking at it.

To me, the Holy Spirit is similar. It is something you aren't looking at. The way you feel it is different from someone else, and the sensations can be so subtle, or multiple sensations combined. They will each have a varied effect on your body. Regardless, once you've felt it and seen in, you cannot deny its existence. 

To me, the Spirit FEELS like the waves of the ocean. 

Close your eyes.

(Open to read)

Imagine yourself on a beach. You lay back in the sand, sunshine tingling your skin, and you pull out your phone to call someone who has never been the the coast. They have never seen the sea. They have never heard with their own ears the lull of waves rolling, crashing, retreating. They ask you to describe it to them.

The Holy Spirit is a constant. It is soft, quiet, but easily distinguishable. There is nothing else like it. As it grows near, the volume grows slightly. It increases in a roll, a hum, a buzz that you can feel within you. It crashes and slithers over the surface, spreading, covering you in a thin layer. And it retreats in the same manner, lethargically withdrawing but only so far. It might even take something with it, put into the great unknown. You can still hear it, see it, and the feeling of it on your skin stays moist long after. Once you've dried, and you wish to feel it again, the waves of comfort approach a second time. Calmly, repeatedly, methodically. It's persistence and undeniability stand as a reminder, that this is your most peaceful place. No matter what, these waves will keep on rolling up onto shore. Sometimes in large currents, sometimes in mild swells hardly visible, but the hit the sand just the same. They roar in a humble, mellow song over, and over, and you cannot help but be entranced by it.  You may walk away from the ocean, you may find yourself deep inland, or in a dry, barren desert, but one day you will feel the sea call to you. And you will follow your feet back to the water. 

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