If I stopped moving, the panic attack would take over and I would fall apart.
Fear and anxiety were consuming my thoughts, controlling my emotions, and sending me in a tailspin. Wide awake at 3 am, dreading one little block of time – one event that was both necessary and terrifying – I knew that if I stopped physically moving, the ugly crying would start and it wouldn’t stop anytime soon. So, I did dishes, dusted, folded laundry, cleaned counters… anything that would keep me moving without waking Jon. I ran out of things to do and sat down, and the tears came. When Jon woke up, his first words were, “Are you okay?” I couldn’t even answer; I just shook my head as he sat down and put his arms around me. Honestly, I felt silly at this point. One thing – 30 minutes of my morning – was controlling everything. And I couldn’t stop it.
I got busy again. I vacuumed. I decluttered. I talked with Jon as he got ready for work. After he left, in the quiet of the house, I began praying again. My prayers throughout the night had ranged from, “God, I know you are in control and this is not that big of deal,” to, “God, I don’t want to do this and the entire situation is just not fair.” As I started to get myself ready for the day though, a familiar phrase crept into my mind and I began repeating it as my prayer, “God, you are sufficient. Nothing today will change that.” Repeating that phrase settled my heart. There’s nothing magical about the words; the power is in their truth. I believe to my core that God is sufficient. He has proven it repeatedly in my life. When the absolute worst happens, I feel deeply in my soul that God is sufficient.
A good portion of my adult years, the last two to three years specifically, have been dedicated to me trying to prove to others that I am strong, capable, and valuable. I often feel like I have to prove my worth to others, to prove my strength. When these anxiety-producing situations happen, I am reminded of how weak and fragile I really am. I feel like a fraud, displaying a facade of strength to distract from my insecurities and inadequacies.
But God never says that He wants to use our strength, or make us sufficient. He says that His strength, His sufficiency, is manifested through our weaknesses. This struggle to be enough is a worldly one. The beauty of the gospel is that despite all my lack, God loves me and chose to die for me. His all-sufficient grace fills all the voids in my life and covers my insufficiency, working to make me more like Him. I am not called or commanded to make myself good enough. I am called and commanded to pursue what God says is good, starting with the pursuit of God Himself.
This is not a license to sin while saying, “God doesn’t expect me to be perfect.” It is a reminder that the world does not exist to serve us. It is an understanding that I definitely matter, but I matter because of who God is. It is a call to humility, gratitude, relief, and awe that I do not actually have to control this uncontrollable, broken world. It is how we find a peace that passes understanding. God is sufficient – it is a truth that illuminates life’s dark places.