For the last year or so, I've been battling with anxiety. Weren’t expecting me to drop that on you, were you? [Before you burst out into some Christianese, it's okay to be transparent, sometimes]. I had my moments in the past, but as time went on, my anxiety began to grow and I became anxious about many things. A simple comment that didn't phase me before would now have me panicking within seconds. Keywords and phrases used now had the ability to conjure anxiety in my heart. They are what I call “trigger words.” Words, that when spoken, could invoke fear in your heart.
Here are questions that caused me to be anxious, and how I put my eyes back on the cross.
When are you getting married?
Also known as
“Why are you single?” and/or
“So no one is looking at you?”
I’ve been single longer than I’ve been saved. Do the math. Because of this and my amazing age, I get asked from parents and peers, “when are you walking down the aisle?” I Initially, never had an automatic response, whenever I was asked that abruptly. Instead of standing on His word or His promise, I got overwhelmed and thought that because I was single and nowhere close to the altar, something was wrong with me. If I was anxious, I was defensive. Instead of resting in the peace of my single story, I reacted outside my identity and nature. To make matters worst, my mom constantly reminded me that she got married at 22. Because of this, keywords and phrases, such as “When I was your age” or “married,” could have me hyperventilating in the corner.
After a while, I had to ask myself, why am I becoming anxious about not being married? Did I even want to be married at this moment? Once I realized that I didn't feel that the season to be married was here or even on the horizon, I was able to cast off other’s expectation of me.
I learned to trust the direction the Lord was leading me and stop conforming to the plans of others. Can we say “no more shackles, no more chains?”
I felt a huge burden lift off my chest. Now I can enjoy The Friendzone in peace.
Why don’t you eat?
also formed as
“You need to gain weight”
“Have you eaten yet?”
As a former chubby toddler, I think my mom prayed for a smaller child a little too fervently, because God answered her prayers, exceedingly and abundantly more than she could ask for or imagine. Despite being skinny as a teen, I've never really struggled to add weight. I was increasing my body mass as I gradually aged. That is until I got to college. In college, my lifelong battle with depression worsened and manifested into suicidal thoughts. When I returned for my junior year of college, I had lost over 20 lbs and had a lot of my friends really concerned about my health. Six years later, I have yet to gain that weight back. I never before cared that I was petite until people started to voice their concern for me to gain weight.
I never understood the urgency to gain weight. If I gain more weight, would I be a better Christian? If I gained more weight, will the word of God be more evident in my life? Or is it that if I gained more weight, I would be taken more seriously as an adult? Or better yet, if I gained more weight, I would be more appealing to the opposite sex?
We have to learn to stop objectifying the human body. By objectifying the human body, we are creating a micro-culture of pornification within the Christian community.
The same way we are sensitive (well some of us are) to not ask a barren woman when she will produce kids, is the same manner we should approach others who struggle with different aspects of life.
Back to topic. How did I stop being anxious about being petite? I came to the realization that the power of God is able to operate in any vessel that is willing to be used. When I realized that weight gain is a carnal issue in life and my identity and purpose wasn't connected to my body, I stopped caring what man thought of me.
So what are you up to?
Also asked as
Although this is a very broad question, we all know the specific details it is asking. The “Who, What, Where, and When” of your season can provoke you to just think of the “Why me?” and the “How, Sway?”
Many people are not aware of this, but for the first quarter of 2017, I was unemployed.
I know. A whole Urban Disciple with no job. Just home (barely), chilling as I watched my peers “contribute to society.” Whenever at social gatherings, I would “engage” in this annoying social construct called “small talk.” During small talk, people ask the same questions they asked at past gatherings--I guess to make sure that their vague info of you is still accurate in their database. It actually took me some time and many failed interviews to be humble and transparent enough to say, “Oh, I'm currently unemployed at the moment.”
I stopped letting others possible reactions determine my level of transparency and my contentment in my season.
How’s your walk?
“What's God teaching you?” and/or “what is the Lord saying to you?”
I have a friend who asks this question as a funny icebreaker to disturb the silence in social gather. Unlike her, most people ask this question in all seriousness. I can't recall a time where my walk was peachy and rosy. Since entering sonship, my walk has been a roller coaster of emotions, challenges and divine encounters with the Lord. I realized that was okay. The christian walk was not meant to be that way. Every challenge is a chance to grow as a believer and draw closer to God. So don't feel ashamed of your journey. It wasn't meant to be made perfect, you were.
I pray this blog post helped you receive some sort of peace. A lot of the time, most of us worry about other’s thoughts and responses to us. We allow it to dictate our thought process and therefore, our actions and behavior. That's not of God. It's time we allow God to make us whole in His love and rest. Cast down every anxious thought you have at His feet right now. Be anxious for nothing. Fear not, for the Lord is with you.