Do I trust in GAD or GOD? Snazzy little play on words, am I right?! *currently patting my own back. (Don’t worry, if you stick around long enough you’ll get used to my bizarre sense of humor)
And apparent lack of conventional writing rules, like actually discussing what the post is about.
Moving on—I’m assuming you’re here because you know what GAD is, or perhaps you’re curious to know.
GAD is the acronym for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
I was diagnosed with GAD about 17 years ago although I have always dealt with an underlying nervousness or dread. These emotions are quite unexplainable to someone who doesn’t have this struggle.
The most simplistic way to explain GAD is having a nervous, sometimes doomed feeling that follows you literally everywhere and can’t be shaken. (Like that ugly cat that someone dumped off by your house which has decided that you’re it’s lucky new owner and loves to gift you regurgitated mice on your front porch in gratefulness.)
Yes, it’s as delightful as that little scenario.
During extremely stressful times GAD causes me to have a near persistent bombardment of thoughts and feelings about something bad happening, especially in regards to those I love.
Living with GAD
Having an anxiety disorder means I become nervous and anxious beyond what would be considered normal over simple, everyday things. Something like sending my kids to other people’s houses or my teenage son driving can cause panic.
Things that other people find fairly easy to do can be extremely distressing for me and can often lead to a breakdown.
Having GAD also means I
like love normal.
I love routine.
Because you see, it gives me the feeling of being in control (which I think we all know is about as real as a unicorn.) Any deviation from normal leaves me off-balance and out of my element.
My oldest son, for example, just went on a week-long trip across the country.
Oh, I’m sure you can only imagine what fun that was for me!
Every frightening, uncomfortable thought that could materialize in my mind was present. The thoughts reverberated in my brain and down through my body, causing a channel by which everything else in my life funneled through.
I’ve learned to ask myself the same question every time I arrive at this point;
Do I trust in GOD or GAD?
There is always only two options:
- I can trust in GAD—my feelings and thoughts I am experiencing.
- I can trust in God.
It is not easy living with an anxiety disorder that screams that something terrible is around the corner.
Quite frankly, it’s really, really hard.
Although having GAD is terribly difficult, I have found that God is bigger.
I don’t want to trust the crazy, irrational, lying fears and thoughts that race through my mind. I don’t want to live my life being held hostage by fear and what ifs.
I’ve tried that before. Surprisingly, it didn’t turn out too well for me.
Through much trial and error and many, many tears, I know that if I don’t want to believe the crazy in my head and body, I don’t have to. Sound too simplistic? Maybe it is, but it’s also entirely true.
A Spirit of Self-Control
God says He has given me a “sound mind” or “self-control” in 1 Timothy 1:7. In fact, in this exact same scripture, he says that he DID NOT give me a spirit of fear.
GAD tells me to panic and to fear.
GAD also tells me that I can’t control myself and that I have to give in to the anxiety I’m feeling.
In short, GAD makes me feel like a victim.
God shows me I’m not.
I often have to make scary tough decisions and yes, sometimes I shrink away from them. When I do, I must acknowledge that I’ve allowed fear to dictate my life. It can be discouraging.
However, every time I struggle with GAD I look at it as an opportunity to lean in deeper to God.
Does this mean when I choose to trust God that all of the fear falls away?
Simply put, no.
I still feel the uncomfortable, prickly fear feeling that creeps up my neck and descends into my stomach.
GAD still says NOT to let the kids go or NOT to take that new opportunity.
But where does my trust lie? In the anxiety I experience or in the GOD of every experience?
Where does my trust lie? In the anxiety I experience or in the GOD of every experience?Click To Tweet
He has faithfully kept me, faithfully answered prayers and calmed my fears when I have humbly handed over the scary in my head.
He has promised peace and his promises are true.
I may still struggle with GAD but I have more peace walking in courage through the fear than I ever did when I gave in to it.
So, I continue to trust Him.
I don’t always do it perfectly and I’ve been known to fall apart.
But because of His grace and my daily dependence on it, I continue to pick myself back up and move forward on this journey.
I am not a victim.
I am a daughter of the King. (Even if my tiara’s a little crooked.)
I am redeemed.
These struggles and labels that I carry are not what define me and therefore I will not put my trust in them.