Do I Trust in GAD or GOD?

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.

I digress.

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.

OR

  • 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.


Do I trust in GAD or GOD?

How to Have Faith Like a Child and Choose Brave

If you’re always happy you’d never get the chance to be brave…” Emerson, aka. “Tiny pants”

How to have faith like a child and choose brave

There is a woman in our town that takes walks down the road almost every day. She walks a distance and then finds herself a street corner and dances, lifting her hands up, twirling around and waving at those passing by.

I’m not sure why she does this, everyone has their opinions on the matter. What I do know is that I have three boys that think she’s hilarious. They’ve dubbed her “the dancing lady.”

On a random Tuesday afternoon, my nine-year-old pointed out “the dancing lady” as we drove by.

“Mom, she’s just always happy, isn’t she?”

I glanced over to the right while driving, “Yeah, I guess she is.”

Emerson continued watching the “dancing lady” as we continued on.

“I think I’d like to feel like her all the time,” I commented nonchalantly with a smile in my rearview mirror.

“I wouldn’t want to.” He reflected while watching the world pass by outside his window.

“What do you mean?” I asked, meeting his pale blue eyes in the mirror.

“Well, if you were always happy, you’d never get the chance to be brave.” He stated matter of factly.

I couldn’t help but smile. “Yes… that’s really true.”

We pulled into the driveway a few minutes later and he ran off inside, on to the next thing with no clue as to how profound his words were.

The chance to be brave

I have kept those words close to my heart.

There is wisdom to be found in the words spoken by my nine-year-old on that random Tuesday afternoon.

I believe that children can be brave in ways that many adults don’t know how to be.

Mostly because I’ve watched my boys do scary things time and again, in spite of the fear they felt.

Like the time my middle son was brand new to baseball and his coach called him in to be the pitcher for the first time.

(He is his mama’s son and deals with anxiety as well; *sigh* sorry son.)

He was terrified to pitch but wanted to try.

I watched him walk up to the pitcher’s mound, heart pounding, palms sweaty and nerves on edge. Anxiously glancing my way every once in a while for support.

Everything he was feeling was telling him to run, but he stayed. He pitched.

Was he the best?

No.

But he did his best.

You could see how he walked a little taller after coming off of that pitcher’s mound with a few strikes under his belt.

He wore those strikes— as well as the walks— as a badge of honor.

Because he chose bravery.

Humble like a child…

It’s no wonder that Jesus gave instructions for people to become like a child;

Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18: 4

Children see things through eyes unpolluted by the world. Faith in a God that doesn’t make sense on an intellectual level isn’t all that hard for a child.

They realize, unlike most adults, that maybe they don’t know it all.

They still live in a world of possibilities and believe in the likelihood of the unseen.

It humbles me when I look at things through their perspective.

When I’m upset or anxious, my very first thought is not a chance for bravery or for humility. My first thought is the preservation of my perfect environment — “How do I get rid of this?!”

Instead of chasing down happy at every turn, I can choose bravery instead.

Sometimes simply being content right where we are is choosing brave. Contentment in those hard moments isn’t easy but it’s so worth it. And we can be assured that something bigger and better is being built from them.

I am still amazed by his comment.

I’m a proud mama knowing he’d rather take the opportunities to be brave over being happy all of the time.

It sounds a bit like the faith God asks us to have.

To trust that this isn’t all there is—the bad, the ugly and all this in-between—there is so much more. We just have to choose brave in the meantime.

The simple faith of a child…

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss my opportunities to be brave.

I realize they can come in the tiniest of moments.

And what I’ve come to find, is that in these moments to choose brave, wisdom often walks right alongside.

Like out of the mouth of my nine-year-old son on a random Tuesday afternoon.


 How to Have faith like a child and Choose Brave.

How to Have Hope Through a Season of Depression

The first bending of my soul from depression was over the summer season, a rather unlikely time to be sad, however, depression doesn’t play by the rules.

So now, when this season of early sunrises and waning light arrives, it brings with it a bittersweet reminder of the time I waited in the middle.

The middle of depression…


How to have hope while waiting through a season of depression.

The summer held two more months of stifling heat but in the gentle breeze I hear the soft sigh of trees, “I grow tired of sprouting leaves and long for autumn’s rest.”

I feel a leaning inward when August tumbles precipitously into September. This time period prompted me, like the trees, to await the relief of another season. Nestled within their shadow’s stretch, the whispers of fall beckon as I longed for the weather to match my soul’s condition.

Depression caused a tenderness in my spirit like a broken arm before a splint. It brought with it an uncomfortable waiting…

For sanity.

Reprieve.

For hope.


Hope in the middle

My mind drifts from the trees to my boy with the chestnut hair and dark eyes as he strolls over. He plops down next to me and lays his head on my shoulder, looking up with lashes a mile long.

“I hate being in the middle.” He exhales as his plump lips tighten into a thin line.

“What do you mean?” I ask gently, feeling his tender heart at that moment.

“I’m stuck in the middle of my brothers. They always get their way because one is older and one is the baby, and it’s not fair.” His sad brown eyes shift over to where his brothers play and relay the seriousness of his situation.

Kissing his forehead, I think of the picture he unknowingly painted with his words. My son grieves his place in the middle and I grieve my waiting during the pain; that complicated, unpleasant in-between.


 Aren’t we all waiting here in the middle?

To be human is to wait. We can find hope in the waiting—a yearning and a stretching towards something greater—often though, we harden during the wait.

We can miss the very best.

The Israelites waited for the promised Messiah, some, having grown tired of the wait missed Him altogether. Walking beside humanity on those dusty roads so very long ago was the very living, breathing, fulfillment of all our waiting.

He wasn’t only missed, he was completely rejected. He didn’t look how they thought he should so hearts were hardened and He was sentenced to death.

And now we find ourselves awaiting His return again—sure that we won’t miss Him this time around.

Like my boy, we lament the middle and the places where we feel stuck between the old and the new. We feel destined to never get our way.

And yet…

The middle is where grace is able to meet us best.

It is in the waiting, where He calls us His own. It was in the middle that He came down to us.

Walked beside us.

Wept with us.

Bled for us.

God with us.

The pain finds us here in the middle, somewhere between birth and death.

But so does He.

In the hospital.

At the graveside.

Through the depression.

Before the bad choice.

After the betrayal.

Despite the consequences.

He doesn’t leave us alone in the middle.


Content in the waiting

“We can’t see Him.” My dark-eyed boy answers as I tell Him of the Savior’s presence.

“Can you see the wind?” I question.

“No.” He replies.

Squinting, we gaze heavenward, toward the gentle giants above. “They feel the wind.” I point to the willows that bow low to touch their humble beginnings and sway in the summer’s breeze. “The wind becomes visible because of them.”

“So, you see, there’s no mistake. He placed you perfectly, right there in the middle to help hold up your brothers,” I say with a smile and a kiss on his freckled nose.

The boy with the dark eyes runs off, content for the moment with his place in the middle. And I, once more, find peace in the waiting.


I’m reminded that healing often happens in the waiting.

Because waiting takes faith and faith needs the wait to work properly. I don’t want to make the grave mistake of hardening during the wait and destroying the hope he places right beside me.

So, I wait.

He is here in the wait with me. Just as mighty as those towering willows, which bow low, he bends down to touch the simple. He speaks life through the smallest of places—like a hazel-eyed boy stuck in the middle.

I wait in the summer’s heat, in the middle, bending, but not breaking beneath the gusts of his love. Awaiting, like the trees, for autumns rest.

Here, I find the hope my heart has been longing for.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.” Psalm 130:5 NASB


If you or someone you love experiences depression please know this; you are loved, valued and more precious than you know. Please seek help and seek out someone you trust to talk to about it. Whether you are the one going through the valley or the loved one helping – bringing your pain into the light brings healing.

Please feel free to contact me, I would be privileged to pray for you or your loved one.


 Awaiting Autumns rest-How to have hope through a season of depression.

Where is God When We are Hurting?

Driving down the highway on a cloudy Pacific Northwest afternoon, melancholy engulfed my thoughts.

I found myself stranded on a tiny raft while the shark, depression, circled, seeking the perfect opportunity to devour me.

The parallel between the weather and my mood were not lost on me.

In my scramble for hope, I gazed heavenward with the whisper of one word,“Jesus…” and then trailed off, not sure where to go from there.

I have days like these—dark, listless, ash-colored days—and when I do, loneliness feels closer than Him. It is nearly impossible to remember He is near when He feels so distant.

Where is God when we are Hurting?

Is He even listening?

Cresting a hill, the horizon opened up before me, displaying a gorgeous view of evergreens set against the endless pale sky. Tears began to well in my eyes as frustration filled my heart and spilled out of my mouth to Him.

“Why can’t you just come here and sit next to me? It’s not fair.”

I furrow my brow like a frustrated child and question further, “Why can’t I get to see you like Moses or other people in the bible?”

Just then, as the words fell from my mouth, a glorious ladder of sunshine appeared through the clouds and shone down on the hills in front of me. My breath caught in my throat and in my mind’s eye, I saw God’s hand placing Moses in the cleft of the rock.

In that very moment, a window of understanding opened in my heart as tears rolled down my cheeks.

He hides Himself from us because He loves us.


Then Moses said, “Please show me your glory.”

But He said, “You cannot see my face, for no man can see me and live.”

…Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33:18-23


I admit that because my eyes cannot see Him, I doubt.

It is tempting to want a God I can see physically when I am in pain. Because of this, I accuse Him of not caring enough to be here with me. This world is painful and I am human and I forget there is a good reason I can’t physically sit with Him.

In His graciousness He does not hold this against me, instead, He remembers I am but dust. His spirit nudges my spirit and I am reminded He is in me and I in Him.

No matter how many times doubt invades my faith, I am confident that when I am weak and faithless, He remains faithful. In His own time and in His own way He reminds me;

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself..” 2 Tim. 2:13


He is near

His glory is seen all around; It is the hope found in the whisper of a kind word and a comforting smile. Also, it is the grace we find to continue on in the every day—even the gray, listless ones. It shines down upon Jacob’s ladder, resting on evergreens set against an endless pale sky, which causes a girl at the end of her rope to bow in reverence.

The beauty of this world and the majesty of a new day is simply His back as He passes by and lifts His hand.

He is near after all (He is near to the brokenhearted…Psalm 34:18) and yes, my friend, he is listening. He is moving and working even when we do not see Him with our physical eyes.

I wouldn’t be able to handle Him in all His glory sitting next to me.

I realize now, we wouldn’t want to see Him just yet, not here, not now, not with these eyes.

And so, He lovingly protects me.

There will come a day when my own eyes will behold all of His glory;

“…yet in my flesh, I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold and whom my eyes will see… Job 19:26-27

But until that day, I choose the God that is too big to be seen with my human eyes and instead is seen with eyes of faith. He is the God that does not fit in my finite mind but instead fits perfectly in my heart.


Where is God when we are Hurting?