This is day 25 of 31 Days of Songs and Stories. For an index of all the posts in the series, click here.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are guest post days, and today we have a post from Marie Gregg. Marie’s book Distant Lights: Poems Along The Way, which chronicles her struggle with anxiety and depression, releases today. I’m delighted to feature part of her story here, and I encourage you to check out her book to read some more.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me. Let me hide myself in Thee…
Hiding is one of the overarching themes of my life. Anxiety beats in my heart, often drowning out the unique natural rhythm God gave it. What if this happens? What if that? How will handle x, y, z? What if I am left alone, abandoned, unloved? How can I cope?
They come in waves, these fearful questions. Months can pass with (relatively) calm waters. I feel secure. I know in Whom I have believed and I am persuaded that He will not abandon me, that He will do what He has set out to do (2 Timothy 1:12, Deuteronomy 31:6, Philippians 1:6). I am confident. I am fierce, because the Holy Spirit within is bold and strong.
And then, always unexpectedly, I am the opposite.
Small. Weak. Hopeless.
Beads of sweat gather on my forehead and tears sting my eyes. My mind races. I know that I have descended into irrationality. I know that I was born with a broken physical brain, one prone to flooding itself with norepinephrine. I know that God is real.
There’s a vast chasm between knowing and feeling. The crashing, banging, destructive waves pound against me, threatening to tear away the truth that I have staked my very soul upon. The voice of evil is carried by the currents, screaming so loudly that I can hear nothing else. You are alone. You aren’t safe. God doesn’t love you.
Thou must save, and Thou alone…
Split-second decisions must be made in these moments. Am I going to listen to that hissing, the sound of one who speaks nothing but lies, or will I cry out, “Abba! Daddy! Come save me!”? Am I going to operate on what I feel, which is transitory, or on what I know, which is forever?
I wish I could say that I always make the right choice. I don’t. Just recently I lost a battle. I didn’t want to fight anymore. It was too hard, too tiring. I forgot that I don’t have to operate in my own strength. I went to the dark place. After all, did I not belong there? The waters rose high, up to my chin, then beneath my nose. There was no freedom to draw deep breath. No sense of space. I held the figurative rock of condemnation over my own head, ready to enact the crushing blow. How the Enemy rejoiced!
Nothing in my hand I bring. Simply to Thy Cross I cling…
Anxiety brings with it a terrible stupor. Numbness. An inability to act. On my own, I am lost to it.
Two beautiful words, are they not? But God. He sees. He knows.
And He intervenes.
In that quiet voice, the one that whispers yet overpowers all others, He reminds me that I am His. That He is with me. That I am not hopeless. Small and weak, perhaps, but He doesn’t mind. He loves that about me, because He can show Himself strong on my behalf. I don’t have to listen to the vicious spite of a defeat foe. I don’t have to be in this place. I may lose a battle, but I will not lose the war.
Because He has won it for me.
I can hide myself in Him.
He shall protect me in every storm.
Marie Gregg lives in the Inland Northwest of the United States with her husband and two fat, neurotic dogs. She loves studying Scripture, libraries and chocolate. She just released her first book, Distant Lights: Poems Along the Way, which chronicles her struggle with anxiety and depression. You can connect with her over at her blog, Along the Way, or on her Facebook page.