anxiety-altar.

Even though I’ve been done with treatment for a few weeks, I am still tired.

Body weight holding up Atlas-weight worry, anxiety turning small pebbles that should simply fit into my hands are transforming into Atlas-weight on my back. The pebbles, stones are simple—anyone could carry these tasks in their pocket. In fact, you carry these normally: cleaning around the house, writing thank-you cards, grocery shopping, running errands. Pebbles themselves outlining my chest, my ribcage as I’m laying down on m bed, gravity’s hand pushing them further and deeper into me, making breathing, even living itself, difficult.

There is a pair of anxiey-scissors in my hand, snipping and short-circuiting my brain’s neuron pathways, reating empty spaces, moments where suddenly thoughts are jumping off cliffs where there once used to be a safe and secure path. Anxiety, stress on the mind short-circuits the mind, resulting in short-term memory loss.


I’m always so caught up on productivity over relationship.

I don’t want to be that way God.

And I realize that I’m yearning for pre-relapse “normal” life, normal schedule, normal energy and drive, but what if really that wasn’t the best for me even then? (I’m realizing more and more that it may not have been the best.)

How do you lay-low-to-the-ground-repent over something like a busy schedule or too high of expectations for yourself?

I want to change but I don’t know how to do so. And I know now is the time to do so amongst getting back into a “schedule.” I don’t want to over-schedule myself because I love poductivity over relationship. Help me to value relationship just as You value it.

Help me to reset in the enough call that You give me and to be joyful and content in the moment.

I don’t want my life to be all caught up in “productivity” or to take value from that, but it’s hard not to. Help me to take value in what You value: love, relationship, the spirit of truth.


How do you grow to value relationship over productivity?

(When the Shepherd calls, you answer and come.)

I’m having a hard time (but not as much as I used to, or as I thought I would be) with laying down low to the ground, completely submitting my life’s time in Your hands at this here altar. My back is straining; it is stretching and its a stretch that hurts and yet relieves all at the same time. A burning-yearning.

Oh, how I want to answer You, Good Shepherd, like Much-Afraid but I too am much afraid.

My grip on the altar stones are indeed loosening. And I am starting to feel that samll joy-of-letting-go, of what they call repentance, to change your mind on going your way to His way. (2 Corinthians 7.10)

I’ve been going one way with my life on my own map, but now I want to try to follow this very thin and faint trail of Trust (is this even the trail I see?) Gravel-pebbles of faithfulness, expectant-hope make up this path below my feet.

How I long for productivity more than relationship!
And oh, how what I long for hurts me more than the other!

I am so like the people of old who wish to give their tasks, their check-lists instead of themselves, but that is not what you desire—

psalm 51

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

My spirit is weak and broken and I’m realizing the more I try to grasp onto my own life, I lose into an abyss of anxiety, scrambling to hold hands with Alice as we go tumbling down, down.

I want to live, but I can’t live like that. Live like the past any more that I once was so desperately (and have been) clinging onto.

I’m at the feet of the thrown, O King, just waiting for whatever assignment you grant me. I am bowing low and will not move until you ask of me. (Hebrews 4:16)

These are the words on my lips that I whisper to myself recently—
lay low,
submit,
surrender,
bow,
repent.

Change my heart into more like yours.
Here is the altar and here is my heart next to it.

“Again he [the Shepherd] smiled, but only remarked quietly that the important thing about altars was that they made possibilities out of apparent impossibilities…”

from Hannah Hurnard’s Hinds’ Feet on High Places

Oh, for me not to value produtivity, a schedule seems to be near impossible—but you want to make it possible, make joy possible itself.


I don’t really know how to surrender, I’ve been telling myself.

But to surrender just means to give up, like you already have, you tell me.

But yeah, but then what do I then do? You laugh becase this is the very reason why I’m surrendering, what it means to surrender is to cease action, and I’m mirroring your laughter with a quiet chuckle because I’ve already so quickly, quickly forgotten.

But I’m worried about the future too. Oh, I know me, and I get so quickly and easily caught up  in and forget all that I have previously learned. What if I resort back to my old ways of productivity?

That’s why we are dealing with your weeded-garden heart now, You say. Dig up the soil and wait to see what I plant in your anxiety-weeds place. Don’t be anxious for what is to grow but come and wait and enjoy the moment of now. Smell the new earth-dirt, feel its cool soil of peace in your fingers, in your hands. There is so much nurishment there waiting to encourage new plants of joy, patience, goodness to grow.

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