I love being on the water (shout out to all my friends with boats that hook a sister up every summer). I wouldn’t call myself ‘nautical’, but I grew up on the prestigious waters of Lake Huron and chose my friends well (or intentionally..just kidding, guys. I love you without your boats and beach houses) In 6th grade we were all required to take a Boater’s Safety course, which really only taught me that the ‘Port’ is the left side of the boat (thanks for having the same amount of letters, otherwise I would have learned nothing). I never seemed to learn that tubing is actually the worst form of torture known to man. We were pulled around the lake in a tube, being thrown around like ragdolls and moving our spines in ways that I’m sure give Chiropractors nightmares. Couldn’t walk for 3 days after a day of tubing, yet my young, pliable mind would somehow forget the horrible pain the next time I was on a boat. Such a vicious cycle. I digress.
Some of the most freeing moments of my life have been on warm summer days, wind in my hair, sprays of water splashing onto me as we hit a wave at the wrong angle. Laying my head back and listening to the sound of the wake. Smells of sunscreen and gasoline being burned and tanned skin. Specific flashbacks to floating over the water as I watch beautiful beach houses pass by. Freedom.
Living with anxiety for most of my life, I didn’t have very many moments of freedom. Anxiety is the opposite of freedom. Anxiety is a cage. At the very core of anxiety is fear. Following that fear comes instability and insecurity and panic and dread and worry, and the list goes on as each new word sucks your life dryer and dryer.
Anxiety takes you up and down and crashes you against the seawall. There are times it is still and stagnant and quiet, but then the wind kicks up and the storm rolls in. The current pulls you under and then spit you out and you’re left reeling and tired and weak- fighting for your life but getting nowhere.
Anxiety will drown any chance at true joy and happiness. It has this way of putting a murky film over beauty, tarnishing it with a sickly feeling, nervous butterflies, or a racing mind.
I have been counseled, mentored, prayed for and loved on by some of the most amazing people in the world. From colleagues to family, from friends to counselors, from doctors to random strangers, I have acquired the wisdom I have from incredible Godly counsel who have given me life-changing and biblical insight. Insight I have grown from and learned from.
One wonderful woman once gave me this challenge:
“Find your anchor of truth.”
Because even in rough waters, a well caught anchor will not let that boat drift.
Find the things you can hold on to when everything else is uncertain. Let truth anchor you when anxiety is is grabbing for you.
What can you rest in when your mind is tired of racing?
I know this about myself: if I don’t have an anchor, I will be moved. I will sway in the wind. I will get sucked under the riptide. The currents will pull me in one direction and carry me miles from home.
I think different seasons and stages of life will have different anchors of truth depending on what you are going through. Right now, here is mine:
I am loved just as I am
and newly added to the list, by me.
I was made with a specific purpose with specific personality traits and talents. I am high energy, a whirlwind of randomness, and highly sensitive. I am strong-willed and funny and a bit of a handful. I constantly have a mixture of song lyrics, blog posts, lesson plans and things I want to say all jumbling around my head in this beautiful word chaos. I get scared easily and like routine. I am loud and rambunctious, but only when I feel comfortable and at ease. I’m anxious.
For so long, I tried to change myself to fit in with who I was with.
I tried to cover up these changes by calling it growth, but the reality of it is, I was losing the very core of who I was in order to earn love.
I was becoming a shell of myself because I thought I wasn’t enough.
I don’t have to change one thing about myself to be loved. I am accepted just as I am.
I will grow, so my strong-willed personality is used for God’s glory and not conflict, but He loves me JUST as I am, and nothing or nobody can change that.
That anchor of truth changed everything for me.
I am loved for who I am.
It doesn’t stop the raging waters or make the anxiety go away when I am feeling out of control. But I cling to that: I am loved unconditionally just as I am.
I encourage you to find your anchor. When things get rough, what can you cling to?
You are safe.
You are loved.
You are made with a purpose.
There is a plan for your life.
You are treasured.