Hi again! It’s been a while since I’ve posted—final’s week had my attention for a bit; however, all is over and the semester has ended. Finally. I honestly felt like it might never come, yet, here we are at the end of my third semester.
I have learned things this semester that I never thought I would learn. Through all of the reading, relentless essay writing, decision making, stressing, depressing—I’ve been finding God in places that I never would have suspected Him before now.
I am finding Him in the walk-sprints to a morning class that I never found the discipline to get up in time for; I have found Him in the crowded elevators and sidewalks; I have found Him in the smile of a friend—I have found Him in your quirky™ comments.
In the midst of every trial I’ve somehow found myself in this semester, I’ve managed to see Him in it all—and I don’t say that to stroke my pride. There were moments that I knew He was there and I did not acknowledge Him; moments in which I chose bitterness over forgiveness. I’m gonna get to that some other time. Keep reading homie.
Despite being able to see God in the midst of my heartache, I still felt this overwhelming sense of dread in it all. I’m not the kind of Christian that sugar coats anxiety and depression—both are real and both can make you feel like you’re the only thing separating a pack of wild dogs and their dinner. Except you’re also the dinner.
As the semester was coming to a close, H2O—the beautiful congregation of quirky lil Jesus-lovers that I’ve found a home in throughout the last year and a half—discussed in a four-part series the topic of anxiety titled Anxiety+Hope. While there were some things mentioned that I wrestled with, there were
a couple several things that I was able to take from the series.
I was unsure at first if I was even going to like the series because I’ve always felt the church (not H2O, just the church/believers in general) have found a way to make struggling with anxiety or depression as a Christian seem sinful. I’ve opened up a little bit here and there about my own struggle with anxiety and depression on Quirky Christianity, and I’ve gotta say that as someone who has had anxiety since she was about seven years old I’ve always felt a sort of shame about my mental health—and this is mostly because of the way the church talks about it.
The Truth is that anxiety and depression are not sins—but that wasn’t really the point of the series Anxiety+Hope. To sum it up, I’ll quote Eric Asp and Matthew McClure, two of the pastors at H2O that spoke in the series:
“Anxiety is actually a reasonable response to the terrible, evil things that happen in the world.”Eric Asp, Anxiety+Hope
“He [God] knows us and our anxiety, and He wants to meet us in the midst of our fear; fear is an invitation to encounter God.”Matthew McClure, Anxiety+Hope
The above are two quotes from two different teachings, but I feel like they sum up the purpose of the series pretty well.
I felt like the series couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been struggling a lot with my anxiety lately, and I desperately needed hear some of the words that were spoken.
I don’t really know how to describe it, but I have just been feeling like life is out to get me. Once the semester began, it felt like it was just one thing after another. I would fix one problem, and three after it would follow. It was a vicious cycle of feeling like I’d never get on top of things. And if school wasn’t enough, my friendships felt like they were withering away before my eyes and there was nothing I could do to fix any of it.
I just felt (and sometimes still feel) like I’m chasing after the wind or something; like there’s really not a real purpose in anything I’m doing.
Even as I felt these things, I knew that it wasn’t true—I could see God in it all; He was teaching me, He was holding me, He was trying to help me.
But I still couldn’t shake that feeling that life was somehow out to get me because after everything that had happened to me, after everything I’d felt over the summer—it just seemed like the only explanation for my pain.
Key word: seemed
Like I often do, I found myself listening to music in order to find some kind of relation, and I stumbled across just what I needed. An album literally titled: Life’s Not Out To Get You by Neck Deep. It was spoken very clearly in the song Gold Steps the words that God wanted me to hear.
“‘Cause sometimes things will bend youNeck Deep, Gold Steps
But trust me you’ll be fine
‘Cause I’ve been moving mountains that I once had to climb
And life’s not out to get you
Despite the things you’ve been through
‘Cause what you give is what you get
And it doesn’t make sense to make do”
Despite the songs rough nature (Neck Deep is punk), the song was a gentle reminder that while my feelings are valid in that they’re real, they are not Truth.
If I learned anything this semester—heck this YEAR—it’s that God is Faithful, God is Good, God cares, and He Loves us.
Sometimes, anxiety makes us feel like the world is crumbling around us like life is out to get us. The Good News is that it’s not. We’re fighting this spiritual battle that requires us to live in this tension between our human nature and His Holy nature. Andy Mineo said it like this, “it’s hard to live righteous, but I’m tryna practice.” And I think that’s true. We can only do so much as people; we’ve gotta have faith in God, and trust that He’s got this whole deal figured out.
Life’s not out to get me, and life isn’t out to get you.
I’ll talk to ya soon, homies. I’ve gotta write something quirky for Christmas…a Quirky Christmas perhaps? *wink*
Hi! You can find the link to H2O’s series Anxiety+Hope here!
I’ve got some Quirky things in the works, but PATIENCE pals! All good things take time. Until then, check out Quirky Christianity on Instagram @quirkychristianity
feel free to email me with any questions or concerns.
grace and peace