I was on the phone with my brother Mark the other night. I was talking about how I find myself still telling some of the same life stories.
It's not because I don't have new or recent stories to tell of what the Lord is doing in my life. I do. The Lord is pressing in with risks he's wanting me to take and speaking more in my dreams. He's working.
But I won't ever be done with the old stories. I won't outgrow them. They are a part of my Becoming and I was built out of and from these stories.
I find myself starting on this exact day, six years ago, with My Story. July 20th, 2012 was a new beginning. It was the day I experienced sheer darkness, fear, and panic in a way I'd never known. It was the day I knew what it felt like to be physically out of control.
But it was also the day the Lord answered my prayers of wanting more, of wanting breakthrough, of crying out feeling like there was a wall separating us, but not knowing what it was or how to get through it. I didn't know what would come of these prayers. I certainly wasn't expecting anxiety.
It was as if on that day God said, "I love you and I know you. I know your weak spots. I know your struggles. I know your love for control. I know your struggle with pride. I know the grip of fear in your life. I want to break in and stop this train before you crash."
I can only speak for my situation, but I do believe the Lord allowed me to experience anxiety because of the crazy love he has for me. He knew the ways I responded to life and the lessons I needed to learn and how I needed to learn them in order for them to stick. He knew what would happen if I never hit any sort of rock bottom. He knew I could wreck myself and my relationships. He knew I needed transformation.
I came out of that season stronger and with more compassion for myself and for others. And every time I am in a valley or dark spot in life, that is exactly how I come out every time. Not because I've maneuvered my way through it the "right way" or with grace, but because God is faithful and gracious and good.
I will never tire of telling the story of my anxiety or any of the stories in my life that point to God. I will never stop sharing them.
Several weeks ago, Heather, a woman I've known since middle school, interviewed me on her podcast. A few days ago, the episode was released and My Story was re-told all over again. I can't help but think how beautiful it is that the Lord orchestrated all of this to happen within a few days of the 6 year anniversary.
Along with panic attacks and anxiety, we also talked about motherhood, breastfeeding, songwriting, and how the Lord speaks to me in my dreams. It was such an honor to talk with her and it will be a sweet thing to always have these pieces of my life recorded in my own words, in my own voice.
I hope that you will give this podcast a listen and maybe even pass it along to someone who would find comfort in it. Someone who needs to hear another person recounting the struggles that they too are experiencing. Someone who yearns to feel that "Me too" that we all need.
And I hope you will decide that Your Story is worth telling, too.
Listen to my interview on the Uniquely Beautiful Stories podcast here: