Over the past month I've been thinking about anxiety. After the bombing incident at the Boston Marathon yesterday I feel compelled to share my thoughts.
I've experienced a great deal of anxiety in the past several months, but even more the past month. In the last month, I've lost my job and am drawing disability. I've had to figure out how I would live on about 60% of my salary. In addition to my normal living expenses, I now had to pay COBRA and I still have doctor/hospital bills to pay. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to remain in my apartment. If I were to move, the timing would coincide with the start of my radiation therapy. I would still be recovering from surgery, so I wouldn't really be able to pack/unpack. Since I felt the need to have a plan prior to surgery, the plan took over my entire thought life. When something is a constant thought running on a loop in our mind, it tends to build up the anxiety we feel.
After watching news coverage of the Boston Marathon incident, I was reminded how the news media can spur anxious thoughts among us. I don't make a habit of watching the news all the time. It's not that I don't want to be informed, but I think sometimes we are over informed. Just in my lifetime we have gone from news in the morning, noon, 6PM and 11PM to 24/7 news coverage. I know people who watch news 24/7, and they are anxious people. They dwell on some portion of a news story or commentary until it becomes so amplified in their minds, it is all they can think or talk about. I'm not saying that all news is bad, but like anything it needs to be in moderation. Life without all this news is stressful enough, so why add to it?!?! We can't live our life in fear of the what-ifs.
Within the last few days, I've been able to figure out a plan for myself. It's one that involves no major changes for me right now. God has been faithful to provide for every need, and this current dilemma would be no exception. Once I settled in on that thought and place my living circumstance in God's hands, I began to feel a peace. The anxiety is gone. This morning as I read Facebook posts and tweets and watched the morning news it was obvious to me that there is a lot of anxiety surrounding yesterday's events. God brought this verse to mind this morning, "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." (Psalm 94:19) So very true!