I’ve been biting my fingernails a lot. I pick and play with my cuticles when I’m anxious. I’ve been nervous about a lot of things recently — more things than I care to admit.
I’m nervous about my kids drowning, the number in our bank account, the responsibilities I’ve committed to.
I’m embarrassed because I haven’t taught my kids how to do chores, memorize verses, or how to write thank you cards.
I dread so many things right now: I dread school starting, I dread the dentist appointment I have next week, I dread making dinner tonight.
I’m worried about my oldest becoming a teenager with his frequent emotional outbursts. I’m worried that my second son feels the weight of my anger. I’m worried my middle child is just that — the middle child. I am terrified that I am not present enough with my younger kids.
I’m ashamed because I don’t pray enough. I can go days without praying. I simply forget. As I’m typing this, I stop to pick at my nails. I told you I was nervous.
I cluster and clamor under my to-do list while my mind is fighting off my emotions with my logic. But logic can never appease my soul. Logic can never properly put my anxiety into place. It can never love me back.
When I stop, really stop, it makes me want to sleep. I’m so exhausted by the weight I hold in the middle of my chest. I can’t handle it all. I can’t handle all of me.
I whisper this prayer, “God, I have so many fears. I have so many lives and relationships to manage. I just might get swallowed up whole by the amount of stress I’m holding.” My heartbeat intensifies. But Jesus is here, and He says, “Come.” I don’t have to physically come, but I have to let my heart come out of hiding.
I let all my fears come up to breathe. I don’t push them down or away. I feel them. I take my hands and hold them open.
Come. I can let all my ache come up. I don’t have to fix, heal, change, or pretend I’m better than I am. I don’t have to manage my ache with “right” thinking or good behavior. There is room for my mess, chaos, and incomplete sentences to come up and be with God. I can let all of me come up and come undone. I can find Christ kindly motioning me to keep talking. He doesn’t roll His eyes, shame me with “shoulds”, or make me wait my turn.
Come. Over and over. Come.
Come isn’t one more thing I have to do. He is inviting me to let truth speak. I give words to my internal world. There is room for me to be noisy, awkward, and to ramble on and on.
I come with my little problems, irritations, and big concerns. I bring it all. That massive bag of boulders I’m carrying — I bring it too. I talk about how mad I am at myself and my kids and my friend who never calls me back. I’m angry.
And just when I think God has had enough of me and my venting, I see Him. He is beside me. He is with me, shoulder to shoulder. He says, “That’s a lot you’ve been holding inside.” I nod and cry. And instead of biting my fingernails, I wipe my tears. I let all of me come up to be loved by all of Him.
Just when I think God has had enough of me and my venting, I see Him. He is beside me. He is with me. -Anjuli Paschall: Click To Tweet