She's got one.
Maybe you have met her.
The hum, the chatter, the tension-her signature features are so similar even at times they seem identical.
But this sister is different, too. More discreet, yet equally, if not louder, than anxiety. She showed up in my life slowly but steadily until at one point her voice blended in with every thought, slowly creeping her way into my actions and words.
Instead of perpetual doubt and a lack of confidence, this sister presented herself as glorified confidence with an edge. At first it felt good. She seemed stronger, braver, and a fighter of sorts. But the physical tension that came with her just did not seem right.
Every conversation and situation became parameters for measurement. And for judgment. And for constant comparison.
She whispered soft but hideously potent thoughts that sounded like:
"You are better..."
"You would do that better..."
Her presence changed my perspective. She shifted my gaze by just a few degrees and the results were darkening.
When my eyes looked up, they judged. They tracked. They would not only look around at others but down at others.
Caffeine and adrenaline only fueled the volume of her presence.
And what is so bad is that I liked her a lot... at first. Such a change of pace from anxiety.
But after too much time together, I found her completely draining and I wanted a break.
But how do you separate yourself from such a force?
I sought quiet, stillness, and a slow and steady breath that can be so gosh darn hard to find at times.
And it was in this place that truth showed itself.
That's who she was.
That's what this was.
It took forever for me to figure out what her name was, but when I did, I realized too much of my life was being controlled by her ways.
My thought patterns, my faith, my relationships, my work, they were all being wrecked by what this voice had done to my mind.
Knowing things needed to change, I prayed, in the quiet, in the stillness, for help to repave the pathways my pride had savaged.
The solution to get this voice to be silent was not switching back to anxiety.
It was and is dependence. Complete and utter dependence on one far greater than I.
It is accepting the truth that any good thing that is brought to fruition has NOTHING to do with my own self-effort but rather complete reliance on a good and perfect God who provides these things in spite of me.
In spite of all of my prideful ways. In spite of my judgmental heart.
The solution has been learned in practicing active humility and asking to be humbled. Because I need to be reminded more often than I would like to admit, that I am neither absolutely perfect nor hopelessly imperfect.
But instead, I am His. And that...that is enough.
To my constant copilots: anxiety and pride, you will likely walk along side me for quite some time. BUT neither of you are the drivers of this ship. Feel free to continue you're chatter; my ears are locked on listening to the whispers of my Father.
May the Lord provide the wisdom and the quiet to detect the undetectable matters of our hearts.