Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46.10 NIV
“Stillness is terrifying. The more still I am, the more my illusion of control disintegrates. I know I am not God, but when it comes to managing my life, I tend to act like I am.”
If I had the capacity for transparency and self-awareness at the time, these are the words I would have written the first time I was asked to evaluate myself on the FASTER Scale*.
F – Forgetting Priorities. Start believing the present circumstances and move away from trusting God.
A – Anxiety. A growing background noise of undefined fear.
S – Speeding Up. Trying to outrun the anxiety, which is usually the first sign of depression.
T – Ticked Off. Getting adrenaline high on anger and aggression.
E – Exhausted. Loss of physical and emotional energy; coming off the adrenaline high and the onset of depression.
R – Relapse. Returning to the place you swore you would never go again.
I spent and continue to spend an inordinate amount of my time trying to control and manage my addiction and the tidal wave of repercussions that came with it. This is the third stage of the relapse cycle: Speeding Up.
This stage is not characterized by not having time for God so much as not allowing ourselves to have time, because we are franticly trying to manage life on our own. Consciously or unconsciously, we fill our lives with an increasingly frenzied din of activities and busy work to maintain the façade of health and success.
We operate under the belief that if we can distract and medicate ourselves, we will not have to think about or feel the pain and anxiety that led us to this point. Looking back at my workbook from my time in a 423 Women group, my answers to the questions asked in the “Speeding Up” portion of the homework are all too telling. Where each question is followed by plenty of space to write a thoughtful and reflective answer, all I wrote were three short words. My answers were brisk, vague, and entirely unhelpful, avoiding the honesty and transparency necessary to truly address my problem.
We are like spinning tops. If we stop circling round and round we will topple over. If we stop, if we be still, the anxiety will resurface. But trusting God enough to still the spinning is the only way to stand upright again.
Make a list of the blessings God has provided you with today. Journal, draw, sing. Do something to express your frustrations and fears, laying everything out before God, then remind yourself of the times when God has protected and healed you. Meditate on this, paint about it, write out the story. Express yourself, talk to God, remind yourself of who He is and that He is with you. Ruminate in His word, and He will give you peace.
The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3.17 NIV
Contributor: Jordan N.
*FASTER Scale developed by Michael Dye from Genesis Process