Shelter From the Storm

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“Love will hold us together, make us a shelter to weather the storm; and I’ll be my brother’s keeper, so the whole world will know that we’re not alone.” –Matt Maher

This lyric is from “Love Will Hold Us Together”, one of my favorite songs. The reason it’s a favorite is twofold.

First, when “Christians” share a message of hate, judgment, and “I’m better than you”, I’m reminded of the basis of MY faith– love. I don’t hate anyone, it’s not my job to judge anyone, and I’m certainly not better than anyone. I feel my mission in this lifetime is just to share God’s love. The end.

The second reason this song resonates with me is also my reason for starting this blog… my anxiety disorder.

I’ve always leaned toward having a worrier’s disposition, but for the past 7 years–since shortly after the birth of my youngest daughter–it’s grown into a greater issue. I’ve had to see doctors about it, it’s disrupted my life, and it’s made me feel things deep inside that I wouldn’t wish for anyone to feel. For the past 7 years, I’ve been seeking shelter from it. Medicine, doctors, therapists, dietary changes, breathing techniques– they all provide a bit of relief, I suppose, but I’m not really sure they’ve provided a weather-proof shelter. As corny as it sounds, when I’m the most overwhelmed by worry and fear,  the umbrella I reach for in my myriad collection (hey, I do live in Seattle) is the one labeled “love.” The love from family, friends, and God is what has allowed my brain to escape from the storm of panic and worry and has brought me back into the clear skies of reality. The reality is, I’m loved. I have a shelter, under which I can hold myself together, and weather the storm. I couldn’t be more grateful for all of my “keepers”– the ones who check on me, who send me funny pins from Pinterest, or deliver short emails or texts to my phone at the exact moment that I check my phone to distract myself from the worry building inside of me.

There are a few reasons I’ve started this blog. I’ve always felt a need to write–it’s just part of who I am. When I was 5 year old kindergartener, I felt a need to write; in college, the need to write forced a change in my major; and now, despite the busyness of being a mom and a working person, I still feel the overwhelming need to just WRITE! A blog also seems like a great way to vent: to share my frustrations and fears, as well as my happiness and hope. Besides all of that… while exploring the internet, putting forth my best effort NOT to delve into the depths of worst-case scenario websites, I found very few blogs about “normal” people working their way through anxiety. Anxiety gurus claiming they have a “secret cure” for the low price of $19.95? Sure, found a lot of those kind of sites– but none that were real, none that made me feel like maybe I wasn’t so crazy or alone. And so, I dedicate myself to sharing real experiences here– so that perhaps even one person living through the storm of anxiety may wander over here and find this truth– that we, most definitely, are not alone.

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