anxiety · fear

Running with Horses

I sat in the middle of a grassy field finding myself among a stampede of horses. In the midst of the stampede, I was picked up by one and the sheer rush of being carried among hundreds of horses terrified me. But what terrified me even more was the thought that my three children were left behind, somewhere in the melee of it all. The horse carried me and left me in a safe area, and several minutes later came my youngest daughter, dazed and battered. There was only 1. 1 out of 3. I was missing 2 of them.

As the panic set in, I grabbed my youngest and raced to the scene of what I had left in a desperate panic. I remembered thinking about the possible end result, just that it couldn’t and wouldn’t happen to me. It was not a prayer that went through my head at that moment but rather simply a mother’s forward momentum determined to reach her children. After what seemed like forever, I found my son on one side lying and hurt but breathing. The thought raced through my mind, 2 out of 3. And I knew in that moment 3 out of 3 would be impossible.

As those words floated out of my brain and in front of my eyes, I turned my head to the right and there was my daughter, still and lifeless. I knew before I went over there that she did not make it. I did not make it to 3 out of 3. And then I turned to the thought, I can no longer live. There were 4 of us. Now 3. I wanted to make it 2. 

The same creatures that I worshiped were the same creatures that killed her. My life verse had crushed her. My reasons for living were gone. The loss was simply too much.

Then I woke up. 

I had to sit for a couple of minutes to get my bearings. I knew we were ok, but God’s message was penetrating. I went to sleep with great anxiety, something I suffer with on a daily basis. I realized that in my anxiousness I had forgotten God, cut him out of the picture completely.

Because when we say we have a “life verse” we have to live up to that. It’s a standard of sorts, a measure. I picked a tall order, but it keeps me on the straight and narrow. And God was reminding me of that in the stampede…

If running against men has wearied you, how will you race against horses? And if you are safe only on a level stretch, what will you do in the jungle of the Jordan?” Jeremiah 12:5

I was tired of running in my own mind. The problem was exacerbated by an unconscious lack of trust. Because when I’m anxious, I cut everyone out, including Him. And my thoughts turn to worst possible scenarios…

Bible verses aren’t verses for me anymore, they are life rafts. How will I handle the big stuff, if I can’t handle the small? The horses were trampling all over my life, and I couldn’t handle one bit of it.

So many of us are like that, you know? One does not have to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder to be afraid. We walk around strong but inside we’re weak, afraid to admit what we are really afraid of…

Trust is a funny thing. We give it away like candy to humans but withhold it from God. He has saved every part of my life, yet sometimes I refuse to believe he’ll continue to do so. I put my trust in chariots, rather than the one who built the chariots. If you’re going to be a Christian you gotta want the rough terrain, and you certainly won’t get there playing it safe in a church pew singing Amazing Grace.

The Lord can and will deliver us from our fears if we let Him, but we have to first admit them. We say we want to work for Him but then shy away when things get hard. God reminds me daily that I have to run with the team of horses, not be overrun by them. Much like life, we have to swim upstream when it is often against the current.

For a girl who thought life may end at thirty, I turn around and say, I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. I’d like to say that it was thanks to some human, but the truth is it’s not. It is only by God’s loving hand that my fingers are infused with His undying words.

 

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. 

Psalm 20:7

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