De-Stress

19 12 2011

My wife wrote this today and I felt that it needed to be shared.

 

Cold, cold commercial Christmas.  Abyss of anxiety.  Dark, deep, all-the-way-to-the-bone anxiety.
Pushing me down, down, down to the bottom of this sea of stress.  I’m drowning.
Chest pains, quick breathing, light-headed.  My inner-most being is consumed with fear.
Warmth of Christmas, where are you?  Joy of Christmas, where are you?

I’ve been drowning in anxiety for many weeks.  This is not like me… at all.  This is the opposite of me.  I’m the “tomorrow will be better” kind of girl.  I’m the “we are overcomers” kind of girl.  This is serious.  This is not something that a day at the spa, a night out with the girls, or a good sermon can help.  Not something spending time with my beautiful children, decorating the tree, or looking at pretty Christmas lights can help. I don’t ever remember a time in my life when I experienced this level of anxiety.  It’s confusing.  Just knowing that I am at this level of stress adds more stress to the heavy load.  I don’t know what to do with it.  I am silent.  We are intended to reach out to others when we need help, but sometimes the fog is too thick.  Sometimes my pride is too strong.  The fog lasts days, weeks.  Then, just when I’ve given up on ever feeling peace again…

A voice.  “Selah… Pause…. Rest.”
In spite of the craziness, a schedule that’s too busy, and voices of discouragement in what is deemed to be “the most wonderful time of the year.”  Selah.
That kind of deep, reflective rest and warmth.  It’s what a mother feels right after giving birth while holding her sleeping newborn in her arms.  Selah.
Exhausted from a traumatic experience, but filled with deep, warm contentment and peace.  Selah.
I believe even Mary, the mother of Jesus, felt that (and she gave birth in a stable, for crying out loud).  Selah.
It’s exactly what I needed.  Pause.  Rest.  Reflect.  Selah.

So, I take a deeeeep breath in and, with it, accept the warmth and relief and rest of Christ(mas) into my heart.  My Selah.  It’s not too late.

Today I participate in nothing that is commercial Christmas.  Not the exchanging of a gift.  Not the online shopping for that one last item.  Not the mailing of a Christmas card.  Not one little self-inflicted stressful holiday thing.  As the warmth of Christmas (which is God’s love) fills me from my tiniest toe all the way up until I’m overflowing, the only things that I will do are acts of kindness… a pause to compliment, the sweet rest of a gentle hug, reflection in sharing in joy and sadness with others.  Today, I will allow others to experience true Christmas through me.  Selah.

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