Well, it seems that every time I say I’m going to start regularly blogging again, something seems to come up. “So what was it THIS time, Mark”? I guess you’re anxious to know, huh? Well, so was I! REALLY anxious, as it turned out!
Back in January, I suddenly started experiencing a rather quick elevation of my blood pressure, which has been relatively normal for a long, long time. After some caring nurse friends advised me to see an urgent care doctor, then my family physician, the doctors agreed I was facing a bout with good ole Anxiety! I’m so very thankful there was no problem with my heart, but nonetheless, this blood pressure needed to come down. I’d like to say this anxiety issue was due to our youngest son being in his Senior year, and helping him plan for college next Fall already, and his being the typical “let it all hang out around Dad” type of teenager at home. But then how could I claim to be a “verythankfuldad”, right? Haha
Actually, I’m sure now that a whole lot of factors have contributed to this period of “Anxiety Gone Wild” that I went through several weeks ago. My doctor was quick to assure me that the responsibility I’ve had taking care of Tonya (and I’ll quickly add that ANYONE who is a caregiver for a family member has!) since she came home from the hospital after surviving her massive stroke just over 2 years ago, has gradually caught up with me….not to mention the “50 Factor” that I had to face last June! But we won’t go there. Haha.
So, add all these family issues up, and my doctor gave me peace and encouragement that I had a very good reason to be experiencing a little stress in my life. She believed a medicine regimen to treat this very common problem would most likely bring down my blood pressure. And, thank the Lord, she was right. I did not like to have to take any more medication, but I would be crazy to refuse what could help my condition in this case. However, I also had several days to search my heart during the week I took off sick, and the Lord spoke to me about a few items that quite possibly have been the biggest factors in bringing on anxiety….greater than the family issues!
In trying to solve the world’s problems lately (my Family World, especially), I found out I had, for quite some time, strayed away from some extremely important matters pertaining to my physical and spiritual life. For one, I had become too hard on my son about some home-life issues, and also, I was wearing out my body with keeping late night hours needlessly, which was doing very little to strengthen my walk with the Lord! So with this recent trial, I have come to the conclusion that God in his great mercy has tenderly spoken to my heart about these areas of improvement needed in my life….in order for me to be a better caregiver for my wife….and a better Dad to my sons.
The Bible verse He kept bringing to my mind through this battle with anxiety, and still does, was Philippians 4:6, “Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” When I finally realized I needed to focus more on Him instead of myself and my problems, some of which I had totally brought on myself, then peace began to replace some of the anxiety (Phil. 4:7)!
The appropriate medicine is good, and I’m thankful for having it and for how it helps, but a closer relationship with the Heavenly Father is the very best antidote for anxiety! Yes, I’m anxious to write again, and to draw closer to the Lord…but that’s the only kind that’s good for the soul. Praise God for his goodness and healing in all parts of my life!