Do you think you have a thorn in the flesh? In recent years, I have wondered if dealing with anxiety is ‘my thorn in the flesh’? Even though I’m not sure if anxiety is my thorn, I know that the only way to live with it or overcome it is with God’s strength and not my own.
I have struggled with anxiety since 2009 but it really manifested greatly in 2014. Since 2018, I’ve overcome most of my struggles with it and learned how to manage the anxious moments well enough that they no longer become full blown panic attacks. Even though I manage it better, it’s always somewhat looming in the background. And, there’s always the concern that I will fall down that rabbit hole again. I remind myself that is the devil working on me, because he knows that anxiety is a fierce struggle for me and if he can make me stumble, fall, and crash again, he absolutely will.
But God is bigger than all of that and even if I do stumble, He will be there to pick me up and help me through it all, just like He has every time.
Today, I think back to just a few years ago and I can see I made it through that dark, scary tunnel and came out stronger. And while there is always that possibility that I could spiral back into a world filled with daily panic attacks, no energy, little ability to take care of myself, and for lack of better term a ‘crazy episode’, I know that God has me and will carry me through that.
Even with the smallest possible chance any thing like that could happen again, I know that I have to do my part and arm myself against it. But that’s not always what I want to do. Honestly, I don’t want to have to be mindful to not let the happen again. I want it to just go away. I want God to release me of the chance of that ever happening again. And I have asked Him in many heartfelt, tear-filled prayers that He would take this from me. But as of yet, He has not seen fit to remove it.
But He has seen fit to bless me with the skills and the tools I need to do my part so as not to let it happen again. While He didn’t just heal me of anxiety, He renews and strengthens me daily to fight against it. He gives me what I need to deal with it and I could never get through it without Him. He provides me with strength and skills to fight against the anxiety engulfing me again. It is because of Him that I have learned how to manage my anxious thoughts and prevent them from becoming panic attacks.
Whether anxiety is a thorn in my flesh or not, I can handle it because of God’s power. I trust that God can and will give me the strength and ability to handle it. He can and will help me through it. His grace is sufficient.
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Lots of love to you and yours