True confession: I’m a big fat chicken. It may be my overactive imagination (killer spiders! intruders! deadly plagues!) but my issues are real to me. Yes, I know–believe me I know–that God did not give me a spirit of fear. No one has to because I do a good job giving it to myself.
Recently our family has gone through a season of change, and it’s not over yet. This has probably sparked more anxiety in me than ever before because I like comfortable, normal. Familiar. Now we’re in a new town with all new people and no routine. Our lives are completely discombobulated.
This is not fun.
Enter my newest concern: my upcoming book release. There’s something about releasing a piece of your heart into the world for all to see that makes you want to say, “YIKES! What was I thinking?” The litany of questions begin.
What if no one likes it? What if readers miss the message? What if no one reads it?
Of course things are blown up in my head bigger than they are in real life. I have a habit of doing that. A bump in the night is a rabid killer waiting for an opportune moment and a two-day cold is a terminal illness. The other day my daughter and I turned someone in who hit a car and left, so of course I was watching over my shoulder on the way home just in case he decided to exact revenge. (True confession: being watchful on this level is pretty normal for me!)
This is not unlike the main character in my book who has a tendency to catastrophize, only in her case the fear in her head pales to what actually happens. While the story is completely fictional, I definitely drew on my own tendencies to float the worst case scenario to enhance this part of my character.
What do I do when Big Fat Chicken Syndrome sets in? True confession: I panic. I’m really good at it.
But I want to get to the point where the first thing I do is pray. Taking every care to God as Scripture directs us to (1 Peter 5:7) should be as natural as breathing. Relying on His promises and meditating on His word are the first steps to peace. True peace. The kind that passes understanding when we realize the outcome is in the hands of the One who cares even more about the outcome than we do.
If you have anxiety issues, there is hope. I pray God’s peace and grace for you. Run to Him–it’s a safe place.