I learned a new word this year, at the Olympics no less. “Twisties”, as explained by Simone Biles is when the body and the mind are not in sync.
Though we’ll never be upside down flying over the vault while trying to find our feet, we do see a lot of out-of-syncness in our world. Like Simone, when we are out of sync it causes anxiety and we feel out of control, unable to see where or how we’re going to land.
Whether it’s back-to-school anxiety, pandemic anxiety, workplace anxiety, or family anxiety, we feel the effects.
People around the globe take anti-anxiety meds. Deep breathing is one recommended practice, and with the help of an app on my watch, I do it several times a day. Besides getting a fresh supply of oxygen deep into my lungs, it helps me stop what I’m doing, center down, and focus on consciously breathing in and out: breathing in the Holy Spirit and breathing out whatever is bothering me. I also like to imagine I’m at the beach, which is my happiest of all happy places and helps me re-find my center. There is nothing like the rhythm of crashing waves to remind me who is in charge of all things.
These are valid practices.
But the most important thing we can ever do is lean into a solid faith in God, resting in the the knowledge that he is involved in the world. He’s not detached, nor does he leave us to our own defenses. He, who knows the name of every star and the number of hairs on every head loves us like crazy and cares about every anxious thought we face.
Several years ago, I experienced a heartbreak that left me shattered for a very long time. I couldn’t talk about it without breaking down. I thought about it all the time, replaying traumatic scenes over and over again in my head to the point it became an obsession. This has been the biggest cause of anxiety in my life – a situation that I could not control, hurts I could not comprehend, and being forced to make choices I never wanted to make. I kept thinking that time would heal all, but it didn’t.
What has made the difference, though, was the moment I committed this to prayer for the thousandth time, but then (for the first time) vowed to stay put until I heard from God.
Finally. A still small voice in the depth of my soul said, “leave it here.”
But I’ve been trying, Jesus.
“Nope. Leave it here. Every time you start to think about it again, visualize yourself bringing this burden and depositing it at my feet. If there comes a time for you to say or do anything in response, I will let you know. In the meantime, leave it here.”
“No buts. Just leave it here.”
What a relief. So simple, yet so profound. I don’t have to try to figure this out any longer. God’s got this. Every time the anxious thoughts threaten to return, I say no, you will not rule me, and then I lay them at the feet of Jesus. I entrust them to him and refuse to take them back. And when the thoughts return, I do the same thing again.
Are you suffering from a case of the twisties today? Leave those anxious thoughts with Jesus. Share them all with him and then leave them there. Trust him to tell you if/when it’s time to act, but in the meantime, just leave. them. there.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” –Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)
*Photo courtesy of newsotime.com