Conversations and identity

I had a long day today. I traveled for longer than I usually do, but the end result was that I got back to Graz. Little confusion was involved, so we don’t have to rehash all the hours of connections and transportation.

I have a theory. I think that Satan likes to attack when we’re not prepared. That’s just good battle strategy, right? I rarely think about the things that happen to me as a Satanic attack, but there are some days when anxiety strikes while I’m shaving a week off of my legs. Not because I’m holding a razor but… well, now that I think about it, I’m not sure why.

The thing about counseling that is so wonderful is that counselors can offer you habits. They don’t fix you or offer you a DIY kit to fix yourself. They just give you the habits you need to cope. My counselor emphasized curiosity. “When you feel that, just take a step back and be curious about it. Ask it questions.”

So, I ask my anxiety questions.

Hey there, anxious feelings.

Hi, Ashley.

Can I just ask you where you came from? Because I just got back from a really nice trip to France.

Yeah, we heard about that.

And now I’m done with all the trains, buses, trams, and planes, so I would think you could calm down now. Are we tired or something? Is it my messy desk? Is it the laundry? Is it the to-do list? Because you know we have a lot of time for that.

Hmmm, nah. None of those.

Is it that you feel like now you don’t have any structure and will thus not do anything for the rest of the week? Because we can remedy that. We can make a schedule.

 

This is how it goes sometimes. Today, I don’t really have a legitimate (or pseudo-legitimate) reason to be anxious. I really don’t. I have the entire rest of the week plus Monday to get homework, laundry, and planning done. And if I don’t finish everything, it’s not that big of a deal. I think Satan knew that I spent a short amount of time sleeping then a long amount of time going, so he decided to just slip in some knots into my stomach and racing thoughts about absolutely nothing.

You know what? I’m not falling for it. My God has always been the best at reminding me about the important things and helping me recover when I’ve forgotten something important. He also stands by me when I show anxiety the door, saying, “Thanks for letting me help you with this.”

And my identity isn’t based in the checkmarks on my list, the neatness of my living space, or my ability to keep a handle on my life at all. In fact, it’s the opposite. I am confident in me because my identity is that I’m worthy. Jesus considered me worthy of sacrificing everything, so that’s who I am. I’m not a doer or a planner or a major success story. I’m His, and He is mine.

It’s hard to feel anxious after speaking that kind of truth over yourself and actually believing it.

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