How to Be Thankful for the Thorn of Anxiety
Have you been pleading with the Lord to remove a “thorn” from your life? Are you wrestling with unanswered prayers, struggling to understand why God won’t remove the thorn when you could be so much more productive and effective without this affliction holding you back?
This week, I have the privilege of being a featured writer for the “Begin Within” Gratitude Series hosted by my gracious friend, the gifted wordsmith Twyla Franz. In my post “How to Be Thankful for the Thorn of Anxiety,” I’m sharing about my struggle to see my unanswered prayers through the lens of God’s goodness even though He hasn’t yet removed the “thorn” of anxiety from my life.
Here’s a sneak peek from my post:
“I had started experiencing escalating physical anxiety symptoms again for the first time in 18 medication-free months. Even though my homeschooling load was reduced to just one high schooler (my eldest two in college) and I was only teaching part-time at our local partnership program, routine activities suddenly became an overwhelming burden. Typical weekly tasks such as writing lesson plans and grading papers, standing in front of a small classroom of students, and even decision-making in the grocery aisle had become a daily struggle due to unpredictable sweating, trembling, nausea, brain fog, chest pain, racing heartbeat, and more.
“Willing to try anything ‘natural’ to manage these resurfacing symptoms, I’d taken the advice of a close friend who found relief from a blind-siding season of anxiety by running regularly. I reluctantly pulled out old trail running shoes to start ‘running’ (walking fast with an occasional jog) for 20-minute treks, hoping I would experience enough symptom relief to avoid medication.
“Although it had taken a couple of weeks to build up to a decent pace, the fact that I was starting to run most of the way—let alone run faster—was a huge win. My skeptical self was also surprised by the short-term relief from some of my anxiety symptoms—win-win!
“But the achievement was short-lived: After checking my record time and silently celebrating, my very next step was met with an excruciating spasm in my left hip, sending shooting pain down my leg and nearly taking me down to the pavement . . .
“‘Why, Lord? Why?’ I sobbed as I struggled to catch my breath. I couldn’t say much more between the heaving and weeping, but my rapid-fire questions for God quietly continued.”