Last week, a series of minor, negative events happened throughout the morning. It started with a bit of unexpected, disappointing news, and the dominos just kept falling from there. By mid-afternoon, my chest felt tight with anxiety, and my breathing was slightly more shallow than normal.
When I got home, I made dinner for my daughters and tried to distract myself from the heaviness inside by checking my email and social media. It didn’t work.
After reading to my daughters, I took them to their room, and my five-year-old asked me to turn on the light.
“It’s too dark.”
Her sister agreed.
“You’ll be alright,” I said. “Let’s go in there together, and I’ll show you that everything is fine.”
They started crying, but there was a light on the hallway, so I figured I wouldn’t scar them for life if I made them come into their somewhat dark bedroom anyway.
Once we were in their bedroom, I said, “Girls, listen. I understand why you’re afraid of the dark. When I was little, I was afraid of it too. But don’t let your fear of the dark keep you from remembering that your daddy is standing in here with you.”
In that moment, I saw myself in my daughters. I realized that all of my anxieties are rooted in fear, and I was allowing fear to keep me from remembering that my heavenly Father is standing with me in my circumstances.
Maybe anxiety is knocking on the door of your heart, inviting itself in. Do not open yourself to it. You have been adopted by the God whose Word says, “[C]ast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7, NIV). He stands with us in the darkly-lit rooms of life and says, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20, KJV). And because that is true, there is no need to be afraid. Instead, we can pray, “Father God, we acknowledge that You are here. Please help us walk in the reality of Your presence.”