The Journey I Didn’t Want to Take

About two years ago, one of my boys started a sleep-walking journey. He would do it about four times a week. It always happened within an hour of him going to bed.

We tried different things: oils, earlier bedtimes, later bedtimes, different snacks before bed, and supplements. Something would work for a short time, but then it would begin again.

It became a bigger deal when he got himself outside one night. We had to do something. We tried therapy, which helped for a while, but then it started back up.Bedtime became a stressful time because he was embarrassed about possibly sleepwalking. It was a vicious cycle, he wasn’t sleeping well– which made his anxiety worse.

Then the school year ended… and so did the sleepwalking.

My “mother’s intuition” says it was anxiety about school. 

Here’s the thing, anxiety can’t be quickly fixed. We can take things to lessen the symptoms, but most times we have to accept it as part of our journey.

We might not like it, but we have to walk through it.  It’s a painful, frustrating journey.

I Didn’t Want This

The thought of throwing it in the trash feels great, doesn’t it?

The definition of a journey is: to travel from one place to another, usually taking a long time (Source-Merriam-Webster).

A long time is not what we want to hear, right?

We want a quick fix, don’t we?  A magic pill, a meditation, or even a supplement that can remove anxiety forever.

What can we learn from traveling the road of anxiety?

You may be asking how and I understand fully. Remember, God is growing your character. You take your character with you to Heaven someday. I would never have started writing if it wasn’t for my experience with anxiety. I can now give others hope and encouragement.

The Journey I Didn't Want to Take. We find ourselves in some hard seasons. Anxiety was my hard period. The journey almost break me, and I question if I could trek through it. Tips and Relief for the journey.

Anxiety is a journey, but God will use it for a ministry.

  • You will cling to God in ways you haven’t before.

When you are hopeless, desperate and at the end of yourself, God becomes your all in all. This might be the hardest period of your life, but God is present. He will get you through this. He will lead you to heal. I promise the foundation of your relationship with God is made solid on this path.

Friend, you have witnessed the fear anxiety brings, but you have mastered it. Nothing else seems as frightening anymore. When you have been in a place with anxiety’s symptoms flailing and have remained: you become stronger. I have gotten up to talk and sing in front of people (which anxiety prompted me to do). I’m still nervous, but I power through it.

  • Anxiety begs you to change.

When we struggle, we want life to be different. We look within ourselves, and we begin to change the things we don’t like. Anxiety shoves us into this place to start the change.

An Unexpected Journey

When we begin, it won’t be easy. It will be a forward step and two steps backward.

Can I reassure you that every day you are making progress? Look back a week ago, or look even further back, and you will see change happening.

Can I promise you anxiety will never return? I can’t, but I can tell you it won’t have the hold on you like it did in the past.

Let us take comfort in God’s Word in (2 Corinthians 4:16-17, NLT).

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

 

The journey through anxiety is creating something worthy of Heaven. It is not in vain, God knows what He’s doing and we can hold tight to His promise.

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33 thoughts on “The Journey I Didn’t Want to Take

  1. I remember when my son had so much anxiety he would pluck out his eyelashes. Oh, but God. He is not in that mindset anymore. My heart wept for him. So So much. Seeing our children anxious is difficult. Thank you, Jesus, for His promises. And we are new each day. You’re a wonderful mama, my friend. Have a beautiful week! xoxo

        1. Yikes! That sounds hard. We do testing here in WI even in kindergarten and they ask the kids to get to bed earlier the night before and to eat a protein-dense breakfast. In kindergarten? Seems like they should just let kids be kids in the early years. Too much stress at too young an age.
          There’s enough stress when you get bigger.
          Julie

  2. My daughter has anxiety and OCD. She does not like to take medicine because it makes her angry, so she lives with it. She also is open about it with her family, friends, and co-workers. We support her during an episode and let her work through it. Sometimes it is not pretty, but God is good and she relies on Him. Blessings and keep on writing sista!

    1. Kelsey- You’re daughter sounds super strong and brave! I’m glad to hear you are supportive of her. So many times well-meaning people say “just stop worrying,” but it’s much more than that.
      God does His best work in the mess, doesn’t He?
      Have a great week!
      Julie

  3. My daughter has had anxiety probably all her life. The symptoms have increased through pregnancy and the new baby. We have noticed that her 9 month old pull out her hair when she is tired or uncomfortable. I’m sure that my daughter worries that she has anxiety as well. I ask for prayer for them both.

  4. We have dealt a lot with anxiety in two of my children. I feel your Mama’s heart, Julie! Getting discouraged is easy, but we look ahead to just the next step and know that somehow, someway it will be okay.
    Because of my daughter’s history from life in an orphanage for almost 5 years, we have investigated every avenue. I can tell you we did have great success with homeopathy (different than naturopathic). I highly recommend it. We have also seen great improvement in both her and my son with various herbal treatments and supplements. If you ever have any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them!!

    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

    1. Lori- I’m so glad to hear you were able to lessen their symptoms. I’m sure your daughter endured a lot in the orphanage.
      I have used homeopathics before. Did your kids use a constitutional remedy from a practitioner or did you just find the remedies closest to their symptoms?
      No sleep-walking this summer, but school begins in two weeks.
      I might check back with you if it starts up again.
      We don’t want to go the route of sleep study or medication.
      Thanks for commenting!
      Julie

  5. And God is using it for His good, Julie. Thank God you pushed through and continue to. And your son, how is he? I can’t claim to understand anxiety. My daughter faces it, however. Would love your prayers for us as we try to battle through and give Him all our all. (Especially that I would be better at understanding.) Thanks! #intentionalTuesday

    1. Kristi- yes, prayers for you and your daughter as she struggles with anxiety and for you to best support her.
      My son is still sleeping soundly in his bed all night. We will see if it begins again when school starts.
      Thanks for commenting!
      Julie

  6. I am in a journey of realizing I deal with this while at the same time not defining myself by it. My daughter did the sleep-walking thing when she was 3 and then a couple years after. It was difficult but we would all pray together and got through it. I love that God will use our flaws for ministry. Amen! Your neighbor at #FreshMarketFriday today!

    1. Heather- I write to encourage myself I think more than I intend to do for others. My attitude really stinks in the moments I struggle. When I write I see Him so clearly, but I missed Him during the season.
      Thank you for commenting!
      Julie

      1. Girl– I am pretty spiritually blind some days too… and I wonder how I can be so double minded because like you when the fog clears I see God right where He always is- beside me. Lifting you up along the way girl. Thanks for sharing your heart. Please keep writing! Blessings Juile!

  7. I love the image you use – of anxiety being a journey that we don’t want to take. It seems so accurate with how long it takes, the ups and the downs, the work to take steps forward. Thank you for sharing so much truth from God’s Word about how He will be right there with us, and thanks for sharing your own heart and story!

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