Exclamation Points Fly

So much in flux, so much ado.  As spring peeks over an unsure horizon, my innards scurry like mice looking for escape.  I sit awhile and listen to their high-pitched squeals.

The sky is falling!!!

Run away! Flee now!!!

Fight–protect yourself!!!

Manipulate, make it dance!!!

Blame, demonize…it feels safe!!!

When exclamation points pogo stick up from lower places, my chest experiences a strange sort of scattered, burning pain.  I’ve known friends in the midst of such an assault who’ve mistaken it for a heart attack–no endearing little heart flutter happening here.

When spring-loaded exclamations manage to pop all the way up, into my head, thoughts mix and tumble like words wrestling on a mat. I flip with them, like an inept ref trying to break up a fight.

So, what comes naturally in such spots?  I can’t deny it, I struggle to keep loud punctuation down, down, down…primal places beyond awareness is where I want to house the unruly beasts. No real pain in denial, or so I figure…

But nooooo, I’m wired to feel, to know, to sense.  Fear keeps popping up, it is determined I mount its blaring, bounding exclamations so I’ll bounce into oblivion and live only outside myself, scattered and scared.  Chaos and disorientation want their way with me–I know it, I feel it, I sense it.

I’m not fear’s victim, though.  I have  a choice. I can surrender to debilitating, fear inducing thoughts or I can look Up and surrender to One who heals thoughts.  I can swim in a sea of burning anxiety or I can bathe in Living Water.  I can opt to deny, deny, deny or I can steely eye the squealing beast and invoke the presence and power of Jesus the Christ.  I have a choice…

I wonder, though…if I say “yes” to Jesus, will He show up and lead?  Can He be trusted to guide, heal and grow me?  Can I really ever be different than what I am now?  How much pain must I endure in the path He opens before me?  Am I willing to nod to even more heartache?  Is heartache His will?  Will I ever know unless I say “yes”?

What if I say “no” and try to manage the fear on my own…what if all my efforts funnel into avoiding landing on my back on the mat of tumbling words?  What if I do little but concentrate on quenching burning anxiety in the odd chance I’ll have fleeting moments of relief?  Is that a life I want to entertain or even sustain?

As I ponder, exclamation points fly…


2 thoughts on “Exclamation Points Fly

  1. Such a poetic post on pain, fear, anxiety… I’m finally learning that all the questions in your second to last paragraph are to be practiced/lived out/part of a process. I used to feel weak for having those questions and now I realize that they are not only normal, but He welcomes them. They grow us in ways that are hard to understand at the time, but with hindsight it’s easier to see His hand.

    My therapist once told me that when she reads the Bible and comes across a promise that is made to us, she tries it out and if she learns that it’s true, she writes “TT” in the margin: “Tried and true.” Such a concrete way to be reminded of His faithfulness…


  2. Gosh girl, if you don’t hit the nail on the head! TT…may have to give that a shot…glad He doesn’t disown us when we doubt/fear, that that can be a place for growth in faith.
    I really needed to hear this…thank, Amy, thanks!


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