My Anxious Brain
My brain likes to trick me, and it’s good at it. If you have an anxious brain, like I do, maybe you can relate. My brain sends my body danger signals when there is no danger. My body believes my brain and reacts by initiating safety protocols of fight, flight, or freeze (along with physical symptoms such as sweaty palms, racing heart, nausea, paralysis, etc.). My clever brain also likes to trick my spirit. I used to assume my anxious and fearful feelings were the Holy Spirit trying to warn me of a threat. I would get on an airplane and think, these fools don’t even know we’ll probably be dead soon (and it was up to me to pray us all the way to a safe landing). Once Dave (my husband) and I left the kids home with popcorn and a movie. As we drove off, I remembered a story about a child who choked on popcorn and got brain damage. I was certain the Holy Spirit was speaking to me about this and I began to fret. Then something wonderful happened. A different thought slipped through a crack in my brain: What if I’m worrying about nothing? I prayed for their safety and then added, “Lord, if this is from you, please tell me. If it’s not, then help me forget about it. Replace my fear with peace.” I soon became distracted and had a lovely evening (nobody choked, either). That particular fear-thought-loop got broken. After that night, I started to “test the spirit” (so-to-speak) and ask the Lord to redirect worrisome thoughts that were not from Him.