Anxiety Calling

Anxiety has been knocking at my door a lot lately. Whether it’s been about the migraines, a troublesome lack of focus, the challenges of a new relationship, or really anything at all, anxiety found a way to slide in. Thankfully, I “stumbled” across an ad for an event that Joyce Meyer was livestreaming on anxiety and remembered to sign up.

Now people have different takes on Joyce Meyer and her bible teaching. But for me, she has been a God-send. She’s taught me and millions of other men and women how to know and honor God in practical ways. And her vulnerability about so much of her life, including the abuses and challenges she’s faced, have, I believe, helped save my life. So, whatever – I love her.

The event, called a Girls Night In, included worship, teaching from Joyce and a discussion panel all on the topic of anxiety. I soaked up every minute of the experience like a plant in dry, brittle soil.

The worship brought me to my knees. Snotting and crying on the floor, I was reminded of how good God is. The discussion reminded me that I am not alone in this struggle. Women all across the country who love Jesus, were also struggling with anxiety, and many, like me, were receiving help from God through prayer, therapy, and medication. But Joyce’s teaching made me realize why I had been struggling so much more lately. To my amazement, I realized that I hadn’t been doing two things: (1) avoiding worry like the plague, and (2) actively reminding myself of the times that God has taken care of me before.

Instead of running from worry, I was letting it run me ragged. I needed to cut those worried thoughts off at the knees by either focusing on what God’s word had to say about the matter I was worried about or about “worry” itself.  And I had plenty of experiences with God taking care of me in matters both big and small. How could I have forgotten to do this? I was tempted to beat myself up about it. But I knew that wouldn’t help. So, this time, I skipped it and quickly, got to remembering God’s faithfulness in my life.

What about you? Do you have any memories of God taking care of you that could run what’s been bugging you off?

Catch 22

Water rises up to the edge of my eyelid, falls into my lashes, and dribbles down my cheek as I watch the screen. My mind is connecting with what I am hearing in a way that I don’t yet have words for, so the tears come. Tears of relief, joy, and hope. Tears for the end of a loooong trial that’s been hard to observe with the naked eye, but has been present all the same.

I’m listening to a nurse practitioner recount the many traumatic brain injuries she’s had through the years. Concussions in many varieties that, at different times, came with a fractured skull and cheekbone, inflammation, cuts and bruises, and debilitating migraines that shock her awake and make her throw up in the middle of the night.

I explain the evolving symptoms of my own migraines, the last remaining symptom of a concussion I suffered in a car accident a few years ago. They have improved drastically despite their lingering and, often, show-stopping presence. But when I describe the deteriorating focus and concentration that has begun to affect my work and scare the crap out of me, I point to depression. Do I feel depressed? No. But since when has any of this ever made sense? One hormone decides to call in sick, or my symptoms evolve unexpectedly, and the whole apple cart turns over.

“It’s not the depression. Your medication would’ve handled that symptom like it did the others. No, it’s the concussion. I think you have medical onset ADD – the predominantly inattentive type.” I have no idea what that means. So, I say some version of a “huh?” to the screen.

“It’s common to have worsening focus and concentratration even years after suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI). I think the concussion has brought on the inattentiveness. Medication can help with that.” She asks me if I’ve tried “Wellbutrin”. “Yes,” I answer, and add that it made me have suicidal thoughts within hours of taking it. “I’m sensitive to medication.” She pauses, then suggests Adderall.

I listen in silence, letting it sink in. As it does, the tears come. In the next second, I wipe my cheeks, saying, “I’m sorry. I’m getting emotional because this has been so hard, and you’re telling me that there’s a way out of this?”

I don’t remember much of what happened next. I learn that there’s a national shortage and that some people can become addicted. “It wouldn’t be addicting if it didn’t work,” she says. We talk about dosage and my medical history as well as my extended family’s. We end the telehealth session with an agreement to meet again in two weeks.

When the call ends, I’m bowing, sitting on my bed, and then again with my knees on the floor. Warm tears still streaming down my face, I praise God for this, whatever it is. Deliverance. A breakthrough. A resolution to an old prayer that I had only recently begun to pray again. Confirmation that I should expect good things from my Father in heaven. Maybe it was all of the above. But whatever it was, I had to offer my gratitude in praise.

The next couple of days pass in a blur. There’s a hold-up with the medication because there’s a nationwide shortage of the exact dosage for my prescription. It takes another day for the nurse to submit a new prescription for a lower dose. But my hope helps me push through the struggle at work. On the day that it is finally ready, I decide to type “Adderall” into Google, and suddenly, my hope comes crashing down around me.

I see words and phrases like “Amphetamine,” withdrawal symptoms, risk of addiction, and effects similar to Meth, and my mouth goes dry. “What the…?”

“I can’t take this,” I say to myself. “I can’t risk addiction.” And immediately, the option was off the table. But the fears of losing my job because I can’t focus and deliver tap dance their way back into the forefront of my mind.

And this is the challenge that comes with navigating any illness, the catch 22, deciding which is worse, the suffering without the medical intervention or the suffering with it. “There has to be another way,” I think to myself.

By the end of the week, I had spoken to my therapist about it – who advised me to seek a second opinion from a neurologist, asked a mentor about supplements for focus and concentration, and most importantly, asked Jesus about it – a simple question in the journal where I write my prayers.

I also endured a rainy “migraine day” that sent me into dark room rest for most of the day. But when I woke up on that sunny Friday, I felt better, drained and tired, but much better. And on the roughly hour long drive to work, I returned to a practice that I hadn’t done often enough in the new year. I listened to audio of my own voice reading verses of scripture on health, healing, and believing.

Taken from a little purple book by Joyce Meyer called: The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word, I have scriptures covering a few topics recorded on my phone. Why? Because when I speak God’s word out of my own mouth, things change. I change.

I needed my focus to change. So I listened to my voice saying those verses and to two of my favorite RnB songs that I’ve remixed in my head to remind me of God’s love for me… “So Beautiful” and “Yes” by Musiq Soulchild over and over again as I drove to work. All of which reminded me that my God is undefeated and that the “nickname” of Jehovah Rapha (God who heals) was given for a reason. What are migraines and concussions to an all-powerful God? Crushable ants, that’s what. And I said as much along the way, ignoring how insane I might look to the surrounding drivers.

I can’t say what for sure did it. The peace of an empty and quiet office. The joy of a sunny Friday. A grateful attitude. The remembrance of the power and faithfulness of my God. Or, more likely, in my opinion, the very words themselves. But I went on to have the most productive day that I’ve ever had at this job, probably in an entire year, if not longer. And my amazement remains.

I did the practical thing. I filled the prescription. In the off chance that the neurologist agrees with the nurse, I didn’t want to wait even longer due to shortages. And maybe that’s a failure of faith, I dont know. But do I expect to use it? No. Will I forget that it’s there? Probably not, especially if the focus of that Friday never returns.

But I do expect it to return. I believe it will and will say so every day if I have to, with God’s help. Maybe the threat of an addiction will spur my mouth into action, I don’t know. And if I have to throw the pills away, then so be it. But I have been amazed, tantalized by the power of God, and I want to, need to, see it again.

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Just Stay … please?

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but…

You are not alone.


You are seen.


You belong.


You are needed.


You are no accident.


You were made with intention, regardless of what’s happened since.


You have a purpose, despite all the pain.


So, stick around a little while longer to see what it will be.


Decide to stick around for one more day.

Just one – one day at a time.

Every day.

And I promise you will get there, love.

Because, for real, you really are loved.

If you need a virtual ear, hit me up @ creatorskind@gmail.com 💜

Time Travel: This is PTSD

It doesn’t matter what I’m doing or where I am. I could be reading quietly or sitting at a table eating amongst friends and, in an instant, I’m transported. The book, the table, the commotion around me withdraws and instead, I am inserted into a vivid, living moment from my past. And usually, it’s a painful one. This is PTSD.

Truly, in the span of a single breath, I have flown backwards through space and time to any one of many scenes that rotate on replay in the ether of my mind. When I arrive, it’s so real that I don’t know that I’ve been anywhere else – there’s no future to speak of, just this moment, right now, and my body makes the shift.

My heartbeat quickens, pounding in my ears. My muscles tighten and my eyes narrow as I am face to face with him, her, it, the experience, again. And I feel the emotion, the same emotion that I felt the very first time, when I lived it.

It flows freely – anger, embarrassment, confusion, hurt or shock. It’s a wave that carries me along through the scene. I speak words in my mind that never make it out of my mouth. I’m trapped.

The pain is my boat, and I can’t get out. I can’t get off. In this repeated scene, I do new things, sometimes no thing, or the same thing. The one thing I never do is leave.

I can’t break away because in this moment, I don’t remember that this isn’t real. In this moment, right now, what I see, what I feel, and this scene is all there is. And it hurts.

When this haunting memory is finished with me, it departs just as quickly as it came. My racing heart is the only trace of its having passed through. My mind clears. I’m back, but I remember where I just came from.

I take deep breaths, in and out, letting the fresh O2 soften the rigidity in my body and slow the pace of my heart. Sometimes, I cry. Maybe just a few tears, sometimes more.  It hurts to be dragged back through pain with no rhyme or reason. And it’s hard to explain.

How do you explain what feels like your own mind trying to take you out? How do you make that make sense? How do you make it plain without sounding too intense? This is what it is. And it’s just a regular day. If I told someone my daydreams hurt, they’d run away, afraid they’ll catch what has already caught me. So, I tell no-one. Instead, I pray.

My words speak of contradictions. Devotion and confusion. Praise and questioning. Struggle and surrender. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” flows from my heart, though I promise it’s not what I believe. But it is how I feel. And it comes with hot tears and anguish.

To this Lord that I love and whom I believe loves me my thoughts shout, “I thought you would deliver me … at least by now!” But out of my mouth comes, “Lord God help me,” in a whisper.

I seek God, believing that God IS; believing that I will be rewarded for my pursuit.

I put it all down in my journal, covering the lines and the margins. My words are addressed to all of Heaven and the hand that made it all. I let it all out and allow my tears to stain the pages.

When I am done, I feel a little better; a little lighter. But, tired too. I have no answers, yet somehow, I know that I have been heard. With that knowing comes a little peace and it is enough for now.

©2022 Creatorskind

Why I believe

I thought that the next logical topic to post about would be why I believe in God.  But the more that I thought about it, the more the “how” seemed to be an equal part of the same conversation.  Really, it seemed like a chicken and the egg kind of thing, because I’m not sure which came first.  Why I believe in God – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is a function of how I came to believe, and vice versa.  And while I may have confused myself on that one (lol), I think that they might actually be the same thing.  So, you may see a bit of both in this week’s post.

I went to catholic school for most of my pre-high school years.  That’s where I was introduced to God.  And in the way that little children often do, I accepted that what I was told was true.  I learned to sit still in church, despite the infinitely more interesting distractions provided by my classmates and my own mind.  I learned to pray the rosary, went to confession, and said Hail Mary’s as penance for my sins.  With my mother, I prayed before bed and believed that I had been heard.  But did I know God?  Did I have a relationship with God?  I don’t know.

In the years to come, now in public-school, my interaction with God had become limited to a daily chant.  “Please don’t let me miss the bus.  Please don’t let me miss the bus.” I would sing those words as I half- speed walked, half-ran to the bus stop.  Eventually, I began to wonder whether I was pressing my luck.  Would I run out of chances?  Would God be done with me?  God was a genie in a bottle with a low tolerance for my nonsense – or so I thought. 

When I ran into situations that a child’s mind isn’t equipped to handle or later, when my teenage brain entered a fog of sadness, distraction, and loneliness from which I could not emerge, I turned to my catholic school roots.  I sought God – the Father through the saints, like the virgin Mary, and my ancestors. I sought the long-gone forebearers that I had known personally, and one, who had been as close to a saint in my eyes as anyone could be. 

I called on them to put in a good word.  I called on them believing that now from their position in heaven that they saw me in a way that they couldn’t while on earth.  In my holy imagination, I believed that they now had a comprehensive view that was unlimited by time, and hopefully, weighted by compassion.  With that in mind, I sought them in the quiet of my bedroom and often with tears that I didn’t understand.  But I felt a little less alone.  I had believed in God.  But would I call this a relationship?  No.  I didn’t really know God. 

I remember the red-edged bible that I had gotten from who knows where collecting dust on my nightstand.  I would read it from time to time, but inevitably, King James’ thee’s and thou’s would command me right into a nap or onto something less boring.  It wasn’t until the middle of my college years, on my own in a new city, that my thoughts again climbed heavenward.  I was feeling both the familiar loneliness of my undiagnosed depression and the now tangible loneliness of day-to-day life without close friends.  It was hard.  I looked around and felt different from everyone else…and very much alone.  I had been released into a freedom that I had longed for while under my parent’s roof.  Yet, I didn’t know what to do with it and  felt like I was failing.  But I didn’t ask my family for advice.  I didn’t consult the saints.  This time, I sought God directly in everyday life, not with a chant, but a request. 

Walking home from the train at night, I started asking God to protect me.  And as I walked the blocks home that were sometimes dark and empty, sometimes marked with stares and catcalls that echoed behind me, or sometimes the footsteps of those that would try to follow me, I would hope that I had been heard.  My feet crossing the threshold would bring a thank you from my lips.  And somehow that simple experience began something inside of me that even today is hard to explain.  It was the same belief, yet somehow different.  After all this time, I’m not even sure that I understand it completely.  But what I do know, is that it was the start of a conversation.  The first tender shoots sprouting from a seed planted over a decade before.        

It would be some time before I would encounter the bible verse, “But without faith it is impossible to please God.  Anyone who comes to God, must believe that God exists and rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).  But when I did, it rang completely true.  Because  not knowing much at all, I had reached out to a God that I hoped would be able or available and discovered a God that was both.  And it was because of that discovery that I wanted to know more.

What about you?  Do you know why or how you came to believe what you do about God, whether positive or negative?  Leave a comment and let me know.

©2021 Creatorskind