A Poem to My Anxiety

Where are you
I want to speak directly to you.
I want to hold you fully in my awareness while I speak to you.
You’ve been with me my whole life
But I was always afraid of you.
You were never bad
You are only as harmful as we make you.
It’s strange, when we treat you as an enemy, you become an enemy.
But when I make you my friend, you cease to be an enemy.
You become a door that I can walk through
A door to freedom
A door that leads to the real world
to a more full life.
In the past, your touch burned my skin
And I drew back from you
The more I pulled away, the more the heat from you burned.
But now, I reach out, and the heat of  your touch starts to drop off
It dissipates in front of my very eyes
The scorching heat becomes a gentle warmth.
I realize that you can touch me without hurting me.
In fact, I realize that letting you touch me is the only way to keep from being hurt.
They tell me I have an anxiety disorder.
They say it’s a phobia.
A fear that God is not real.
Truly, I now realize that any potential encounters with God that I may have in store,
should really happen after I work things out with you, anxiety.
Otherwise, they won’t be the encounters that they could or should be.
So let me get back to the less pondering part of my poem.
Let me imagine you in front of me.
Let me speak to you personally.
I know that you become my friend when I make you my friend.
I’m holding out my hand to you.
I feel your hand in mine.
I’m sorry for treating you poorly.
I’m sorry for running away from you.
I’m not going to run from you anymore.
I want to walk with you.
I want to invite you onto my team
My recovery team.
Thank you for being here.
Thank you my friend
Thank you.

Buck Salem works with international students from around the world through Outreach International and as pastoral intern at Arise Church in Fenton, MO. He holds a BS in preaching ministry from Central Christian College of the Bible (Moberly, MO).
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