I read a sermon this morning about fear. We all have them. The fear of illness, poverty, failure. Most of the time it seems as though our fears are based on the idea that we will somehow lose something: be it our health, our possessions, our position, someone we love.
I have dealt with anxiety issues all of my adult life, and part of my childhood as well. Anxiety is living life forever in the “next”. I do not hope to understand why I am this way, why I have such a hard time accepting what is and appreciating it without constantly being concerned about things beyond my control. Like tomorrow.
When I was thinking about my post for this title, all I could think about was how fitting it is for how I want to live my life.
For much of my life, I have been looking for an umbrella, a raincoat, something to shield me from the rain. Most days it doesn’t occur to me to just walk in it. But sometimes that’s what you have to do. Sometimes, the fear of getting soaked will keep you from getting to where you need or want to be.
Living with anxiety is a challenge. On the worst days, putting one foot in front of the other can feel like an inhuman feat of strength. On the best days, an umbrella would still be nice, just in case.
The crazy thing is, I love rain. I love rainy days. I don’t like unstoppable downpours that continue for days on end. But I love a good storm. The way it revitalizes and replenishes the earth.
Walking in the rain, for me, is about not worrying about the water. It’s about not having to have that umbrella. It’s about embracing life in all its beauty and terror and moving through it, unconcerned about the elements.
Walking in the rain is about letting go of what I cannot control. For someone with anxiety, this often feels next to impossible. But it’s necessary to a peaceful and productive existence.
I cannot control other people.
I cannot control many of my circumstances.
I cannot control my future.
I can only control what I do, what I say, what direction I take.
So every day I have a choice to make. On the good days, I stop looking around for the umbrella. I put the raincoat back on the hanger. I step out, in love, in faith, in trust in the One who controls the elements, and I feel the first drops hit my face.
The droplets change to steady rain, and I stand in it. Letting it wash over me. I splash in the puddles. I let the water soak me to the skin. I let it replenish my soul. I shush the anxious voices, and walk in the rain.