We have lived through months of isolation, fear, and pain multiplied by loneliness, political unrest, senseless murder, and racism slicing through lives and opening old scars.
As morning stiffness leaves me aching, I struggle to search for joy. Will the pain worsen? Will new health issues arise? What if the medications stop providing any help?
There are so many reasons to be anxious — then we begin to beat ourselves up because we know we shouldn’t worry.
“Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ.” (C. S. Lewis)
Paulo Coelho in his Manuscrito encontrado em Accra wrote:
“Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it—just as we have learned to live with storms.”
I found a little snippet that I love, written by an unknown author (often incorrectly attributed to Elizabeth Barrett Browning):
“The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the winds at play.”
SOME IDEAS TO SPARK A POEM OR WORDS OF YOUR OWN
- What do you do with your anxious thoughts?
- What do they look like?
- Is there a picture that forms in your mind? Does it have a color? A texture?
- What song can you sing to anxiety to slow its rhythm?
Don’t be concerned about editing. There is time for that later. Allow the words to bounce around and find their own shape.
Let yourself be surprised by the sudden peace that comes as you name your fears.
As your poem finds its way, feel free to share it with us. We’re all in this together.
Here is what percolated as I thought about my own anxious thoughts:
tension and confusion
in my spirit
the air grew thin
as light faded
harder each day
to inhale Him
but even as I was letting go
He held me strong
I grabbed hold
before all hope leaked away
how to breathe
life, light and joy returning
first in drips
now in cascades
Chronic Joy® Staff Writer and Prayer Team
Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord, saved by grace, a worshiper, a poet, a broken heart, a lover of words, His work in progress on the Potter's wheel. She is hungry for truth and amazed by love. After five years in Africa, Karin and Rick (her beloved husband of twenty years), are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. She is the author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).
Poetry is an invitation to explore your story in a new way, to write about moments or emotions without specifically naming them, to play with the musicality of words and phrases; to choose words, punctuation, and line breaks carefully. There is no right or wrong way to read or write poetry, just an invitation to begin.