Vapor Saviors

I woke up at 3 a.m., on the dot, in a full-blown panic, gasping for breath. My thoughts took me to some scary places and I cried out to the Lord for help.

Life has been so messy.

I find myself these days constantly crying out to God for rescue…asking him why I am the way I am. Why can’t I be like those friends who seem to have their act together, who seem to make this Christian life seem too easy? But in my next breath I tell Him “Wait, I don’t want to be in such a state of “togetherness” that I don’t feel my need of you, so 86 that.” I ask Him if there’s something wrong with my mind. Is something not working right up there? Then I go to the kitchen to take an anxiety pill, knowing it takes awhile to kick in. I ask Him to help me believe. I ask Him to calm me down. I beg Him to help me stop worrying about screwing up my reputation because I fail to live up to the standards of the “the victorious Christian life” that I have been trying to break free from….standards that He NEVER placed on me. I tell Him just how tired I am, even though I know He knows. I sing through sobs “Lord I need you” and search for comfort in the dark. I whisper scriptures to myself…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding…”

“His grace is sufficient…”

I say the serenity prayer and the Our Father.

I try to get quiet and still, conscious of my breathing, even if my heart is still racing. I try to remember how He has delivered me from messes in the past. Then, I wonder if this current mess is just too much for Him to handle, but I don’t tell Him that even though I know He knows. I start thinking of temporary fixes, temporary saviors….searching every nook and cranny of my mind for loopholes, defense mechanisms and shiny new masks to escape life’s inevitable suffering and pain, doubts and fears. Then I feel guilty for not trusting and tell Him I’m so sorry.

I can’t pinpoint my motive…maybe to get those temporary, vapor saviors out of mind, maybe to have something to do until I fall back to sleep, perhaps it’s just another defense mechanism, but this time I wrote them down….

Writing this blog post…not my savior

Getting my act together…not my savior

Having all my ducks in a row…not my savior

Ensuring I’m well-liked by you…not my savior

Getting the guy…not my savior

Romantic love…not my savior

Making sure my daughter gets everything she wants….not my savior

A church congregation…not my savior

Hiking at my favorite place…not my savior

My earthly family…not my savior

My earthly family’s approval…not my savior

Debt-free…not my savior

Listening to great sermons…not my savior

My recovery program…not my savior

My sponsor…not my savior

The 12 steps…not my savior

Achieving an anxiety-free state…not my savior

Good friendships…not my savior

Good advice…not my savior

That friend who seems to have her act together…not my savior

Striving to be like that friend…not my savior

Daily Bible reading….not my savior

A clean, organized, well-decorated home…not my savior

Bible study…not my savior

My Bible study teachers…not my savior

Achieving zen…not my savior

Attaining a great body…not my savior

A good night’s sleep…not my savior

A good job…not my savior

Praying without ceasing….not my savior

Meditating…not my savior

Quiet time…not my savior

The book I want to write…not my savior

Journaling…not my savior

Vulnerability…not my savior

The know-it-alls on social media…definitely not my savior

The guy standing in the pulpit…not my savior

Having a car to drive…not my savior

A problem-free life…not my savior

Talking about my problems…not my savior

That person who thinks they know how to fix me…not my savior

Singing spiritual songs…not my savior

Doing charity work…not my savior

Gratitude…not my savior

Good books…not my savior

Having money in the bank…not my savior

Taking vacations to far-away places…not my savior

Twitter…not my savior

Facebook…not my savior

Instagram…not my savior

TV…not my savior

Movies…not my savior

Good food…not my savior

My daughter’s happiness…not my savior

Good health…not my savior

Anxiety meds…not my savior

A college degree…not my savior

Going to a church building every Sunday…not my savior

Sex…not my savior

Busyness…not my savior

Positive thinking…not my savior

The sacraments…not my savior

Baptism…not my savior

Feeling good…not my savior

Good music…not my savior

Recognition at work…not my savior

A Merry Christmas…not my savior

A roof over our heads…not my savior

Celebrities…not my savior

Understanding myself…not my savior

People-pleasing…not my savior

Time management…not my savior

Gaining control over my life…not my savior

Conquering sin…not my savior

Discipleship…not my savior

Proper repentance…not my savior

There is only ONE savior.

Jesus, I’m weary and burdened. I need You, and YOU alone.

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.




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