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Unless you have lived at a silent monastery for the past 56 years, the sound of “This is only a test,” is associated in your mind with a loud obnoxious blast of noise coming from your radio or television. I found it interesting to learn that the noise is actually specified tones (853 Hz and 960 Hz) played simultaneously for 20 to 25 seconds. Of course all of us can recite by heart the required phrase that follows, “If this had been an actual emergency…”

Wouldn’t it be nice if other areas of our life were so conveniently scripted?

I know it would help me bunches if I knew whether the difficulties of today were a test, an actual emergency, or just plain life in action. Warning and follow-up instructions would be nice, they might even keep me from being Weary by Wednesday.

Why doesn’t life come with more specific warnings and instructions? (Now that’s a million dollar question for sure!)

This summer, I have been asking a lot of questions. I’m digging through the instructions for things I need to understand to get a better grip on what is causing my anxiety and depression. I’d really like an obnoxious tone to sound off and warn me when they are coming my way. But it doesn’t work like that. I’m not going to allowing these things to rule me anymore. I am turning over rocks and digging up the soil-ly mess that is my life. I need to recognize my own internal warning tones. This is only a test!

Anxiety and depression are not the problem. I believe like a runny nose, they are symptoms of my problems, and I’m ready to treat the cause.

Many of you know I am a survivor of domestic violence, and I didn’t end up in that situation by growing up in the perfect home. I’m not on a witch hunt, I only want to understand why I feel and think some of the things I do, and what triggers me into bouts of anxiety and depression.

I’m not alone. I have help. My family, friends, doctors, and counselors are fantastic. Of course, God is near (holding all my pieces together) as I work on my relationship with him, especially as I understand how my past effects so many areas of my life. Physical and mental, but also spiritual.

The hardest part for me is to recognize where I am at in the process. Just like that first moment of angst when the Emergency Broadcast System tone sounds and I’m not sure if it is a test or an actual emergency, I’m learning to stay calm and listen.

I’m learning to listen to God, to my body, to my thoughts, to other signals around me, and to wise counsel. There are warning signs, but through the years I learned to dismiss them, hoping if I didn’t respond to them, the anxiety and depression would stay at bay too. As if I could actually control any of it.

This week’s lesson for me has been all about control. I have a ridiculously overriding need to maintain control. I’m beginning to understand where the roots of that come from and how fruitless it is to think I can maintain it. Hebrews 11 reminds me that real control happens when I give up my control in faith. Not blind faith, but faith in the One who actually has control.

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. (Hebrews 11:1-2 The Message)

Regardless of how it went down in my past, I don’t have to associate that with how God works in my now. I’m moving forward, even if there are a few bumps along the road.

How are you doing this week? Are you in the midst of hard lessons with or without obnoxious loud warning tones? This is only a test!

Thanks for sharing your Wednesday with me. I am praying for you.