I think there comes a time in all of our lives when we need to believe in something. We need to believe that someone, somewhere has the answers to our infinite amount of questions. We need to believe that there is a method to life’s madness. Two things that I shared a lot about before the so-called “rebirth” of LiveLifeWell were my experiences as the wife of a professional basketball player and my anxiety. Those are two things that I will continue to share about on a regular basis because they are two things that impact my life on a daily basis. What I’ve come to realize is that, no matter how much I’ve tried to convince myself otherwise, those two things go hand in hand. Although I cannot say that marrying a professional basketball player caused my anxiety, what I can say is that for someone who already has a propensity for anxious symptoms, living a lifestyle plagued with volatility can cause those symptoms to come to such a hard boil that they literally overflow from the pot.
Now, before I go any further, I have to stop and say that I absolutely do not blame my husband for my anxiety. This is a conversation that we’ve had a handful of times as he has expressed that he feels that if he was a better player or a better husband or had a different career then I wouldn’t deal with the things that I do. I’m going to tell you what I’ve told him time and time again: uncertainty is a part of life regardless of who you’re married to and what that person does for a living and I would find something to be anxious about regardless of our lifestyle or circumstances.
With that being said, for me, given my lifestyle, anxiety and basketball are linked because basketball equals uncertainty. You may recall that just a few months ago, I shared that I had “overcome” my anxiety. While at the time I thought that was true, looking back, I realize I should’ve said “I’ve found ways to cope with my anxiety that are working for the time being.” Unfortunately, that time being ran out and as basketball began to wreak the havoc that it always does on my summers, my anxiety returned with a vengeance. When I say a vengeance, I’m talking constant worried feelings even when I realized that at the moment, I had absolutely nothing to be worried about. I’m taking sweaty palms, feeling hard of breath, and a constant lump in my throat and uneasiness in my chest. I’m talk bouts of tearfulness just because I could not for the life of me get the feelings to subside.
The last month has shown me that God never gives up on us. He will keep trying over and over to get us to see that it is Him that we need until we are finally willing to give it a try. And, even if we only try adding God into our bag of tricks as a last resort, He will prove that it is not in vain. That’s honestly how it all started for me. I had literally tried everything else and was at my wits end. Although I don’t feel like I’ve ever known how, I’ve always been a person that prays, and one day, just a few weeks ago, something in me told me to change my prayer. Instead of praying what I usually would, “God, please let us get good news about DJ’s career and where we will be headed this basketball season soon,” I changed my prayer to, “God, I am really struggling during this time of uncertainty and I need you now more than ever. Please equip me with the tools that I need to handle this season of uncertainty and be able to cope when seasons of uncertainty arise in the future. Please help me to learn patience and prepare both DJ and me so that we are ready whenever the next opportunity presents itself.” Just like that, everything changed.
After that initial prayer, I noticed that I started doing things that I usually don’t. I began looking for books to read and listening to new podcasts that I had never been interested in before literally overnight and I can’t exactly pinpoint why. Most of these new forms of media that I became attracted to are things that target people like me: type A perfectionist control freaks without an ounce of patience. What I found is that almost all of them suggest that we need a few things in order to avoid being overcome with constant worry:
- To recognize the beauty in our lives without comparing our journeys to others
- To trust that there is a grand plan and everything will work out according to it
- To enjoy the process and find things to be thankful for while we wait who whatever is in store
For me, all of these things point back to faith in God. I need something to believe in. I crave stability and given the volatility of not only my lifestyle, but of life in general, what I believe in must be constant. Honestly, what I’ve realized is that God is the only real constant that exists. In God, I realized that I was perfectly made and that as a result, my journey will be unique. I realized that He has a plan for my life that is greater than anything I could even image, and I see the beauty in even the simplest moments and am grateful for them.
I do still battle with my anxiety, especially given the fact that the end of the summer is here and my husband and I still don’t know where he will be playing this basketball season (at least – we didn’t know at the time when I wrote this… These things can LITERALLY change overnight.). That uncertainty shakes me to my core and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t REALLY want to know what’s to come. But, at the same time, I find peace in something that I never found peace in before: knowing that God will get me through this period of uncertainty and that although I can’t see it now, this is all according to His plan.
A big part of my journey to LiveLifeWell involves spiritual wellness. This is new for me, so don’t think of me as a Bible toting, Scripture reciting Christian quite yet, but (hopefully), I’m well on my way. What practicing spiritual wellness looks like for me right now is doing a daily devotional each morning and each evening so that I start and end my day by spending time with God, praying, attending church (more) regularly, and reading books that help me to learn more about how I can continue to progress (right now, I’m reading Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs – which I totally recommend!). While my journey towards spiritual wellness and yours may look nothing alike, especially if your beliefs are different than mine, know that if you invest time in becoming spiritually healthy, it will pay off in every other area of your life.