Feeling Paranoid

I’m not paranoid. I know it. There are people with actual paranoia as a legitimate psychological disorder. And that’s not me. If anything, I have the creeping edges of it, the watered-down taste of it, the heat of it from a near distance.

Let me explain. As you may know from a post on my travel blog, ‘Goodbye, Massachusetts! Hello, Florida,’ I have said goodbye, Massachusetts and hello, Florida on account of leaving Massachusetts and moving to Florida.

Stop me if you’re not following.

It goes without saying, moving is a scary thing. Not only do you have to trust the people you’re surrounded with, but you have to trust the environment you’re thrown into. After living in Chicago (suburbia) for 7 years, I feel quite comfortable walking the streets at night despite it being America’s crime capital.

But Worcester, Massachusetts? Orlando, Florida? I have the car keys in hand, I’m locking my door, I’m clutching my purse everywhere I go.

To be fair, I have been burgled before. (Read about it in ‘Confident Girl.’) No, it wasn’t a massive monetary loss. No, I was not hurt. But the memory of my clothes moved around and my things thrown on the floor resurfaces in my mind from time to time.

I remember asking the police officer, “What if I get burgled again?”

He said, “Then get a lottery ticket because you’re beating the odds.”

I try and remind myself of that. But lately, I’ve been feeling on edge. I’ve been listening to sermons online when I’m lying in bed – partly because I like listening to sermons but partly because every time I hear a rustle or a car door slamming outside, I stay wide awake, like I’m waiting for something.

I think back to when I realized somebody had been in my bedroom. It was a moment when I realized it could happen. People can break into your space. People can steal from you. People can hurt you. Anything is possible.

My imagination has been wreaking havoc on my sanity. Yesterday, I drove the wrong route to my house because I was convinced someone was following me.

I know. I have problems.

Actually, I think I have exactly three problems.

First, I am putting my faith in the wrong thing. I used to think the solution to fear or paranoia is to ‘have a little faith.’ But then I read a tweet by Pastor David G. Evans and it goes:

I believe that I’m in constant danger. I have faith that I am. And maybe I’m right, who knows? But at the end of the day, the world can hurt your body and take your property, but if you stay close to God, they can’t touch your spirit. And that’s important. I need to remember that.

Secondly, I am overly concerned about protecting my things. While they’re important, I am failing to recognize that being in a new place by myself also puts my spirituality at risk. I have already had a few experiences that have made me frustrated and unwilling to come to God in prayer.

Which leads to the third problem: prayer. I haven’t been praying for God to restore my sense of security. It’s like I haven’t had the faith that He could do that. Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

So now, a prayer for the (pseudo-) paranoid, like me:

“Dear Lord, we are afraid that someone will hurt us, that someone will steal from us, that something will GET to us. We feel alone and unsafe. Please comfort us in our fearfulness, let us be assured by the blessings You have showered us with, please let us have faith in what You have done, in what You are doing, and in what is in Your character to do in the future.”

Praying for you, Savvy, as well. Miss you big time.

-Rachel

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