Rainy Day Thoughts.


FRESHMAN


Freshman year, you were the hardest year of my entire life. A year where I was bound and chained to the weight of my anxiety like never before. Sure, I’ve dealt with a crippling anxiety disorder my entire life but this was one of the times where I was waking up every morning to what felt like an out of body experience. Weeks where I was anything but myself. At times becoming physically sick from anxiety. Days went by, some good, some okay, and some spent in bed lacking any motivation to do anything. The only people I “let in” that year were my mom and my amazing long time friend & roommate.
If you saw me then, you might have thought I  was kinda shy, but overall happy and just the average freshman. As time went on and rush came and went I thought maybe the dream of going kappa would be enough to take away the pain I felt. Truly it did just the opposite. Maybe one of the weirdest “identity crisis” moments thus far if I’m being completely honest. I didn’t realize how much I had been waiting to join a sorority just to “belong.” I quickly realized only Christ is what can fulfill, nothing else.
Truth is, I had never truly felt “at home” that year at Baylor. I drove home most weekends to be with family and remember always dreading the drive back to Waco. I met a few friends and kept up with some people from high school but for the most part I pushed each and every person away that year. I didn’t want people to see the pain I was feeling. The thought of being vulnerable and “not okay” truthfully made me want to hide from everyone. I skipped all the sorority stuff blaming it on wanting to watch my brother play football back home. I couldn’t let them in. I couldn’t let people see me for the brokenness I had encountered at this point in my life.
I would cringe at the idea of letting people see that instead of going to the mixers and events, I was going through a tissue box crying myself all the way down i-35 at midnight because I needed to be at the only place I felt safe, at home. Nobody wants to admit that. Nobody wants to drive by the event all her friends are at only to pass by on the way home because you are so anxious you haven’t eaten in 3 days, you haven’t slept in 5 nights and you haven’t talked to anyone but your mom and roommate, by choice. Honestly, that was where I was, I was stuck. Nobody knew why I was being flaky with the plans we made, nobody knew why I was never in Waco, and nobody knew how I was truly feeling.
Maybe it sounds like a little much but I cannot even begin to put into words how deeply my spirit was crushed so many days my freshman year. This was the same year I spent most of my time researching anxiety relief centers (kinda like a rehab but for anxiety) and places to go and get help because I was at a loss for words to describe the pain that was not going away. At the end of fall semester I decided I wanted to transfer or take a ‘gap year’ in order to figure out this anxiety thing. The grass seemed a whole lot greener not being in Waco. Every part of me wanted to leave Baylor.
Then there was a break in my journals for a month or two. During that time I experienced an anxiety attack with symptoms I had never dealt with before. I ended up driving home again, in the middle of the night and sleeping for days at home. I couldn’t get up, I had 3 projects due back at school but I couldn’t bring myself to finish them. Here I was, not myself, yet again. My mom helped me email professors and I took a week and a half to get back to being able to get out of bed and get back to Waco to finish spring semester. My mom emailed around for counselors and found one in Waco who was truly a God-sent. (Pam, you saved my life that year, and let’s be honest- every year after that!) This was rock bottom, but I was almost done and so ready to get home for the summer.
By the next journal entry, however, there was a glimmer of hope. I was in freshman art class with an amazing friend- Courtney. She spoke of needing a roommate for the next year in their 4 person apartment. Well, up until this point it had been a series of prayers debating my transfer of schools. Long story short, I ended up signing with these girls for the next school year, a tangible sign I wasn’t leaving Waco anytime soon.
This year was one large scatter-brained experience. If you have ever suffered from anxiety- I am writing this to encourage you that you are not alone!


SOPHOMORE


Sophomore year started out exciting. Over the summer, I spent time at home and with family. Things were still just as hard on the inside, but I was with people who knew me inside and out. When I moved into the apartment, that next year, I had the time of my life focusing on decorating my room and the little things that brought me temporary joy. I was starting new treatment for anxiety and things were looking up.
Until I received an email that my freshman spring semester had landed me on academic probation for the upcoming fall semester. Starting to feel better only to get crawled back into that old state of tough times. That semester I was required to take a one-hour mentoring class through Baylor, which ended up being an hour a week with an awesome woman who truly spoke life into me each week and I am so grateful God used that class to encourage me in that season.
Along with academic probation, also came social probation from all sorority life. No events and not a-lot of involvement. This was HARD! Looking back I had every right to appeal the probation due to my circumstances, but just showing up in Waco was a little victory in itself. I didn’t even look into it. Freshman year my anxiety caused me to stumble so hard and go from a straight-A student to seeing so many in-completes in the grade-book that I may have as well not been in those classes at all. I distinctly remember asking dates to “kappa krush” before realizing I couldn’t go and being so upset about it and honestly just feeling embarrassed. But then again, nobody knew, I let nobody in, and I made up excuses to go home so that I could hide the fact I was drowning on the inside.
This year we came to a few realizations, thanks to the help I had received. Little did we know, I had been suffering from depression that coincided with anxiety.  In hindsight, this makes a whole lot of sense. The rest of sophomore year nothing happened except being so anxious I stayed home most of the time and could not for the life of me understand why having a relationship with anyone other than my core friends and family made me shake with anxiousness. Again, kind of an out of body experience.


JUNIOR


I came into junior year a whole lot stronger and a whole lot braver. The Lord was so good to me in the tough seasons and finally things were coming into focus. The Lord is sovereign over ALL and wow He is GOOD.
This year I moved into a house with 3 friends, one friend I’ve known since elementary school. This was great. I was finally close to campus and my sister was at Baylor! I mean this was the best thing ever having my best-friend so close to me again. It was easily one of the BIGGEST joys for me to have a house I could cook for all her friends, have dinner parties, and host Bible studies. Fall of this year, I began to be involved in making graphics for Vertical Ministries and that is just a whole other monumental blessing within itself. (Chambers Swiggart- little did you know- you gave me an opportunity to use my gifts for Christ in a whole new way and it changed my life and gave me purpose. Thank you for pushing me to pursue my abilities in a whole new way, I am forever grateful!)
This year I came into kappa wanting more out of it, I wanted to be friends with the girls I usually just waved to and I wanted to play a larger part within our chapter. I began to take notice of the chaplain position and it weighed heavy on my heart to apply for it. I later began as chaplain the spring of 2018. A HUGE moment of thankfulness in seeing the Lord work tangibly to fulfill His plans for my life and see him take the anxious person I was and use me in this role.
This was the same year I met my core friends in Kappa and to this day they are the girls who have seen me succeed, seen me fail, heard me cry, know my story and know the deepest parts of my heart, while still continuing to love me despite my shortcomings. Friends that I have always prayed and longed for. Friends who know the Lord intimately and walk with Him daily. Friends who push me towards the Cross.
This was the year I called my parents crying in awe that the Lord would take who I was freshman year and challenge me to be vulnerable in ways beyond my wildest comprehension in order to serve as Chaplain. If you told me freshman year I would be serving my chapter through, (two of my biggest fears at the time) public speaking and vulnerability I would have laughed. But the Lord is faithful and this position was one I was not equipped for- a large part of why I was so grateful for it. I had no choice but to show up keenly aware of my flesh each week pleading with the Lord for words to say. Asking the Lord for ears to hear what HE had had to say to the chapter each week. The only way I realized I needed to seek the Lord in order to deliver a simple and short devotional each week? Because the weeks I tried to speak out of my own flesh/pride, I failed and was left anxious and feeling spiritually empty.
A truly humbling year, filled with deep emotions of grieving the old struggles and learning how to believe that anxiety no longer “owned” me, but that Christ had set me free and that was enough for all my days ahead.


SENIOR


A letter to senior year is still in the works, but sneak peek, it was the best year yet…

Here’s to the days when I couldn’t get out of bed. Here’s to the days when I could get out of bed and succeeded and the days I got out of bed and failed. Here’s to being human and choosing each and every day to live in the freedom of Christ and not in the shackles of the enemy.

A journal entry from PASSION 2018 that sparked a revival in my heart for today, 2019.


VERSES REFERENCED


John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”


Romans 8:1-2

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”


Matthew 5:4

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”


Matthew 11:28

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


Philippians 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by  prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to the Lord, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”


Isaiah 41:10

“Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am the Lord your God. I will help you and strengthen you,  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”


Mark 9:23-24

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for the one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”


Q U O T E S | T E A C H I N G S


Priscilla Shirer-

“Wouldn’t it be a shame if the enemy believed more about who God says you are than you did?”

Priscilla’s Message – Passion Conference 2018


Louie Giglio-

“I am stuck looking down at the victimization of myself and not up at the cross.”

Louie’s Message- Passion Conference 2018


Dale Wallace-

“Inform your heart.”

Dale Wallace Messages- Vertical Ministries

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Hi I'm Madi! Welcome to my creative outlet where I share all my favorite fashions, accessories, home decor & a little lifestyle here and there. I'm so glad you're here!

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