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Beauty and Trust: Dealing with Anxiety: Jamie Grace

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
May 20, 2024 5:15 am

Beauty and Trust: Dealing with Anxiety: Jamie Grace

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 20, 2024 5:15 am

Award-winning musician, Jamie Grace knows the gritty realities of dealing with anxiety. Could God use your anxiety, like hers, to shape bedrock trust and beauty?

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Connect with Jamie Grace and catch more of her thoughts at jamiegrace.com

...and grab Jamie's book, Finding Quiet: My Journey to Peace in an Anxious World in our shop.

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Okay, before we get started today, I've got a question for you, not you Ann, our listener. Where are you listening from? And you know that we're from Detroit, Motor City, Shelby's in the Philly area, and our Family Life Today headquarters are in Orlando. So we're coming to you guys from all over the country, but what about you? We would love to know if you are in one of those areas or where else you consider home. Text FLT plus where you're listening from to 80542 to let us know.

So again, you're going to text FLT plus where you're listening from to 80542. I was nine years old when my anxiety first started. It was just this feeling of being worried but it was a worry that I couldn't get rid of. And it was a stress that I couldn't get rid of.

But to be sitting there and find out like, well, no, like this is an anxiety disorder was so much more frustrating than I could have prepared myself for. Welcome to Family Life Today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson.

You can find us at familylifetoday.com or on the Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. All right, let's talk about the last time you experienced like real anxiety. This morning. This morning? That wasn't anxiety, that was anger.

It was both, actually. Go ahead and tell them. Tell them what I did. You really think this is my fault?

Yes. I don't think this is my fault. We're going to let our listeners decide. We need our listeners to like direct message in and tell us. You have been sick and even recording, we're recording outside the studio. We have a window between us and our guests.

Right. And you have not been feeling well. And so I was going to bed last night knowing you're sick and I have this water beside the sink because I take my vitamins every night. So I take the water and I think if Dave wakes up in the middle of night, he's going to drink my water and then I'm going to get sick if he drinks from my glass. So I take my cup, it has ice and water in it, and I put it in the closet, you guys, in the closet thinking he's not going to go in the closet and get my water and drink it. So next morning I'm drinking out of that cup.

I take my vitamins again. I'm walking around the house with the cup and Dave says to me, that's not your cup, is it? I'm like, what do you mean?

It's always my cup. Yeah. He goes, oh, well, I drank out of it last night. I'm like, it was in the closet.

Yeah. I wondered why it was in the closet. I'm like, where's your cup? Oh, it's in the closet. I drank, I took my NyQuil.

And then why wouldn't you tell me, hey, I drank from your cup? So then I'm like, I'm going to get this sickness. This is going to be terrible. Yeah. So I'm feeling a little anxious. You're living in the same house. We're sleeping in the same bed. I don't think a little sip from a little cup.

But that just like was the nail in the coffin. Now I'm going to get sick, but maybe I won't. You know, I've been praying like, Lord, help me not to get sick.

You know what? I should have never drank out of a cup in a closet. I did think, why is this cup in a closet with ice? I thought you put it there for me. It's like, how considerate of my wife to put a little glass of water.

I don't even understand. Anyway, we're bringing all this up because we've got a guest in the studio today. Jamie Grace is with us at Family Life Today.

Welcome to Family Life Today, Jamie. Guys, I think it should be a rule that wives can drink from their husband's water, but husbands, you're not supposed to drink out of your wife's water. It's your wife's water. It's all the time. Like that's, if she put it there, she probably put it there as her secret water.

I'm feeling teamed up on right now. Well, yeah, that's like a rule. Like you don't find a cup. Have you ever seen a cup in the closet?

No, I did. I thought, why is this cup in a closet? Never thinking. What if it was a burglar? That would be my first thought. Like, oh, a burglar is coming to steal my nice shoes or something, and he must have left his water in the closet.

Like, I just love how you just saw a cup of water in the closet and go, oh, must be for me. That's exactly what I thought. Who does that?

Who does that? I was trying to be considerate and not go into the bedroom and wake you up. So I thought, oh, it's right here.

I'll just drink it. And then I should have told you. I should have told you.

That was my mistake. Well, Jamie, I'm sorry you've walked into this. Oh, I'm all here for it.

I'm just I'm now like convinced that that is the perfect like Lifetime movie intro. Like, you see a cup of water in the closet. That's where the burglar's going to leave it. You know what? We're done with the water in the closet. All right. We're moving on. You talk about noise.

We just create all kinds of noise. Jamie's written a book called Finding Quiet, My Journey to Peace in an Anxious World. That's why I brought up this anxiety thing.

It's like Jamie's written this crazy great book about finding peace in the middle of anxiety. Thank you. And I know a lot of our listeners know who you are, Jamie, but I did not know. Two time Grammy nominated songwriter, singer, actress.

I went online last night. Yes. Is this one of them that was nominated? Look at you. Yes. Oh, you are destroying down. I always wanted to be Toby back.

I love the love the love the one that they owe me. All right. Can you sing? Can you sing? She just had her wisdom teeth out. So I just had all four wisdom teeth.

They took them away. I don't know if I can. Oh, I just think our listeners would love it.

I know. Can you give us one lick? I think they would love it if it sounded good. That never stopped me before.

Dave doesn't care about that. I think you sounded amazing. You should just take my job. Your studio's fancy.

I'll stay here and talk at the microphone and you hop on the plane and go sing to the people. For some reason, I've never been nominated for a Grammy. What do you think, honey?

Maybe there's a reason. It takes talent. You know what I like about you though, Dave?

You'll just do it, you know? But Jamie, you really are gifted in a lot of different ways. Thank you so much. And so it's really fun to have you on because you're just you're really fun to be around. But what you've written about, man, it's something we all a lot of us face and we deal with, especially in the day and age with your subtitle, My Journey to Peace in an Anxious World.

Yeah. And so when I talk to you, I'm like, you're so positive. You're really upbeat.

You're really fun. But this is something that you've really struggled with and dealt with. So take us back. We want to hear your story. Yes, ma'am.

Take us back into where did this all start? Yeah, it's definitely, you know, a journey, you know, as you said, and as it kind of mentioned in the book and I get quite frustrated that it's a journey at times, you know, I'm I'm a very pro therapy person. And I was literally I was talking with my therapist last week.

She's so cool. And we were just we were talking and I mentioned something and she was like, oh, well, I think this could be you know, you might be worried about X, Y, Z. And I looked at it, I was like, oh, no, I've already dealt with that. Like, I dealt with that like five years ago in therapy, so I'm good. And she and I just kind of gotten this kind of like almost comical conversation about just like sometimes we forget that it is a journey and we forget that sometimes we might have this anxiety about something and then we feel better about it.

And it's like, OK, I don't have to deal with that anymore. But then something comes up and all of a sudden we're thinking about that anxiety again. And that started for me as a kid. I was nine years old when my anxiety first started. It was just this feeling of being worried. But it was a worry that I couldn't get rid of.

And it was a stress that I couldn't get rid of. I am a pastor's kid. My mom and dad started our church when I was about two years old. So we always call it the middle child because there's my sister. And then two years later was me. Then two years later was the church.

That's so true. I was the youngest child. Not like I'm the middle child as opposed to the youngest. And so I just I grew up in church and I had even at nine years old, I had a very significant confidence in Jesus.

Well, I love you start your book. You say when I was seven, I made a decision to love Jesus for the rest of my life. Yeah. And when I was 11, I was diagnosed with anxiety.

Yeah. It was this thing where it's like, I mean, every 11 year old, every 40 year old, every 70 year old deals with worry and stress. But to be sitting there and find out like, well, no, like this is an anxiety disorder was so much more frustrating than I could have prepared myself for because as a follower of Jesus, you kind of, at least as a kid, just the practicality of like, oh, you pray for something and God helps you with it. Or, oh, you need something and the Bible gives you the tools to deal with it.

Or, you know, that's just kind of how it works. So having a generalized anxiety disorder is is like literally being almost like given this like pass to like, oh, no, you're going to be panicking about stuff a lot. This has crossed the threshold of an everyday awkward and has moved into like, no, we can actually show you the chemical imbalance in your brain and worry is unfortunately a part of your everyday life.

What did it look like? You say worry. So, I mean, it would be, you know, from my mom would say something like, OK, like, you know, sort of homeschooled.

Right. So my mom would be like, OK, so we're going to hop in the car and we're going to do a field trip today. We're going to go to a museum and learn about X, Y, Z.

And within 30 seconds, like my mind had already processed these statistics that can happen of car accidents in the car and process like, OK, well, what could happen if we get to the museum and I can't remember everything that I learned? Like, am I not smart enough? Am I not good enough? Like, oh, am I homeschooled because I can't go to regular school like everybody else because I don't have any friends? Oh, nobody likes me. Well, my dad's not here because my dad's at work.

Oh, because we don't have a lot of money, even though my dad works a whole lot and my dad can never really work enough to really take care of the family. But that's not nice to say because that works really hard. Like within 30, 60 seconds, like every possible dramatic and awful scenario would just start mentally taking a toll on me. The way you just said that, it felt like we were in your head. Yeah. It felt like that. Is that the noise you're talking about? All day.

It's all day. And I'm almost 30 now. I'm very grown and wise. And so I've learned some really helpful tools to help silence that noise. But it's a conscious choice to fight that noise.

It's a conscious choice to allow that quiet to happen. But I think even though I have like generalized anxiety disorder, I think, oh, I know for a fact that even though people, even people without it have anxiety and have worry and have fear, you know, and we have to consciously choose to like trust in the Lord that the anxiety that's happening in our mind is oftentimes a liar, you know, and like and trust, like the quiet that we are having a hard time procuring is the very thing that we need. So it's a lot of active, active reacting on a daily basis for me to combat the anxiety that happens naturally. And then, you know, in addition to that, I was at 11, I was diagnosed with a tic disorder called Tourette syndrome, which is a movement disorder causing uncontrollable movements and sounds called tics. And then also obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, which is similar to anxiety, but basically causes more actions than thoughts. So like repetitive counting of something or tapping or moving repetitive like pursuing of textures. Like if I see like a texture, like I need to feel like, oh, I need to go figure out what that is or like a texture that I just like cannot touch.

I'm like, if that blanket comes near me, I will probably cry. And then also ADHD, which is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which really just affected all the other. And it's just it's a lot. You know, it's a lot. I was I was 11 and sometimes I look back and I'm like, kid, were you OK?

Yeah. Well, I'm thinking of our listeners that have kids that maybe have had some of those diagnosis or maybe they're dealing with anxiety and depression. And yet and to look at you on the outside, I would never know any of that. And plus you're super successful. You're doing a ton and you're young. So as 11 here you are. You've had this I mean, crazy diagnosis with a lot of different things than what? The first thing was relief. My symptoms really were at their heaviest when I was nine, well, between nine and 15. But the onset of them was like nine years old when the tics were really bad. I was constantly squeezing my hands, my feet. I have some of my tics were oftentimes injuring myself. So like I would be in the car and hitting my head on like the window. The way that my legs and arms would flail would oftentimes I would hit myself or hit myself in the stomach. And again, these things are all uncontrollable. It's just the way that if you're nerdy like me and you're like, oh, how does this happen? You know, the neurons in my brain that are supposed to signal to do things.

There's a little mix up in the wiring. You know, we live in an imperfect world. These things happen, unfortunately. And so the main thing was that was like my tics. And so getting that diagnosis was such a relief because it felt like, oh, there's a word, you know, there's an understanding. There's a reason.

Yeah, exactly. I, you know, like a lot of other kids, I mean, statistically, this is just much more. But like, you know, I dealt with things like asthma as a kid, which is pretty common. You know, I had like an inhaler just in case I needed it.

It wasn't too bad by the time I was in like middle school. So getting my diagnosis of everything else was kind of exciting because in my head I was like, oh, I'm going to get, I guess, like an inhaler for Tourette. Like, I don't know, like, I never heard these words before, but I assumed they'd give me some medication. But my relief, I mean, it dissipated so quickly because I just remember, you know, my neurologist sitting there and saying to my mom, like, hey, just so you know, like, there's no cure for any of this stuff. There's not even medication for it. There are medications that we can try, but nothing, nothing is for sure going to work. And then even the medications you were on were, that was rough.

They were horrible. I feel so much for parents that are still going through this today with their children because now don't get me wrong, there have been, there's been so much research and studies and we've grown so much in the medical community and I'm so grateful for all the people that have put in the work. But I mean, if you are a parent of a child dealing with illness, that's a full time job. And I'm so grateful for my parents because they fought for me relentlessly, just like I would try one medication and it would have me, you know, dealing with things like hallucinations and or sleeping just like day after day after day or not sleeping at all or just complete loss of my personality. Like, I was on a heart monitor at one time because one of the medications was affecting my heart and the payoff just wasn't worth it.

You know, the benefits of the medication rather. It just wasn't worth it. So, I mean, it was it was miserable. I get, it's tough because like you said, you know, like if a lot of people meet me or if they see me like nine times out of ten, my hair is purple or pink. Like there's always something. It's a little buzz right now. Yeah. It's so cool.

Yeah. It's always, thank you. It's always elaborate.

There's always something going on. And I think I think sometimes I'm kind of like overcompensating for like that childhood like situation that I went through because it was horrendous. You know, this five to seven year gap in my life where I was just I was miserable. I was it was awful. I was I was very depressed. Tell us about your mom that was fighting for you and even your dad.

Yeah, I'd love to know, you know, did they ever lose it? Were they always patient? I'm just thinking if I'm in the car and my son is banging his head on the window, there might have been time for him like, can you just stop that?

But obviously it's a medical condition. Of course, mom, I'm crying. I'm thinking, Lord, what are we going to do? I don't know how they did it.

I don't I don't know how they do it now. I mean, I still have stuff. Just think about the very stereotypical dynamic of, you know, the youngest child that's, you know, married and with their first child. You know what I mean? Just like the dynamic of me being like, Mom, you know, like I'm annoying like I'm a millennial. But yeah, it's like I don't know how like my parents are even still like so gracious and so patient with me.

And I mean, that's just the Lord honestly. But my mom, I struggle to call her a stay at home mom because I think she was like a work on demand homeschool mom because we didn't really grow up a lot of money. So my mom was like, I'm going to start a cookie business real quick.

So like kind of like that, you know. But she also homeschooled us. And so she is the literal person that took the literal paperwork to my neurologist and said, it's called Tourette syndrome and my child has it. They could not find out what it was.

It was almost two years of going to different doctors and all this kind of thing. In the mental health community, it is hard to get a diagnosis, but it's especially difficult for people of color to get a diagnosis and for women to get a diagnosis just because a lot of the research isn't based off of people of color. And so I was told by my neurologist at a very prominent children's hospital in the southeast that there was no way I could have Tourette syndrome because I was not a white male. So she said that she thought that I had something called psychotic eyes. And my mom said that doesn't exist. And she was like, yeah, but I think that's what it is. My mom was like, bye.

So we stopped going to her. We found me a new neurologist who still didn't know what it was. And fun fact, if you go and look at my records, I am actually so bad in my medical records.

I'm classified as a white female. And I think that it was done so that I could get my diagnosis because in the south they just would not give me a diagnosis. And so my mom is the one that was like, hey, my kid has Tourette syndrome.

I dare you to challenge me. And they looked at it and they're like, oh, you're right. And she never stopped fighting for me. And she still does. You're a mom. It's that mom and bear thing in us. Well, I mean, it sounds like, again, I don't know your mom, sounds like she was extremely firm and went after what she needed to get, but also tender and gentle with you.

Is that true? Oh, yeah, for sure. I can't remember one time that she did not extend me the grace that I needed really.

She's also a very comical person and very much a realist as well. Don't get me wrong. I remember once I was like 12 and there was something that I was really obsessing over OCD wise. And I was like, well, it has to be this way.

It has to be that way. And for context, I was super nerdy. So I was 12. I was already in ninth grade.

And so I was planning for college and stuff. My mom sat me down and she was like, hey, let's talk about this real quick. She's like, in this house, you can be who you need to be. You can do what you need to do. But I want you to understand something. The world is not going to give you the grace that I'm going to give you. So she was like, I'm never going to tell you not to have OCD because that's not how it works. But you have to be mindful that if college is something you want, if moving out of the state by yourself is something you want, I just need you to be mindful.

The world is not like set up for little black girls with mental health issues. So whatever that means, you need me to go with you. You need to stay with me.

You need to stay with me and dad, like whatever it is. And so I always appreciated how real she was. You know, she definitely wasn't one of those moms that was like, just be yourself, baby.

The world will deal with that because that's not practical. I like that she was like, you be who you need to be and you do what you got to do and understanding that the world will never give you the kind of anything that you might feel that you deserve or need. Did that give you the confidence you needed to become who you are?

I think so. It helped me feel so comfortable with being different. You know, I think so often even now as a society, we always want to talk about like, oh, we got to like come together and talk about all the things that make us the same.

And yeah, that's a beautiful, important thing. But I also like to embrace what makes me different. I, you know, I also I wasn't born to fit in with everybody else. I wasn't made to be like everybody else. And so when I went to college, it taught me how to be an advocate for myself as opposed to, well, I have mental health stuff. I have severe anxiety.

They better adapt to me. It taught me like, no, I need to learn how to become an advocate for myself. Whatever full time job I have, I'm also going to have to become a full time volunteer advocate for me and my mental health. And yeah, it gave me a lot of confidence. But also it reminded me, I also still call my mommy if I need her, because, yes, sometimes I do. A couple weeks ago I called her. I was like, Mom, I have a doctor's appointment and I'm not sure what to say about a medicine that I need for my some arm pain. So she like told me what to say.

I was like, yes. Well, I'm sitting there. I'm thinking about Philippians 4 19. And you even quote this verse in your book where it says, My God will meet all your needs, all of your needs, according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. And I listen to you and I think you're this little girl who was born. God wasn't surprised at your diagnosis. And he wasn't surprised.

I'm thinking of Psalm 139 where it says he knit us together in our mother's womb. And he's looking at you and he's celebrating. Look at my daughter. She has so many gifts. She has so many talents. And yes, she's got some things. I know about those. I'm not surprised by those.

And yet I'm going to use her. I think that's such a good reminder for all of us, because sometimes we can look at our brokenness. We can look at our diagnosis. We can look at our kids and we can think, Lord, do you see what's happening?

And he goes, Yeah, I see your girl. I see you. And I think it's a really good reminder that God is saying, I'm with you.

I'm with you in it. And you've been a great example. And I love hearing the story of you and your mom that she's fighting for you and she's speaking truth to you in love and grace. And that's what our Father God does for us as well. And in some ways, that's what we get to do as parents. We get to be the voice of God to our kids. They don't look at everybody or they don't. They're looking at us to be the voice that says, this is what Jesus sees and thinks of you. Right, exactly. No, I love that so much.

And especially what you were saying about the Lord just not being surprised. It takes me to this incredibly vivid memory. I have a collection of 34 very vivid memories from childhood. It's so random.

But I have this one. We were waiting for my mom to, I think, come out of like an antique mall or something. My dad and I were sitting in the minivan and I was doing some gymnastics in the car.

In the car? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I'm just, I'm really talented. And so it was horrible.

But I was maybe eight or nine. Yeah. And he does a pastor. And so he's supposed to know all. To my surprise, he does not know all.

It was very disappointing. But I asked him once, I was like, Dad, can you just tell me if God is so smart, like, why doesn't he just tell me everything that's going to happen? Or even, even the question that a lot of us ask is, Lord, you could heal me. Yeah, exactly. Why don't you just heal me?

Exactly. And I really thought I had it all figured out. I was like, Dad, all God has to do is just fix it. He was like, tell us everything. And I remember my dad, he looked in the rearview mirror.

My dad is so, he's so beautifully poetic and dramatic. He could have turned around, but I felt like he was doing this for dramatic effect. He, like, looked in the rearview mirror and he was like, this is not his voice, but it has to be for the story. He was like, well, if he told us, we would not have a reason to trust him then, would we? I was just like, that makes so much sense.

Like, my mind was blown. And then I told him, I was, and he was like, man, he's like, I'm going to preach that one day. And I just remember telling him, I was like, no, Dad, I'm going to preach it. And I like to remind him, like, I'm preaching it, Dad, like I am, because I try to make that my life's work of just like, I'm trusting the maker here.

You know, I, I could be healed of Tourette syndrome tomorrow. Like, yeah, I could beg God to just tell me the plan for the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years. You know, I could go there if I wanted to, or like, I'm just choosing to trust him.

He's not surprised by any of this. And so I'm just choosing to say, OK, Lord, you've put me here for a reason. You're allowing me to walk through this stuff for whatever reason that might be.

And I always try to remind myself, like, Job went through worse, so at least I ain't Job. So like, you're allowing me to go through all this stuff. I'm here. I'm present with you, Jesus. I'm just choosing to trust that you have a purpose for all of this.

You know, that is so much, much greater than than what I could plan for myself. You know, if I can trust your character and your motives, I'm going to trust how you're involving me in whatever plan you might be involving me in. Kids can probably say that if they know and trust their parents. And honestly, I can say that with full confidence that I'm going to trust my parents.

When and if I'm trusting the goodness, loving nature and sovereignty of God, that immediately puts the weight of all that's going on in my life onto the relational aspect of my connection with God instead of the outcomes or circumstantial aspect. I like Jamie's perspective here because it leans in the right direction, the relational direction. I'm Shelby Asher, you've been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Jamie Grace on Family Life Today. Jamie has written a book called Finding Quiet. My journey to peace in an anxious world.

And man, we live in an anxious world right now, don't we? Well, you can get your copy of Jamie's book right now by going online to familylifetoday.com and clicking on the Today's Resources tab. Or you can find it in the show notes.

Or you can give us a call to request your copy at 800-358-6329. Again, that number is 800-F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. And it's May right now, and I have a fantastic update. Right now, every gift you contribute will be doubled. And get this, our matching cap has just skyrocketed to $500,000.

That's right. So every donation that you make is going to be doubled dollar for dollar up to $550,000. So there's never been a better time to give.

There really has never been a better time. So you can go to familylifetoday.com and click on the donate now button at the top of the page. It'll walk you through how to become a monthly partner there. And when you do partner with us, we're going to send you a copy of Chris and Elizabeth McKinney's book called Neighborhoods Reimagined as our way of saying thank you for partnering with us. So again, just head online to familylifetoday.com and click on the donate now button at the top of the page and have every dollar that you give doubled up to $550,000. You can find our link in the show notes at familylifetoday.com. Now tomorrow, how do you monitor your own thoughts and find peace in the process of that? Well, Jamie Grace is back tomorrow with David and Wilson to talk about just that and so much more related to your mental health. We hope you'll join us. On behalf of David and Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a donor supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-20 07:36:36 / 2024-05-20 07:49:42 / 13

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