Wringing her hands, she struggled somewhat to describe her anxiety. The group was small; five others joined her in the circle of chairs. Several other similar circles were scattered around the large gymnasium, far enough away from each other that voices didn’t reach beyond the ears of small circle’s members.
“I am not sure what is making me so anxious. Perhaps, it is not knowing what to do about my parents whose ages are beginning to betray them. Maybe it is the uncertainty my children are facing as they deal with their jobs and their little ones. Or, perhaps it is that although I love God, I don’t sense the closeness to Him that I once had and that I want again. All I know is that I am nervous, anxious, unsure, and full of unanswered questions. . . . And, I will appreciate your prayer for me.” While saying all this, her hands were still twisting around each other.
When the prayer circle had concluded its time of prayer, a person she had never met before the meeting introduced himself. “I hope I will not be taken as intruding,” he said. “But, I could I to ask you a question related to what you were saying earlier. Don’t feel as if you need to answer, of course.”
“Well certainly,” she said with genuine courtesy, “what is your question?”
“What are you afraid of losing?” was the fellow’s reply. “I am asking if for several reasons. One is because a number of years ago, while with a friend of mine, I expressed some anxiety about where he was living at the time. I asked him if he was ever afraid of getting killed. He answered, ‘I died before going there.’ His answer became more than an answer to my question. It became a trigger for me to ponder what I was afraid of losing.”
The anxious lady looked at the fellow, and slowly responded with, “I have never thought of that question, what am I afraid to lose? I . . . Perhaps . . . Maybe . . . I am afraid of losing my salvation. Perhaps my marriage. I . . . “
The fellow’s comment was to the point. He said, “When you can identify what you are afraid of losing, you will be a long way into knowing why you are living with anxiety. When you finally come to not having anything you fear losing, most likely your anxiety will depart.”