This morning, like the morning before it, and the morning before that, I woke up feeling drained and depleted. My mind is groggy, my thoughts unfocused, and my drive to get anything done is nearly nonexistent. Why? Well, because I have let worry and anxiety consume my every thought since…well before I could even recognize that that was what was happening.
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As of late, I have been coming to terms with myself and with a God who is patiently waiting for me to relinquish my every unsettling thought to Him. This year, my new year’s resolution is to break the cycle. The vicious cycle of pointlessly pondering all the unknowns that God already holds the answers to.
Like So Many Before Me
“In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.” – Psalm 86:7
Do you ever walk into a crowded place and feel the heat of some glaring spotlight on your head? You just know that everyone is staring at you. How about sitting at an assembly for your child, and the noise starts to infiltrate every quiet place in your head reserved for sanity and peace? Or maybe, when your head hits the pillow at night, even after a day filled with physical and mental activity, and your mind is racing so quickly that you feel that it must somehow be burning calories?
Welcome to what has been my world for…most of my existence. I over analyze conversations, replaying every word and gesture, just certain that I did something wrong. I wear myself out rehearsing a dramatic enactment of every possible horrible thing that could go wrong in any given situation. And when the day is all said and done to everyone else at 1:32 in the morning, it isn’t to me.
Anxiety is the real deal. It feels paralyzing and defeating, frustrating and life-altering all at once. I don’t know that I have ever known life to be any different, because my mother suffered from it as long as I knew her, and her mother before her.
It was really only recently, when I started giving up on medication that puts me in a comatose state for two days, and trying to conquer it myself, that I began searching scripture for help. This seems a bit silly, being that I am very spiritual and am usually in some sort of all day conversation with God. But I suppose that this issue seemed SO insurmountable to me, that I was placing God in a box of what I perceived to be His abilities…and debilitating anxiety was not on His resume. Boy, was that stupid.
If you actually take a look at the many God ordained heroes in the Scriptures, many of them suffered from anxiety. It is sometimes worded in different forms, such as “distress”, “worry”, or “fear”. But undoubtedly, these human people, just like me, experienced the same sensations when faced with issues of their time.
King David cries out to God in distress. Queen Esther is “deeply distressed” when she learns of Haman’s evil plot to destroy the Jews. The disciples worried several times, when their faith in Jesus waned, and when they were told that He would be leaving them. And, as surprising as it seems, it appears that even Jesus was in some sort of distress when he is well aware that his death is near, and he asks the Father in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (NLT).
So, for some reason, I never placed much value on the worry and anxiety of the people in the Word. But after having put my heart into seeking help in the Scriptures, I began to arrive at the conclusion that the reason that God reveals their difficulties and troubled states of mind to us, is to reassure us that there were many people before us that were suffering from the effects of being human…and God delivered them.
The Proof Is In The Pudding
“Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ ” – Matthew 11:28-29
I’m definitely thankful that I serve a God who has enduring patience, as I can be at the very least annoying in my incessant need to take the wheel, per say. Just ask my husband 🙂
Surely, God has delivered me from so many horrible situations, dusted His hands off, and moved on to the next dumb thing I’ve gotten myself into. So I’m not sure why I have so often felt the need to bombard my mind of all the worst things that could happen, when all I have got to do I look back at even a portion of my life to realize that I don’t need to lie awake at night and worry myself sick. I don’t need to be in control. And neither do you. Trust me, you don’t want to be.
I believe that those of us with anxiety put far too much pressure on ourselves to come up with the solution, the outcome, the end product. Why would a God who loves us want us to have to worry about how the day should end, how we will make it through these circumstances, or how the world would keep turning if we slept an extra hour? He wouldn’t, and He doesn’t!
Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Is that encouraging to anyone else?! WE ARE FREE!! That means free of the monotony of living every day to the satisfaction of others, and free of having to have our hand on every decision and circumstance! It is my firm belief that God would like to keep his role as Almighty, RULER, unchanging, ever-present, all-knowing strictly exclusive to Himself. When we worry and step back onto the hamster wheel of anxiety and self-doubt, we are attempting to take over a roll that we were never meant to perform. We won’t succeed; the only thing we will accomplish is a deeper hole of self-pity and uncertainness to fall into when we fall short again.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
Fear is mentioned in the Bible 365 times. Coincidence? I think not. I believe that God is very aware that, even though we are warned not to fear, we often let our human nature take control. God wants to give us an everyday reminder not to fear. We have no real reason to be anxious, and the Word in its entirety points to that fact.
For myself, I often fall back into a cycle of anxiety because of a FEAR OF PAIN. Not actual pain. The anticipation of it. And it only got worse when I had children, as i’m sure many can relate. However, it was brought to my attention in a sermon a while back that the fear of pain is often much, much worse than if the pain were actually to occur. And what point is there to live in a dark hole of anxiety our entire lives, fearing what in fact MAY NEVER HAPPEN!?
I’m exceedingly glad that I decided to cover this today, and after my morning quiet time I felt that much more at peace about it. Nothing is impossible for God. Am I completely cured of the anxiety? No. Am I believing God to fully heal me as I cling to Him and His promises? ABSOLUTELY! Don’t give the devil a foothold for one second by allowing him to infiltrate your thoughts and convince you otherwise!
I find it very reassuring to know that there is no way that Satan is going to win. The lots have already been cast. The story has already been written…in stone, if you will. One second of worry will not change the plan that God has set for you, unless the worry holds you back from jumping into your divine purpose. So, let go. Just as I plan to do. This year, take every thought captive and cover them with the truth. And stand firm, Beloved! After all, in the end, God and His glory will prevail, and He intends to carry us with Him through the finish line of life to a place where worry and anxiety are no more!
Thank you all for stopping by!
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Have a beautiful, blessed day!