To The Woman With Anxiety…
You are not alone, I know anxiety well.
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Anxiety is an unwelcome friend that keeps me up in the middle night and gives me trouble going to sleep.
A lot of us know anxiety well.
The past three years, I have experienced the most anxiety I have ever had surrounding pregnancy, parenting, death and disease. All of these are “large” events, but between theses large events, I have struggled with an anxious feeling for no reason at all in the middle of the night.
When anxiety aries in my soul, I repeat this scripture.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by 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
But, is it really possible to not be anxious? I would like to think so, but after fully reading Philippians, I believe that Paul meant the statement about anxiety to be more about your state of life, not one particular moment. I believe he wrote it to show us exactly how to handle anxiety when it comes.
He wants us to handle anxiety with prayer, petition and thanksgiving while guarding our hearts and minds.
The first thing the apostle Paul tells us to do when anxiety strikes is pray. I believe there is so much power in prayer and being able to release those feelings to the Lord is so freeing. I acknowledge that I am filled with anxiety or worry and let the Lord know what I am worried about. After acknowledging the problem, I pray for peace and joy in my relationship with Christ and my life. I pray that He would take away my worry and I acknowledge that those feelings are not from Him. I ask him to settle my heart and replace those feelings of anxiety with joy in Him.
Secondly, it tells us to petition the Lord in prayer. This involves being specific in our requests. Get to the root of the issue and tell him exactly what you need help with. Are you anxious about your kids not feeling well? Don’t just pray for them to be well again, pray that God would take their runny nose way and that there fever would be gone in the morning. Are you anxious about a business meeting? Pray that your meeting at 10am tomorrow with “xyz” about “this and that” would go “this way”. Submit your requests to the lord and lay them at his feet.
It is hard for an anxious heart and a thankful heart to share the same space. When anxiety hits, begin to think on things you are thankful for in your life. I have even used the ABC method when I am in a rut and started with A. I’m thankful for “all of the work that I do have”, B… “i’m thankful that Brooke is such a sweet girl. Etc…. You will find a smile start to appear as you begin to think on your blessings instead of your issues.
Guard Your Heart
You guard your heart with his word and his truth. I find that I have to replace my thoughts with his truth. I have think on what is true, and right and good…
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. – Acts 17:26-27
I love how this tells us God marked out everyones appointed times in history. It ensures me that He has a plan, I am in this place right now for a reason. I have the job I have for a reason, I have the struggles I have for a reason. Everything is in His plan. And it is GOOD. I also love the end of this verse, it says that He did all of this so that we would seek Him, reach out for Him and find Him. It reveals the purpose of our life, to find Him. And it is so comforting that “he is not far from any one of us.”
A few years ago, I heard this analogy and it has just stuck with me..
There are three people in a row on an airplane that is about to take off and they all have a conversation about the pilot. The person in seat A believes that there is no pilot and that the plane is just a drone piloted by a computer. The person in seat B believes that there is a pilot, but that he is asleep or reading a book while the plane is just on autopilot. But, the person in Seat C knows the pilot well, she had breakfast with him. He is her husband. She knows he cares for the people on the plane and that he has experience.
The airplane takes off and they immediately experience heavy turbulence. The people in seat A and B immediately experience heavy anxiety. However, the person in seat C doesn’t enjoy the turbulence, but she is peaceful. Why? Because she has a relationship with the pilot and she trusts him.
So, who flies your plane?
When it comes down to it, there are three views of God. There is no God. There is a God who started everything and backed away. And then there is a God who cares, who is in control, who knows His passengers and who is determined to get them home safe. The bible doesn’t promise a lack of turbulence, just the opposite. But the bible also promises the constant presence of a loving God who desires to bring you home safely.
The cure for anxiety begins with your understanding of who God is. The more you understand the sovereignty of God, the less anxious you will become. My prayer is that you would learn more about the loving God of the bible who desires to bring you home safely and fight your anxiety with prayer, petition and thanksgiving.