Shortness of breath. Tightness in the chest. Rapidly beating heart. Silent stream of tears. Unable to move. Repetitive, oppressive thoughts. No way out. Anxiety is truly crippling. It is actually incredible how something going on in our minds can affect our bodies in such a profound way. And once the anxiety fades, we often still have the aftershock effects of muscle stiffness, sore necks, puffy eyes, pounding heads, sensitive teeth, and, worst of all, feelings of defeat.
Anxiety is no joke. I’ve dealt with it for most of my life in one form or another. To be honest, I didn’t even realize I had an anxiety problem until the end of college. I thought everyone’s mind was this fearful, worried, and illogical. While not everyone is fighting an anxiety battle, I do know it’s a huge worldwide problem. Yet when I met my husband, and his mind didn’t seem to work this way, I was confused. I felt like I was always the one bringing us down, having meltdowns, ruining our happiness (not that my husband said any of these things…I just had anxiety thinking about it). The first year of marriage was honestly pretty tough for this reason.
Luckily, God surrounded me throughout the end of college and beginning of marriage with godly women and my husband. They encouraged me to face my anxiety head on. I went to counseling (both secular in college and Christian during marriage) and this helped tremendously. Through the process I describe in the devotional on Fear, I have been able to get to the root cause of my anxiety, surrender it to God, confess the lies I was believing, and replace them with sweet, living truth. God doesn’t want my life to look like a series of crippling moments of anxiety. He wants me to bring all my worries to Him and receive His peace. It’s a hard, long journey. And, thankfully, we have a strong, faithful God.
He will not abandon you to your anxiety and fear. He knows how you feel, has compassion on you, and wants you to come before Him exactly as you are. We can be honest with an all-knowing God. It’s scary and beautiful. The healing process is God’s love letter to you.
So come before the One who is able to handle you in all of your mess today. As you heal, the anxiety will ease, your physical symptoms will dissipate, and your mind will finally rest. You just need to take the first step-admitting you need help. God is our great Helper. He is beyond powerful. And He will provide.
PS God has A LOT to say about anxiety in scripture. Here’s just a few examples:
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:6-7
“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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7
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