How to deal with Anxiety; From a faith based perspective
I can sit here and say that I have it all figured out, and I don't struggle anymore, but then I would be lying.
For years I've struggled with Anxiety and depression, battling myself and my thoughts, and ruining moments that I could have enjoyed more.
Anxiety is something I wouldn't wish on anyone, and its not to be taken as a trend either which I'm finding that this generation is turning mental health struggles into another way to gain attention. It isn't something you try on one day and make it your new personality.
For those who may be reading this and not necessarily have Anxiety or know what It is, and maybe you are reading this to send to someone you know that does have these struggles, let me paint you a picture.
Anxiety is going to battle with yourself. It's grasping a tight hold on your mind, making you overthink every little aspect of your life. Anxiety is like a thief in the night, swooping in, uninvited, stealing from you or those around you.
The worst part about it, is that it keeps coming back, because you start to entertain those negative thoughts. You start to prioritize negative over the positive, instead of focusing on reality, you entertain things that may not even be real.
For me, I am constantly thinking of the worst possible outcome for every situation; I have a weird pain in my stomach? That's definitely cancer is what comes to mind. I don't want to think this way, I don't want negative thoughts to consume my life.
That's where God comes in.
I struggle with the concept of not worrying about the things I can't control, but I have to remember that God created us in his image and he has a plan for us.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34
In that sermon, Jesus is instructing us not to worry. God is at tomorrow, we are not. There is no point in worrying about what tomorrow brings, stay focused in the moment of today.
This is where we need to trust God. Put our faith in him, and seek him, for he knows the plans that he has for us just like it says in Jeremiah 29:11
I'm only now truly expanding my relationship with Jesus. To be honest, calling on him to help me get through my troubles with Anxiety is an avenue I never truly thought about.
I've been struggling a lot more recently and the other day my husband opened up my Bible, and flipped through the pages until I told him to stop. He landed on a page of Psalms.
Then he moved his finger around the page and told me to tell him when to stop. When I did, this is what his finger landed on:
"This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles" Psalm 34:6
God works in mysterious ways, and that was him telling me not to worry and to seek him when I'm anxious, to seek him when I'm vulnerable, to seek him when I'm scared.
I'm telling you this story for those that are riddled with anxiety, to remember that God has you, just call out to him.
This past Sunday's service, I was reminded that if you feel like you are trapped in fear, God wants you to step out in Faith.
In order to combat our anxious feelings, we must shift all outcomes to God. It's hard to not be anxious, but it's not hard to trust in God's powerful and loving provision.
We are not alone in our struggle, and we must remember that, because when we allow the spirit of fear to build up in our body and mind, we are allowing it to immobilize us, and put a divide in our relationships, including our relationship with Jesus.
Turn to scripture in moments of defeat. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" 1 Peter 5:7
At the end of the day, your struggles are real, and it's not an easy battle for I am still struggling, but I can promise you that it does get easier when you seek the Lord.