For the past couple of years, I have really struggled with anxiety.
I guess I have always had some degree of social anxiety, but now, I seriously believe I could stay home all the time and never want to leave.
Add in the self-imposed stress of wanting to get so many things done, and the time of year that should be most relaxing becomes the most frantic.
All year long, I look forward to the time off I have in the summer. But there are so many things I want to do.
And then, I start thinking about how little time is left, and spoil the days I still have off by dreading the going back to work.
Meanwhile, my to-do list gets longer and longer.
This is not the first time this has happened.
I remember going back to school one year, and as I was getting ready, just wishing I had taken the opportunity to sit on the porch and drink coffee in the mornings.
Do you know how many mornings I have done that this summer? Not a single one.
Because I am always trying to get things done.
So this morning, I decided to go out there and talk with the Lord about my anxious heart.
And it came to me, as I sat there, trying to count my blessings, that He specifically tells us in His word that thanksgiving is the remedy for an anxious heart.
“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 passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
I’m telling you, I need my heart and mind to be guarded, because otherwise, they both go to dangerous places.
So I sat there on the porch, and thanked God for…
Cool, beautiful June mornings.
The birds serenading me.
This crazy little dog that makes me laugh.
My hammock chair from Nicaragua that offers the perfect spot to relax.
The opportunity to serve in Nicaragua once again at the end of the summer.
My job, and for the time that I do have off.
For my crockpot, so I can put on something really good for supper and not have to worry about it…AND that it doesn’t have to be in before 6:40 a.m. like on a normal work morning!
And even for all my stressors, because He has given me the motivation to go after my dreams…I just need to reel it in sometimes.
Maybe your situation is a whole lot different than mine. But for all of us with anxiety, we know the struggle is real.
Real but not impossible. God is on our side, and He will help us when we ask.
So the next time your feeling anxious…
- Find a spot where you can be alone with God for a few minutes.
- Take some deep breaths.
- Thank Him for all your blessings.
- Ask Him to help you ditch the anxiety.
- Remember that your to-do list is only a list. If you don’t get everything done, it’s not the end of the world. Prioritize and let the little things go.
- Enjoy each day! Making the most of your time doesn’t always mean being the most “productive” in ways you can measure. Do something fun! Spend time with someone you love!
Anxiety stinks. And I think it is something that Satan tries to use as a tool to cripple us.
But GOD IS BIGGER!
He can break the power of anxiety, when we give it to Him.
That doesn’t mean that we will never struggle with anxious feelings again, but once we know where to go to be soothed, we can keep going back for more of the comfort God offers.
So the next time you feel that black cloud of anxiety hanging over your head, rebuke it in the Name of Jesus!
Spend some time giving thanks and claiming His power to overcome anxiety.
And leave those anxious feelings at the foot of the cross.
Read more here on stress and anxiety from a Christian perspective.