Are you a Christian who suffers from anxiety? Well, you’ve come to the right place. So do I. I know that I constantly post pretty pictures on Instagram and I come off like I have it all together, but truthfully, I be going through it. Excuse my vernacular, but it’s the truth. I haven’t really talked about this on the blog, but ya girl suffers from anxiety.
Disclaimer: This post is personal
Now my anxiety is not like a normal day to day anxiety, like worrying about an exam. My anxiety comes in the form of worrying, stressing and being fearful of things that I have absolutely no control over.
For example, I might be fearful that the plane I’m on might crash, or I worry about my health. For example, ‘what if such and such happens to me?’ Or, ‘What if my negative thoughts manifest disease or illness?!’ Or in the middle of the night, I might hear a noise and then I’m anxious for the rest of the night unable to sleep. Sometimes even wondering if I had even heard the noise in the first place.
And this kind of anxiety takes a toll on my body. I get tired, but can’t sleep because of racing thoughts. I sometimes can’t eat because I’m so stressed. Due to the fact that I worry about things that are out of my control, my mind is able to obsess about it and come up with all sorts of scenarios and unlikely events. Knots form in my stomach, and
I get diarrhea. It’s a horrible feeling.
I’ve always been a worrier, but traveling has exacerbated it. Being an expat in South Korea can be a hard life. It’s isolating.
At my job in South Korea, no one really speaks English, so many times I was overlooked or ignored in the workplace. I had four classes a day, but only taught 20 minutes of each class. I was told to do fun activities, such as games and crossword puzzles.
So lesson planning was done quickly. I basically had from 12:00-4:40 pm, to do nothing. No one really talked to me, and when I talked to my co-workers they would be surprised or not want to talk for fear of making speaking mistakes. Outside of work, I usually just went home and was alone. The weekends were really my time to shine and be with friends, but that wasn’t enough socializing for me.
I still had too much time on my hands which lead to my anxiety accelerating to a rate that I couldn’t keep up with. I couldn’t push it down and hide it from the light anymore. It was rapidly changing and evolving into a monster I had never known before. And I found myself becoming more and more afraid of the world or things happening to me.
My anxiety became an endless cycle of ‘what if’s?’ And this world has an endless list of bad things that can happen to a person. So I was never without worries.
Receiving God’s Wisdom
And it wasn’t until maybe a week ago that I realized that my issue was that I wanted to control everything and that I wasn’t surrendering to God. I had thought that my relationship with God was growing and in a good place.
But God showed me that my anxiety was hindering our relationship. That our relationship wasn’t going to prosper the way it was supposed to if I didn’t learn how to surrender and give my worries to Him. I had always let God into my thoughts and prayed to Him about my anxiety. But I never gave him enough control to see me through to victory in my battles.
Truth be told, I didn’t and I still don’t want to go through the trials and tribulations that are promised to us in this life. But this thinking was and is cowardly.
My situation had me thinking of Jesus sleeping in the boat during the storm, and how the disciples were freaking out. Well in my case, God hadn’t even thrown anything at me, there was no storm, but I was already scared and trying to find a way to save myself.
Scared of future battles and scared that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I had clearly forgotten 2 Timothy 1:7 when God said that He didn’t give me a spirit of fear but one of strength. And the part where GOD was the key to everything.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind2 Timothy 1:7
I was constantly praying for wisdom and strength for events that may never occur. And I’ve learned that God was not going to give me wisdom and strength to fight through situations that I haven’t gone through or will not go through.
I had to understand that God’s job wasn’t to break me but to make me better. And these trials are meant to build me up, not just for the here and now, but for my next life with Him in heaven.
Everyone has trails, some worse than others, by worldly standards, but I was trying to run away from all of them. I was way too attached to the world, and not attached enough to God.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:7
I had to learn that my life is supposed to give glory to God and I couldn’t give glory if all I wanted to do was run away from any and all trials. Or pick and choose my trials. You can’t give glory that way. You have to let the trials come to you and go through it with God.
I had to understand that I couldn’t continue with this level of fear and function correctly in God’s plan for me. All I could do was repent, put my trust in God and live my life.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”Matthew 6:25-27
I actually have a post about bible verses that help for anxiety, here.
It was in God giving me wisdom during my battle with anxiety, that I realized that my trial was never in the possibilities of what could happen, but my trial was in trusting Him to lead me to victory in these trails.
It was in humbling myself and understanding the fact that I controlled nothing. That everything that happens here on earth flows through the Father’s hands. That I was finally able to begin to move forward.
God is never trying to hurt me or keep good things from me. In fact, He wants me to live an abundant life, but sometimes bad things do happen. We live in a broken world and that’s something I cannot change. But He will be there for me forever and He will see me to victory.
So my old fears, of ‘what if I get cancer?’ Now get the bold answer, “So what if I do! I got God in my corner and He does miracles. And if He chooses to take me, at least I know where I’m going!”
Understanding that I own and control nothing in this life, but God controls it all. Life and death are in the hands of God, not in mine. But this is also a work in progress, my answer sometimes isn’t always as strong and God is still working on me with building my faith.
So I know there may be other people reading this like, ‘I already knew I had an issue with surrendering, but I still can’t seem to give it to God’ Well, I have the same issue and I’m going to share what’s been helping me.
How to Let Go of Anxiety and Let God:
- Detach from the negative thoughts. Understand that the thought isn’t you. It might help to think of the thought as an evader or a visiter. Don’t think about it, but let it pass you by. Don’t get emotional about it or worked up, just let it pass by your mind. As a believer, the mind is a battlefield and it’s where we get attacked the most. Not all our thoughts are our own. Remember that God would never send you thoughts that are scary or frightening because God is love and can do nothing but love. So let go of the thought because it’s not from God and let it pass on by. At first, this will be hard because for us who are used to the wrong thinking anxiety brings. A lot of our thoughts are things that God has no hand in. I.E. You may think you’re being deep, but all you’re doing is digging yourself into a deep dark hole. Thinking too much about deep and complicated things and trying to work through them is not always productive. Especially by yourself.
- If you do think about it by accident, remind yourself that you have literally no control over the outcome of your worries. Remove yourself from the situation and understand that the future is in God’s hands. He walks before you, besides you, and behind you. He’s got you covered always.
- Realize that God has instructed you to live through HIS wisdom and not by your own wisdom. It’s easy to think of our thoughts as facts, but in reality, our thoughts are far from factual. Mine probably falls more into random opinions and emotions.
- Repent to God. Apologize for taking back your worries and give them back to Him. Our job isn’t to worry about it. I do this multiple times a day. It’s okay, God still loves me anyway. Also, don’t repent and then sulk for hours about why the thought popped into your mind in the first place. Don’t be angry at yourself for a thought that was never yours, to begin with. Just let it go! There is nothing you can do to make God stop loving you! He has already forgiven you, so forgive yourself.
- Pray to God about it. About your worries, your issues, and why that thought bothered you. If your mind is too wound up to pray in your mind then pray out loud. I actually think that spoken prayer can be more powerful at times. Think about it, God didn’t think the world into existence, He spoke it into existence. Also as someone who suffers from anxiety, I understand that most times there are like 4 overlaying thoughts vying for attention at any given moment. So speaking out loud allows you to slow down your thoughts and focus.
- Stay in your bible. You have to make time to be with God. You won’t get wisdom if you aren’t plugged into the source. I always find that I’m less anxious when I’m in my bible and trying to be obedient. Life is more peaceful and joyful that way. So staying connected to the source is crucial. You do this through friends, bible journaling, family, church, reading the word, and/or small groups. It all helps!
- Talk about it. When you constantly go through things in your mind and don’t speak your problems out loud, you begin to isolate yourself and make yourself feel lonely. Or that people will judge you or that you can never rise above your thoughts. When in reality there are many people going through the same thing you are. In Ecclesiastes, we learn that there is nothing you can do here on earth that hasn’t been done before and that includes wrong thinking. People will accept you and love you. And if they don’t, then you need a new crowd. (I understand that everyone may not have someone to talk to that they trust, so in addition to talking with God you may want to talk to a therapist). The Bible says two are better than one. We are meant to share our problems with one another, so never be afraid to share your thoughts and get help.
So these steps above have been helping me to battle with anxiety. But I will admit that I’m considering getting therapy too, but this time not out of fear of who I might become. But because I don’t want to hide behind fear anymore.
I want to get the peace of God. The peace that Jesus left with us when he went to heaven. And if in order to get that peace, I have to seek professional help, then that’s okay. I’m tired of running from my trials. It’s time I faced them head-on.
God is trying to tell me and
you too probably, that we can’t have peace and have control because control was never promised to us, but peace was.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraidJohn 14:27
Lastly, don’t allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that anxiety is just who you are. Your trial was never meant to break you! You were meant to overcome it!
I pray that whoever reads this is released by the stronghold of anxiety and stress and gets onto the pathway of healing, in the power of Jesus’s name. Amen.
Other Post You May Be Interested In:
- How to Study the Bible and Actually Get Something Out of It
- My Favorite Bible Quotes for Anxiety
- Stop Focusing on Sin and Focus on God
- 5 Ways to Grow Your Faith
- Faith and Bible Resources
- How To Get All Your Blessings
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