I liked the photo above for two reasons; 1. the girl is facing an intimidating opponent but the bravery in her posture stands out so without even seeing her face, you can tell she is fearless. 2. personally I think this picture is a good representation of what anxiety may look like in a physical form- big, overwhelming, scary, uncertain, uncontrollable.
I saw a quote that said “Anxiety does not come from thinking of the future, but of wanting to control it.” For most, that is absolutely true, especially for me.
I thrive in environments that I have complete control over. AKA my house. I just got back from vacation, and I packed just about everything I own so that I would have everything I need for myself, and my baby, yet while I was physically over-prepared, I had no idea the anxiety overload I was about to bring upon myself.
Most of you are probably wondering why I had anxiety on vacation.. isn’t that something to look forward to? Yes and no.
Yes because I was excited to do all those “firsts” with my baby. First time seeing the ocean, playing in sand.. you get the idea. But I was so stressed about all the what-ifs, that I took away the joy in all of that. I still had fun, it wasn’t entirely dramatic, but I spent way too much time fighting for control.
And not one time did I ask God to help me, or pray or anything. In fighting for control over my anxiety, I was fighting against God and everything He stands for. In fact I didn’t think much of Him at all. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t trust anyone else to help me. This was a battle I was determined to fight alone.
The usual word I choose to describe anxiety is ‘suffocating’. For me, when my anxiety is at its worst, I feel my chest tighten with pain, and I begin to feel like I can’t breathe. Then come the panic attacks, where your body loses its grip for control and you feel so close to the end of your life. Like you will die any minute, and you wouldn’t care if you did just to get the pain to stop. Then you calm down, and days, or even hours later sometimes, the cycle will begin again. It is exhausting and ironically, completely out of our control.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suicidal and I definitely don’t want to die. Those moments of chaos however can bring feelings you didn’t even realize you were capable of having. No question about it, that is Satan himself.
So let’s get real about anxiety. It is real, it is life consuming, and the enemy delights in it.
I also have to admit that as a christian I failed. I can read my bible every day and pray all
I want, but if I don’t put all of that to work, if I don’t use it to help me, if I don’t have any faith or let go of my control, what good is it really doing me?
Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “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.
These two are the verses that stuck with me. But as I said before, reading this will only tell me what the word says. Acting upon these words will ultimately lead me to the freedom Jesus died so that I could have.
Easier said than done, I know. That is the beautiful thing about God; just like in the Old Testament as he answered the cries of the Israelites even after they turned their back on him time after time, he will be there each time I need him to take control, no matter how many times I have to learn to let go.