Anxiety can be overwhelming and sometimes feel like it’s drowning you. It can hit you out of no where and practically take you to your knees. It can cause you to miss out on many good things in life. And can ruin wonderful relationships.
Yet anxiety can also be a wonderful thing.
You may be thinking… What? Is she crazy? Anxiety is terrible! Why would she ever say it’s wonderful?
Here me out…
In my life anxiety has forced me to rely on my faith. While initially anxiety is definitely not fun, in the big picture of things because of anxiety I’ve learned a lot and my relationship with God has grown stronger over the years. I have half joked, half seriously said many times that if it wasn’t for my personal relationship with Jesus I would definitely be on anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications. Even though I joke about it I really do believe it. (However there is definitely a place for these medications and I don’t want to make anyone feel bad for needing them. That is a decision between you and your doctor. God does use modern medicine and doctors to help people too.)
I have struggled with anxiety since I was about 8 years old. It got worse as I got older. Junior High and High School were very difficult for me. I now am married and have a beautiful five year old daughter named Lily. Raising Lily has been a new chapter to my anxiety struggles. You see Lily had a stroke when she was just 2 days old leading her to many diagnoses. She has Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Cortical Vision Impairment, Chronic Lung Disease, as well as issues with her bladder and bowels. She suffers from many UTI’s and kidney stones. Do to swallowing issues she cannot eat orally so she has a feeding tube in her stomach. She has had many surgeries and scary hospital stays.
Dealing with Lily’s many medical needs has forced me to rely on faith and not let my anxieties turn into worry.
Anxiety is definitely not something you can overcome in a day or even a month. It is a life long issue. How you choose to deal with it is completely up to you!
I still struggle daily with the silliest things. I can freak out about needing to go through a 4-way stop sign during high traffic times. I have had a full on panic attack from needing to make a phone call. I have even have a melt down when we ordered Mexican food for delivery. I asked for no onions or peppers on my chicken taco salad, was excited that they didn’t seem to mind, just to get a phone call a few minutes later saying it’s already mixed in the chicken and they can’t take it out. Believe me my husband thought I had lost it. Seriously it’s a texture thing, I can’t stand them. I was excited to not need to pick out each piece. The anxiety of having to think of picking each one out overwhelmed me in just a split second.
While the thought of being so worked up over onions and peppers is really silly when you think back at it. The fact is anxiety can hit you out of no where with absolutely NO warning over things that you’d never dream about.
Anxiety is defined as: A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
Worry is defined as: To give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.
Worry is when we choose to dwell on the anxiety instead of choosing to rely on your faith.
Here are a couple of my favorite scriptures about anxiety:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6
In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul. – Psalm 19:19
We have to choose to bring these anxieties to God instead of dwelling on them causing us to worry.
Here are a few examples of Anxiety & Faith vs. Anxiety & Worry:
Anxiety Situation: Giving a speech or public speaking.
Worry: Dwelling on what you can say wrong, what you look like, how you sound.
Faith: Choosing to focus on the good you can do by speaking out. Even if its just giving someone else the courage to speak as well.
Anxiety Situation: Driving in traffic.
Worry: Dwelling on what could go wrong.
Faith: Choosing to talk to God through it. Pray for your safety, and even those around you. You can bless a lot of peoples lives when you focus on turning your anxiety to faith.
Anxiety Situation: You or a loved one being diagnosed with a medical condition.
Worry: Dwelling on the pain and the “What If’s”.
Faith: Choosing to believe God will bring something good from it even if you never know it. Learning compassion, and what truly is important in life helps you to get through it, value each day as a gift and to inspire others.
Choosing to rely on faith instead of worrying doesn’t happen in a day. Like any lifestyle change it takes time. Celebrate every little victory! It does get easier over time but you still have to make the choice to choose faith over worry. There will be days that you cave into the worry. Make those times be a lesson of what you should have done instead so that next time you can hopefully choose to rely on faith.
Choose to let your anxieties bring blessings into your life.