People who don’t know me would never know it. I’m very easy going and free spirited, actually.
In fact, most people who struggle with anxiety hide it pretty well. They tend to be the ones who are very “put together”.
They’re the happy, helping, volunteering, cooking, cleaning, working, mending, smiling, taxi-ing, calling, texting-to-check-in, dressed-perfectly kind of people. The types who hate making waves. The ones who seek peace in all circumstances for fear of conflict. Often times, these folks are very well-liked and if by slight chance they aren’t, realistically it’s because someone is jealous of them. Because they’re picture-perfect right?
Let me tell you the truth about “my kind”.
Our outer appearance typically lacks balance with our internal struggle.
For some odd reason, us anxiety- prone people also tend to be “taker on-ers”. Don’t ask me why, we just are.
It could be our pride, people-pleasing attributes, irrational fear, false guilt, or whatever the case, our lives can get pretty heavy in an instant. We pile “yeses” on top of “yeses” out of an unbalanced mix of genuine concern and fear. Fear that we aren’t good enough, that we might hurt someone’s feelings, or fear we may look bad if we don’t overachieve.
The very thing that makes us anxious-having too much on our plate, is the very thing we do to ourselves-sign up for everything under the sun.
On top of all of that, we add a heaping second helping of fear to all that we avoid or anything that could happen. After all, this world is a scary place. This isn’t our home!
Why, dear friends, do we give so much power to anxiety? And if you don’t want to label it anxiety…why do we give so much power to people, or to our circumstances, or to fear?
God’s word says in 2 Timothy 1:7:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
This means that whatever fears we are facing, whenever we are anxious, or whatever irrational thoughts we might have – they are simply not from God. How do I know this? His words says so. He does not give us the spirit of fear.
But, what He does give us are extremely valuable tools-
A Sound Mind.
Do these words stabilize you as much as they do me? You see, these tools need to be used in order for them to be useful. If we hand over these tools for anxiety, worry, and fear, our jobs are not going to be done. God’s work will be done, it just won’t be done though us- someone else will be willing. We may look as though we’re busy, but honestly we are creating wreckage. There’s only so much that wreckage can do and only so long wreckage can go on.
Our power? Gone.
Our love? Gone.
Our sound mind? Out the window.
We loose it.
We simply cannot function the way God wills us to function if we hand over these gifts for wreckage!
Ladies, I encourage you right now to write down the name of someone or something you are handing over power to in your life.
It may be a person you’re avoiding, therefore you’ve rerouted your daily living so not to run into this person. Stop it. Live your life with God’s power and tools.
Are you afraid to fly? Has this fear blocked you from traveling to your dream destination, visiting family from afar, or taking that missions trip you so desperately want to go on? Stop it. While I can validate your fear, I can also validate the chances of anything happening to you are very slim and are not worth living in fear over. Live your life with God’s power and tools.
What about relationships? Have you been so emotionally wounded that you’ve surrounded yourself with walls, even blocking out Jesus? Did I just say Jesus? Yes, I did. Often times when people are hurting, they even shut out Jesus. Stop it. I get it, I’ve been hurt as well, but in order to make an eternal impact on those around you, you’ve got to let those walls come down and let love cover. You’re going to get hurt, plain and simple. Live your life with God’s power and tools.
Anxiety. If we give it power, it will take it. The key is to accept the power God gives us through His spirt and to stop giving power to our emotions.
I will leave you with this biblical truth:
“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. ” ~2 Corinthians 10:5
Anxiety gets its power from our obedience to it. Let’s give God his power back in our lives. Let’s live our lives with God’s power and tools.