Anxiety





I'm going to be honest, I thought I knew what anxiety was.  I would feel rushed by my to-do list and say "I feel so anxious!"  But the truth is until recently, I had no idea what suffering from anxiety really felt like. Holy cow. It's like a ton of bricks sitting on your chest that makes you feel incapable of moving forward at all and just freezes you.  And makes you want to jump out of your own skin at the same time. 

I struggled with sharing the fact that I am struggling with feelings of extreme anxiety.  It felt too personal and embarrassing.  But it's not.  In this day and age, we are overworked, overly fatigued, way too busy, expect too much from ourselves and are just overly stimulated by technology.  I honestly think we're all about 2 seconds from losing it some days if we're really honest.

After some heart to hearts with some close family, a week of church revival and some bible study on the topic, I don't feel 100% better yet but I have a greater understanding of why I'm feeling this way, how I can take baby steps to improve it and most of all that God didn't call us to live a life of fret & worry.  We were put on this earth to glorify Him and lead people to a relationship with Jesus.  Not to worry about Pinterest worthy homes or meals, overachieving at work, being the perfect wife/mom/etc.  Yes, God wants us to work hard at taking care of our work and families but not to become so wrapped up in the stress of perfection that our anxiety takes over and pulls us away from Him.

I wanted to share some thoughts and truths today that either have come from my revival experience this week, bible study or personal reflection that I hope will help anyone else out there that is struggling in any way right now.

We do not have to have it all together because He does.  Wow.  Just imagine if we could all let go of feeling like we need to have it all together all the time.

I was listening to a Lysa Terkuerst sermon the other day and I wanted to share some of the thoughts she shared on busyness and worry that really stuck with me:
- The worst of myself comes front & center during rushed moments.
How many times have I answered snappily or felt annoyed when I'm busy and someone is trying to talk to me or ask questions.  I know I'm not the only one.  When I feel super overwhelmed and stressed, I tend to react selfishly instead of selflessly serving others.
- A woman living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.
How many times have I skipped my daily bible study or felt a need to spend time with Jesus but "didn't have time" because my to-do list was calling?  Way too many.  I have to nourish my heart and soul with the word of the Lord.
- I was living in a state of complete distraction.
I have been all over the place.  In such a rush of busyness, I haven't been really good at anything lately.  I have missed opportunities to selflessly love others like Jesus and to rest in Him and study His word. 
- Am I so busy that I don't even see when God is answering my prayers?
Am I rushing around so much that I don't even listen or watch to see my prayers answered?  Am I missing wondrous acts of His glory because I've moved on to the next to-do list item?

You can listen to that sermon here.

During our revival, one night our guest pastor focused on the story of Jonah.  Now, to be honest with you this isn't a story I've revisited since childhood.  It was one that I always thought, "I know that one!"  Well, I was wrong.  It was amazing going back and studying it as an adult and seeing it from a totally different perspective.

Jonah trusts and loves God but has fear, worry and anxiety.  God was calling him to do something he didn't want to do and instead of trusting God, he ran to avoid it.  Jonah was letting his own fears & wishes for control of his life stop him from obeying the commands of God.  Jonah didn't trust God's greater plan.

I am Jonah.  We all are more times than we probably want to admit.  I don't know about you but I can get into a rut where I want to do a team-based approach with God.  Something like: "Okay, God.  This is what I'm trying to do and I need you to help me do it.  I'll do my part, you do yours. Deal?"  Or I'll feel him calling me to do something, to reach out to someone, to make a change and think I'm not capable of that or I can't help with that situation or simply I don't want to.  In those moments, I am Jonah. I'm not trusting God's greater plan or that he has equipped me with all I need to handle what he is asking me to do.  Completely giving him control is hard but we must to live a more worry free life that glorifies Jesus.

A huge reason I've been struggling is because I've been approaching all I have to do alone. I haven't reached out to ask God for His guidance and help.  I've relied on my own strength to accomplish it all.  I can't do it all without Him.  With all the problems in the world, I felt too selfish to ask for help with mine.  BUT the God who parted the waters, created heaven and earth and loves us more than we can imagine, is capable of hearing all His people and wants us to lean on him with our struggles or concerns big or small. 

"The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life."  Job 33:4

It took me getting to a point where I felt like I couldn't breathe to remember that He is the breath of life that restores and strengthens us. 

If you are struggling with anxiety or any other issue, ask for help.  I am stubborn and don't like to appear "weak" so I let myself get to a way too unhealthy level of anxiety before I reached out to talk to anyone.  I was totally in my head and just kept spinning on knowing how to get caught up in life.  Talking to a few trusted family members and getting their perspective on my health, schedule, approach to tackling my to-do list and how I could ease all the stress helped me SO much.  Just getting the words out and getting a plan together made me feel 10x better.


3 comments

  1. I love this! Thank you for being real - I'm so guilty of some of the points you mentioned from Lysa's sermon especially skipping my daily Bible study (and yet I find time for social media... so bad). It's so freeing knowing God is perfect and can sustain us when we can't keep it together!!

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  2. I am so glad you are feeling better! And have found so many things to speak to you this week! It's amazing what a few words of scripture can do!

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  3. I'm glad you shared this because lots of women struggle with anxiety and feel embarrassed about it. So glad you are taking the right steps to help yourself. Isn't it so crazy how we know we are to trust God in our minds, but then we continuously want to do things on our own. You are so right in that we are like Jonah. Thankful for God's mercy and grace toward us!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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