I wouldn’t say I’ve been an anxious person. Occasionally, a worrier. Well, often a worrier. But, in my opinion, that’s the by-product of being a woman who is a born-leader type with a sensitive spirit. I see problems before they hit and I’ll be able to pinpoint the first steps to take in a crisis situation.
It’s the way God has made me, which I’ve come to be very grateful for and also understand that with these abilities come a good deal of risk-taking and responsibility.
For the most part, I’ve learned that in order to not fret myself into a hysterical mess, I have to turn what I sense and see over to the Lord. I have to wait on Him to show me when to step up and take action, or else I’ll intervene at the worst time and make a mess of His plans.
I’ve learned how to worry myself into prayer rather than taking over God’s plans with my ideas.
Most of the time.
There has been more than one season in which anxiety hit me hard. The first time (when I first penned this post at elisapulliam.com), I woke up in the middle of the night, in a cold sweat. I was crying silently with wet tears rolling down my cheeks. I tried desperately to fall back to sleep but tossed in and out of anxious thoughts. Before dawn, I gave up the fight and descended down the stairs. Collapsing on the couch with my Bible in hand, I gave up my anxiety to the Lord.
Lord, I am so anxious and worried. I’m panicked about ________. Please, Lord, take this fear from me. Take the worry. Take the panic. I’m so scared about something bad happening to me.
And what if something bad does happen?
Lord, I don’t want to run into the arms of suffering.
But those are my arms, dear child. My son is the suffering servant. He is right there with you. He suffered for you, because of you, with you, on your behalf.
Yes, Lord, but it still scares me. I don’t want to pursue something that increases my risk for suffering or would cause my family to suffer.
Child, would you rather live in fear and anxiety? Because that’s where you are right now. Your faith is being trapped and the enemy is stealing your joy. You can’t see beyond your fear because you’re trapped by it. Is that how you want to continue to live?
No, Lord. Not at all.
Well, then it is time to make my Word prominent in your heart and mind. Claim it. Live it. Know it. Study my Word and remember the promises I have for your anxious heart. Let the Truth speak calm over your soul.
I heeded the Lord’s instructions and dove into the Word. His promises calmed my anxious thoughts, but it wasn’t a quick fix. I also had to turn to friends for prayer and confessed my struggle to my husband. It is healing to speak out the worry and see it’s powerless hold when others promise to stand in the gap for you. Yes, the anxiety is still there at times, but the paralyzing grip it had on me is gone.
I praise God for the way His Word, and His body, heals and gives life, and I pray that for you, too.
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It is my prayer for that God’s Truth will speak calm over your anxious heart as it has mine.
But if the calm won’t come, I pray you won’t suffer alone. I urge you to seek out the counsel of a doctor as well as your pastor or a Christian counselor. You don’t need to go this alone. Contact Focus on the Family for referrals to Christian counselors in your area. For ideas on how to find hope and help, when fighting against anxiety, click here.