What the Bible says about anxiety

I have prayed and prayed about what to write about. I’ve started writing a few blogs and then they just came to a halt. I realized today I knew what i needed to write about…I’ve actually known for a while and I keep saying, “not today God…NOT TODAY.” But God pushed me and not in a bad way. I want to start off by saying I am not a medical professional. I have my degree in Psychology but so does half of America. You can pretty much google different disorders and hey, you probably know just as much as i do. But, I am going to talk about this because it’s personal. I’ve been going to therapy on and off for about 7 years. If anyone who has a mental illness knows this to be true, when you think you’re better, you think you’re ALL better. Medicine tricks you sometimes into believing you’re okay. Anxiety, for me, has been a lot like that. I thought I was better and needed no help only to take 10 steps back.

Recently, my anxiety has increased dramatically. I blame my job and having a lot on me but thats probably not the case. The case is that I think I can handle it alone then I realize I just can’t. My anxiety comes in waves. It’s a constant struggle of wanting solitude and wanting to be with friends. I want to handle my crap myself. I want to be bigger than any mental illness. Unfortunately, you can’t wish anxiety away. In a world that’s fallen & fractured, nervousness and worry lurks around every corner.

 Have you ever almost missed a step while walking down the stairs and your heart races but usually subsides within a few seconds? Imagine that feeling lasting anywhere from 2-30 minutes multiple times a day and you have no control over when or where it happens. Followed by sweating and feeling like you’re going to faint and you can not catch your breath. There’s such a stigma when it comes to mental illnesses that needs to cease. I’ve known about my anxiety for years but no one else has. I’ve been called antisocial, snobby, shy, awkward and pretty much everything except a white girl. All because no one knew I was dealing with something that wasn’t visible like a broken leg. Imagine someone telling you it’s in your head and you’re just being dramatic. It’s a constant battle of wanting to be brave and wanting to crawl in a hole and never come out because you feel like no one understands how you feel. Anxiety is relentless and there have been days where I feel like I just can’t go on. 

There is one thing that has helped me more than medicine, therapy and solitude ever could and that’s Jesus.

If anxiety, fear, stress or worry creeps up on you, remember, you are only human. That God forgave you for your sins and you are PRECIOUS. I have constant feelings of inadequacy. Like no matter what I do at my job or my relationships that I just am not enough. I always had this weird connection with the stars. Ever since I was a little kid, I could just look at them for hours and feel how powerful they are. Then I stumbled across this verse..

“Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.”- Isaiah 40:26

How much more valuable are you than the stars?? If the same God who calls stars an army, imagine what He’s doing in your favor if you are willing and unafraid.

The bible tells us that we will have trials and hardships. Anxiety is a tool that the enemy uses. Knowing that gives me extreme peace. In most cases, I am anxious over something I have no control over. That’s when God steps in.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”- Phil. 4:6

The best defense is continuously communicating with Him, sprinkled with thanksgiving. Try to confess and talk about your nervousness. 

It took me a while to seek help. Talking about what is bothering you really puts things into perspective. Saying how you are feeling out loud speaks volumes about you and that you will not be defeated. The words you say or type have complete power over your life. His word is powerful. Speak it in victory and not fear.

If you are having any of the symptoms I talked about above, i encourage you to seek medical help, but also pray. pray without ceasing. I hope you love yourself enough to take care of yourself.

“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”-Psalm 118:6

If you are in this battle, you are not alone. The devil can use it for evil but only God can use it for good. God speaks volumes about rest in the bible. He created the Sabbath specifically for it. Rest and realize God is on your side. It’s all downhill from there.

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Hello 2016, it’s me…

I hope everyone reading this has had more love, joy and unpredictability that 2015 could possibly offer. As this year draws to an end, it’s hard not to think about what 2015 brought. For some people you might hate to see it go because you can’t possibly think of another year that could top this one. For others, you might have helped 2015 pack its bags, dropped it off at the airport and never looked back in the rearview. Whatever your situation is, I hope 2016 leaves you humble and speechless. I hope you find so much love and give so much love that you look back at this time next year and thank God for 2016.

I usually think of things I want to accomplish come this time of year for the upcoming one. But this year, I got married, I bought a house, I’m in good health, all of my family is still living, I got a new job and started this wonderful messy blog. I can’t think of anything else that I need or want. So I thought about contentment. I thought about how scary that word is. How there’s so much gray to it. On one hand, you don’t want to be so content that you stop moving and shaking. On the other, you don’t want so much chaos that you wouldn’t know what contentment looked like if it was looking back at you in the mirror. So there’s an ultra fine line when it comes to being content. My version of content is to not fall into comparisons death trap. It can steal everything from you if you let it.

This year i will unfollow things that leave me wanting more. Things that leave me feeling a little less worthy of being happy. Trust me; you are so worthy of being happy. You are beautiful and wonderfully made. It is in our human nature (thanks to Adam and Eve) to want what we can’t have. It is so easy to get caught up in the idea if you have XYZ then you’ll be happy.

I want you to slow down. I want you to be content with what you have. That doesn’t mean to settle and not push yourself to be a better you. I don’t want you to compare your life to others. Unfollow people on social media if you have to. Work towards becoming the happiest you. With contentment comes letting go and that’s a hard concept for many people. I hope you leave all the things that were bad for you behind in 2015. I hope you let go of that relationship that makes you feel second best. I hope you let go of that dead end job that won’t ever promote you when you’re all too deserving. I hope you let go of that toxic friend that drains you. I hope you let go of feeling the need to look like a Victoria’s Secret model. Say yes to the ice cream.

This year, I hope to spend more time with God. I hope to be less impulsive when the world comes pressing down on me to have the latest and greatest thing. I hope you ask yourself before doing something, “how will this serve you, God?”

I started reading what the bible says about being content and this stood out:

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”- Philippians 4:11

 

“..in whatever situation I am to be content”…that is a hard one for me. I know I have had too many situations where the last thing i’ve felt is contentment. I hope this year I will learn to be content no matter the situation.

This year, I promise to fall flat on my face. I promise to make messes and clean them up. I promise not to let the world make me feel unworthy. I promise to realize we all fall short and it’s okay to not get it right. I promise to cut myself some slack and not be so hard on myself. I will show fear that love ALWAYS wins. I’ll show up for my family and friends. I’ll really see people for who they are, not who i expect them to be. I’ll chase after the life I want, no matter the cost. I’ll help others along their journey of 2016 because no matter who you are, we’re all just trying to make it. I hope you show 2016 what you are made of. You are cherished, loved and completely rad. I hope you promise all the above to yourself and so much more.

always in your corner,

B

 

 

Salvation and Marriage

Marriage season is fast approaching and there are tons of things I could say and talk about to help people suffering from cold feet. But as i kept typing, i kept thinking about what I wanted my upcoming marriage to be like.

People have tried to talk me out of getting married next month, they’ve tried to make sure i’m ready for the big day and for the rest of my life with one person. It started making me think, “is anyone ever ready for anything?”
I think this best things in life, you won’t be ready for. To be ready is to stay in the norm and I am not a fan of that. To be free and willing is to trust God.

Am i ready to be married?
the answer is no.

Will i be ready to have children one day?
probably not.

Will i be able to watch them walk down the aisle to the person of their dreams?
honestly, no.

But those things I listed above can serve as the most rewarding. Let me go further into this before you start thinking, “why is she getting married if she isn’t ready?’ 

Marriage, in this bible belt that I live in, is normal. I am not normal. I did not have my wedding planned out from the time i was 7. I did however have my career planned. I would line up my Barbies with a dry erase board and as them how they were feeling. (no joke, ask my cousin.) So this wedding planning is uneasy territory for me. I’ve had to rearrange my plans in my head to plan a wedding that i have no clue how to. The norm for me would be to travel in solitude or focus on my psychologist career. Now i have to share that passion with someone and that’s scary. We could be more financially ready, more mentally ready, but what is even better is that i am ready for someone to come along for the ride. I am ready to spend my life with someone who hasn’t left my side since the day he walked in it 5 years ago.

Michael and I have taken some time a part in the past and even then, he would have done anything for me. I get the age old question that, “well it didn’t work the first time…” the thing about that is i wasn’t ready to be a wife. I wanted more from him then i was willing to give in return. How did this change? Why am i different now? Read Proverbs 31. I read that and it was like God spoke and said, “you have prayed and prayed that Michael be the man you need as husband but you are NOT the wife he needs.” So i changed. I started praying that God would make me into the wife that Michael or whomever i marry needs and deserves. My life changed drastically. I saw God work in ways that i haven’t seen him do so before. I will pray that prayer every day and as long as i am praying that, i will never have to worry if Michael will be the husband i need, because God has that covered.

My uncle (who is marrying us, cool right?) told Michael and myself that if we have anything we need to get out in the open, now is the time to do it before we say the “i dos”. People have told me their marriage horror stories and how it failed and what not to do. I hope that in thirty years, i won’t give someone that advice and I will tell he or she that marriage is the greatest gift on the planet. I want to compare it to my salvation.

I know salvation is a lot different from marriage. Marriage can not get you into heaven unlike salvation, but bare with me as I talk about this. I got saved at a young age at a body building competition at Christ Fellowship (i know, not a normal salvation story) but i got saved nonetheless. There are days when i fail Jesus miserably. But, the great thing about that is i will never be unsaved. I know that i will never lose my salvation and no matter how upset i make Jesus because i am born again in him. In my marriage, I will fail Michael and he will fail me because we are human. But as much as we will fail each other, we will never have to go back to the day where we are single sinners again. I will never have to go back to the day where I don’t know Jesus and (Lord willing) I will never have to go back to the day before i’m married. I have a partner in my eternal life and a partner here on earth.

The best advice i could give someone is consider your marriage like you do your salvation. Strive to please the other person, learn from your mistakes and ask forgiveness for your faults. God forgives me everyday when I am so underserving and I hope I have a marriage that offers forgiveness and purity and hope that no matter what happens, we will never have to go back before that day we said our vows. God doesn’t ditch me when i treat him horrible and i want to reflect that kind of love to my husband when he doesn’t live up to par and i pray he does the same for me. God protects his children, just as you should protect your marriage and spouse. Always, always, protect what you love.

XO,

B

(brooke_trent@yahoo.com)