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.

The Haunting

So…today in my lovely daily calendar it read, “Do your heart a favor and forgive the one who’s hurt you the most.” Of course, without hesitation, i know exactly who the one was. Flash back six years ago, this 17 year old girl just left her hometown to move 3 hours away to a new school without anyone i knew!! SCORE! I remember being so excited that I finally got to be on my own. So much went on that year. It was one of the hardest, yet, most rewarding year of my life. At TN Tech, I wrote an essay and out of 2,000 people, I won. I won a huge scholarship that I didn’t tell anyone about. This is actually my first time mentioning it, ever. I knew then that I could write. That I could be more convincing on paper than with my tongue. Where my words fell short, my hands didn’t.

I also fell in love that year, for the first time in my life. It was my first love and it was indescribable. So was the heartbreak that followed. I learned that you can’t carry that heartbreak to new relationships if you want them to last. I lost one of my very good friends and almost my brother to a tragic accident. I learned to not take the ones you love for granted and to tell them you loved them every freakin day. I won’t go into details on any of these in this blog post but six years later, I didn’t realize how innocent I was. I thought I knew it all…I didn’t. I know that in six years, I’ll look back at 24 and realize I knew nothing now as well. And thats perfectly okay. If I didn’t move away, I wouldn’t have grown. I also wouldn’t have the chance the forgive the person I’m oh so haunted about. The living can haunt you more than the dead.

But, I realize in all my years growing and and learning, that forgiving is one of the hardest damn things I’ve learned to do since not eating 6 donuts in one sitting. I realized a long time ago that you shouldn’t let something that is long gone, control you. That you forgive not because that person deserves it, but because you deserve peace. I had a irrational dream and I woke up with my heart pounding and fighting mad. A dream I couldn’t control, tried to control me. I thought about throwing my coffee cup because I couldn’t yell at who I wanted to (I realized the cup had cupcakes on it so I decided against it). I wanted to be angry. Angry. Is. Easy. Forgiving isn’t.

Things like this, can control you if you let it. I started thinking about all the things I do wrong and my flaws and how God forgives me everyday. How I have to be more like Jesus and forgive even when I want to throw my coffee cup in a fit of rage.  I’ve learned a lot since those days in my cracker jack size dorm room but one that stuck is that you should forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know what now what seems obvious in hindsight. I’ve prayed for peace and patience and it seems like God shows 10 people that have wronged me all in the same day just to make me realize if I want a peaceful life, this is what I have to do. You never have to forget what people have done to you, but if you have peace in your heart, you’ll know you’re on the right path to forgiving them. Just think, nothing annoys someone more than you being silent when they expect you to be enraged.

XO,

B

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