“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
I had another post prepped and ready to go, but God inspired me to write this, so I believe there’s someone out there who needs it. If it’s you, you’re not alone, my beautiful friend, and I am praying for you.**
**I want to preface all of this by saying, I am not a trained psychologist or physician of any sort. The words below are meant as encouragement, but not as a replacement for any current therapies, etc. you may be receiving. These are techniques that helped me and offered me tremendous hope and healing during my darkest moments, and my prayer is that they may help you, too. Look at them as additional tools for your anti-anxiety toolbox.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.…” – 1 Peter 5:7
Sometimes, my anxiety gets the best of me. My mind spins out of control, with a relentless litany of me telling myself I’m not good enough. I end up beating myself up over the tiniest things and then, next thing I know, the nagging voice of self-doubt and shame take over, and *BOOM* I get completely derailed and feel trapped in my own mind with the incessant thoughts. During these times, I have to fight the overwhelming desire to give up on everything I’m doing in life and stay at home, curled up on the couch in a blanket, binging on Netflix. Because why bother? After all, I’m failing in every area: as a mother, as a wife, as an employee, as a steward, as a friend, as a child of God. And on and on and on. I’m just not good enough for any of it.
It’s so hard when that anxious voice inside my head turns up the volume, and the accusations come faster and harder. I feel like I’m drowning and will never catch a breath again. Those swirling thoughts build upon themselves in a seemingly endless crescendo, but, when I listen really closely, they don’t sound like the Truth.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
That moment of recognizing the lies is when the small still voice of the Holy Spirit starts to break through the chaos. Reminding me, I am His child. Telling me His promises are for me, and that God wouldn’t give me a calling without also equipping me with the strength and resources needed to complete the path He set before me. Reminding me that the enemy is also known as the accuser and would give anything to set me and any other believer back from the hope Christ gave us, and to prevent us from spreading the Good News or having success, peace, or faith of any kind. In those moments, God commands me to surround myself with Truth.
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32.
When I open my heart to God, to even hearing one kernel of His truth, it sets me free from the shackles of anxiety. Every. Single. Time. The truth is this: I am unconditionally loved. I am His. He designed me with his own hands to do the work he set before me. It helps me internalize His Word if I personalize His promises and remember they’re for me, like this:
“I am God’s masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things He planned for me long ago.’ – Ephesians 2:10 [personalized by me].
On the days where I am shackled by fear, and my confidence is nonexistent, I tell myself those things over and over. I listen to worship music. I delve into the Bible. I pray. And pray. And pray. I find a great sermon on YouTube and listen to it – and it’s so funny how the perfect sermon just “happens” to show up in my queue, reinforcing God’s love for me. Sometime, a great Christian podcast will do the same thing. Weather permitting, I’ll take a walk outside and admire God’s creation, or spend time with the family God entrusted me with – I genuinely don’t believe He would bless me with such amazing people if He thought I would mess them all up. I also start telling God everything I’m thankful for, and there is so much! It’s nearly impossible to stay anxious when you shift your thoughts into gratitude. My point is, even in the darkest times, God shows up in the most amazing ways. He is for you. And so am I.
God is always there for you, and He’s also provided you with other tools for when you’re drowning. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, self-doubt, or pain, it’s okay – no, it’s brave – to ask for help, whether it be in the form of spiritual counseling, medical or emotional therapies, or some combination. Help might also mean seeking assistance in removing some burdens from your life, such as hiring someone to help clean. You don’t have to do it all alone. You are worthy of help and God loves you and wants to help you. He is with you. Always. I know, because I’ve seen it in my life and the lives of so many others.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1
Here is my prayer for you:
God, thank you for blessing this beautiful creation and for reminding her of her worth and value in You. Your love, grace, and mercy are meant for her, and so are you. Thank you, Jesus, for helping her understand and internalize your immense and perfect love for her, that you would give your life to set her free. Thank you for opening her heart to you in such a way that she can feel the fullness of your love, filling it to overflowing. Thank you for your light shining brightly in the darkness, filling her with your peace, and helping her to rest in Your Truth. Amen.
You are loved.
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© Julie McPeek and Overflowing Woman, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie McPeek and Overflowing Woman with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.