Your chest tightens and your brain swirls as panic rushes in. Anxiety begins ambushing your mind and attacking your heart.
I know the feeling. I know that you cannot just calm down. I know that you cannot control it.
I’ve had anxiety attacks over imperfect eyeliner, big exams, running late to work, spilling coffee, being home alone, and stepping on the scale. I have lost my mind worrying about the what-ifs while trying to control the uncontrollable.
Yes, it’s irrational, but it is also irresistible. The issue lies deeper than a coffee stain or a few extra pounds, the issue is deep-rooted in a heart that longs for control and lacks trust.
My anxiety became evident in my senior year of high school and completely crippled me in my college years. As I strived for perfection I found panic.
In the midst of my anxiety I lost sight of my assignment. I was too worried to worship and became too tired to share my testimony. I became distracted and defeated instead of empowered and equipped.
In hopes of finding a solution, I attended counseling sessions, took medicine, and attempted meditation techniques. When that didn’t ease my anxiousness, I sought selfish solutions and tried to fake it until I could make it, which only lead to increased anxiety. In a final fight, I began calling out to Jesus for an answer, unaware that He was the answer.
In my searching, I finally figured out what Philippians 4:7 means:
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We cannot seek solutions, He is the only solution.
We cannot answer our anxieties, He is the answer.
We cannot produce peace, He is Peace.
A peace that is overwhelming to feel and unable to be understood…just like anxiety.
A peace that paralyzes panic so that you can live out your purpose.
I pray that if you are searching for answers to anxiety or solutions to stress, you will turn to the only answer, the sovereign solution. Instead of seeking solutions by yourself, please try to simple suggestions. These practical practices will not solve all of your problems, but they will change your perspective and fix your focus.
Read His Word.
To know God, we must read His Word. The Bible is the best weapon in your battle with anxiety. His Word will guide you and shine light in the darkest of times.
Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Call on Him in prayer.
When we talk to God in prayer, our worries fade away. Tell him your fears, your worries, your anxieties. He cares for you and wants to carry your concerns.
Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
Surround yourself with believers.
Strength and stability is found in safe community. Find a group of trusted, godly friends to meet with or join a small group at your church. We grow in wisdom and understanding when we meet with others.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Together we have to overcome our anxiety so that we can walk freely and focus on our mission: love God and love others. Let God use your weakness to grow you and bring Him glory.