The fight against anxiety is a common one. It is one that I’ve lost many times.
It is my deepest hope and prayer that you will find comfort and perspective in these words. I desire to offer practical, spiritual tools that can prove to be useful in your own battles with anxiety.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable,- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things” (Phil. 4:8).
Once my inner critic gets going with its “you don’t belong here” and its “you don’t think they actually like you, do you?”, it’s easy to just take it. And if I listen long enough, I find myself nodding along.
I don’t belong here, I say.
They don’t like me, I agree.
These aren’t lovely thoughts. These are damning thoughts that have no place. They must be taken captive and delivered to the scarred hands of Christ. In return, He gives “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Words that tell us of our worth, our belonging. They say we’re “precious in the sight of God” (Is. 43:4), that we’re the “apple of His eye” (Ps.17:8). They point; they point us to the greatness of the God who “laid the earth’s foundations” (Job 38:4), who has “given orders to the morning [and] shown dawn its place”(Job 38:12).
These are the words that must take precedent. They must fill our minds, soothing out the tangles of insecurities. They must find home in our hearts, uprooting the planted lies of the world.
Biblical mediation is a necessary discipline in the fight against anxiety. Dwell on these truths. Say them out loud. Write them down. Share them with a friend.
You are loved. You are loved with a love that cannot be chased away. It cannot be frightened. Or stolen. And so, I encourage you to stand your ground. Dig your heels in the dirt. Raise your head high. Higher. Now look at your mountain, that dooming mountain of fear and anxiety. Tell it of your God.
Maybe you do so with song or with dance or with service. Maybe, on those especially difficult days, you do so with the simple act of leaving your home. Regardless, you do. You do in faith. For faith, “is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not yet see” (Heb. 11:1). If you have even a sliver, even a mustard seed of hope,
then watch that mountain move.
Like most things, positive thoughts and worship are simple in theory, but much more difficult to put to practice. And personally, I’ve been easily discouraged by the size of my fear. By its strength. By its unrelenting condemnation.
“When my anxieties multiply, [His] comforting calms me down”(Ps. 94:19). He responds to my weakness with power. For His “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). And so, I “delight in weaknesses, in insults…in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). Though carrying the cross becomes weary, it is not lonesome. We have been equipped with a God-given community and a God-given spirit.
Friends, walk with me as we enter the Kingdom of Heaven. As we learn to experience Living In Color.