I have struggled with anxiety for most of my life. In fact, I didn’t know I had anxiety until I started having physical symptoms such as having a hard time breathing and getting headaches. Sometimes unhealed roots can cause physical sickness. Only Jesus can bring complete healing and wholeness. God took me on a journey of seeking Him for healing and freedom in this area. Fear was the root of my anxiety but I also needed some deep wounds healed caused by trauma. If we don’t deal with trauma, (difficult events that we suffered through in our past) it can affect us in the future. Worry, fear and stress turns into anxiety. My thought patterns were a constant battle for me. I was constantly thinking about the future or hopeless scenarios or problems that were only bringing fear and stress. I was trying to fix my problems instead of “letting God”. I surrendered these worries to God and trust Him. I am not in control, but He is. There is nothing to fear and I had to train my self and constantly give all my worries and fears to Jesus. Once I started “letting God” and I realized He has always been in control, I saw a huge shift in my life. I was no longer feeling anxiety but overcoming it. Now, when it tries to come again, I know God is bigger than anything I’m facing and there is nothing to fear when we give Him our problems and our broken pieces.
Phillippians 4: 6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Here are some helpful ways that help me overcome anxiety:
1. Let God
“Letting God” begins with prayer. Many times we try to carry the weight of fixing things and make the right decisions. Let go and let God. To be full of God and experience His love does not come from knowledge and wisdom, It comes from a prayer of humbly surrendering to God and asking Him to take control and be the Lord of your life. Prayer and fasting will strengthen you and the attacks of the enemy has no chance when you are secure in the love of God. When we fast, we choose to set aside our desires such as food or social media, and this helps us prepare our heart to receive breakthrough from God. We put these things aside to focus on the spiritual things because your break through comes from God’s supernatural working and power. The greatest change comes from pouring your heart out to the Lord in prayer. Even when it seems like there is no way out. God comes through every time on His perfect timing. He sees you and knows your past. He sees your future and He is with you through it all. Faith and Peace comes from trusting the One who is in control.
2. Renew Your Thoughts
What are you constantly feeding your mind? Bad music? The news? Horror movies? We need to be careful not to expose our mind to things that will continue to bring fear and anxiety to you. Renew your mind in the Word of God. God will speak life over you as you seek Him. Meditate on scriptures to shift your thought to the truth and life. You can also simply listen to an audible recording of the Bible. Listen to scriptures, christian books, podcasts, and worship music through out your day. Going to church once a week is not enough. We need to completely transform our thinking by praying that we would have the mind of Christ and that our thoughts would be fully submitted to Jesus. The enemy’s first move is to attack our minds with a lie or a deceiving whisper. We have to decide what to do with every thought. You can dwell on the lies, fear and accusations of the enemy or you can take every thought captive and let God’s voice carry more weight and meditate on the truth He speaks over you. Reading His word will help you keep your faith and hope in Jesus. The Bible is what we need to receive and take hold of Gods promises over us. His truth sets us free. There is freedom in His Word. No matter what you think you desperately need there is nothing we NEED more than to truly know and ENCOUNTER His love. When we encounter His love, everything else does not matter.
Stress feeds anxiety. There has to be a balance in what we do everyday. Too much stress can bring anxiety. There are some of us who need to be less busy and some need to find a healthy activity to do with others. A good balance comes from keeping your eyes on God and off of the storm. Take time to thank God for every small victory. Gratitude will keep you balanced as well. Take some time to break out of your routine, go on an adventure, even if its just walking around your neighborhood. Keep yourself motivated. Stay in community. Join a Bible study and be surrounded with people who will speak life into you and pray for you.
4. Speak Life
I like to use sticky notes to put all over my house or put a wallpaper on my phone that will remind me of who God says I am. I speak it over myself. There is power in the words we speak and it changes atmosphere (the feeling in the room). The enemy tries to hold over us the negative words we speak because he is looking for any way to destroy. Just like when children are small and parents speak negative words about them such as, “you’re stupid” “you’re dumb” these words get stuck in the child’s heart and mind. These can become curses when they start believing these lies over their identity. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. We need to come out of agreement with the words that people have said about us including the ones we speak to ourselves and come into agreement with who God says we are. God’s truth.
5. Get To The Root
God wants to bring healing to the root of our pain. The real problem are our unhealed roots. Jesus came to “set the captives free,” He breaks down every wall. Ask yourself: “When did anxiety start for me? Was it trauma, rejection, grief, abuse? Sin, open doors? Am I doubting God? What am I afraid of? He wants to heal you emotionally, mentally, and physically. We need to heal from our emotional pain and the trauma from our past. While some of us need to go through deliverance as well. Find a spirit led church that can help you and pray for you.
Be encouraged! There is HOPE, HEALING AND FREEDOM when we come to Him. He wants to use you to minister and free others battling emotional struggles. You are not alone, they way you feel is common but not the way God wants you to live. I felt like giving up many times. I felt like it was too much for me to handle but no matter how hard it was, EVERY morning I chose to keep going and to trust in GOD. As He change me and transformed me into something new and beautiful. The process can be painful and feel long but He will never let you go. His promises remain. Trust that He is moving behind the scenes even when we don’t see it. The enemy wants us to believe nothing is happening and that we are hopeless but God is always working on you, in you and around you because He loves you. Encountering God’s perfect love was payed for by Jesus and so it will be granted to you by His grace, you don’t have to earn it but at your darkest time in the middle of your mess you can cry out to God and He will reveal Himself to you and change your life.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”