As far back as I can recall, I have always been an anxious person. Even as a child, I remember lying awake at night worrying about the threat of nuclear war I heard about on the news.
As a side note, I have a special place in my heart for anxious children. Speaking from my experience as a super anxious child, I think the wrong approach is telling them not to worry, without any explanation. Anxious children are usually very bright and may need you to walk them through it logically. If you’re the parent of an anxious child, I would love to chat more with you (you can email me through the Contact tab).
Fear and anxiety are familiar to me—almost like friends. After thirty-plus years as companions, it sometimes feels that way. I have become accustomed to my friends and forget they are actually opponents of faith and love.
Ultimately, anxiety is a control issue. I usually feel anxious because I believe there is something about a situation I can control or change. What should I do? What should I not do? My anxiety stems from a lack of trust. Those times I truly trust that God’s plan will prevail, regardless of what I do or don’t do, I experience peace.
In a recent sermon, my pastor Pete Wilson said, “Your job is not to make the anxious feelings go away. Your job is to take those worries to God.” He went on to say that God may give you an action step when you pray about it. But you aren’t in control of whether those anxious feelings go away.
This was a very freeing statement for me. For so long, I tried to make the anxiety go away. I prayed about it. A lot. But I felt like a failure because the Bible told me not to worry about anything . . . yet I was still anxious.
I’m learning that praying about my anxiety is more about giving those moments back to God. They all belong to him anyway. In each situation, he is the (only) one who truly has control. When I break free of trying to control everything, I can be myself and enjoy the journey God has hand-selected for me.
What do you find helpful when dealing with anxiety?
Content and Photo Copyright 2012. Allison K. Flexer @ Anointed With Grace.
Photo, quote, and design by Allison K. Flexer.