An Anxious Journey

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.

7 Comments

Filed under Faith, Fear, God, Who is God?

7 responses to “An Anxious Journey

  1. Allison, it’s like you wrote this with me in mind. Giving control to God is one of my biggest struggles. Thanks for the reminder that peace comes with letting go.

    • Lorrie, I’m supposed to be the “tense” roommate. Remember? Haha! Seriously, thanks for leaving a comment…it’s always good to know I’m not the only one on this journey!

  2. Katie

    So glad I saw this post! I was an anxious child and the anxiety has followed me into adulthood! 🙂 I’ve been very anxious over the last two weeks. Hunt suggested I go back and listen to Pete’s message titled “The Weight of Worrying.” It was a huge help for me but it’s still a struggle and a constant work in progress! 🙂

    • Katie, I think we all go through periods of heavy anxiety. But like you, I feel like I’m more prone to it than some others. Pete’s sermon that I linked in the post is a really good one as well (http://www.crosspoint.tv/media/white-flag/v255). There are times I could listen to it daily and still need the reassurance! I love how he reminds us that God is in control and nothing can remove us from God’s hands. Praying for you, my friend!

  3. Monica

    Allison, this was WONDERFUL! I have struggled as a parent on what to say to my oldest child at times. She is not only anxious at times, but also is super sensitive. I really have to choose my words wisely. Reading your post helps me to understand her issues a little more. Thanks!

  4. Pingback: Redemption | Anointed With Grace

  5. I totally agree that saying “don’t worry” isn’t helpful at all. In fact, it’s almost like dismissing the child’s fears. My sweet Lauren struggles with anxiety (especially about the weather), and we have prayed together about it. Why not at least try to teach children about giving their fears to God and talking to Him about it?

    I have recently wondered if some of the anxiety we’re seeing in young children now is because of overexposure, e.g. keeping CNN on so that a 5 year old hears about multiple tragedies in a 5 minute viewing. That’s a lot for anyone to handle much less a child.

    Anyway, great post! Love you.

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