Years of Anxiety have Prepared Me for THIS!

HA!  The other day when I woke up and was pouring my coffee I thought, “I just have so much peace.”  I was talking to God about it and thanking Him for his sustaining peace that mounts guard over my heart and mind.  And then I felt Him ask me, “Why do you think that is?”  

So, in answer to His question; but in print so you can know it too:  I’ve been practicing!  I’ve faced anxiety for so many years and for many reasons:  deaths of loved ones, losing our house to a fire, big job changes, changes in life roles, almost losing a child to death.  In some of these moments I have triumphed over the “what ifs,” but for most of them I have struggled to keep my head above water.  For the most part, God and me, we did it, I didn’t drown in my anxiety, but it’s never been easy.

What I’ve learned is that I have to allow myself to be honest about what I am feeling.  But then, I can’t sit in those feelings.  I have to submit those thoughts, those “what if’s,” to the cross and run them through the filter of God’s Word to see what holds up.  

This is a sad time for many people.  We’ve lost a quite a bit.  There are three trips that we had scheduled that we won’t be taking.  My daughter, like “kids” everywhere, is learning online.  The High School Seniors… seriously, things they have waited for their whole lives, they won’t get to do.  It’s sad.  Legitimately, it is.  We need to grieve these losses.  But then, we also need to ask God, “What would you have for me now, in this new situation? What would you have me learn?”

I think it’s so ironic, we all feel like we’ve lost complete control.  We’re being told what we can, or mostly cannot do, like this is the point that we lost control.  But the truth is, we’ve never really had that much control!  I think I’ve understood this for a very long time.  I think this is why I have struggled for so long.  In the changes of the past few years of my life, I’ve been allowed to take the time and really understand that not much is in my control, but I can trust God, who has everything under control.

The truth that holds up in every situation is that God is faithful.  He is faithful to use every situation for His Glory and our growth.  This doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen, they totally will!  BUT GOD!  HE REIGNS, HE IS FAITHFUL and HE ALONE BRINGS PEACE.

My practice has been to replace my thoughts with God’s Word.  Sometimes this is a daily practice, sometimes it’s a minute by minute practice.  If you know anxiety, you understand that some days are ok, but others are ridiculously hard and it feels like there is absolutely no way you have any kind of control over the anxious thoughts that run through your head.  That’s when you take it minute by minute.  Google verses on the topic you’re struggling with, and read them out loud!  YOU NEED TO HEAR IT!  My favorite resource for this practice is:  Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore.

Some practical things that I do:  

I keep myself busy.

 I’m sure right now you have a lot of home projects you can do!  Do something creative, go for a walk, play a game with your family, build a puzzle.Take a look at your pinterest board!  The nice thing for you all in The States, Target (Oh, how I miss you!)  sells food, so they are still open! (Yay, for YOU!!)  If nothing else go buy some paper and markers, write out those verses you found on google and tape them around your house!

I listen to music, usually worship or instrumental.  

I don’t want this to become a commentary on today’s worship music, but I will encourage you to listen to music that lifts up the name and qualities of God, rather than our troubles and problems…. You want to MAGNIFY Jesus, that literally means, make Him bigger than your problem, because He is!  And you need to believe it!

I get dressed!  

I know it sounds great to be in your PJ’s 24/7.  Honestly, even years ago, living a “regular life” on a Saturday, I rarely stayed in my Jammies…and here I am on day 13 in Quarantine, literally have not stepped out of my house in over a week, I am wearing jeans and a sweatshirt.  Yesterday, I even got a little dressed up and  put on some mascara! 🙂   I know I have no where to be, but Mark still has to look at me, and I have to look at myself! It’s an everyday task that just seems to help me.

I keep up with the house work. 

Not fun, but necessary. 🙂

I want to encourage you that this time will pass.  I hope that you are using this time to draw near to God.  I’m excited about some of the things I see coming out of this time.  IT’S GOING TO BE SO GOOD!  

I pray that the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. So that we will share His hope to a world who so desperately needs it!