When I write, I like to listen to music. It helps me write, it helps me flow. I usually have this same exact song I like to write to, called the Peace of God. But today, I randomly chose a song on my playlist without looking because I was in the middle of multi tasking and did not feel like giving it that much thought.
The first words on this song were “past has held you long enough” Then it proceeds to say “making all things new, freeing you from you”. And I just stopped.
How fitting. How on time. The name of the song is titled “All things New” – Travis Greene.
My title of this blog post was originally going to be called “Anxious for nothing”. But for some reason, “All things new “ just sounds so much better and it is essentially declaring life over my current season; something I need to get better at and vow to do.
For the last few months, I have been struggling. My mind has been held captive to an illness we call “anxiety”.
Anxiety- a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
Also defined as:
A nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.
In other words, people who struggle with anxiety are usually overly concerned with reality and overly consumed with the future. Uncertainty, instability, losing control is their worst enemy.
It has been my worst enemy.
Anxiety is something I struggled with for years, but it was always so subtle. People around me would attribute it to being dramatic or being crazy and so for a very long time I believed that. So much so, that I would try to suppress the illness instead of facing it.
When I got saved, it got worse. I felt myself getting anxious about nearly everything, but I always figured it was because I was on an unfamiliar journey but even in this walk of life, Christians around me always said things like:
“You are not anxious, stop saying that”
“You don’t struggle with that”
“It’s not that serious”
I understood exactly where they were coming from, it was there way of trying to push me into the authority that I have as God’s daughter and I appreciate them for that, but I am here to tell you that does not help.
And so you figure… it got even worse.
I was getting triggered, left and right. Something as simple as, “I need to talk to you later about something” whether from my boss, my friend or a guy I really liked drove me insane.
But again to everyone else, I was dramatic. So guess what? I stopped bringing it up. I stopped sharing what I was struggling with not only with them, but also with God. [I have always had this habit of attributing what man did to me to how God felt about me—A WHOLE different blog post btw]. Anyway, I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and guilty for the mental illness I was struggling with. I did what I did best, and I buried it. [IF you know someone who struggles with anxiety, please do not push him or her to this point with your words].
But God had other plans.
Eventually, burying it was impossible. My basement was too full; I could not hide my thoughts or my attacks from people around me, let alone, myself.
I was soon found staring at myself in the mirror, wondering how I got here. Hating myself for what I was experiencing, for how I felt, feeling hopeless.
So now I stepped into a new phase, which was acknowledging the fact that I had anxiety but how I acknowledged it was wrong. I claimed it to be something that was apart of me. Instead of looking at it as a spirit, that was trying to kill me.
Reflection: HOW YOU LOOK AT YOUR PROBLEMS OR LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES MATTERS.
When you look at any sin or any illness as something that belongs to you, you will protect it by any means. So when people tried to call it out, I got defensive and said no this is how I am. Eventually the power of my words –surely did have an effect on me.
I convinced myself that I would always be this way and grew complacent in this mental illness. Despite of how horrible I felt, and the things this illness birthed like low self esteem and manipulation, you could not persuade me that freedom was at my disposal.
I was enslaved by my own mind.
The day I realized this was just a spirit that was trying to kill me, everything changed.
The life changing moment was simply me experiencing a panic attack that led to excessive sweating, texting people I loved telling them I would crash my car (manipulation) and driving down a high way at 120 MPH considering crashing my car so that I could just stop thinking.
Until, a cop pulled me over and essentially saved my life.
At that point, I knew it was time to free myself FROM myself.
And so now here I am, writing to you as a woman who still experiences anxious thoughts but is not defeated by them. A woman, who experiences anxious thoughts, but has authority over them. You are reading about a woman, who is free.
And all it took was shifting how I looked at this “illness”. I went from owning it to knowing and confidently saying it does not belong here, I will fight.
Fighting looks like:
1. Repenting. Allowing anxiety to rule over you at any given moment is a sin because it goes against the word of God. [“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”] –Philippians 4:6. Feeling anxious is not the sin, making it Lord over your life is. So not being quick to pray when this feeling comes up is how you allow it to have authority over you. If it happens, it happens. But you need to repent which is the process of turning away from this sin and not allowing the enemy to have this against you in court. If you leave that door open, he can access it at any time and he torture you with it. So repent.
2. Develop a strong prayer life. Attacks to the mind –are no joke. Your mind is the root to everything you do. Thoughts control actions. So if you are consistently being attacked in your thought patterns, you need to know how to pray. Literally the intercessor in you has to come alive. When you do not feel like praying, you have to pray. If you do not know what to say, allow Holy Spirit to pray for you. But you must master this. In this place, is where you empty yourself of all ungodliness, all your negative thoughts to trade them with God’s. Communication with God is the only way to receive the peace you so dearly need at all times.
3. I mentioned in the last step, emptying oneself of all the filth. But in this step, you have to fill yourself back up with God’s love. If you empty yourself up and you stay empty, you will be burnt out and defeated the moment something goes wrong, because you will have nothing to draw from. Filling yourself up is reading God’s word and basking in His presence.
4. It’s funny because all of these in some way are prayer. This next step is putting on the full armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18. So that you will be able to withstand the devil. So that you will have the courage to even resist the devil, you need to put on the full armor, daily.
Disclosure: I have been putting it on and believing that it is on for the last 3 days and it has been working. It’s THAT simple.
5. Solitude may be necessary for a season, for you to focus on God. If you are like me, and kind of lost sight of yourself and God, solitude is really recommended. But you want to be careful that you are not idle in this season. Be productive. Constantly doing the work of the Lord, it’s fulfilling and in that posture, you find healing. It’s where I am at and it is amazing.
6. If you are going to be around people, be led by the spirit. In this season that I would like to call sensitive, whom you are around is important. Some people can literally suck the life out of you and that is the last thing you need.
And lastly, I want to give you all practical things to do as well:
1. In those moments that you do experience anxious thoughts, ask yourself is this a fact or an assumption?
2. Take deep breaths. (Seriously it helps)
3. Do not act upon your anxious thoughts, leave the room, and exit the conversation. Do whatever you have to do but take time to cool off and process. Anxious thoughts can tend to turn into manipulation and you will end up hurting someone else trying to go into survival mode.
4. If a person in your life is not showing you consistency, you know that is a trigger. So you have to make the hard decision to cut them off all together. Anxious or not, you do not need to be connected to anything or anyone in your life that is not CONSISTENT.
5. Consider what it is you are worried; ask yourself questions that put the fear in perspective. Is the fear coming to life, really life changing? Can it kill you? Because if it can’t, you need to come to the resolve that it will all work out regardless. Romans 8:28 tell us “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”.
You have the power to free yourself from you. Believe it and be anxious for nothing.
God loves you.
Thank you for reading – Til next time.