Thursday, March 14, 2019

5 Steps to Overcoming Anxiety

You might guess by the picture, that I will be talking about, religious things, to deal with anxiety. Scripture is not an authority in my life because someone told me it needed to be, although certainly there were those that planted seeds for that, but ultimately because, every promise I have read in it, has manifested itself in my life to be true. I have seen God being faithful over and over again, answering all of my prayers, and I have felt His presence in my life. So I am speaking to you from my own personal experience, of what is healing me of this disease we know of, as anxiety.

I get frustrated when I go to read a blog post based on the title, and have to scroll down forever before I get to the bottom line 😞, whether it's the recipe (particularly annoying when in a rush to come up with a meal) or "the point". Because, I am a bottom line, type of person. So I am going to start this post with my answers, and then talk about them. Ok?

How to Overcome Anxiety:

1. Do NOT put your faith in things

2. Do NOT put your faith in people

3. Do NOT put your faith in yourself

4. Put ALL of your faith in God

5. Pray

Let's start with...

DO NOT put your faith in things: 

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal." Matthew 6:19-20

This doesn't mean you can't have nice things, or enjoy things you buy. It means, don't let your happiness lie in your possessions. Because that happiness is temporary. It is not fulfilling. Why is this connected to anxiety? Do you freak out when your phone malfunctions? I do. Or if your child touches a favorite trinket, ruins your favorite shirt, pillows, tablecloth, T.V., do you lose your cool? Do you feel like if you just had that perfect thing, house, or car, you would "finally" be happy? The less attached to things you are, the less they control you, and your peace and happiness. 

Do NOT put your faith in people: 

In the formation program I am involved in, Disciples of Jesus and Mary, I learned this prayer:

Lord Jesus, by faith in your merits, I now take your precious blood and sprinkle it over myself and my family, right from the crown of my head to the very soles of my feet. Lord Jesus keep me free today from evil, sin, temptation, Satan's attack and applications, fear of darkness, fear of man, sickness, disease, doubts, anger, all calamities and all that is not of your kingdom. Fill me Lord Jesus with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and grant me the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, understanding and discernment, so that I will live today in your glory by doing what is right, I praise you Jesus, I thank you Jesus, I love you Jesus, I adore you Jesus.   

I highlighted, fear of man, because when I read that for the first time I thought, "huh, what exactly is, fear of man?" And for the next several years, God began to show me these things.

-You can not let people define who you are
-You can not worry about what others think of you
-When others disappoint you or let you down, it should not determine your happiness or peace

Human beings are not perfect. They will, even the most loving spouses, even the best of friends, at some point, fail you. And, no one will ever fully know your true value or worth, or the greatest potential you have, like God does. Even your spouse. No I am not suggesting you don't trust anyone, that you don't give your heart to someone, that you don't develop meaningful relationships or that everyone is evil. Just avoid depending on people for your happiness.  

"Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no help." Psalm 146:3  

Do NOT put your faith in yourself:

Yes, Yes I did just say, "don't believe in yourself"😱, but hear me out! Along with anxiety and fear, I have had a tendency towards perfectionism in my life. Ah, the disillusion of perfectionism. Always thinking if you could just get it perfect, whatever it is, you will be happy. You will be satisfied. But then what happens when you don't get it just right? You beat yourself up. You don't even need someone else to do it. You are your own cruel judge. My perfectionist brothers and sisters, LET YOURSELF GO. Free yourself from this prison. 

As a child, I memorized at camp the verse "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13) but my understanding of it, was flawed. You see, it's never you, who are doing it. Whatever it is. "For in Him we live and move and have our being.." (Acts 17:28) 
When you stop depending on yourself, and start depending entirely on God, you will be amazed at what you are capable of, when He is working in and through you, and you are, out of the way, so to speak. 

"The soul's true greatness is in loving God and in humbling oneself in His presence, completely forgetting oneself and believing oneself to be nothing; because the Lord is great, but He is well pleased only with the humble." (St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in my Soul)

So this leads us to the next point. 

DO put all of your faith in God

This is really pretty simple. God is perfect. God is faithful. God loves you more than anyone, even than you love yourself. You are his prized possession, his princess, his prince, his child, his bride. Whatever you can relate to the most. God knows your future, he is invested in it, every moment. God wants you to be happy with Him in heaven. And most importantly, God is in control of your life. Not to tie you down, or chain you to anything, but to make you free, truly free, and truly, satisfyingly happy. 

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; 
they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

"...God our Savior who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 
1 Timothy 2:4

"You know me right well; my frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them." Psalm 139:14-16

I saved the best for last. It seems so simple but...


I grew up with a mom whose prayer life was constant. Her answer to everything, was pray about it.  It used to annoy me sometimes. Because I would be telling her about a thing and she would listen and then say 'Well let's pray a rosary about this right now." Even when we went shopping for my wedding dress, we prayed in the car before going in the first store. And guess what, the first dress I tried on, it was THE one. My grandmother too, was a major praying machine. I would confide in my mom about things I was anxious about, she would confide in her mom, and she would stay up all night, praying, for me. And the next day, whatever it was, would be resolved. After I began to see the fruits of this wisdom from my mother and grandmother, because I would see prayers answered continually, or I would feel anxiety or fear dissipate after praying, I started to develop the habit myself. My husband would probably tell you, one of my most common responses to him is "Well, did you pray about it?" Because, for whatever reason, God listens to us. all of us.

My mom had this plaque a dear friend of hers (and prayer partner) made, in our house. Its simple message, is branded into my mind, forever...
I am not saying God always says yes to all of your requests. Sometimes we think we know what is best for us, but we don't. We don't know the future. We don't know how things will affect us, or our eternal life. He does. I have to recommend the most perfect little book regarding trusting in God and His providence, understanding why evil is allowed, and understanding the purpose of suffering. It is short and clear and scripturally based. It is so short, you could read it in an afternoon. 

Please read it. You will be so glad. 
I leave you with this:

"Have no anxiety 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 passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:6-7

Post a Comment