I hate anxiety. I’m a pretty outgoing person, in fact most people would label me as an extrovert. Yet, before every social event, every place I go that is out of my comfort zone…anxiety. It doesn’t keep me from attending events or even enjoying myself, but it handicaps me. I have to run through every possible worst case scenario as I enter the room. It’s not just social anxiety I have, it’s in all sorts of situations. If I’m driving along the road, I think, “What if someone pulled into me from oncoming traffic?”, “What if I run off the road?” Again, it doesn’t keep me from driving, but I feel I often live in fear of the, “what ifs”.
The pastor/speaker at a retreat my husband and I attended asked everyone in the room to close their eyes and in the silence ask God to reveal one anxiety to you and allow Him to deal with it. Immediately I realized my anxiety: it was my girls. We were out of town and they were with grandparents. I couldn’t protect them. They weren’t with me. Even though I had given the girls to the Lord when they were just a few months old at their dedication, in that moment I realized I had to give them to the Lord daily. I realized He loved them far more than I ever could and that He would protect them. It was an ugly thing to turn over to Him and left me in an ugly cry. Yet, it was like I marked off one of the anxieties on my long, crazy list and for the rest of the week, I honestly didn’t stress or worry about the girls. I thought of them and missed them while we were away, but I wasn’t obsessed with how they were doing or checking on them. I was so grateful for that gift of not worrying.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Obviously, that is way easier to read than to actually do, but what a beautiful idea that, “the peace of God…will guard your hearts and minds in Christ”. I desperately want my heart and mind guarded from anxiety. Anxiety is not from God, it’s satan preying on our fears and thoughts. He tempts us into not trusting by making us worry about the “What ifs”. What is satan preying on your mind today? What anxiety are you holding on to? Take a moment and sit in the silence. Let that anxiety reveal itself and then let Jesus take it away. Give it to Him and feel the relief that comes as peace that, “transcends all understanding”.
Thanks for letting me share,