what anxiety taught me about God

Reflecting over these past few years, one of the biggest things I have seen myself struggle with is anxiety; I haven’t really admitted it to a bunch of people before, literally out of anxiety that I would be judged too much and accused of faking it.

In college I used to worry constantly about whether or not I was forgetting some hidden homework my professor assigned that I didn’t see.  I would freak out before an exam because I was afraid I would flunk and fail out of the class, ultimately preventing me from graduating on time (news flash: I ended up not graduating on time, but everything worked out just fine!). I would rush to class out of fear of being tormented by my classmates’ glaring eyes for being late.

When I moved to Florida, I was consumed by the idea of getting into an accident on my way to work and I’d be so late I’d get fired.  Whenever I had to drive to Orlando to catch a flight back to Ohio, I would drive in a panic thinking that traffic would cause me to miss my plane.

I think you get the idea.

Recently I’ve been reading my Bible and following along with She Reads Truth’s study on Giving Thanks.  One section of Scripture I was supposed to go over was in Matthew 6, and the section heading literally said “The Cure for Anxiety”.

Like, hold up. WHAT?

I think we all can agree a lot of people try to combat anxiety by telling us to pray more, build up more faith, and BOOM; it’s all gone. They tell us to simply “let go and let God”, but where does that leave us?

For the longest time, and even today, I sometimes feel like a “terrible Christian” for not having enough faith that God will take away my anxiety.

Friends, leaning on God in the midst of your panic attack isn’t about sticking a cover on your problems or ignoring your thoughts that are spiraling out of control. It’s ultimately about understanding and connecting with the beauty, power, and sovereignty of the God we love and serve.

I’ve been able to see that when I intentionally take a step back, breathe in a breath far too big for my lungs, and repeat these verses below in Matthew 6, 1 Peter 5, and Habakkuk 3, comfort is found and flows through every inch of my veins. There is incredible peace in the knowledge that I serve a God who celebrates me, hugs me when I double over in terror, and who plans a perfect future for me no matter how many times I mess up or stop trusting Him.

So lean on these truths this week. Know that He’s got you regardless of your circumstances. He is stronger than your fears, bigger than your problems, and loves you more than your mind can imagine.

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”

~ Matthew 6:25-26 (NLT)

“So put away all pride from yourselves. You are standing under the powerful hand of God. At the right time He will lift you up. Give all your worries to Him because He cares for you.”

~ 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NLV)

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.”

~ Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NKJV)

4 thoughts on “what anxiety taught me about God

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