For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” – Isaiah 41:13
I was having a conversation with friends tonight (Jon and Eliana) about my anxiety and the struggles I deal with. I was reminded by Jon that when I am anxious about something, it is my mind telling me that there is something that I believe is too big for God to handle.
I will admit, my first reaction to this was to defend and deflect even the thought of that! You see, I have been diagnosed with anxiety for many years. I have been off and on medications for the better part of 9 years now.
I would be remiss if I did not say that I believe very much in speaking to your doctor and taking the proper medications if this is something that you deal with.
I paused for about 5 minutes before typing back to Jon (our conversation was in text) because I knew what he meant. I knew that there was a major part of what he said that was accurate. You see, I would also be remiss if I did not tell you that you should seek spiritual guidance as well. This is the part we very seldom think about…and the way we do that is through prayer and through God’s word.
The very thing that was lacking in my life for a LONG time was prayer. I took nothing to God except when I thought I needed something, and I would throw a prayer up in a vain hope that I would get what I thought I was looking for. Relationships do not work that way and your relationship with God is no exception. It takes vulnerability and honesty through constant communication.
You see, I have only really been right with the Lord again for a short time. So, it goes without saying that I really did not bring any of the feelings I was having, to Him. It also goes without saying that I was unable to hear Him answer me. But since I have been praying daily, reading scripture and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in my life, I am starting to hear God in ways that would never have been able to do before. Here is an example…
Remember I wrote that I took 5 minutes before responding to Jon? In those 5 minutes, I got up from my desk, walked down the hall to make sure my daughter was sleeping as she was supposed to be and went into my bedroom to get my daily devotional book so I could read today’s piece and here is what it says for October 22:
“Don’t be afraid to tell Me how weak and weary – even overwhelmed – you feel at times. I am fully aware of the depth and breadth of your difficulties; nothing is hidden from Me.
Although I know everything, I wait to hear from you. Pour out your heart to Me, for I am your Refuge. There can be a peaceful intimacy in sharing your struggles with Me. You let down your guard and your pretense; you get real with Me – and with yourself. Then you rest in the safety of my Presence, trusting that I understand you perfectly and love you with an everlasting Love.
Relax deeply with Me; release yourself from striving to perform. Be still, letting my Presence refresh and renew you. When you are ready, ask Me to show you the way forward. Remember that I never leave your side; I am holding you by your right hand. This gives you courage and confidence to continue your journey. As you go along your path, hear Me saying, “Do not fear; I will help you.”
When I read that, I simply took a deep breath in, smiled and said Thank you God. I hear you. My reply to Jon was to share this experience.
Some would call this a coincidence. I know it’s God and His many subtle ways of speaking to me. And it happens ALL the time in our lives, we really just have to be ready and willing to listen. But before we can do that, we have to actually talk to Him. Take your anxiety and any troubles to the cross, pray with faith, trust in Him and be ready to listen.
Even when we feel like life is out of control, God is ALWAYS in control.