It came out of the blue recently and slipped into my life like an unwelcome guest. It engulfed me with fear of the future, fed me lies about my children’s behavior and paralyzed my fingers from sharing my heart with the world.
I have battled this demon many times before. I fought it when I was a newlywed struggling with the realities of my own limitations. Again it plagued me when I was in my season of infertility. I was haunted day and night with it while coping with my daughter’s Autism diagnosis.
And here it is again, ready to control me with an upset stomach, feelings of dread and questioning every aspect of our future as a family.
Will Joy ever be able to speak fully? She’s already 4 and falling so far behind the others she may never be able to catch up. What then? What happens to her as an adult? Who will look after her once we are gone?
Is there something wrong with Bubs? He’s being overly aggressive, got in trouble in school and over all is acting crazier than I ever thought he would. Does he have a behavior disorder?
Why do I feel as though I have failed as a mother and that my kid’s problems are too far out of God’s reach? What can I do to help them progress as much as possible?
These thoughts haunted me and gripped my heart so hard I felt it would shatter into a million pieces. Not only did the tears come, but once they started, they didn’t want to stop.
Surrounded and encompassed by anxiety, I was praying for God to help me, yet the fear remained until God opened my eyes.
The sweet Lord showed me his peace and gave me a prescription for managing my anxiety. These messages of hope have become my new motto so when my soul aches, I can combat these feelings and rest in the shelter of the Lord.
When I am paralyzed by anxiety, I limit God.
When I am in that darkness and in the crippling grasp of fear, I limit how God can change me. In these hard times, when I am pressed and squeezed with the pressure of life, God is trying to change me. He is molding me, growing me and changing me as I come to him with my pain and release my burdens to his care.
When I am focused solely on my problems and my hard times, I am not looking towards God’s face or reaching for his hand. I am relying on myself and my own limited view of my life. When I do that, I am not listening for God’s still voice with words of hope and comfort, and I miss his presence and how he wants to use this situation for his glory.
Sometimes the only thing that can change about the situation is my reaction.
I am a doer and a fixer. I like a well-laid out plan to solve a problem and heal a hurt. But sometimes solutions are not neatly laid out and and there is nothing tangible I can do to help the situation other than pray. My kid’s behavior can’t be fixed over night and with a simple solution. Sometimes the only thing I can change is my reaction to the situation. I can choose to be be bitter and question what God has in store for our futures, or I can embrace my children, faults and all, and change my reaction to them.
I don’t HAVE to be paralyzed by fear.
I don’t HAVE to be a slave to these feelings of uncertainty and unrest.
I can CHOOSE to take a hold of God’s hand, let him lead me and trust that he is ALWAYS good. His ways are higher than mine and I don’t have to be afraid of what the future holds with him by my side.
Make yourself move and be around people
When I have the urge to stay in the fetal position all day and wallow in fear and anxiety, I get up. I make myself stay busy and interact with people. I am terrible at accepting help, but don’t have to fake perfection. I need to be open and vulnerable, letting others show their love in tangible acts of service, and when on the other side of fear, I will bless someone else in return.
Find rest in the Lord
When anxiety truly plagues me, I am physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. God longs to be my rest and for me to lay my burdens down so he can restore me. I have to make the choice to rest. That means chores may be neglected, or like this past week, I have to cut back on my blogging. While I love to stay up late writing, and chatting with Hubs, literally resting in God’s peace will help my heart heal and to keep the monster of anxiety at bay.
When you are like me, stuck in the chains of anxiety, look up and see the loving face of the Lord. He wants to carry your burden and bear this heavy load for you. When you do set it down at his feet, enjoy the flood of relief that his peace brings to your soul. May you truly abide in him today!
How do you handle fear and anxiety? Do you have a formula for managing fear? Share your heart in the comments so we can all benefit from the strategies that work for you.
This post was shared with SITS Girls, Still Saturday, Renewed Daily, Blessing Counters, No Rules Weekend Blog Party, Mommy Moments, Motivation Monday, Make a Difference Monday, Titus 2 Tuesday Juana Mikels Joy Dare