Calm Down!!

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So,  I don’t know about you and your personality but I am quite familiar with me and mine. Confession time: it’s not pretty.  I’m ashamed to put it like this but I need to be honest with you.

I struggle with anxiety. There,  I said it. The Bible has allot to say on this subject. We’re told, commanded actually, not to be anxious.  I try and try on my own not to allow it to get the best of me, but it’s beyond me. I have to ask God to help me with it on a daily basis. I have to surrender these feelings and my tendencies to be anxious to the only One who can help.

I wish that I could be calm as a cucumber through life’s up and downs; however,  I’m not wired that way. I guess much of it stems from pride and selfishness on my part. It probably has some control issues mixed in as well. Do you struggle with this, or is it just me?

Some days are more of a struggle for me in this area than others, I’m sad to say. I find myself getting anxious when things aren’t gong the way I think they should. See there? That’s control. Or, I find it particularly trying when I turn on the news and everything seems so heavy and seemingly hopeless.

Anxiety, for me, transcends well beyond parenting, like for instance, in a marriage or in a job. As a matter of fact, it infiltrates into the most mundane and silly places of our lives. This is truly something I have to die to on a daily basis. As a friend once said, “as a new creature in Christ, you’re dead to that.” I like the way that sounds. ..it has a nice ring to it! But oftentimes it’s easier said than done.

This is where I personally struggle in my day to day life. I know what to do, but more often than not, I don’t. I love what God’s Word says to us about this subject:

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)

When I’m studying more in-depth, I like to look the same verse up in different translations. Here’s the same verse in yet another:

“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.”Philippians 4:6 (Amplified)

And one more!

“Never worry about anything. Instead, in every situation let your petitions be made known to God through prayers and requests, with thanksgiving.” Philippians 4:6 (International Standard Version)

I’d say this pretty well clarifies what we’re to do with our anxiety. Another thing I like to do is to envision telling God about my anxieties and asking Him to take them, put them in a bottle, cap it and toss it away from me. Someone very close to me gave me this word picture and it helps me to see it in my mind’s eye.

The other thing I do, which for me, is very therapeutic! I like to journal my thoughts. It’s as if I’m writing my heart out to God. Once I write it (or type it!), I feel so much better! Doing so leads me to look up Scripture to help me combat my feelings as well. After all, Scripture tells us:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow, as it judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

I hope you, too, can find some relief from your anxieties. I’d love to hear what you may do to combat your personal struggles.

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