Anxiety is a widely discussed topic today. It will not take you long to find a book, YouTube video or blog dealing with this topic. In fact, someone who struggles with anxiety can find themselves lost in all the materials, leaving them with a feeling of hopelessness. Anxiety is a serious discussion. If someone mishandles this topic, they can genuinely harm an individual who suffers from panic attacks or constant worrying. When I was 21 years old, I experienced my first ever panic attack. After that first attack, my mindset was never the same. I remember being too scared to go into public places, drive a car and be around people in general. If you had known me before this episode, you would have noticed a complete change. I went from confident, outgoing and zealous to scared, isolated and lethargic. It took me almost seven years to finally get to the root of it all and begin the process of healing.
Much of the material that you find on the subject of anxiety deals primarily with the symptoms, not the cause. There is no doubt that medical conditions can be a cause that agitates anxiousness. In fact, sickness ignited my first panic attack. After the sickness was over, the anxiety still left behind its mark on my brain and continued to gnaw at me. I went on antidepressants, however, they only masked the problem, never did they solve it. I am not telling people to throw all their pills away, for that is not my place to do so. What I am doing is asking people to search deeper for a root cause.
When I started my research to deal with anxiety, one of the most frustrating things I found was that the people producing the materials on the subject, never seemed to struggle with it themselves. Although these people meant well, they could never win my anxious heart. Let me say this upfront, in most circumstances; you will be the one to find the root problem, not a doctor, counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist. It’s not that these people cannot help us, it’s that they don’t know your deepest thoughts and fears. Most people who struggle with anxiety do not go around publicizing their insecurities. The thought of sharing their heart with others would put them in a state of panic right then and there! I am writing these blogs for the man who has to pretend he’s big and strong but inwardly he’s falling apart; yet, too scared to tell anyone. I’m writing this for the woman who puts on a mask as if she has it all together, but inwardly she’s empty and alone. I am writing this for the teenager who is scared to death of what people think and wonder if they will ever be accepted and loved for who they are in life. I’m writing this to help people from a sympathetic viewpoint of how to quiet their anxious hearts.
What To Look Forward To
This blog will be split up into four more posts because the content is too deep and important to summarize into one. The four posts will be answering four questions: 1) Why Do I Have Anxiety? 2) How Do I Heal From Anxiety? 3) Where Are My Safe Zones? 4) How Can God Use My Anxious Heart? At the end of this blog, I will leave a couple of email addresses for the readers to contact our ministry team if they need someone to help and pray with them on a much deeper level.
The Bible has much to say about fear and anxiety. The word fear and words like it, appear over 600 times in the Bible. Satan’s greatest weapon against humanity is fear. If Satan can cause us to be fearful, he has control over our minds. Fear enslaves us to the one whom we fear. Who or what we fear becomes our master. My goal is for the reader to be able to champion verses like Proverbs 3:25-26 and have their mindset changed by the Scripture. The verses read, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.” There are three words used in this verse that pinpoint our topic: Afraid(anxiety), sudden terror(panic) and trouble(devastation). I believe all three are linked and God’s solution for one starts a chain reaction for solving the others. We will do a deeper study of this verse in a future blog.
In conclusion, anxiety does not have to cripple your life! The pathway of your struggle can come to an end. The fog can clear. The tunnel vision can go away. None of these things will be a quick fix, but they will be steps toward a life change that build momentum to a whole new way of thinking. Quick fixes have short-lived results. We want something permanent that leaves its mark on our hearts and lives for the glory of God. I believe the most significant starting point for anyone dealing with the internal agony of fear and anxiety is to pray Psalm 139:23-24. It reads, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”
God already knows the anxieties of our hearts. He knows the hidden and deep-rooted insecurities that we ourselves do not know. As the Psalmist prayed “search me,” we also should ask God to search our hearts. He asked God to take note of his “anxieties.” The Hebrew word for anxiety here is saraph, and it means disquieting thoughts. What we need to do is ask God to search us and take note of our anxious thoughts and then lead us in the way everlasting. God will never lead us to the path of fear and panic. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” God gives us a mindset that is under control, not out of control. God already knows everything about us, so it’s only reasonable to trust Him with our hearts. You cannot hide feelings and thoughts from God, so the first person we need to do business with is Him. Give Him full access to your heart, He already has full knowledge of it.
Grace and Peace
Stephen Boyce- SBoyce@citylightseattle.com
Jonathan Beazley- Jon@citylightseattle.com
Bethany Beazley- Bethany@citylightseattle.com
Edited By Caroline Foster