Encouragement for Anxiety

Worry breeds anxiety. This may sound crazy, but I never thought of myself as a worrier until my best friend pointed that out to me…less than a year ago. My grandmother was the worrier in the family, not me. As I  took a step back and let my friend’s words sink in…. “you might be the biggest worrier I know”….I realized, okay, maybe she has a point.

I just read something on Facebook the other day that reflected on how worrying about things that might happen actually causes more stress and fear than actually facing what we fear.

Losing a job, financial concerns, paying for college, health, the list goes on and on…things that might happen, things that I am in the middle of, trying to figure out…so, what’s a girl to do, a now self-professed worrier???

Turning to the Word, I have found two passages that really, really help me when I feel worry and anxiety.

S0, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work and walking around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.    Romans 12:1 MSG


That passage encourages me so much. God truly cares about every detail in my life-my drive into work, my interactions wtih others, the everyday stuff that can threaten to drag me down, my comings and goings. I remember doing a Bible study group with some ladies from my church. We were reading through a book, and the author described a situation where she had prayed to God to help her find the perfect dress for an event she needed to speak at. The author struggled with acceptance of her body image as well as some financial struggles. I’ve never forgotten that…it really resonated with me. God cares about the little details of our lives when our lives are surrendered to Him so our hearts can be open to receive His blessings.

The other passage that I have found extremely helpful to break down and pray over is this:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.             Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

I find it helpful to break down these verses and pray over them. I tell God what I need. Then, I reflect on the ways He has already worked in my life, and I thank Him for  all He has done, trusting that He loves me and will carry me through.

One other thing has been very helpful in changing my perspective. During some difficult months at a challenging job in a challenging environment, I kept a gratitude journal. Each day, I looked for things that happened that were positive. Day by day, this became easier and my list grew longer each day.

Yes, our days will be filled with trials, bad news, difficult situations, but God cares about every detail in our lives and  wants us to pray over everything. And, a little gratitude can go a long way! The promise of spring really does come.



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