Anxiety. Oh how I dread the word I have come to know a little too often. Anxiety for me is an overwhelming flood of emotions that comes on at one point, in one situation, in one moment. It is what doctors like to call an anxiety or panic attack. It can be caused, for me, by stress or lack of sleep. I have been familiar with panic attacks as my mom also struggled with them back in the day but I didn’t come to know one myself until about 2 years ago. I have only had two real “attacks” in the past 2 years but it is something that still lingers. The reason I am writing this post is because it just so happened to pop back up in me again today. I was standing there singing a hymn at church this morning and I kept coughing (for some odd reason). The coughing led to me feeling like I couldn’t take a deep breath (which is usually how it begins) then my chest gets tight, throat feels like its closing up, and my mouth gets dry. An overwhelming fear comes over me and I just want to bolt out of the church service knowing that all of these “symptoms” are the beginnings of an anxiety attack. There is nothing worse then feeling like you can’t breathe. I sat there just battling this anxiety within me just trying to get it under control. I did not want to be mastered by my anxiety and leave the church service but I was also afraid it would escalate and get worse. I let Zach know that I was struggling and he tried to help me the best he could by holding my hand and what not. I just need some type of distraction to take my mind off of whats going on inside of me. Usually I have a pen so I can just fiddle around and draw on a piece of paper but I forgot my pen at home this morning (of course). So, I decided I would look up the word anxiety in the back of my Bible and read some verses. The one I read was 1 Peter 5:7 which reads…

“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

I just kept reading that verse over and over again and it started to ease my mind. See, my fleshly nature tries to overcome the anxiety first on my own. I try to do everything within my power to calm myself and master the anxiety. But, I cannot overcome anxiety on my own. I cannot do it in my own strength and in my power. Only Christ and through His power and strength can I overcome. Whenever a hint of anxiety starts to enter in my mind I need to immediately turn it over to Christ and to cast it on Him. He CARES and He WANTS to carry the burden.

A verse that Zach once read to me when I was struggling with anxiety has stayed with me and I have repeated it in my mind many times. It is Psalm 131:1-2…

“Oh Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.”

– Liz

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