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Posts Tagged ‘overcoming anxiety’

Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside of you that is greater than any obstacle..png

It’s the American dream; a core belief inscribed in looping ink upon the face of the  constitution and passed from one to generation to the next. We are “endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Yet, this modern time has been termed “the age of anxiety”, depression is at a near-epidemic level, and suicide rates rank as one of the leading causes of death from the ages of 10-54.

...in the collective pursuit of happiness, we seem to have lost hope.#Jeremiah29:11#hopeinChrist#thereismore Click To Tweet

In our unending desire for life? We’ve exchanged the constraint of quiet for high-reaching, go-getting, prove-myself ambitions. In  pursuit of personal freedom? We’ve subjected ourselves to the poverty of busyness. And in the collective pursuit of happiness? We seem to have lost hope.

Like most women, I struggle to discover balance. A settled sense of purpose intermingled with the intentional practice of both work and play. A confidence in saying”yes” to the best while determining that “no” is also an acceptable answer.

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In this world of high-stakes and high-demands, how can we live fully without being frazzled? Scripture points us toward a permanent, soul-satisfying pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness in just a few simple steps.

Stop Striving

Scripture reassures, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)

If our striving and ambition are driven by fear or a need to prove ourselves worthy, then our goals are misguided. We may plan our way, but “the Lord determines our steps”. (Proverbs 16:9) We can rely on Him to guide and lead us.

Live Intentionally Free

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:3)

While this verse addresses the problem of being chained to more ‘traditionally accepted’ sins once we’ve been loosed by Christ’s love, I believe we can also give our freedom in Him up to the idol of busyness.

...being comfortable with doing less has the potential to allow us to do the most important.#beaMary#atthefeetofJesus#bestill Click To Tweet

As women, being comfortable with doing less even when others might expect more has the potential to allow us to do that which is most important, spending time at the feet of Jesus. Intentionally choosing to be a Mary in our Martha-amazed world.

Practice Receiving Instead of Getting

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” (Matthew 6:33)

Paul reveals that God understands our needs. He knows each of us intimately and personally and, like any Father, will look to our concerns. But, He longs for us to inhale a deep, soul-filling breath of Jesus; to recognize the reality of the unseen Eternal. Our joy is in Him, not in the passing pleasures of today.

Altering our perspective of real and lasting life, liberty, and happiness transforms our ability to move from frazzled to refreshed. From empty to energized. From burned-out to blessed.

If you feel frazzled, why not begin implementing the three steps above by doing the following:

  • Make a list of everything on your to-do list for the next week. Categorize each item in three categories: Imperative, Important, Unimportant. Is there anything in the third category you can eliminate from your list?
  • Do you feel guilty when you say “no” to a request? Journal for a few minutes and ask God to reveal what lies at the core of your discomfort (i.e. a desire to please others, ministry opportunity). If you’re uncertain about whether to respond “yes” or “no” in to response to a request for your time, ask for some time to pray about it ask the Holy Spirit to provide insight.
  • Spend 5 minutes being still in the Father’s presence. Now, thank Him for three blessings you’ve received from Him today.

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: Porch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Literary Musing MondaysTea and Word TuesdaysWorth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesus

 

 

 

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I may not be strong enough to conquer anxiety, but with God all things are possible.

My voice, high and quiet, barely penetrated the good-humored discussion amongst my colleagues. Attempting to lead an activity, I was certain I noticed dismissive, bored glances of the other women. Their unspoken words, all a figment of my anxious imagination, left an indelible imprint.

  I can’t stand her. She’s such a do-gooder.                                                                                  What a fake! Nobody smiles that much.                                                                                              Great…this will be a waste of time.

I carried the weight of these illusory statements the entirety of the day; my burden a series of invisible labels wrapped like chains around my spirit. I’d believed some of anxieties most common lies.

Like the tentacles of a cloying sea animal, anxiety wraps its arms around the susceptible soul.#dontgiveanxietypower#speaktruth#mentalhealth Click To Tweet

Many of us have experienced anxiety, but we become vulnerable prey when we allow its deceit to penetrate our hearts. Like the tentacles of a cloying sea animal, anxiety wraps its arms around the susceptible spirit–enfolding each woman in her own veil of unwanted worry.

Anxiety strengthens; feeding on the suppression of truth as the mind recycles wrong thinking, misinterprets events, and begins to treat lies as reality; forgetting Christ’s reassurance that he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Perhaps you, too, are familiar with the lies anxiety thrusts deep into the sensitive soul. Do you recognize any of these?

  1. You aren’t worth anything and everybody knows it. Did you notice the way the way other people avert their gaze or avoid you? You deserve their judgement because you’ll never be enough.
  2. Your worst fears may become reality. What right do you have to enjoy and experience this moment when danger and disaster are an ever-present possibility?
  3. You are responsible for happy endings. If your husband, child, or friend is unhappy, you need to fix the problem.
  4. You are never safe. No matter the circumstance or person, you must be vigilant. Life is tenuous and safety is doubtful.
  5. You aren’t lovable. You may not even be likable. Regardless of your efforts, investing in relationships is useless. There is always someone better, prettier, funnier, or smarter who is more important than you.
  6. You should just give up on beating anxiety because it’s stronger than you. Despite prayer, counseling, medication or any other intervention, anxiety will maintain the upper hand. There is no way to manage its impact; no way to live free.

Earlier today I allowed room for the lies anxiety whispers; inviting them into my mind when I should have slammed the door at their first appearance. Now, bits of silver sparkle in the sky and I’m reminded of the vastness of God’s power and might. I recall the accounts of God’s tender love and patient guidance with a people in need of shepherding. Words of acceptance and devotion flood my mind.

I recall the Way. I cling to the Truth. I seek Life.

In His presence, I rediscover what had been momentarily forgotten.

The precious blood of Christ has made me worthy.#accepted#trueidentity#mentalhealth Click To Tweet
  1. The precious blood of Christ has made me worthy. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
  2. Fear isn’t worth my time because He is my protector and provider.                    “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”(Isaiah 41:10)
  3. His plans and purposes are unshakeable. I’m on the winning team.                        “Remember the former things, those of long ago;  I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning,
    from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
  4. I am safe for eternity because I am His child.                                                                 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
  5. Even when I am at my least lovable, I am still loved.                                                      But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
  6. Anxiety may seem insurmountable, but I know the God who split the Read Sea and brought down the walls of Jericho. I may not be strong enough to conquer anxiety, but “with God all things are possible”. Even if anxiety continues to reside nearby until my homecoming, I will choose to trust Him. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

If anxiety is your soul’s silent enemy, would you turn to the truth of scripture? Feast on the abundance of your Father’s words and begin to drive anxiety from your heart and mind. It’s the best place to begin.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: Porch Stories, Tea and Word Tuesday, Literary Musing Mondays, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Let’s Have CoffeePurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Imparting GraceDestination Inspiration, Tune in Thursday, Dare to HearHeart Encouragement, Faith and Friends, Blogger Voices Network, Faith on Fire, Dance with Jesus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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