So, I’m not exactly sure what caliber of anxiety you have to be at to be diagnosed with the disorder, but I think I’m fairly close to it. I constantly worry about everything and everyone in my life. I see danger in absolutely everything, I always feel like something bad is going to happen, and I feel like I can’t control any of it.
My heart is overwhelmed. There’s so much wrong in the world. There’s too many problems and heartaches that any remedy could ever fix. I even made a list a couple nights ago of things that make me sad or anxious. I wrote and wrote for like half an hour and I filled up two whole pages. Writing is how I sort out my thoughts (hence this blog), and I was hoping that I could figure out why all these different things make me worry. The list of things that give me anxiety ranged from as big as ISIS and the downfall of America down to as small as my own relationship with God and my own insecurities. Just a couple of examples: freak accidents, being alone, my friends and family dying, people being treated unfairly or abused, unorganized and messy houses, car wrecks, fear of being judged, not being close enough to God as I would like to be, and not being where I should be in my life by this point. I know I sound crazy, but almost everything makes me worry.
What I’ve discovered is that the majority of what gives me anxiety, I can’t do anything about. I cannot worry about what I cannot control. I can’t stop ISIS with my bare hands. I can’t stop all the rapists or abusive husbands in the world. I can’t prevent car wrecks or stop other people from judging me. I can’t fix all the broken hearts in the world and I can’t keep people from losing their loved ones.
However, I can control how I treat people. I can comfort my friends and family when they’re in need. I can be a light to those in my own little world. With God as my guide, I can turn myself into the kind, gracious woman of God that I’m meant to be. I need to focus on what I can realistically do to change my life and those involved in it. I can pray for the things I can’t control, and actually do something about the things I can control. And even if the worst possible thing happens, if our country crumbles to the ground, if I lose all my friends and family or even if I lose my life, the things on this Earth do not matter at all compared to the glory that is coming in Heaven.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Letting the peace of God guard your heart and mind means that in every circumstance, your soul is at rest because you know that God is in control. There is no other comfort than the peace we receive when we give our worries to God. I have to give up my need for control and remember that God is the one in control. The peace God gives us surpasses any peace the world might try to give us. No one can calm my anxious soul like He can. No matter what is going on in my life, or the world around me, God remains on His throne. He holds this whole world in His sovereign hands.
Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, I listen to “My Father’s World” by Gungor (which is on my playlist of favorite worship songs that you can find here). There is so much truth to the words of that song. God rules this world, no matter how bad things may seem. How can I be sad when I know that my life rests in God’s hands?
Whatever happens, God is my comfort. His love and mercy is my guide. I have to let go of the anxieties that creep into my heart and rest in the fact that God holds me in his loving embrace. His promises are the reason that I can keep going through life with all its worries and heartaches. When all else fails, my heart will find rest in Jesus.