5 Steps to Freedom (from fear, worry, and anxiety)
Nights are hard for me, physically speaking. Recently in particular. The past 2 weeks I’ve gotten about 24 hours of sleep total, and my poor body is starting to feel that. Being up at night sick is not a new thing for me—in fact, it’s almost weird to me if it DOESN’T happen...that’s sad, I know...—but feeling anxious or worried about it is. Well, not new, but long gone. Until last night.
I awoke around 2 am with my usual stomach woes...but tonight and a side of fear. Dread. Worry. Anxiety. All of the above, you name it. I was feeling it all. At first it took me by surprise—I didn’t recognize it because I haven’t felt it in so long (praise be to God!), but then I realized what was going on (the delay could also have been because, well, it was 2 am and I was already super sleep deprived...just that little thing...). Once I realized I was feeling anxious and worried, I got more anxious and worried because suddenly all I could think about was the stress response and cortisol being released and flooding into my blood stream and suppressing my already weak immune system and...you get the idea. Long story short, I was worrying about the effects of my worrying. Really effective, huh?! I was worrying because I couldn’t remember how to stop worrying. It had been so long since I had to walk myself through this that I had actually forgotten. And here I was, in almost full blown anxiety-attack mode with a stomach in knots on top of it (literally and figuratively, mind you) and I couldn’t remember what to do.
So I did the ONLY thing I knew to do: I dropped to my knees and asked my Father God for help. I asked Him to reveal His truths to me and wipe out this fear I was feeling. To renew my mind and fill it with His peace and joy once again. To remind me of those techniques and tactics (weapons, as I call them) He have me so many months ago to use when fear comes knocking. I just asked Him to help me. And He did.
Within 5 minutes my mind was once again flooded with the promises and truths He revealed to me so many months ago when I first started facing this fear demon head-on. And within 5 minutes of praying and contemplating these truths and promises (because as we know, His Word is the sword of the Spirit to fight the enemy’s attacks...and fear is one of those enemy attacks!) my anxiety was gone. Obliterated. Praise be to Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider.
While this took me off guard quite a bit, it gave me the opportunity to be reminded of what I used to feel every second of my life, and the healing that’s possible thanks to Jesus Christ and fixing our eyes and hearts on Him. It’s also given me the opportunity to be reminded of the truths He revealed to me and techniques He gave me/led me to that helped me find freedom from fear once and for all—truths that, now that I’m reminded of them, I can share with you all in hopes that you can find freedom too (see? God really does work everything for good. Had I not had this anxiety attack, I wouldn’t be able to share with you all! Romans 8:28 in living action right here. There’s a reason it’s my life verse!).
5 Steps to Freedom (from fear, worry, and anxiety)
1. Dig into The Word. This is foundational and must be done over time and diligently, but the true only way to stand up strong against the devil’s attacks (one of which is fear) is to fight the lies he’s telling you by reminding yourself of God’s truths and promises. By really digging deep into God’s Word, you’ll be spending time not only learning His truths and promises, but you’ll be spending time learning His heart— a heart that is love alone.
2. Ask God to help you overcome this fear. He wants to help us...He is waiting, we just have to let Him in. By spending time with Him (in His Word and through talking with Him), we get to know His heart of love.
3. Remind yourself who is in control, and how much He loves you. God has already won the victory. He's already conquered death! There's truly NOTHING to be afraid of! He DIED for you...just contemplate that. He will NEVER leave us or forsake us (Joshua 1:5), there is NOTHING that can separate us from His love and care (Romans 8:38), and there is NOTHING that could every happen that He won't work for good (Romans 8:28).
4. Remind yourself of the reality: it's not about you! I remember the first time my spiritual mentor said this to me. It changed my life...it was so liberating and freeing! And so true. Our lives really aren't about us...we are created BY GOD, for HIS PURPOSES ALONE. Why would we ever think that He won't do what needs to be done and provide in such a way for those plans to be accomplished? And His plans for us are GOOD, by the way (Jeremiah 29:11). We don't always know why God allows painful things, but we CAN know this: there's a reason, even if we can't see it. I can look back on things I thought were the worst things that would ever happen to me and thank God for those very things, because those were the very things that drew me closer to Him, helped me learn how much He really did love me, and ultimately changed my life and heart for the better (Isaiah 55:9, Romans 8:28).
5. Get to KNOW Your Father...not just know ABOUT Him. This last one, although I've saved it for last, is really the most critical of all the steps. Until we fix our eyes on Jesus and continually, daily contemplate the reality--that He died for us because He loves us so much--we will never find lasting freedom from anxiety and worry. God IS love--love that never fails (1 John 4:8, 1 Corinthians 13:8). His love is perfect, matchless, timeless, endless, eternal. There is NOTHING we could ever do to make Him stop loving us. His love for us is fixed...while we humans are flawed and have imperfect capacities of love, His love IS perfect. And it's forever and through everything. We can get to know His heart by studying His Word, through prayer and contemplation, and through studying commentaries, books, and sermons. Some resources that have been extremely helpful for me are the following:
~"The God Shaped Brain," by Timothy Jennings. A truly life-changing book about the REAL nature of God, His heart, and His love for us...His love that can heal ANY wound. Find it as a FREE PDF (!) HERE.
~Timothy Keller's "Gospel in Life" Sermons and Lectures. I have listened to one of Reverend Keller's sermons every single day since February, and I cannot tell you the work Th eLord has done on my heart thanks to this. Absolutely amazing. I have a playlist of all his sermons on Youtube available HERE.
~Consider finding a Christian counselor or spiritual mentor. It can be immensely helpful to simply have someone to listen. Not sure if there are any Christian counselor sin your area? Oftentimes there are counselors affiliated with churches...if not, pastors are most always ready and willing to help. HERE is a great resource to find Christian counselors in your local area. You can also just try searching "Christian counselors in _______ (insert your city and state)."
There is hope, friends. You CAN conquer your anxiety, and it begins by understanding just how much God loves you. Perfect love truly does cast out fear (1 John 4:18). Fix your eyes on Jesus, and there is no storm you can't weather, no battle you can't win, and no trial that won't become a testimony.
As always, don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions, concerns, prayer requests, or simply want to chat. I want to help however I can. Shoot me an email and let me know how I can help. Sending love, prayers, and lots of smiles!
D.S., CPBN, CPI, CPT, CYI, CArTh., Owner of Anna's Organics LLC and Founder of CreationNutrition
YouTube: Anna's Organics