Maybe you need a prescription for anxiety, maybe you need a new perspective.
Fretting. There’s no other word for my obsessive thoughts. Asking myself questions like what I am going to do, where is my life going and how does it all turns out? I hate the unknown because I like to be in control. But I’m not. Trying to figure out all the answers and manipulate everyone to the desired end wears me smooth out. I act like I’ve got a few suggestions for God just in case He hasn’t thought of my idea. Anybody know what I’m talking about? Do you stew until your problems reach panic level? Stare unblinking at your worries under a microscope and even small concerns appear daunting. Don’t torment yourself and magnify your stress.
2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.” NLT
CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE
1. Buy a journal, it’s a cheap psychiatrist
Let cares flow from your mind through the ink in your pen. Don’t worry about writing prose, simply make a list of your concerns and get them out of your head and onto paper. Leave them on the page and resist the temptation to pick them back up. Present your cares at your Heavenly Father’s feet, then walk away.
Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” NIV
RECORD HIS FAITHFULNESS
Find a verse to address your specific issue, write a prayer over your trouble and note the date. Faith and trust grow over time as you see His faithfulness in every situation. Sort your feelings and empty your mind of recurrent thoughts before you go to bed. Write it down, then cast it down.
1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.” HCSB
2. Give it time
A dime blocks the light of the sun if it covers the pupil. I know it’s hard to see past the moment, believe me, I know. Trusting God comes easy for me, but waiting, well that’s another matter entirely. Eagles have exceptional visual acuity which allow it to see from a distant perspective. A little distance from my issues changed my perspective then my anxiety melted. I’ve come a long way in the last couple of years, but my strength didn’t come overnight. In fact, in the beginning, I nearly fainted from exhaustion.
Isaiah 40:31, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” ESV
3. The big picture
In the moment, we see the moment and forget it’s just a moment. Remember, this too shall pass.
Whatever you’re going through will one day just be a sentence. A single sentence. Right now it may be consuming your life. But one day it will just be a sentence.
For me it’s: “I was married previously.”
Even though that was a four to five year fallout in my life…. Today it’s just a sentence.
~ These wise words are from Rachel Dawn’s new book, “Now What?” If you’d like to learn more, listen here to my podcast interview.
4. Try to laugh, it really is the best medicine
I know, it’s not funny. Really. But run, skip, exercise, smile and laugh anyway. Come on, try it. I did and it works.
ALL CHOKED UP
We reminisced about our lowest lows over cheese dip and before long we choked on corn chips laughing at the absurdities of our adversities. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t funny. Not funny at all. But time gave us perspective to laugh at the valleys because we survived. We lived to tell of God’s goodness even in our darkest moments. God never fails to bless us and show us joy even in suffering, actually especially during suffering.
Psalm 30:5, “The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.” MSG
5. Help someone
Nothing brings more misery than focusing on your own needs because it guarantees they will never be met by others. But when you spend yourself on someone else, you find distraction from your anxiety, like the day I found a “Moment of Grace.” The eagle’s view changes our perspective as we see God work in mysterious ways and with unlikely people to bring about His ultimate will. What if the fire I’m walking through isn’t only about me? Wonder if that could be true for you as well?
Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” NIV
Next week I’m going to wrap up this series on anxiety by putting on my doctor hat and addressing the medical treatment of anxiety in Christians. I hope you receive my posts by email, if not enter your address in the little green box that pops up over the words just when you are trying to read. Sorry about that.