Prescription for anxiety: Part 1

Do you need a prescription for anxiety?

prescriptions-foranxiety

I spent 20 years sitting on a rolling stool dispensing advice. Women confided their deepest struggles, frustrations and fears. I quoted scripture and recommended remedies for anxiety. When my life turned upside down my own words mocked me. Did I really trust a sovereign God who would take away a career I loved and all my active hobbies with a debilitating neuromuscular disease? The answer was absolutely, “Yes!” Scriptures stored in my head and heart carried me through what I thought was the most difficult time in my life. Well, turns out that was a cake walk. Then my life unraveled at the very seams. Now I am living in survival mode.

Isaiah 54:10, “Though the mountains move and the hills shake, My love will not be removed from you and My covenant of peace will not be shaken.” HCSB

INVISIBLE WAR

Maybe you know what I’m talking about. Anxiety is an invisible war waged inside your head. I know the keys to finding peace; I’ve handed them out for years from my smug little perch on the stool. Now I’m having to stick those keys in the locks to see if they really open the doors to freedom.They aren’t easy-to-turn locks, no, more like those you have to jimmy and jiggle.

Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” NIV

EFFICACY

All those recommendations I made; now I’m the one who needs them. Do they work?  Yeah…but doing them? Well that’s another story.  It’s a hard choice, especially when decided in the middle of a consuming trial. If you aren’t fighting any major battles right now I urge you to train. “In this world you will have trouble,” Jesus said. He also said, “Take heart, I have overcome the world.” You need an overcomer. You need to know Jesus. I suggest the best way to know His heart is to know His word. Get into Bible study, dig in deep and camp there, because let me tell you, life is hard.

1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” ESV

To know God's heart, know His word #HolyBible Click To Tweet

DECIDE NOW

The fighter pilot was securely strapped into his seat when the catapult flung him down the abbreviated runway of the aircraft carrier. The F-16 nose-dived off the end of the ship, plunged into the ocean and sank within a few seconds. His shipmates stood wide-eyed as they realized the pilot safely ejected. Later, they crowded around and wanted to know, “When did you decide to eject?” His answer, “About 10 years ago. I decided if I passed a certain point and my engine didn’t start, I was out of there.” We would be wise to do the same. Decide now what you will do before you cross a certain line. Then if you get to that point, pull the lever and get out of there before you crash. We all need a plan in place before we are faced with dire circumstances. Decide now to prepare yourself, then when your life falls apart you won’t.

Ephesians 6;10-11, “And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.” MSG

Decide now to prepare yourself, then when life falls apart, you won't #beprepared Click To Tweet

THE LONGER YOU STAY IN A RUT, THE DEEPER IT GETS

Lately I’ve worn a rut in my brain. Thinking the same thoughts over and over again, it gets easier to go down the same path. The problem is, then I wind up at the same destination and it’s not where I want to be – fixated on my problems, frustrated at my powerlessness and knotted up with worry and anxiety. I can’t breathe; I can’t eat and my heart pounding against the mattress wakes me hours before daylight. My mental tires spin futilely trying to gain traction but instead I’m just slinging mud. Call me a tow truck, please! I’ve got to get out of this rut because it’s quickly becoming a stronghold. You see, the deeper I dig the rut, the harder it is to get out.

Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” NKJV

When I recently spoke to a group of college students on anxiety, I noticed some of them taking notes. So I decided to share my thoughts on “My Journey of Faith Radio” podcast. If you’ve got the time listen here. Otherwise, I will share my remedies here for the next few weeks. If you need a tow truck to pull you out of your anxiety, make sure you get my posts by email. Enter your address in the box that pops up. Feel free to share with a friend or on social media. We need all the help we can get.

 

 

 

The gynecologist and the village priest

The gynecologist and the village priest

This may sound strange, but if there is anything I miss about practicing medicine it is my rolling stool.  I could not begin to estimate the number of hours I sat on the beige padded stool with no back support.  From the cushioned perch I listened, observed, prescribed, prayed, laughed and cried. Probably what I did best, and maybe sometimes worst, was dole out advice.  I gave advice covering many topics:  illness and disease, marriage and other family relationships, faith and the Christian walk, diet and exercise, depression and anxiety, choices in life and of course, sex.  It goes with the territory.

WHO ELSE WOULD YOU TALK TO ABOUT SUCH THINGS?

I was once told being a gynecologist is like being the village priest.  Women tell you personal, intimate details of their lives. Both doctor and priest are sworn to complete confidentiality. Sins are confessed, secrets divulged. Being with the gynecologist or priest makes you feel vulnerable, exposed. The gynecologist and the village priest are the first to know when tragedy, infidelity, illness or death occur.  By very nature, the gynecologist is there when the rabbit dies.  For those of you too young to know what that means; the stick turned blue.  Listening to people teaches much, about others and about yourself.

Proverbs 2:2, “turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding” NIV

 STILL DOLING OUT ADVICE

Writing provides me an avenue to continue handing out advice and honestly, I love my readers.  Thank you for following, sharing and inviting your friends to share our journey of encouragement. Over the years I hope I have gained insight that will prove useful.  Trust me, I have heard it all! I have tried to listen to the needs of the human heart, mind and soul. Warning, I am brutally honest so I hope you are not easily offended.  I mean well.

Ephesians 4:15, “But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head-Christ.” HCSB

VILLAGE PRIEST

A priest is defined as an authority on religious matters. No, that is not me. I have never been to seminary or had any formal training. I do love reading, studying and learning. Memorizing scripture has been a fun challenge too. The more I learn the Holy Bible, the more its truths transform me from the inside. I get excited and want to share what I learn. I suppose it was a perfect storm for me to write in practicing my new position as physician for the soul.

Psalm 119:169 , “Let my cry come right into your presence, God; provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word.” MSG

REAL PRIEST

In reality, a priest is a mediator. One who bridges the gap between humanity and God. Jesus is our high priest. Only Jesus is qualified. You see God is holy and therefore unapproachable. We must be blameless to enter His presence. I don’t know about you, but I am automatically disqualified. The only way for me to gain access to God is through Christ.

Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” KJV

THRONE

Instead of stool in a cramped exam room, we are invited to the throne. Not the throne of judgement, but the throne of grace, where we find mercy and help. Anyone need a little mercy and help?

I cannot emphasize the importance of in-depth Bible study. It positively changed my life. The first study I enrolled in I completed less than half of the lessons and attended half of the sessions. Despite feeling like a failure,  I persisted. The next study I participated in I completed more and attended regularly. Eventually, I started leading Bible study. It was the easiest way to ensure I finished my lesson! In the past I had tried to read and study the Bible on my own. Maybe that works for you, but personally I need direction and I need accountability. If you get in to the Word you will either be changed or get out.

 If you want to jump in and don’t know where to start, here are links to some of my favorite Bible studies:

Bible Study Fellowship

Lifeway

Proverbs 31

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Would love for you to comment and share your favorite Bible study.

Are you speaking his language?

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I learned the hard way when I skidded into the boat dock and the whole thing  lurched.  Fortunately, neither the jet-ski nor the dock were harmed.  Apparently you cannot steer in the water without giving it gas.  I guess I probably should have known that before I tried to pull into the slip

Proverbs 1:4-5, “for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-let the wise listen and add to their learning and let the discerning get guidance.” NIV

INERTIA

Life is the same way.  Without forward motion,  we cannot steer.  Usually referred to as “being in a rut” or in this case “dead in the water” we can get stuck in our family relationships, friendships, careers or spiritual walk. Relationships constantly change and must be nurtured to grow healthier. But we have to give it some gas and move forward or we will not be able to control the direction we are going.

Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” NASB

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Relationships typically go through ups and downs. Sometimes we get stuck in the downs.  We cannot steer out of the rut because we are not going anywhere. Oftentimes the same hot topic generates the same negative response over and over. If this sounds familiar, recognize the trigger, prepare a different reaction and give it some gas.

Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” NIV

CAREERS

Work should be satisfying.  But the work of our hands will only be fulfilling if we have a higher purpose in mind. Whether you are an accountant, trash collector or teacher use your relationships to encourage others. You never know when you are the one who will truly make a difference in someone’s life.

Need help finding your calling? Continue reading