Have you ever felt like nothing was right in life? No matter what you did or didn't do, everything was "wrong" and you couldn't see "right" anywhere in the future. All you could see was your current circumstances hanging over you like those rain clouds in the cartoons. You know the ones that follow that one little cartoon character around to rain on them, and only them!Having these feelings consistently for long periods of time can take a toll. For me, it created an anxiety problem in my life. Worry, anxiety, and fear became front and center in my daily life. Some days are worse than others and some days are almost unbearable.
The underlying problem that I struggle with is fear. Fear caused me to worry and worrying created anxiety. The more I worried the more anxiety I had. The more anxiety I had, the worse the physical response to it. At its worst I spent hours at a time hyperventilating and struggling to catch my breath. I remember one night I had been having one of these anxiety attacks for about an hour. All of the sudden I found myself curled up in a ball on the floor, struggling to breathe, light headed, and honestly wondering if it was ever going to end.
I heard a message this week from a missionary to an area where the people they encounter have reasons to fear believing in Jesus. It is an area of the world where believing in Christ literally could get you killed.
He said, "Terrified, Petrified, Mortified. Fear will either make you run away from what God has for you, turn you into a rock, or kill you". (Look up the definition of those three words).
My fear petrified me. It stopped me in my tracks with these anxiety attacks. But here is the good news! The Bible tells us "Do not fear"!! We do not have to let fear take over our lives. God is with us always and He promises to protect us in fearful situations.
But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:1, 2 NKJV)
God doesn't ever promise us we won't go through trials, but he promises to be by our side and to take care of us as we go through them.
Worn by Tenth Avenue North (you can listen to it here) has become one of my favorites songs to listen to lately. It took me a few times of feeling like I really liked this song to realize why. It is because I can relate literally to the first few lines.
"I’m tired. I’m worn. My heart is heavy from the work it takes to keep on breathing."
But the best part of this song is the chorus.
Let me see REDEMPTION WIN
Let me know THE STRUGGLE ENDS
That YOU can MEND A HEART
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know A SONG CAN RISE
From the ashes of a broken life
And ALL THAT’S DEAD inside CAN BE REBORN
Cause I’m worn
So, as I continue to battle anxiety, I am asking God to make me fearless! I am praying that through His power and strength, I can change my physical reaction when the hard times come.
My God is bigger than my fears and I need not worry because my God is with me through it all, by my side, every step of the way.