I'm no stranger to struggles with anxiety. When we are off-balance (and off-balance can mean a lot of things--stressed, overwhelmed, too busy, sick, taking care of someone sick, adjusting to change, and all kinds of other things) each of us tends to lean towards some sort of negative thinking or behaving. Some struggle with depression, anger, over-eating, under-eating, closing themselves off emotionally, or addiction, just to name a few. Each of us has our own struggle. I just happen to lean toward becoming anxious, and I know many others deal with anxiety as well.
In 2011, I struggled with some truly terrible anxiety after nearly losing my dad to a massive heart attack. In the couple of years that followed, I worked with the most wonderful counselor who helped me learn to recognize my triggers, get control of my negative thoughts, and learn to care for myself in a way that prevents me from becoming so off balance in the first place. It was also during those years that I first began to commit scripture to memory as an adult, and I found so much healing in putting God's word inside my heart.
I'm so thankful that I've found freedom from the terrible anxiety I experienced in 2011, and to say that I'm grateful for this is quite the understatement. I will always keep practicing the healthy habits that help me stay on balance, and for me one of those continues to be focusing on scripture.
2020 has been such a time of high anxiety even for those who don't typically struggle with worrying. I thought I'd share a few verses that have been particularly helpful to me. I've included a free download here, just click on the image to print!
*As a therapist and a Christian, it's very important to me to not leave anyone thinking if I could just pray more and read my Bible more then I'd feel better because that simply isn't always the case. God's Word is the ultimate authority, but He works in many ways--through scripture, biblical teaching, music, friendships, gardens, and all sorts of other ways. And sometimes those ways include therapy and medication. There is no weakness, but rather there is only wisdom, in seeking out help when it's needed:)
I'm not glad I've struggled with anxiety, and I certainly wouldn't choose to do so again, but I wouldn't change it. It's the thing God has used most in my life to bring me closer to Himself, to make me seek him harder, and to teach me about his love and grace. I don't live in the sort of fear that I once did, and this is one of many reasons why I know my clients don't have to either. The verse that says "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness" has indeed been true in my life, and I'm forever grateful.
I hope these verses are an encouragement to you today. Please feel free to share them with a friend who you think might enjoy them! I'm so thankful each of you are here:)