Originally posted on Feb 26 2015
I realized something yesterday that I hadn’t realized since May of 2012. I honestly just never put two and two together. One of those things that you know, …..but you don’t see it. You understand it, but yet you don’t recognize it? Kind of funny how we are blinded to things sometimes, but yet we have this inclination in our mind/heart (a leading, a prompting from God) on how to handle it.
But somehow, on the way home from work yesterday, I was sitting in traffic and thinking about how on occasion, I get overwhelmed with this anxiousness in my soul. I really went through a ton of it back in 2012. So it is surprising to me that it was not until yesterday that I even recognized it for what the world would determine as “Anxiety”.
I had never once even thought about it as a “condition” with the name “anxiety”. Never! I knew my soul was in torment. I knew that for some reason, out of the blue, I would be attacked with this spirit of anxiety and distress, and feel like my world was crashing down. Like I would rather die than continue on. Or I’d rather just instantly fall asleep to escape this overwhelming urge to walk away from my faith in Christ. This overwhelming urge to escape this world by any means necessary.
I never recognized it as the label–“Anxiety.” Never.
I think it is because, before ever having been saved from God’s righteous wrath through Christ Jesus, I had never before experienced anything like that. It wasn’t until after I came to know Christ Jesus that I ever experienced these kinds of feelings. Sure, there were times before Christ that I would be depressed, or even suicidal. But it was not an anxiousness that craved an immediacy of intervention before. It was something that lulled my emotions to sleep, that lulled my mind into a dull ache of heaviness and despair. But there was never an immediacy to it.
However, after coming to know Christ, I felt my first “anxiety attack“. When I first felt my soul under attack, that is exactly what I called it, because that is how I recognized it, it felt like my soul was going through the battlefields without my mind, my body, or my cognitive functions.
I recognized it instantly as the enemy of the soul–Satan. I recognized that it was not anything in and of my own body, but rather it was a spiritual attack. Granted, being “anxious” has not been the only spiritual attack I’ve ever been under. In fact, I’ve been under much . But anxiousness always plays a part in it–always.
From the first days of experiencing this spiritual attack, I have understood that the ONLY way to overcome it is through prayer, through complete surrender to my God, my Saviour, my Lord Jesus Christ.
When I start feeling like this, I cannot wait to fall on my knees before my Father. For some reason, it usually hits around lunchtime, as I am going home to check on my dog and let her out–though it can happen at any time. And it makes me anxious to get home, anxious to get inside and fall on my knees before God, crying out desperately for His deliverance. For His protection!
I was on my way home yesterday when I started feeling just a tinge of that feeling–that anxiousness in my soul. And out of the blue, it hit me—“this is what people call Anxiety”. I had a really big “duh moment” I never correlated the two before, for some reason. I instantly called upon my Father and started praising Him, turning my music up, and drowning out the anxious feeling weighing me down. I began reflecting and thinking how much I truly appreciated that intimate time with my Father at lunch.
My mind is on Him all day long, all day every day—but those intimate times are so magnificent to my soul! I could be under the worse attack, my anxiety out of this world by the time I pull up in front of my house. But as soon as I get inside my house and fall upon my knees, the anxiety dissipates. It dissipates actually as I am on my way to my knees. I can call on Him and talk to Him about anything and everything that the Spirit brings to my mind. In those intimate moments with my Father, I am filled back up with His magnificent Love!
Those times are the most intimate and the times I look forward to more than anything else. Because it is in my inability to save myself from that distress that I learn how much I need Him. It is in my recognition of how desperate my need is for Him, that I find out how much He truly loves me. It is in those moments of despair that I find my heart frantic and searching for anything to bring me peace—and yet I know that the Only One who can truly bring me the greatest peace in the whole world is My Deliverer, My God, My Lord, Jesus Christ!
Romans8:28 gives me the promise that every negative thing in my life has been allowed by God for my good. It is a promise to me that when I experience these attacks, I am being drawn into the presence of my Father. He is calling me to Himself, so that He can love on me and teach me to trust in Him. Sure, I could walk away from Him during those moments, but He is patient to wait upon me to return. He won’t withdraw that anxiousness in my soul until I do come back.
I know, because I lived under a sense of anxiety for 22 months, afraid He wouldn’t take me back again. But just as Peter said, “where would we go, Lord? You have the words of eternal life”.
How Awesome is my God! How Amazing is my Father! How Beautiful and Worthy is my Lord!
It was funny that this very thing was brought up in our small group last night—after this sudden “awakening” yesterday a few hours before that. This is all I could think of at the time it was being mentioned, but I knew I was just supposed to hold on to that tidbit for that time being. I was supposed to let it just really sink in before I shared it with anyone else. Now is the time. Maybe, just maybe this will help someone else that goes through this thing the world calls “Anxiety.”
Just be assured, that our Father does not want us to go through periods of despair and anxiousness without bringing about something within each of us that can bring glory and praise and honor to His name. –that can be as simple as the realization that we cannot make it through these times on our own. We cannot expect to depend on ourselves, our bodies, other people, anything other than our God, our Father, our Savior, our Deliverer. He will get us through! Trust in Him, surrender to Him, bow down to Him, submit to Him…and allow Him to fill you with His peace!
As I learned last night in our small group, Isaiah 41:10:
10‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
God is with us! How wonderful is this promise! But read in the original Hebrew, this passage brings tremendous comfort!
I will strengthen you – in original Hebrew means, “I will make you alert and fortified with courage”
“I will help you”–this means “I will summon you”.
And “I will uphold you” means “I will sustain you”.
Wow. What a fitting end and clarification to my whole day!
Through all kinds of trials and distresses, He is always right there, drawing us near to Himself, so that He can pour out His love over us, showering us and overflowing our hearts with His magnificent provision of love and grace!
1 Peter 4: 6In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
Philippians 4: 4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.