Christian Women & Anxiety

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Before I begin, I’d like to take a second to introduce myself. If you’re visiting my page for the first time, I think it’s important that you know who you’re talking to. My name is Becky Thompson, and I started this website in 2013. I have been married for ten years to my husband, Jared. We have three children, and we live in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma. I have written a couple of books with WaterBrook, a division of Penguin Random House.

My story is probably a lot like yours. I’m a regular lady, and my life is pretty average. But a few years ago, I realized that if you can rescue a momma’s heart from discouragement, or loneliness, or guilt, you can help heal her entire family… and every generation that follows. Because of this, I take the responsibility to speak Truth seriously. I think that a Christian woman’s life isn’t just comprised of her faith. I do my best to take a 360 view of the Christian woman’s heart and home, interjecting the Love of God into even the most ordinary places.

Today, that brings me to the topic of Christian women and anxiety. I’ve wanted to address this for some time, and now feels like the right time. The truth is, I cannot talk about anxiety without speaking about my personal experience with it. I am a Christian woman, and I have been dealing with anxiety most of my life.

Now, I need to say something from the beginning. I believe in a God who still performs miracles. I believe in a Savior that died so I could live an abundant life. I believe the Word of God is clear about transforming our minds and not being anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6-7). But what happens when a Christian woman who knows the Word of God and trusts Jesus as her Savior and friend still faces anxiety? What does it mean about her and her faith? These are the questions I want to answer today.

I think the stigma surrounding anxiety causes us to believe that anxiety can be controlled. If we read our Bibles more, if we prayed more, if we thought about Jesus more, we wouldn’t feel anxious. The truth is, anxiety is often caused by an underlying medical condition. Personally, I have a genetic disorder that alters how my body is able to process certain key nutrients required to maintain proper serotonin levels. Serotonin imbalance is one of the leading causes of anxiety. When I discovered this a few years ago, I found out that I could take a vitamin (yes, a vitamin) to manage my anxiety. But leading up to this, it was a constant battle.

For most of my life, I felt afraid. I was scared of being forgotten at school even though I had never been forgotten before. I was scared of my house catching on fire and something happening to my parents as they came to look for me. I was scared of talking to new people. I was scared of being misunderstood. I was terrified of conflict. I carefully surveyed situations and found the danger in them.

As I got older, my mind was able to differentiate between rational fears and irrational fears. I wasn’t as anxious about things that I could understand and process. But the thing about anxiety that I think most people don’t understand is that there is an undercurrent emotion that something is wrong, even if nothing is wrong. We can know that everything is fine, and still feel like there is some form of imminent doom. As Christian women, we renew our minds with the Word of God, and we anchor our hearts into His Truth so we can experience peace. At least, this is what we are taught, and so that’s what we make a continual effort to do.

But the reality is, sometimes we pray, we read, we sit reminding ourselves of God’s love for us and His completed work on the Cross, and we are still anxious. We have all of the facts that everything is okay, and our hearts still race. So we wonder about our faith and our trust and our ability.

The fall of man in the beginning of time meant that we would all be broken on some level. It is the reason that we all need Jesus. But if we are going to talk about Christian women and anxiety, then we must address that sometimes we are praying for deliverance from fear, and what we need is healing in our bodies. We are praying for restored hearts and what we need is restored serotonin levels. Does God know what we are praying even if we are praying for the wrong thing? Yes. Absolutely. Can He heal us if we’re praying the wrong words? Yes! Follow me, here. What I’m saying is that often we are looking at the symptoms without addressing the cause. And sometimes healing our bodies from what’s causing the anxiety would take an actual miracle and not just more time in the Word.

We need to talk about this. There needs to be more discussion of this in the Body of Christ. We wouldn’t fault a diabetic or a person struggling with another form of physical brokenness for their brokenness. We wouldn’t accuse them of having weak faith. We wouldn’t tell them that if they were better Christians, then they would be healed. Christians struggling with anxiety should fall in that same category. Those of us struggling with anxiety understand that we are in constant need of a miracle.

The powerful truth is that every moment that we overcome anxiety, we are living our miracles. Every moment that we have peace and balanced hearts, we are reminded of the continual presence and love of Jesus for us. We can be strong in the Lord and in our faith, even if our bodies (including our hearts and minds) are struggling. Friend, God still heals. I believe that it is His will to heal always (even if we aren’t always healed). I’m sure I’ll get plenty of emails for that one. But somehow, anxiety has been shifted into a category of, “You need to take care of that on your own.”

My prayer is that this article shifts our understanding of those who face anxiety back into the category with the rest of the world’s brokenness. It’s never been up to us to heal ourselves. It’s never been up to us to remedy our own imbalances. God does not fault the anxious woman for her anxiety. He came so she could be free. And whether that freedom comes by the vehicle of a vitamin or an encounter with His presence that radically and miraculously reorganizes her DNA, my job is to stand with her believing that there is hope and peace coming. My job is to point to Jesus and say, “It’s always been up to Him.” Our job, is to trust and follow Him.

So, Lord, I pray now for every woman reading these words. I pray now that she would stand in the Truth that You have overcome even the cause of anxiety in her heart. I pray that Your presence would flood the room where she reads these words. God, I agree with her as we ask for a miracle. Give her wisdom. Give her a strategy for moving forward from this place. And overwhelm her with the Hope that she isn’t alone, she isn’t weak, and she isn’t forgotten. We ask for healing now in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Comments

  • Lauren Gomez says:

    Hi I was wondering what Vitamin has helped you and helps with anxiety?
    Thank you so much

  • Joy says:

    Thank you for this article. I’m realizing I am getting anxiety more frequently now. Which vitamin helps you!

  • Karma says:

    Thank you for this. It helps me breathe easier. I have been wrestling with this exact thing: anxiety and depression and the overwhelming urge to replace my sense of not being “good enough” with God’s truth that I am loved exactly as I am AND that He desires healing for me. Thank you a thousand times over. God bless.

  • Cathy T says:

    Becky, you have always recevied God’s Holy words and published them at JUST THE RIGHT TIME!! Thanks for the comforting words above. I have been preparing for retirement from a state job and have lots of anxiety because I’m only 48 years old. People don’t usually get to retire when they’re that young! I’ve been going over and over and over in my head that when I retire, my life is already laid out for me and the part time job I need will be waiting on me. I felt God’s presence 16 months ago when I thought I would be taking one path but He has led me through another path for after retirement. He ALWAYS has my back but my anxiety doesn’t allow me to see clearly. Thanks for your posts and long-distance friendship even though we’ve never met!

  • Amanda says:

    Becky, thank you so much for this. I needed to read this. I struggle with anxiety. I’ve always heard I need to pray more or trust in God more. (Which isn’t wrong, i feel like we could all pray and trust more.) However, comments like that make me feel like I’m failing. Like somehow my anxiety rests solely on my shoulders because of my shortcomings. And since I can’t “fix” my anxiety on my own, i feel like even more of a failure. So thank you for reminding me that my anxiety is not based on my shortcomings, it’s not within my ability to “fix” it. That my anxiety doesn’t mean I am weak in faith. That God understands my brokenness and still loves me.

  • Erica Funk says:

    This is perfect. And in perfect timing. I would love to know which vitamin you take! ❤️️

  • Kasarah Ferrell says:

    Becky.

    I can’t even put into words right now what your latest post means to me.

    Already being an anxious person, these last few months I have been overly anxious. My emotions have stayed at a constant low. Everything has me in tears lately. I lay awake at night thinking about the most terrible situations, most involving my daughter. I am not sleeping and my appetite has even dropped, and if you knew me, food is one of my favorite things.

    And here is the kicker. Nothing is wrong. My life is actually really great. We are all healthy and happy. I’ve chalked it up to the weather, our recent move and my hormones. I’ve talked to my husband and my mom. My husband even went as far as to look into getting me a puppy. My mom suggested a vitamin and even sitting by my back sliding glass door to get some sun. Both suggesting, this will pass.

    All I keep thinking is, what if this doesn’t go away? What if I just went from a very optimistic, carefree woman to someone who let worry consume them when there is nothing to worry about? Am I going to have to see a therapist? What medications will they try to suggest? I don’t want to be on any medication, I have read too many scary things about long term effects!

    I read your blog on the regular and I was even a part of one of your five day groups for “Love Unending”. So, of course, I clicked and then I wept.

    I overlooked Him. I didn’t lay it down at His feet. Instead, I have been searching for a way I can fix myself because this is my problem. I just want you to know, you encouraged me to give all my anxiety, all my sadness to Christ today. I will lay it down and I won’t pick it up again. I don’t know what that may look like or even what He will speak in my life to change, but I do feel so much peace in knowing whatever happens, He will be in control and not my two anxious hands.

    Thank you.

  • Chezarae says:

    Becky, with my 10 month old still struggling to sleep at night, I’ve seen my anxiety rise to a level that is completely beyond my control. I am in the midst of this fight, and this article is a peace that doesn’t rid me of anxiety, but helps me to realize that living in the middle of it is okay. And Jesus is okay with me feeling fear, as long as I know he is the source of peace and I am trying constantly find little moments to soak it up. I just want to give you a hug for understanding me and helping me to understand myself :)

    P.S. What vitamin are you taking?

  • Sarah in Seattle says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. ❤

  • Rene says:

    Its asif you to all my thoughts and put it doen in paper. Its really been a challenge for me since i had my first born. His 6 years now, but i never used to be an anxious person until he was born. It also triggered post natal depression which i know God is helped me with. The anxiety is always been there since that day and im on meds and have always felt guilty about it. After reading youre article i feel so much bettet. Thankyou for sharing and thankyou for praying for us all.

    Be blessed
    Rene

  • Kristin says:

    Thank you for this post! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I recently saw my doctor because my anxiety has gotten so bad. He prescribed a medication and after reading people’s reviews I am terrified to take it. The side effects sound so unpleasant. I would love to know which vitamins have helped you?!

  • Carol Payne says:

    I’m sure you are hesitant to recommend the vitamin for fear of backlash if it doesn’t work for everyone. I know you aren’t a doctor and I don’t hold you accountable. But if you could just suggest the vitamin that MIGHT help many of us we would really appreciate it.

  • Kate says:

    Hey, Thanks for the post. I think we all want to know what vitamin??

  • making-space.co.uk says:

    Hi, this is such a great article. Well done being so honest and for continually writing such encouraging, real and loving posts. xxx

  • Ruth says:

    Thank you for posting. I’ve been trying to help a friend who is struggling with anxiety. Her struggle has me stressed and depressed. I’ve even fasted for her because I don’t know what else to do! This is a great reminder. Thank you.

  • Andrea says:

    I am in tears, literally, reading this and thinking “She’s in my head!” Thank you so much for addressing this! I’ve struggled with anxiety for most of my life too, and now I see it in my children. But God is good, and He already knows what I need, what my children need, before I ask. Thank you for your sweet prayer of healing! I needed to read those words today.

  • Annie says:

    Hey lady,
    This was written for me today, thank you for your obedient heart!!

  • Brandi says:

    Thank you so much for this! My mom and I prayed together last night about her anxiety that is caused by a lack of serotonin levels. Agreeing in prayer with you for you, her, and everyone else dealing with anxiety. Thank you for your heart and for sharing as God led you!

  • Ginny Folmar says:

    I have struggled with the same thing for years. I too felt if I prayed more, read my Bible more I would not have to deal with this. I have prayed for healing but that has not been God’s will for me. Would you share the vitamin that helped you? Thank you for your truth and encouragement.

  • Beth says:

    Please share that vitamin!! I’m really interested.

  • Jaclyn says:

    Wow just wow! I’ve also struggled with anxiety for many years and have been told the same things as all these other ladies. pray more, trust more, control your mind, gods already healed you need just need to walk in it. which just make me feel like I didn’t have what it takes followed by more anxiety and hopelessness. So thankful for your openness and for boldly speaking the truth over anxiety.

  • Linda says:

    Yes, please… would be so grateful to know the vitamin. Thank you, Becky!

  • Brenda says:

    Please let me know the vitamin you take. I have struggled my whole life with anxiety and as a child of God I know he holds me in His arms and thinks highly of me even when I do not.

  • Kelly Holland says:

    There are no words! I know God is speaking to me through you because I’ve lived with depression & anxiety all my life yet I’ve also been a Christian at the same time. After functioning well for the last 13-15 years on two meds. I’ve recently been put on one new med instead. You see I lost my job of 13 yrs. back in April & it totally devastated me. Total emotional meltdown. I’m now paralyzed with both anxiety & depression. I’m slowly coming back with the support of family & friends but once again have struggled with my faith in God. Your message tells me he knows, he understands, he’s still there! Thank you!!

  • Rachel Phillips says:

    You said it beautifully !!! I would also love to know what the vitamin is ?

  • Ally says:

    Yes, yes, yes!! This is wonderful and I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for sharing, and God bless you!!

  • Tash says:

    Would love to know the name of the vitamin and if it can be used for childhood anxiety?

  • Cally says:

    Thank you for this article. I too have “managed” anxiety for most of my life. I currently take an ssri but am curious about the vitamothata has been helpful for you?
    Thank you again for sharing your heart and life with us. Merry Christmas to you and your family

  • Charleen Dowdell says:

    Sweet Becky,
    I hope you are hearing how many have said “this came at the perfect time”. There is no doubt Our Lord is using everything in your life to heal His children. I as many, needed to hear this desperately tonight. I replaced the verb with depression. I was so reluctant to seek out a therapist because I believed my faith should “be enough ” If I was closer to Our Lord I would need nothing. Today my therapist recommended anti depressants trying to explain the physical imbalance in my brain. Explaining to me that I couldn’t see or hear God’s voice as long as I had this block in my brain. You have comforted my soul and I believe it is Our Lords voice speaking through you. You are a saintly woman. Your sufferings are united with Christ in order that He can comfort those of us who are lost and bring us closer to him. You are truly an instrument of peace. God bless you always. Much Love in Christ,
    Charleen

  • Pam says:

    As you can see, everyone desperately wants to know the vitamins that are helping you. Please share! I believe anxiety and depression are very often connected to our gut health, and finding the root cause is vital!

  • Anne says:

    This is so great. Mental health needs to be treated like every other medical health issue out there. After taking care of my husband during a long and serious health battle (transplant) and 2 little boys at the same time, I finally realized I would get so anxious and not be able to wind down. That’s when I finally decided it was time to take care of me, get to the doctor and get some meds. It makes a huge difference to be balanced!

  • Elva says:

    Thank you for the encouraging article. It’s definitely something I’ve struggled with my entire life! I’ve tried to stay strong in my faith etc but I would also be interested in the vitamin that helps you.

  • Brianna says:

    Thank you so much for these words and your prayer. I love all your posts but this one really connected with me. God is good. 😊❤

  • Samantha Robinson says:

    Becky,

    Thank you for sharing your kind and honest words! It’s so helpful to know that we aren’t alone in this anxiety battle.

    Please let me know what vitamins you took to help balance out your levels.

    I have never wanted to be on a synthetic medication, because I want to heal my body.

    Thanks again for your heart!

  • Jay Douglas says:

    Great article! So many women struggle with this, myself included. I’m presently getting off antidepressants that did a wonderful job when I needed them to, but the weight gain, alcohol cravings, and zero sex drive are good reasons to get off them now. My naturopath has me on a quality fish oil, a B vitamin spectrum topical cream (B5,6,12 are the real stress helpers, I believe) and iron for energy levels. We’ll see how it all goes… at times I’m a little anxious about the possibility of becoming anxious full-time again!

  • Chantille says:

    Does this apply do you think if instead of anxiety, it was depression?

  • Lisa Carr says:

    Hi. I’m interested in knowing what vitamin you’re taking that has helped you with your anxiety. I have two daughters 22 and 25 that tend to deal with anxiety. Thank you.

  • Melissa says:

    This is excellent! Magnesium has been extremely helpful for my anxiety. It’s still there, but much more manageable now.

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