1. You feel kind of anxious.
2. You feel really anxious.
3. You feel overwhelmingly anxious.
No one needs to tell you to wait until you can’t breathe or you’re having panic attacks. Don’t wait until you are unable to perform simple tasks or you begin avoiding tasks that just seem too hard before you get help.
I believe that we all wait way too long before we tell someone that we aren’t right—that we can’t do it on our own… that we need rescuing. If you’re in the middle of a regular day, like this one, and you feel like you’re sinking, tell someone right now.
Listen, our culture praises self-help. Have you noticed this? The number of self-help books alone prove this to be true. But really, there is no reason to wait before you invite someone into your process. God’s Kingdom thrives when we are in community. This can be traced by to the first of us.
Adam was alone, and God gave him Eve. Why? Because it wasn’t good for man to be alone. It’s still not good for us to try to do it all on our own either.
Why should I get to give my thoughts on this? Well, not because I’m a counselor or a professional of any kind. I am just like you, probably. I’m a Christian woman who has had to WORK to overcome anxiety my entire life.
Here’s what anxiety does to me… it sneaks up on me. Little worries left unchecked create cracks in my heart that slowly drain my God-promised peace. They’re small—those cracks.
I can barely notice the hope seeing until I look around and I’m overwhelmed.
Anxiety is a well-trained thief of peace. It knows better than to draw too much attention to itself. It’s not loud or fast or in my face until all of a sudden I wonder what I’m so scared of—why I’m so afraid.
I feel terrified and I can’t point to a cause.
I’m out of peace. I’ve given away all of my joy. Simple tasks seem overwhelmingly hard. And I feel as though I can’t breathe.
I worry, “Wait! How did I get here? How do I get out? How did I let this happen?
And in those moments of realization, when I see how sneakily this grew undetected and unaddressed, I don’t need advice on how to get out. I won’t be able to explain how I arrived. I just need LOVE Himself to show up and remind me of His promise. Perfect LOVE casts out fear.
I need to be reminded of His promised presence, His promised provision, and His promised PEACE. And He shows up in Spirit, but He also shows up when friends and family bring His love with theirs. I NEED them to bring His love with theirs.
Should Christians ever battle anxiety when we have been set free in Christ? No. We shouldn’t battle sickness or face death either. We weren’t created for any of it. We were created for eternity when God designed us in the Garden.
But brokenness filters through every part of life here. We are broken down to our very DNA.
My brokenness is no different from yours. All of our hope hinges on the continued presence of our Savior who rescues us again and again.
God heals in many ways. Ask the guy with mud on his eyes. Listen, don’t discount prayer. Believe in the miracle. But sometimes love and healing look like professional help. If you need it, get it.
If you need to talk to a pastoral counselor, make that call. If you think you need a doctor, see one. If you just don’t know where to start, pick up your phone and text you closest friend, “I’m not okay, and I need your help.”
If you know someone battling anxiety, love them through it. Love them right back into the arms of PEACE until hope rises and they can breathe again. Tell them that they won’t always be in this position. Tell them that they’ll make it out of this funk. Tell them that it’s all going to be okay. Pray for them. Pray with them. Don’t tell them to just snap out of it. Trust me, they wish they could.
And whatever you do, don’t tell them if they had more faith they’d be fine. You wouldn’t tell a person who lacked the ability to walk the same thing. Their faith isn’t the problem. Their feelings are what’s broken.
As a person who fully knows the Lord, who has lived in seasons of complete peace, who loves Jesus and His Gospel and believes He is still the God of miracles, I still face anxious seasons. I still have to shout, “Help!” from time to time. But I’m not afraid of being afraid anymore, because love always finds me. He finds you too.
You might also find helpful: