Tag Archive: Anxiety

Don’t be Anxious!

We’re just over two weeks into the new year! Have you made any resolutions? If so, are you still keeping them?

I used to make New Year’s Resolutions. But, like many, they were usually broken within a few weeks’ time. Losing weight, being more consistent in certain areas of my life, living a more balanced life…and then inevitably, life intervened!

We’ve had lots of intervening issues in 2020, and I’ve written about many of them. But right now Don and I have two neighbors (on either side of us) dealing with terminal cancers; a friend in a difficult marriage; a niece struggling with an ongoing illness and Covid, surgeries, isolation, more friends and/or church members dealing with Covid, either illness or death of a loved one, etc. etc. etc. I imagine you face similar concerns.

So I’ve been trying to think of my word for this year. God brought us through last year’s global pandemic (still ongoing), the loss of my mother, national disunity and natural disasters (fires, floods). By His grace, my trust has grown. There’s an old hymn whose chorus says:

“Where could I go, oh where could I go,

Seeking a refuge for my soul,

Needing a friend to help me ’til the end.

Where could I go but to the Lord?”

Written in 1940 by James Buchanan (J.B.) Coats

Coats was an American. World War II began in 1939 and the world was in turmoil. America joined the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. J.B. knew that stability was not to be found anywhere but in God’s love and sovereignty.

We’re in a small group studying Max Lucado’s book, ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING. Lucado says,

“Do not assume God is watching from a distance. Avoid the quicksand that bears the marker ‘God has left you!’ Do not indulge this lie. If you do, your problem will be amplified by a sense of loneliness. Isolation creates a downward cycle of fret. Choose instead to be the person who clutches the presence of God with both hands.”

Anxious for Nothing, Max Lucado, p 70

When I look at who God is, at His sovereignty over everything in this world, I feel more at peace than if I just look at the circumstances around me. He knows exactly what is happening in this world He created.

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”

Colossians 1:16

And He knows my needs. He knows my past, present and future. And He will be with me each step of the journey.

So I think my word for this year is SOVEREIGNTY, a word to remind me of His power, wisdom, and love. Nothing slips by Him unnoticed. He is my God, my salvation through Jesus. Even when I don’t understand what He allows, I can trust His loving heart.

Have you chosen a word for this year? How will you remind yourself of it day to day? I leave you with this blessing from Numbers 6:24-26.

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Dealing with Anxiety

“Faith ends where worry begins, and worry ends where faith begins.” George Mueller

I laughed when I saw this blog topic. It was a night when I felt anxious…overwhelmed. My mind’s gears were grinding, but without oil, there was no synchronization. Just a series of clogged wheels grinding, shredding each other and casting out steel threads this way and that.

Anxiety arises from a variety of situations, both internal and external, such as:

  • perfectionism
  • life changes such as a wedding, birth, death or divorce
  • parenting challenges or wayward children
  • depleted financial, time, or energy resources to deal with interruptions, emergencies, monetary demands
  • conflict
  • lack of boundary-setting for our own restoration and renewal or
  • chemical imbalances, requiring medication just as a diabetic needs insulin

Anxiety is common among us humans. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect one in eight children; and are the most common mental illness in the US. They impact eighteen percent—almost one in five–of Americans over eighteen, or 40 million adults. http://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

AnxietySo, how shall we deal with our anxiety?

Peter tells us to “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

When I feel that inner disquiet, I’m encouraged to go to God first, asking for his peace and wisdom as I seek the root of my turmoil. Too often I go to God as a last resort, rather than the first.

Asking God for wisdom and insight, I ask myself several questions:

  1. Is a physical problem impacting my mood? I’ve suffered from severe allergies. I may need to avoid sugar, or stay off the grass, to reduce my chemically-caused anxiety.
  2. Am I fatigued? Psychotherapist Arch Hart describes asking depressed patients to add 15 minutes of sleep a night for 5-7 days, then 30 minutes, adding until they feel no extra benefit. After a few weeks of increased sleep their anxiety is often gone. (The Hidden Link between Adrenalin & Stress, Dr. Archibald D. Hart, 1988)
  3. Have I started, or stopped, a prescription? I may need to ask my doctor to change or adjust the medication.
  4. Is this a spiritual issue? Am I disobeying something I feel God is directing me to/not to do?
  5. What am I feeding my mind? Does what I read or watch draw me closer to God or create dissatisfaction with my life? I’ve been convicted about a TV show I liked. This morning I removed it from my recording list because the show is filled with interactions, goals and desires that are not pleasing to my Father.
  6. Is there conflict I need to resolve? Have I done all I can to try to achieve reconciliation? If I have, do I need to release the brokenness? A long-time friend became upset with something I did and, even after I asked forgiveness, no longer wanted to be my friend. I’ve had to leave the outcome to God and trust him to deal with it in his time and way. Otherwise it will fester and cause anxiety in me.
  7. Is the problem or threat too big for me to even begin to solve? Is it simply beyond me? Do I need outside assistance, i.e. physicians, a financial consultant, a trusted friend, pastor or counselor? Or do I need to humbly yield to the circumstance and trust my Heavenly Father? When my first husband was terminally ill, I could not fix it, cure him, or make things right. I was there with and for him, and advocated for him where needed. Apart from that, I had to submit and trust God’s larger purpose and plan.

These steps usually help me deal with the anxiety that is part of life. What has helped you?

Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:19 Living Bible (TLB)

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No Dice

If I have to listen to this audio message one more time ...

If I have to listen to this audio message one more time …

Twelve days ago I phoned our cable service provider. Our grandsons were over and wanted to watch On Demand, which wasn’t working. During my first call the customer service rep walked me through some steps to reset the modem and said the reset would take hold in 30-45 minutes. Later that night I rechecked. No dice.

We repeated the process each of the next two days – still with no success. A manager was to call us back Saturday for escalated service. No call.

Last week I was too busy to call again, tired of getting their automated messages and of being given advice that didn’t work. Twelve days later, we still can’t get our On Demand service.

So tomorrow I’ll try again, asking God to control my temper while I go through the automated links once more.

What irritates you and makes you ask for help in your response?