The battle of Anxiety
"Letting go of every single dream. I lay each one down at your feet. Every moment of my wondering never changes what you seek...When you don't move the mountains I'm needing you to move. When you don't part the waters I wish I could walk through. When you don't give the answers as I cry out to you. I will trust in you." -- lauren daigle
I don't know about you friends, but that's what I want. I want that peace and trust in God that surpasses my own hopes, desires, and fears. The peace to wait on God when life is not opening up the doors I was opening. The peace to follow God in any career choice, any location, any ministry...and to feel secure and safe in His plan not mine.
And yet so often friends, I struggle with anxiety.
What should I do with my life? What is my purpose?
Am I working in the right job or career?
What do I do God when it seems all I do is make a mess of things? Mess after mess after mess?
How do I trust you God when I'm afraid?
I impulsively and instinctually want to safe box myself in, put fences and walls around my heart, and make plans of protection for myself.
Recently, I've felt the need to quit my job. But as much as the idea excites me for many reasons, it also scares me. Sometimes it seems I cause myself anxiety over trying to discern God's will for my life and the matter. I don't know what to do if I quit. I have ideas and I have goals, but they're scary. And lately my mind has been going crazy trying to figure out the "right way" or "right thing".
The funny- not funny- thing is that all this trying, and planning only creates anxiety- when really my desire is to discover God's will. And yet God promises that we can be in His will by knowing Him and experiencing His peace. If He promises He will lead and guide us by peace, then why is it so easy for me to have anxiety?
In Matthew 6: 25-27 it says"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear..Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"
"And could you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
This verse makes it clear that as Christians we are called to walk a life of faith, trusting God for each moment, each day, and the plans for this year and the next year.
It also reminds us that worrying is literally pointless. Through it we can accomplish nothing good.
And yet still friends, I struggle.
Anytime I take my eyes off of God in heaven, to my external conditions and situations around me, it causes me to fear. Satan wants us to fall captive to the lies that we must " act fast and save ourselves". Satan wants us to believe that God is not good enough to fulfill our daily, moment by moment needs.
And when I worry, I often don't think about what I'm saying to God. But everytime I worry I truly am creating an idol in my own heart and mind, by saying I trust myself, more than God's plans.
Jesus teaches us a better way. Where He leads me, there I will experience peace and joy, more than anywhere else.
"I have told you these things , so that in you, you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Slowly and slowly I'm learning that it doesn't matter how much I plan, how much I think about it, how much searching I do- to find God's will. Because God will reveal His plan to me. He will put His way before me. He will open the path so I can walk through it. And there alone will I find peace and joy.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, do not be afraid."
So when I feel anxious, I have to let myself slow down, so I can find God again. I have to redirect my eyes back to His goodness. I have to re-surrender my life to His plans. And when I'm finally- totally 100% surrendered- that's when I feel that crazy peace come back into my heart.