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Dear Anxiety: Hearing the Truth Over the Lies

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Dear Anxiety,


The lies are becoming too loud. It's easier to believe the lie over the truth.


I am learning a lot about the Holy Spirit through this journey of anxiety. A verse that I have always read to combat anxiety is Philippians 4:6-7 which says " Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus."


One of my goals is to change my narrative to be grateful instead of fearful. When I made this a goal, I was reading this verse again and the Holy Spirit let me see it differently. It first says to not be anxious about anything. I would get hung up on that. "How am I not supposed to be anxious with THIS going on?!" Then it says BUT, by prayer and petition, WITH thanksgiving. There it was. The ah-ha moment that I needed to see.

Yes, there will be anxiety in life. Yes, there are worries in this world. Yes, we will be scared and fearful. But with thanksgiving, we can present our requests to God. I like how Ann Voskamp explains how when we are grateful, we can't be fearful. We can be grateful for big and little things but the important part of being grateful is recognizing that we aren't just grateful for the material things we have or the nature around us, or our families, we are grateful to the One who made and gave all these things to us. When we are grateful, we are actually saying "Thank you Lord for this, this, and this."


How do we stay in peace?


You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

When our minds rely on Jesus, we will not panic. In Isaiah 28:16 it says "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic."


How do we get our minds to be steadfast? "The peace of God which transcends all understanding will GUARD your hearts and minds..."


I believe that by giving our gratefulness praise to God we guard our hearts and our minds. Gratefulness is our helmet of salvation. When soldiers go into battle they wear a helmet to protect their brains. In Ephesians, 6:10-18 Paul talks about how we stand firm in spiritual attacks. He used military jargon because the people he was talking to knew exactly what he was saying and the metaphors he was making. Sin usually begins with a battle in our minds with half-truths, lies, isolation, loneliness, etc. What we fill our minds with builds pathways in our brains. By confessing our fear and replacing it with gratitude we enter into a practice where we are on the offensive against the enemy. When we are on the defensive, it's easy to spiral, panic, and lose sight of the truth. In practicing rhythms we start building our resilience to be on the offensive so that the devil doesn't have a fighting chance.


My goal is to make my brain pathways healthy again. My goal is to believe the truth over the lies. In order to do this, I have to go about my life reading the truth, speaking the truth out loud and in my mind, hearing the truth, and ingesting that truth. Even when I am not anxious, I have learned that I have to be practicing breathing, grounding, gratefulness, etc.; rhythms that will help me when my anxiety isn't raging and rhythms that I will know exactly how to use when panic or anxiety strikes.


Rhythms I'm starting to implement to help my mind, body, and soul heal:

  • Gratefulness. An ongoing journal full of entries that I take time to write in daily or when I am afraid to go straight to writing out what I am grateful for to change my mindset.

  • Breathing Techniques. Deep Breaths in and out.

  • Practice Meditation. I find this to be a good time to meditate on how much God loves me.

  • Grounding Techniques. Using the 5 senses and naming three things I can see, taste, smell, hear, and touch/feel

  • Therapy. To check in, to help me be unstuck, to ingest truth, to be held accountable.

  • Daily Bible Reading. I want to know the scriptures because I know the Holy Spirit will bring to mind scripture I have ingested in a time when I need it most. Being in scripture also allows me a deeper intimacy with God because I get to know who he is and what I am a part of.

  • Give myself grace. There will be hard days and there will be hard moments. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. I am the hardest on myself and I need to be reminded to give myself grace.

Continuing to grow,

Lauren

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