I struggle with anxiety. This is not a big revelation- I’ve been increasingly vocal about it over the last couple of years. It’s something I’ve struggled with since before I even knew what anxiety was. I’ve also been a Christian (or whatever) my whole life. But as a Christian I’ve often been made to feel like I’m not supposed to have anxiety.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. - Philippians 4:6
Christians can be almost as difficult to deal with as anxiety (remember I’m a Christian so I can say this lol) and one of the most difficult things about dealing with both is FINALLY feeling like I can open up about whatever is making me anxious- or anxiety in general- only to be told by another Christian that I should just “trust God”.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.- 1 Peter 5:7
There are countless verses in the Bible that essentially say “Chill out! God got you boo.” I know them all. I have read them all. I have memorized most at some time or another. Most importantly, I believe them…
BUT I STILL FEEL ANXIOUS!!!
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. - Isaiah 26:3
If could simply pray my anxiety away, I would in a heartbeat, but unfortunately when Jesus washed my sins away my anxieties did not come off with them. Anxiety is not as simple as being worried about stuff. My family worries about me when I don’t come home at night. I worry about that one time in high school when the teacher called on me and I stumbled over my answer in front of the whole class and how I subsequently have no friends and will always be alone. This is an actual thing I’m anxious about… and I’ve been out of high school for almost 10 years. Completely irrational, I know, but that’s anxiety disorder for you.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:25-34
Lately I have been having a serious bout of anxiety brought on by a major life decision I’ve been faced with – and I mean irrational thoughts, heart racing, jumping up in the middle of the night, exhaustion in the middle of the day, irritable, trouble concentrating on anything else anxiety – but when I ask my family for any advice I’m usually just told to pray over it or that God will help me make my decision or my all-time favorite “what’s meant to happen will happen”….. Sorry fam, I know you mean well, but that doesn’t work for me. Obviously I’m praying over every decision I make and obviously I trust that God will make sure I’m alright at the end of the day (for the Bible tells me so lol). This is what I was raised to do, but that doesn’t make me feel any less anxious about anything. At all.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; - Proverbs 3:5
Again I know that Gods got me, but my good ole friend, anxiety is always there whispering in my ear “What if…” and in the past it has really made me feel like a shitty Christian because I’m technically not supposed to be questioning anything right? NAH. I resent the idea that as a Christian I’m immune to anxiety. My anxiety has nothing to do with my faith in God and telling me to just pray or trust God would be the same as telling someone who is injured to just pray and they will be fine or telling someone who is diseased to trust that God will treat them. NO BRO! God gave us doctors for this.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10
Mental disorders are not a sign of weakness or of lack of faith. It has nothing to do with your spirit and scriptures are not the cure. It’s a psychological thing. This is simply how some are wired and seeking the help via therapy, psychology or medication is not saying you trust (wo)man more than you do God.
Yes, my faith in God eases me when I am spiraling but that doesn’t mean I won’t fall again. And that’s ok!
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. - Psalm 94:19