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Do you have anxiety? Have you ever suffered from a fast heart beat, the pain in your chest that seems to not stop or the shortness of breath? What about the unbearable fear rolling around in your head that comes with it?
I have suffered from these symptoms of anxiety. I thought I would share my heart and my experience with you. By no means is anxiety exactly how I experience it. I am a mother of 3, wife and friend so this is my story but please feel free to share your story with me in the comments! By sharing I hope to encourage someone else who may feel alone.
My anxiety came upon me as Mom. I had never had this happen to me before until the pressures of parenting, work and marriage became an overwhelming weight on me. I didn't know how to cope or handle the stress sometimes. I would crumble to the the stress or feelings because I didn't know what it was. I had heard women talk about anxiety and panic attacks but never thought it would happen to me. Well, we aren't immune to anything right? Of course we all look to "google" for our first medical inquiries. LOL It was exactly what I suffered from. The anxiety we have has triggers and I don't know what yours is but mine was and still is fear. Fear of probably everything. I would say I dont know why but I think I do know part of the why. It could be an inherited trait from my mom, she is a worrier and can have a negative view. I love my mother dearly and I dont blame her for anything. At the same time, I believe we can pass our points of view whether negative or postive to our children. Of course, I never realized it until I had children and now going through these things I can say that. The wisdom of aging huh?
The anxiety attacks didn't happen all the time but if stress hit me hard or if people and things were all coming at me at once it would overwhelm me and cause symptoms of anxiety. I would get overcome easily and that feeling of out of control would happen. You see the people pleaser in me makes it easy for the enemy to throw things my way to make me "feel" like I have dissapointed people and or hurt them if I didn't say yes. Or the unexpected not planned for happened. The voices I would hear would be, "you cant", "there is no way this will work", always negative. Sometimes it just made it hard to be around people.
You see the thing is I realized it was my mind that controlled these "feelings" or "voices" I would get before anxiety would take over. Then it was too late.
I was given a xanx once by a friend to help but it totally knocked me out. So yes, it made me forget in that moment until the next time. I couldn't function at work or do anything taking that stuff. Of course, I only tried it once but knew I didn't like the way I felt with that medicine. Honestly I felt like with rest and removing myself from situations and people I could handle it.
I suffered for years before I finally gave this to God. I had previously never asked the Lord to take it away or sought His guidance for help. I mean I thought it was something I could control. My anxiety wasnt keeping me from my daily living so I ignored it. It wasnt until last year I had picked a word of the year for myself and it was fearless. Yep, I knew I had a problem with it and I realized God could help me with it. It was time to be released from this stronghold.
The bible actually has a lot to say about fear. It is mentioned 365 times! No coincidence there because God never intended for us to live in fear or be preoccupied with fear. As a Christ follower do we believe this? Was I believing this? I certainly wasnt living like it until I started reading and reading more of scripture and learning who God says I am in Him.
So began my journey to overcome what I was letting be a stronghold in my life. I learned to start my days with scripture filling my mind before the enemy can fill it with anything else. God tells us His Truth sanctifies us.
You see the mind is where it starts. Our minds must be renewed daily. This is something that has helped me, I write His truths on papers that I stick anywhere I can see them. I have carried them with me and taken them to work. The best way and only way I have experienced getting rid of any fear was to let God take control, not me. Letting go of control and surrendering it are steps I have taken to let the stronghold go. The battle is real and daily. I am not saying I never have had anxiety come back but giving it to God means I don't have to do the worrying. He has me and me just writing this is proof. I never dreamed of writing or sharing this but here we are.
Alternative medicines such as essential oils or music lifts the soul from worries for me. I like to listen to upbeat music loud if I need a crazy mood boost! Sometimes if I am in my car it might be very loud! (or so my kids say ha!) Essential oils are very popular right now. I started using them because of the nice smells but quickly learned that they have healing and cleansing properties. I love wild orange and lavender and if you come visit I might have them diffusing for you. And of course exercise can be a outlet for us to shake off any doubts that we can overcome! Long walks are my favorite. Nature can remind you of God's goodness and that He holds each of us in His hands.
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My friend I hope this has encouraged you and shed light on my journey with anxiety and what has helped me to get through it. Again, if you need to seek a professional counselor please do so.
Grace to you,