In this episode, Jami shares her own battle with anxiety and her journey through it. Listen in!
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I am so thankful to be able to sit here today and share that: anxiety does not dominate my life. I no longer struggle with panic attacks and while I absolutely can become anxious and have to battle against it often, anxiety is no longer the dominating force it once was.
Anxiety is something that we need to be talking about today because it’s something that so many of us struggle with and we have come to think is normal.
I had panic attacks as a teen and struggled greatly with anxiety, even though I didn’t know was it was. As a newly married 20-year-old, I ended up at the doctor with shooting pain in my chest, thinking I was having a heart attack. I went through rounds of tests and wearing heart monitors and stress tests, all to find out that I was having anxiety issues.
God taught me so much through that season. And I know he was bringing me through those trials at the time he did because he was equipping me for what was right around the corner: Having twins and then losing my mom suddenly when they were 10 months old, only to have a second set of twins 1 year later (so 4 babies, 2 and under), and so much physical stress and strain on my body.
Anxiety is a whole-bodied issue that goes far beyond “don’t stress as much”. Anxiety can be caused by so many issues and made worse by others. And so when we approach this topic of anxiety, we need to approach it from a holistic standpoint, meaning we need to look at our whole bodies and our whole lives.
Christians can tend to fall into one of two ditches: Either they ignore anxiety completely and don’t give good resources OR they go to the ultra-therapy side and leave God completely out of the discussion of dealing with anxiety. Thankfully, I see that trend changing and there are so many good holistic approaches to anxiety and our health today.
We well and truly can trust God
This is honestly where so much of my stress came from. I was not trusting the Lord with my life, not really.
It wasn’t that I didn’t trust he was sovereign, I did. But I trusted it so much that I was afraid it meant that Jason would be taken from me tomorrow. I had a warped view of God’s sovereignty and I didn’t realize it.
Until I read Jerry Bridge’s book, Trusting God. In it, he so beautifully laid out what it means to trust God and that as our Heavenly Father, God does want our good. He will act according to his will, but he will also do this with our good in mind. We don’t need to fear what his sovereign hand will do. He does allow things to happen that are hard and painful, but we can trust Him in the process.
“That which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God. Our suffering has meaning and purpose in God’s eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good.”
“In the arena of adversity, the Scriptures teach us three essential truths about God—truths we must believe if we are to trust Him in adversity. They are:
- God is completely sovereign.
- God is infinite in wisdom.
- God is perfect in love.
Someone has expressed these three truths as they relate to us in this way: “God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom, He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty, He has the power to bring it about.”
It’s okay to not understand every little thing ““God’s plan and His ways of working out His plan are frequently beyond our ability to fathom and understand. We must learn to trust when we don’t understand.”
We need to learn to trust that we don’t nor will know everything
“God’s guidance is almost always step-by-step; He does not show us our life’s plan all at once. Sometimes our anxiousness to know the will of God comes from a desire to peer over God’s shoulder to see what His plan is. What we need to do is learn to trust Him to guide us.”
In our current world and political climate, this can be so hard. It’s not the same old thing and hasn’t been since 2020. 2020 and that election cycle showed us that our comfortable, Western world might not be as comfortable as we thought, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still trust Him for what the future holds.
There will be hard things in life, and God works through those. Which further emphasizes that we can trust him. Worrying every moment of every day does not help.
“God does not willingly bring affliction or grief to us. He does not delight in causing us to experience pain or heartache. He always has a purpose for the grief He brings or allows to come into our lives. Most often we do not know what that purpose is, but it is enough to know that His infinite wisdom and perfect love have determined that the particular sorrow is best for us. God never wastes pain. He always uses it to accomplish His purpose. And His purpose is for His glory and our good. Therefore, we can trust Him when our hearts are aching or our bodies are racked with pain.”
Our health absolutely can have an effect on anxiety. Don’t neglect your physical body
When I was having those crazy chest pains, the first thing my doctor recommended was that they go off my hormonal birth control pills, which earlier that month I had already decided to do.
After losing my mom, having 5 babies in 4 years, and my body being so physically done. I was having a TON of trouble with cortisol. My cortisol was completely flipped and I had about 9 months where I could not sleep throughout the night.
I got blood testing done, learned all about this cortisol cycle (which BTW, skipping meals and just drinking coffee to survive the day was only making it WORSE), I had completely depleted levels of progesterone, my testosterone was so low, and my thyroid was majorly off.
Some final parting quotes:
““Prayer is the most tangible expression of trust in God. If we would trust God for our persecuted brothers and sisters in other countries, we must be diligent in prayer for their rulers. If we would trust God when decisions of government in our own country go against our best interests, we must pray for His working in the hearts of those officials and legislators who make those decisions. The truth that the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord is meant to be a stimulus to prayer, not a stimulus to a fatalistic attitude.”
“Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us.” – Jerry Bridges
Scripture to memorize that helped me tremendously:
- Luke 12:22-26
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- James 1:2-5
- 1 Peter 1:6-7
- Philippians 4:4-7
- Matthew 6:28-33
Links and Resources:
- Join our private community to chat about this podcast episode: FindingJoyCommunity.com
- Watch the podcast on YouTube if you want! Finding Joy in Your Home on YouTube
- Keep an eye out for episode 6 of Baking School with Jami coming this week: Baking School with Jami
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