I struggle with anxiety. I have for as long as I can remember.
I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I used to wake up as a teenager with panic attacks. I dwell on things and let them consume my mind.
About 18 months ago I was having a pleasant day at home with my husband and brother in law. When I suddenly was having heart palpitations. I didn’t know what they were and it scared me!
I thought something was wrong with my heart. I had anxiety over it and rushed to the doctor first thing Monday morning.
The doctor asked if I was under a considerable amount of stress? Me? stress? No not really!
I mean okay, I was taking 21 units at the time, preparing for college graduation in a few months, perhaps a bit anxious about money, working 30 hours a week with a ton of homework-but I wasn’t stressed. This was just normal for us! I brushed it aside that stress was causing it. It had to be a physical cause!
I graduated college, got an excellent full time job the week I graduated (praise the Lord), and suddenly had a considerable amount of free time on my hands. But from February until the middle of summer I constantly had chest pains.
I thought I was Going to Have a Heart Attack
I had tightness in my chest. Shooting pains in my chest. No more palpitations thank the Lord, but I was always waiting for them to begin again.
And this definitely wasn’t stress related right? I mean, my life was so easy compared to a few months ago. This had to be physical – just had to be.
I feared for what this meant. I spent considerable time in high stress anxiety over the pains. I couldn’t stop thinking about what this meant. The pains would start and my anxiety would shoot through the roof! I had an EKG done. Nothing, my heart looked just fine. I started going to physical therapy because they thought my pain might have to do with my posture.
Finally I switched doctors and ended up at a cardiologist. I was hooked to a heart monitor for 24 hours, I did a running stress test, I had an echocardiogram…and nothing. It all came back that my heart was normal.
This landed me back at the doctor talking about stress. The doctor suggested prescribing me pills to help me stay calm and avoid stress but said that this was basically a life sentence of the medicine if I started down that road.
I did not want to go this route. I firmly believed that if this really was stress induced pain, then medicine was not the way to heal my pain, God’s word and his faithfulness was.
God Helped Me to Heal
Over the course of this journey, I had been trying to rely more on God. Throughout all this I saw my own blatant sinfulness. I saw how little I was trusting in the Lord.
I tried to come to grips with the fact that maybe my heart did have a problem, it was all God’s plan. But I struggled with it and didn’t truly give my anxiety over to the Lord.
Throughout my many tests at the end, I started memorizing God’s word. My husband was always a constant reminder to me that I need to trust in the Lord. But when I was at work and the chest pains started, I was convinced that a heart attack was right around the corner and left no room for God’s work in my life.
Until I started memorizing God’s word and what HE had to say about stress and anxiety. I made scripture cards on anxiety, and started memorizing passages in the car at stoplights, during breaks at work and whenever stress started creeping into my heart.
During this time, I learned that in fact, my heart was fine, and the physical root of my pain was in fact all physiological. I was able to finally see God’s plan. I wish that I could say I had more faith while waiting the test results but the true faith didn’t come until after.
But I see that through that, God had finally given me the tools to combat fear and anxiety. I can finally place my faith and trust in Him. I did study on God’s providence and His faithfulness but mostly storing His precious words in my heart concerning anxiety helped me to deal with it.
Luke 12:22-31 is the first passage I memorized and to this day I repeat it to myself to help dissolve my sinful anxiety.
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
Consider how small an hour is in compared to our entire lifetime. It’s tiny and yet God promises that by nothing we do can we add even a single hour to our life. Having anxiety over the big and the small things will not add an hour to our life so we better serve His Kingdom by placing our trust in Him.
Learning HIS Lessons
I see now why God had me walk through that valley. He was teaching me to place my trust in Him. Now when I face anxiety I can better serve and worship Him. I can give the anxiety over to Him and place my trust in Him.
Now, anxiety does still set in. I’m not perfect and it’s still an area that I struggle. I am 19 weeks pregnant with twins and I am fearful for the rest of this pregnancy. Will I have to be on bedrest? Will they come too early and have to be in the NICU? Will I have to have a C-section?
Fears creep in and I have to go back to God’s word and His faithfulness! Some excellent verses to memorize are:
- 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
What You Can Start Doing TODAY
If you struggle with anxiety then I would challenge you to memorize God’s word! A wonderful way to combat sinful thoughts is to instead fill your mind with God’s true and faithful word!
Will you join me today and start memorizing God’s word? If you struggle with anxiety then look up the verses above and get to memorizing! Do you struggle with anger? Lust? God’s has given us the tools to combat those things we struggle with the most: His Word. Open it today and start memorizing His healing words!
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