I am writing this as I anxiously lie in bed, overwhelmed with so many different thoughts about so many different things.
I know worrying about these things isn’t going to benefit me, but this rational thought is pushed out by all the worry I am having. I was just telling a good friend of mine earlier today too that Philippians 4 is a good chapter to read when anxious. Looks like I’m going to hit that up myself.
Isn’t it crazy how something small can start to overwhelm you, bringing up all sorts of other bigger issues that you’re facing?
Being worried and anxious is a subject I talk about a lot in my writings, and I’m sorry if you’ve read through the other blog posts about it before. But I’m pretty sure this is going to keep coming up; like Paul had the thorn in his side, I sometimes see this as the thorn in my side, the thing that I’m always going back to God for, asking Him to take away from me. He may or may not in this life; I rest assured knowing that this feeling will be gone someday though, even if it is after I’ve passed.
I can remember this night twelve days ago vividly. I lay under my comforter, arms wrapped around Mr. Pep (my childhood teddy bear), eyes squeezed shut, trying to battle the overwhelming doubts that aimed to conquer my mind, and shatter whatever peace I had.
Yes, as a twenty-one year old, I still have that stuffed bear that I’ve always had since I was born. And during this night, like a child, I embraced it just as tight as I was squeezing my eyes closed. I’m unashamed of this fact; we all have things that bring us comfort.
This night is reminiscent of a day during my senior year in college in which I was so worried, it felt like I could physically feel something sitting on my chest. I felt claustrophobic; while sitting in one of my classes, I had to close my eyes, and take several deep breaths – in, out. in, out. – because I was afraid I would pass out.
I’m not trying to be dramatic here; when it comes to me, the anxiety is real. It’s something I’ve always wrestled with, always had to throw open my Bible for, always had to fervently pray over. I would say that at night, or in the darkness, it gets worse, but that’s the thing about worries and anxiety – it can occur anywhere at anytime. And it takes one thought. One action. One word. And suddenly, it sparks a set amount of questions and doubts that will shake me to my core.
I’ve memorized Philippians 4:4-9 to say to myself over and over whenever I have that anxious feeling:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Saying this to myself as many times as I need to helps, and simply praying to God, letting Him know what I’m anxious about, even though I already knows, helps too. I was going to say that this doesn’t work every time, but I can’t tell you a time when it didn’t. Of course, it wasn’t magic, and it didn’t immediately alleviate all of the worries for good.
But it’s all about reminding myself Who is in control, what I should be dwelling on.
I know there’ll be more anxious nights like the night twelve days ago, or days like the day a few months ago when I was in school.
With this in mind, though, I pray that I never forget Philippians 4. Or the fact that, I am where I am even past all of the anxious thoughts I’ve had throughout the years. Being where I am just shows how faithful God has been in my life. I worry so much about things, and when God moves, and outcomes appear, I realize just how much time could have been spent on things better than worrying about it.
Thanks for going through yet another worry/anxiety post with me. I’ll have to be reminded of this again soon, for sure.
Speaking of reminders…I’ve considered getting a tattoo to symbolize this constant narrative of worry that I’ve wrestled with all my life. Nothing too big, okay, just a small symbol. I was thinking a bird (I know, how basic could I get, right?), but I was thinking about it based off of the Scripture in Matthew 6:26-27; if the Lord cares for the birds of the air by providing for them, He surely cares for me.
I don’t know, I’m still thinking about it. I wouldn’t even know what it would look like, or where I would get it, although I’ve been given some suggestions.
What is something you’ve always wrestled with? (You don’t actually have to give me the answer to this.) What brings you comfort/strengthens you when you are in the midst of the struggle? Also, if you have any bird tattoo designs that are simple but cool, and placement ideas, PLEASE HOLLA AT YA GIRL.