You’ve prayed. Maybe you’ve fasted, and cried, and asked others to pray for you. But the swirling thoughts and anxious feelings are screaming as loud as ever. You feel like a failure as a person and as a Christian. You feel stuck. Part of you believes God has a way out for you, but you’re not experiencing it. Has He forgotten you? Why can’t you find God’s answer for your fear and anxiety?
I’ve been there. I know what that feels like.
But I’m not there any longer. Years ago when God brought me out of my severe distress I learned some priceless keys that set me free from the fear and anxiety that had controlled my soul. Those keys have remained part of my lifestyle ever since.
Here’s some of what I learned about God’s answer for your fear and anxiety.
Remember Your Integrated Nature
God created you as a beautiful integrated human being. Your physical body, mind and emotions, relationships with others, and relationship with God are all connected. Whatever affects one part affects all the others.
With something as “big” as fear and anxiety the solution is almost always “all of the above.” A pill to slow your racing heart or change the serotonin in your brain may sometimes be helpful, but it won’t result in long term change. You will need to unlearn old lies and choose new thoughts, but that will still fall short of bringing you peace. Time with God is vital, yet prayer alone, without engaging the other aspects of your being, will leave you disappointed.
Fear and anxiety create deep ruts in your mind that are easily triggered. Your desire for instant gratification in finding relief is understandable, but it doesn’t work. It takes time to retrain your brain and build new neural pathways. You can only do that by incorporating all the aspects of your integrated nature in the process, including connecting deeply with others.
Take Charge of What You Can
Swirling in anxiety is trying ever harder to figure things out and make things OK while feeling life slip between your fingers. How’s that been working for you?
Most of your fear and anxiety is about things over which you have little or no control. Spending your energy there prevents you from doing the things that will make a difference. God has given you a great deal of executive authority over your life. You can choose how you care for your body, where your mind spends its time, who you hang out with, and how you invest in your relationship with God. I remember how huge that reality was for me when I learned it.
Your authority over your life is not absolute. But you wear yourself out when you devote your energy to things you cannot change. Focusing on the things you can change makes much more of a difference than most people realize. Often the biggest thing you can change is your own responses. Rather than allowing your emotions to hijack and direct what you do next, you can take action in the ways that can change the outcome.
Let God’s Presence Change You
“Relationship with God” to many people means going to church regularly or reading your Bible more. Those are good things, but many regular churchgoers are no different today than they were ten years ago. Some atheists know more about the Bible than you or I do. What makes the difference?
It’s being in the presence of God that changes you. Intellectual knowledge is good, but it doesn’t do very much to bring you peace. Heart transformation requires being with Jesus. That’s how Peter and John became different people. (See Acts 4:13)
We now know scientifically that being truly seen and known by someone changes the circuits in your brain. For example, telling someone about a painful memory forever alters that memory in your brain; from then on that memory includes the experience of telling someone, and hopefully being believed and understood.
It’s even more powerful when you feel seen and known by God. In His presence everything good happens; healing, cleansing, strength, inspiration, true transformation. When you feel felt by God your faulty mental images of Him become healed. Your shame is disinfected. And you become more and more whole.
How do You DO That?
“That sounds good. But how do I put that all together? I’m too worn out to do that kind of work.”
This is not about doing more; it’s about learning to be. You didn’t “work hard” to develop the brain pathways you currently have, and “trying harder” won’t create the necessary new brain pathways for you to live free from fear and anxiety. “I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid! I’M NOT AFRAID!!!” That just doesn’t work.
What you can do is develop healthy rhythms of putting yourself where new brain pathways can form. That’s how you retrain your brain.
And I want to help you do that.
Our new Defeat Your Fear and Anxiety online course is based on Scripture and incorporates contemporary scientific research on retraining your brain. In this course I will walk you through bringing your body, mind, and soul online in a process of real transformation. Through using these powerful keys you can overcome stress, leave worry behind, and develop a lifestyle of lasting emotional wellbeing.
I want you to experience God’s answer to the distress you’re living with. Join me in the Defeat Your Fear and Anxiety course today. I look forward to seeing you there!
Questions? Contact me here, and I’ll respond personally.
Tweetables: why not share this post?
- Are you struggling to find God’s answer for your fear and anxiety, and still feel stuck? Here are 3 keys I discovered as God brought me out of my own distress. Tweet that.