Anxiety has been a life long companion for me.
It pops up when I least expect it and it loves to needle at all my deepest insecurities…
I’m not faithful enough to hand it over to God.
I’m not smart enough to stop thinking like that.
I’m not enough…ever…to overcome this issue.
It’s one of the reasons I become so exacerbated when I hear someone quote flippant Bible verses to others about anxiety, or when someone shares a meme that tells me Do Not Be Afraid is found in the Bible 365 times.
I wish it was helpful. I really do. But it never has been for me. It feeds into the not enough aspects that anxiety wields like a sword, but don’t fit with the message of Truth and Love that I see from Jesus when He’s speaking in Scripture.
So, I do what any theologian-therapist-anxiety-prone person does…
I opened the Word to make sense of it all.
Lord, I don’t get it. I don’t understand anxiety and I don’t understand where in the world you are in all of this. Who are You? What is Your message here? Give me true Law and true Gospel and take out all the stuff I want to see, for what you are actually saying. In Jesus, in Him who rescues, Him who delivers, Him who Saves, I pray. Amen.
You know what I found?
Chamomile tea and hugs from a friend go a lot further than advice on how I should overcome it.
Jesus didn’t intend for me to struggle with this alone. He gives me people, connection, and care. When I share my burden, even when I can’t quite put it into words, God does miraculous things. It is still uncomfortable and sometimes I just have to sit in it. But, wow, the inexpressible becomes somehow alive with legs and arms and words. I can externalize what was pent up inside. I can rest because God sends people. God sends the Body.
Jesus is that friend.
Some things I just have to sit with on my own. But…not really. Because when He says,
Come to me.
I know He’s for real. He sits in the discomfort with me. His Spirit resides in me, that Helper, that Counselor.
It still feels uncomfortable, but not alone is so much better than not enough.
In today’s podcast we address some of the very Scriptures I struggled to understand, as well as find some practical tools for anxiety and the Spritiual Care of anxiety.
PS – This podcast and blog are not a replacement for local mental health care resources. Please seek out and utilize counselors, psychiatrists, and other professional mental health providers in your local area.
PPS – Did you know that chamomile tea daily has been shown in at least one study to reduce the symptoms of generalized anxiety? See the study link here. So, bringing it to visit a friend is a good idea. Now, if only I liked the flavor…