By Autumn Edwards
In today’s world, full of negativity and aggression, it’s too easy to give in to lies whispered by the enemy and others, especially the lies we tell ourselves. Why aren’t you financially established? How come you don’t have a higher position at your place of work? What are you doing with your life? Why don’t I have enough? Why aren’t I enough?
Doubt and worry concerning the future are fears that plague out hearts and minds when our confidence is at its lowest and anxiety creeps in, blurring our vision. In this condition, our body freezes, and the things that used to bring us joy begin to feel like another task, another brick stacked upon an already high mountain of pressure. The feeling of being unable to breathe, unable to speak to others about our fears, restrains us from moving forward.
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?”Jeremiah 17:9
The American Psychological Association describes anxiety as “a feeling of tension, the action of stressing about what cannot be controlled, and the avoidance of situations due to worry [of what could happen in the future].”
During difficult seasons, we must have faith in God, no matter what the obstacle in our way. By trusting in the Lord, we realize that trials are temporary. During this time we can strengthen our resolve, take a deep breath, and take a step forward in a new direction, up a path God has prepared for us.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”2 Timothy 1:7
One way to move forward toward releasing your fear and stress is to pray. Prayer is powerful; when all is quiet, our minds can ease into a connection with God. To talk to Him and unbind all our worries without fear of rejection or judgment. God sees us, hears us, and loves us as we are. He never leaves nor gives us more than what we can bare.
He is a constant friend who is always ready to listen, especially when we are at our weakest. A prayer can be as short as one sentence or last hours; there is no right way to seek God for His guidance. God only asks us to have faith in Him, seek Him out, and come before Him knowing His grace, mercy, and love are infinite.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”Proverbs 3:5-6
Although the pressures from everyday life are always present, so is God; through Him all things are possible. In releasing our doubts and insecurities comes an understanding that God will make a way even if we don’t see the path for ourselves. We must be able to “walk by faith, and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Nothing in life comes easy; trusting in the Lord to care for all our needs is an act of obedience and worship. God knows all the plans He has in store for us and will make a way. When the stress is too much and anxiety starts creeping in, remember to take a minute and do the following:
- No matter where you are, go to a quiet place.
- Envision yourself somewhere calm to ease your mind.
- And pray to God to free you of your burdens.
Another way to break free of the building anxiety is to journal. Writing down your thoughts to God is another form of prayer and conversation. Sometimes what can’t be placed into words verbally, whether to yourself or out loud, can be expressed on paper even as poetry, a story, or a simple recount of one’s day. This exercise, once started, can quickly turn into a healthy habit allowing you the space to shed compounding thoughts instead of carrying the weight on your shoulders.
“Come to Me; all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30
The resource list below contains helpful journals, books, an article, and devotional prompts:
- Scripture for Anxiety Journal by The Daily Grace Co
- Prayer Journal for Women: 52 Week Scripture, Devotional & Guided Prayer Journal by Shannon Roberts
Books, Audiobooks and Article
- Calm Your Anxious Mind: Daily Devotions to Manage Stress and Build Resilience by Carrie Marrs
- The Well-Watered Woman: Rooted in Truth, Growing in Grace, Flourishing in Faith by Gretchen Saffles
- BECOMING A WOMAN OF PRAYER
4 Devotional Prompts created by Autumn Edwards
- 3 Things Gratitude Journal
- 15 Journaling Prompts
- Self-Insert Writing Prompt #1
As women, we naturally carry several things on our shoulders, from being a wife, raising children, and supporting a household, to even being the sound board for others. Yet regardless of how much we can carry, we must remember to take care of ourselves first. Mental health is just as important as our physical being. God has given us more than enough strength to ensure that at the end of a long day, we can rest, breathe, and start over again anew.
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried away into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah”Psalm 46:1-3
Scriptures quoted from the New King James Version. Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com