My Battle with Anxiety – And How I Won

I wrote this before I even had a blog, and I kept putting off posting it. Because it exposes a part of my heart, and me, that I don’t want people to know about. But I think it’s time. It is time to share a battle that I was fighting for two, miserable years.  

Two years ago, I began to battle anxiety, it was bad. I was overthinking, worrying about needless things, holding on to things that I didn’t have to hold on to, and just not doing the things I should have been doing.

Anxiety is a real thing, some people might say “just get over it” it is not that easy, it is a journey to conquer it, and a hard one to take. It is a miserable, crippling, feeling of dread, and it horrible.

Around the same time I was struggling with this, it was my turn to teach Sunday school again, and the quarter was covering the whole book of Judges.

The book of Judges tells about the children of Israel. They would sin by turning their backs on God and worshiped idols instead. God would, in turn, punish them by allowing another country to conquer and take Israel captive, and sometimes it would take Israel years before they would turn back to God and cry out for help. God would then raise up a judge to deliver the people of Israel and conquer the enemy that had taken hold of them. Everything would be fine for years, and then the vicious cycle would happen again and again.

Every time I studied the lessons, I constantly wondered how could Israel do this? The people of Israel actually saw God’s mighty hand work and His sovereign care and they still ignored God, how could they do that?

Well, it was during one of my battles with that mean bully anxiety, all I kept thinking about was; how am I going to get through this? I hated being this way and I was miserable. So, I began praying; Lord, you know what is happening, why are you letting me go through this, again? I began to think back to the other times when I went through this, and often each time I knew it was God trying to get my attention. And boy, when God wants to get your attention, He gets it!

It was during this particular time of anxiety that I had a revelation…I was an Israelite.

I was slacking off in my personal devotions, there were things that were getting in the way of my walk with God. Worry and fear for instance, and I cried to God for help because I was in pain.

I prayed ,yes, but not in the way I should have been. I usually complained in my prayers, instead of giving thanks and just talking to God about my worries and fears. 

And I knew God was once again trying to get my attention and He got it.

There is a hymn we sing at our church, and the lyrics could not be more fitting.

Sometimes when life seems gentle and blessings flood my way,

I turn my gaze away from You and soon forget to pray.

But when the sky grows darker and courage turns to fear,

My anxious voice cries upward with words you long to hear.

Lord, I need You when the sea of life is calm.

O Lord, I need You when the wind is blowing strong.

Whether trials come or cease, keep me always on my knees.

Lord, I need You. Lord I need You.

My walk became lukewarm and I wanted it hot, so I began to think and analyze my walk with God, and I saw a lot of areas that needed work, prayer was one of them.

When we pray, we are talking to God, the one who wants to hear from us, not only when we are hurting, but rejoicing as well, and everything in between.

God made us, and He cares for us, shouldn’t we talk to Him no matter how we feel or what is going on in our life?

The answer is yes, God wants to be involved in every area of our life. That is what the song talks about, talking to God no matter what is going on in our life or how feel.

But unfortunately, we tend to think we can do things all on our own. When we do that, we worry about how we are going to get through it and soon anxiety will creep its ugly head in, and soon we are a mess.

You would think after months of going through anxiety spells, I would have learned it was not productive, and it did nothing for me except make me sick. But noooo, I didn’t.

For two long, miserable years, I struggled, until finally, I got stronger, I fought it tooth and nail, I cried to God asking Him to help me, I spent time in His word every day, claimed Bible verses as my own and ran to them when I needed them.

And eventually, it became easier and easier to say “no” I will not get anxious, I will not put myself through agony for nothing. The more I did that, the better I was, the healthier I was, and stronger I got.

I can see within this past year; I’ve felt myself growing closer to God and His word. I turn to Him more for peace and comfort, because only through Him can I have peace, comfort, and joy. And when I do that, I close the door on any possibility of anxiety getting to me, when we have our mind focused on God, and His word, there is no need to feel anxious. Because we know He has His hand on us, so we need not fear, worry, or be anxious.    

So, I ask you; Are you an Israelite?