What do you spend most of your time thinking about?
What kinds of thoughts fill your mind?
Friend, it is surprisingly easy to get swept away by the waves of anxiety. It can leave you feeling completely powerless and with no choice but to become engulfed by a wall of overwhelming worry.
In my own journey with anxiety, I have at times, felt utterly helpless in tackling anxiety head on.
For much of my twenties, I ascribed to the belief that I had little control over my thought life; and therefore, I was often a hostage to my own mind. A captive to my own intrusive, negative thought patterns. My thoughts dictated my feelings which in turn set my mood for that day. This vicious cycle left me feeling incapable and exhausted – both physically and emotionally.
That was, until I discovered these two life-changing secrets.
Are you ready for it?
Because I am convinced that these will change your thought-life. Seriously.
Learn to live beyond how you feel.
That’s right. Your feelings don’t have to have the power. You can turn that dial down (for me it’s called the crazy dial) and tune in to a different voice. Your feelings don’t have to determine the path you take.
Jeremiah, the Old Testament prophet, reveals this earth-shattering truth when he describes the heart as “deceitful above all else and beyond cure (Jeremiah 17:9).”
Dear one, believe me when I say that this stuff is just as hard for me as it may be for you. Please don’t you dare get the impression that I have all this stuff figured out; I am still a working progress.
Because at my core, I am a feeler. (That was a news flash for my now husband when we first started dating. Imagine this: the precise, rational mathematician trying to solve the formula that was me, the enthusiastic, feelings-led American writer. But that’s another story for another day).
But this revelation is pure gold.
What voices are you listening to? A while back, I realized how much air time I was giving to negative voices in my life instead of God’s voice.
You cannot both pray and worry at the same time.
Because one negates the other.
What are we really saying to God if we pray one moment but then worry the next?
After much trial and error on my part, I am convinced we cannot perform both at once and that prayer is our anecdote to worrying.
The number of times I have worried myself sick about things that never happened!
When we pray to God, we are saying with our mouths, “Lord, I trust you. I don’t understand this situation. But I trust that You will either remove the it or you will give me what I need to get through it.” It follows then, that our actions must line up with our words.
Prayer says, I trust God to be God.
Worry says, I don’t think God will come through.
Even as I write this, I cringe at the times where I have got this so utterly wrong. Trusting is one of the hardest things for me. And there have been far too many moments in my life where worry was my gut reaction instead of putting my trust in what God has to say about it.
I’m not by any means suggesting that we ignore our problems. If anything, I think we need to be realistic and face them head-on. However, we also need to remind our problems of where they stand in relation to God.
Right now, I am wrestling with this truth. I want so badly to get to a place where I can see my problems and not get hung up on them. And instead, hang on tightly to the promises of God: I will never leave you nor forsake you, I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.