Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

When you feel consumed with anxiety, bring it to Jesus

One of the hardest things about anxiety is the way symptoms show up without warning, even in happy moments. While sometimes there are obvious triggers, I often find myself rattling inside without explanation.

In those anxious moments, I need to know that God is with me. Sometimes, simply reminding ourselves of this truth and refocusing on God’s kind presence can help calm our shaking minds and bodies. That’s why I’m so happy to share today’s story by Kelley Spencer.

Kelley knows what it’s like to live with overwhelming anxiety, grief, and depression that can consume every moment. And she also knows what it means to press into Jesus to find hope in the midst of fear and darkness. It’s a joy to share Kelley’s words with you today.

Consumed by anxiety.

“Are you an anxious flier?” the passenger next to me inquired.

I paused for a moment, glancing down at my tense body that I couldn’t stop from fidgeting. I held my hands tightly together, attempting to stop the obvious shaking of my hands. “Not usually,” I gently responded back.

“Deep breaths, Kelley. You’ve got this,” I said to myself.

“Inhale. 1-2-3. Exhale. 1-2-3.”

For the last decade I’ve experienced everything from mild-to-moderate anxiety to full-blown panic, but never when flying – until now.

That’s the tricky thing with anxiety – and any mental disorder for that matter – sometimes there’s a circumstance that triggers it, but not always.

I couldn’t simply shake these anxious feelings, as desperately as I wanted to. I couldn’t pretend I was okay. This felt all-consuming. If I didn’t deal with this properly, it would change into full-blown panic.

So one deep breath and prayer at a time, I pushed through it. The angst. Uneasiness. Discomfort. Shaking. Fear.

My heart rate started slowing down and my mind started quieting.

I took one last deep breath as I caught a glance of the saguaro cacti out our window. We made it to our destination: Phoenix, Arizona. Thank goodness, I thought. 

Desperate for peace.

I desperately needed this vacation but wasn’t sure how to get myself out of this ‘fog’ in order to fully enjoy it. I didn’t want to miss the beautiful moments. Or have anxiety and my ability to cope with it ruin the trip. I had anxiety about having anxiety, which – you guessed it –  perpetuated more anxiety. It’s a cycle I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

Below the intense anxiety, I knew deep down, I was spiritually thirsty. Parched. Desperate for water. My heart and mind felt like the environment I found myself in: a desert. I knew that this type of thirst and need only Jesus Himself could satisfy.

Finding rest.

So I decided each day to let my anxiety be a catalyst to drive me to the One who cares deeply for me: God. I needed to fully surrender. It was the only way. Each day, these difficult feelings of anxiety brought me to my knees. It forced me into desperation.

But after I spent time with God again and again, I could slowly feel God’s peace washing over me, little by little.

God was with me through it all. He never left my side. And I rested in that truth.

I fixed my eyes on Jesus and He urged me to slow down, focusing on being fully present in each moment and thanking Him for every experience.

I prayed fervently. First thing in the morning, when getting ready for the day, and at every mealtime. I prayed while driving to our next destination and as I lay my head down each night. I thanked God for being with me and helping me manage the anxiety I felt.

I needed to hear God’s voice above all the chatter in my head. I didn’t want to listen to or feed the thoughts in my mind. And when I got quiet – I heard God speak to me so clearly that it brought me to tears of gratitude.

God is with you, too.

I want to remind you today that we serve a God that cares deeply for you. Whatever challenge or difficult feelings you’re facing today, know that you can run to your Savior and He will meet you with open arms.

While Jesus may not take away your anxiety, I’ve learned that He often provides healing and relief through working with a therapist, taking medication, and practices like meditation and regular exercise. I encourage you to seek whichever treatment plan works well for you and alleviates your anxiety.

When you thirst, He will quench your thirst. When you feel unsteady, He will stabilize you. When you feel scared, He will give you peace. When you reach out with a need, He will provide.

Anxiety – if you allow it –- can become a catalyst for our spiritual growth, driving you back to Jesus with a longing for and dependence on Him alone. Don’t let anxiety break you – let it be a signal to pray and seek the One who cares deeply for you. God is with you now and holding you close.

Kelley Spencer is a Christian author, gardener, recovering perfectionist, overthinker, mental health advocate, and mother of two boys (and one angel) living in the Midwest. She loves tacos, being active outside, and planning weekend getaways. Her story, Radical Obedience, was published by Dayspring in Sweet Tea for the Soul. Kelley has God-sized dreams of publishing several books and Bible Studies designed to reach others for Christ in their most vulnerable, painful circumstances.

This post was originally published on KelleySpencer.com. If you want more Christ-focused encouragement for your anxious days, check out her free three-day devotional, Three Biblical Truths for an Anxious Mind.

3 Replies

  1. Lee

    Okay, I don’t get this. Even when I went to church, I didn’t get it. “Surrender”? What does that mean? And Jesus provides healing through therapists and medication? Really? Did he PAY for the therapist and medication? Come on. I want a god who makes himself/herself known. I can’t surrender to something I can’t even see. I guess I never will get any of this stuff. Tried it, got disillusioned and heartbroken. Glad it works for you.

    1. Kay E

      You are created by God Himself. Sin/disobedience/pride broke the perfect relationship we had with Him. God did not ‘get rid of us’-He gave us a way to be perfect with Him again. Jesus restored that relationship for us. We still live in the life of sin so we get to choose who we will obey-this is surrender-will I live Gods way or my style. Will I see His love and help or will I blame Him for my circumstances. Over the past 3 years I have found that reading the first part of the Bible, the Old Testament, has helped me know God more by seeing who He is. Now I can trust Him while I don’t like what I feel or understand why I suffer.

  2. OLIVIA THOMPSON

    BEST ONLINE SPELL CASTER @ DR JAKUTA WHATSAPP +2349161779461

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