When I was a little girl, I would often hear the phrase, "don't be a worry wort". You guessed it, I was a worrier, and still can be... At that tender age, my mom taught me to pray when I was worried. God was planting seeds...
In my early 20s I experienced my first full blown panic attack which seemed to come out of nowhere. I wasn't distressed about anything at the time, but there it came. If any of you have had a panic attack, you know how scary they can be. Unfortunately, that first panic attack began a pattern of anxiety and fear of "having a panic attack" that became debilitating at times. God was beginning to draw me to Himself...
Years later, when I was doing a Bible Study with the friend who ultimately would lead me to the Lord, it was Matthew 14:30, in our study, that jumped off the page at me, "And He said come! Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But seeing the wind he became frightened, and beginning to sink He cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately, Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him..." Oh what comfort I found in that verse - words of life! Not only did it begin the process of my being freed from the bondage of anxiety, but it would ultimately draw me into a relationship with Jesus my Savior. God redeemed me...
In the years after I gave my life to Christ, my anxious tendencies were sorely tested, especially in the areas of health and the health of my husband - a "mystery" illness that left me dizzy and weak for six weeks; a heart condition that looked serious to the doctor, but was later determined to be a benign finding; a thyroid cancer scare, and my husband's carotid dissection which led to a stroke. As you can see, the trials grew progressively worse, but I found that with each situation, although I became anxious, I still had an underlying peace that became more and more profound. "And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7. God was strengthening me...
I hope you find encouragement in the following promises from God's precious Word that have given me courage over the years and blessings beyond measure. The verses were discovered in trials, through personal Bible reading, and in particular, Beth Moore Bible Studies, where her insights into certain scripture verses were truly the turning point in my rising above anxious moments.
When I was suffering with a mild form of agoraphobia, my life verse was born - a verse I have clung to in so many anxious situations :
"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:8
Beth Moore's explanation of the following verse is so helpful to me when I get extremely anxious about doctor's appointments born out of my past history of "quirky" diagnoses. Beth Moore basically said to "take the fear factor out of decisions and/or situations, and to stop projecting old fears on a new day, but to instead, fear missing God." Her explanation of God's promise was such an epiphany for me and it has helped me immensely!
"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19
We are certainly called to, "Humble ourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt us at the proper time, casting all our anxiety upon Him, because He cares for us." 1 Peter 5:6-7." Unfortunately, for me, I would also end up "telling" God how I wanted Him to fix the problem I was worried about, not resting and trusting in His will for the situation. Through an insight of Beth Moore's, I began "casting all my anxiety upon Him", but now I was believing the promises in the following verses:
"The Lord will accomplish what concerns me. Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of your hands." Psalm 138:8
"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45
In future blog posts, I hope to share some of the amazing answers to prayer that resulted from trusting that the "Lord would accomplish all that concerns me". Answers that at the outset appeared not at all to be going the way I hoped and prayed, but in the end, the Lord not only gave me the desire of my heart, but He did "immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine". Ephesians 3:20
And finally, when praying about anxious situations, I have learned to pray scripture over them. When a loved one was deployed to Afghanistan, I knew it was going to be the most "out of my control situation" I would ever experience! I felt led by the Holy Spirit to put together a scripture prayer for him using Bible verses about protection, peace and seeking the Lord. This "worry wort" cannot even adequately explain to you the incredible peace I felt praying those scriptures for him while he was deployed. The Lord blessed those prayers in miraculous ways by sparing his life not once, but three times! But... not only was his physical life saved, but God met him in the battlefield where my loved one gave his life to Christ.
"Your Words were found, and I ate them, and your Words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of Hosts." Jeremiah 15:16
God is calling me to bring Him Glory...
In closing, my prayer for you and I... "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of Christ which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-up, Woman to Woman Ministries, Growing in Grace Link-up, Titus 2 Tuesday Link-up, 3DLessons4Life, Livefree Thursday, Everyday Jesus