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  • Writer's pictureJenni Lien

Trusting God When Anxiety Hits

Christmas graphic illustration by Jenni Lien of The Yay Project

I had dinner with two beautiful friends last night and the topic of anxiety came up.

Either we or someone close to us has struggled with anxiety. And we chatted about therapy and prayer, fear of it worsening and faith for total healing, and more. For a lot of my life, even when I was a child, sometimes I’ve needed to take a self-described “mental health day.” Just to rest and be alone. I never really pinpointed it as anxiety, more as “having an introvert moment” where I just “need some alone time.” It doesn’t happen often for me, but when it does sometimes it can last weeks, just a mild needing to shut out the world. And it is usually accompanied by guilt ... cancelling plans last minute and letting people down, shame of not being able to control my emotions and just move on, hurt when people didn’t understand why I couldn’t just get over it.

This year God has been teaching me so many things about my God-given design and I’ve realized that many things I accepted as part of me are firmly NOT God’s will for my life.

God did not give me anxiety.

And while I don’t understand everything about it I believe a lot of it is spiritual and I am determined not to let the enemy steal any more of my joy. Yesterday when my friend brought up her anxiety, it gave me the freedom to confess that I’d actually almost bailed on dinner yesterday because I was feeling it too. But I’d prayed and had faith, and the anxiety did subside, if not go away completely. One of the pieces of advice given to my friend by her therapist was to not let anxiety cripple and when you feel it coming on to still try and keep your plans, keep putting one foot in front of the other. I sort of get that but that advice never would have worked for me in my anxious moments (ie I couldn’t have gotten over it in my own strength). I’ve overcome it exactly two times, perhaps the only two times it’s come up in the past six months. Once was after trying to fight it all day, then having a mini meltdown and bailing on plans, but then snapping out of it as soon as my friend gently reminded me to not let my heart be troubled. “Right!” I thought. “God doesn’t want my heart to be troubled.”

So I prayed, truly felt better and for the first time in my life “got over” my anxiety in that moment and went out. The other was yesterday, fighting all day to not cancel plans and then being reminded of Philippians 4:6 ... do not be anxious about anything. So I just grew stubborn and refused to be anxious by claiming God’s truth ... and it worked for me.

Christian blog graphic on overcoming anxiety by The Yay Project

Anxiety is a big topic and I certainly don’t understand it all or have all the answers. But I just wanted to share a bit about my journey today (thanks for reading 😘), and that I think prayer can sometimes be seen as a “bandaid” solution but I think it is so much more. Prayer is talking with God and asking for his help and it IS powerful, the most powerful thing we can do. As I was praying and journalling this morning, I wrote that I pray we (me, my family, my friends, anyone that reads this) don’t take on anything we don’t need to take on, that we can give our anxieties to God so he can fight for us like he wants to, and we can do what we were made to do ... to worship.

So in all we do today / tonight, whatever we’re going through ... I pray we spend some time just adoring Jesus, Christ our Lord, who came to Earth and died so he could set us free. ❤️


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