*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, a psychiatrist, nor a psychologist. I am a person with diagnosed generalized anxiety disorder (which basically means anxious about everything all the time), and panic attacks. By the grace of God, He is healing me, and I endeavor to share my journey with you, and what I am learning in hopes that it will help you too.
But let me make very clear what I am not saying in this or anything I write: I am NOT saying that if you suffer anxiety you don’t have enough faith. I have heard that before and it is a big fat lie. I am NOT saying that you should not seek professional help, and/or take medication if you need it. Anxiety is a real disease with real symptoms and real medical treatment available. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting that treatment. I have also learned that there is another element to anxiety, and that is a spiritual element. That is the area which I wish to discuss, with no intention of minimizing medical treatment or therapy.
If you have anxiety in any form, whether it’s been diagnosed or not, you are in a battle. You may be in a season where it is a daily battle, an hourly battle, or even a constant battle.
I know the battle all too well. I still have to fight it. I’m fighting right now in fact because a funny thing happens when I try to write about anxiety. My anxiety kicks up.
The battle I am fighting now, is much less intense than the battles I fought for most of my life. There was a time where I could not even function. I would sit on the couch for most of the day trying to distract myself on social media or watching TV, but not getting anything productive done. I was paralyzed. There was about a year of my life where I couldn’t even drive on the highway because I would get massive panic attacks and have to pull over or I would die. At least it felt like I would die. That’s what panic does.
Today, I still have anxiety, and I still get panic attacks. I’m still in the battle, but it doesn’t control me anymore. It’s not anywhere near as intense. I am healing from it. I often have joy instead of fear. I am living my life and it is wonderful.
I want you to have that too. So I am endeavoring to write a series of posts, as well as some free resources to share with you how I am healing, Who is healing me, and how you can have it too.
We need to start by acknowledging the battle, and figuring out who the enemy is.
You Are Not Your Enemy
Has anyone ever told you that you are your own worst enemy? I’ve been told that, and I believed it for a long time.
It’s. Not. True.
You are not your enemy.
Does it feel like it sometimes? Sure. Does it feel like you are fighting an internal battle against yourself? Absolutely.
You are in a battle. A very serious battle. And you do have an enemy. But it’s not yourself. I wrote about him in this post, and why he hates us so much. If you missed it please check it out.
Knowing Who You're Fighting
The thing about Satan is that he despises us because he despises God, and we are made in the image of God. His mission every day is to destroy us. Of course, he wants our souls, but once we are in Christ, he can’t have them. So then he turns to distracting and discouraging us. He does not want us to know who we are in Christ. Because, when we do, we will start living out our purpose, and that scares him.
Let me pause here for a moment and speak to those of you reading this who do not believe. Maybe you don’t believe in God, or Jesus. Maybe you don’t believe in Satan, or that he could have a plan to destroy you. I understand, and I am so glad you are here. I would invite you to not dismiss everything, but to stick around and see if there is any merit to anything I have to share. If you have questions or want to have a discussion about what you believe and/or what I believe I would love to talk to you. No judgement, just conversation. I would also like to submit for your consideration that the biggest lie Satan ever told is that he doesn’t exist. If he can convince you that he doesn’t exist, it becomes much easier to destroy you.
Jesus tells us in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
The thief is Satan. He has a mission. To steal from us. To kill us. To destroy us.
But what does this have to do with anxiety. He uses it to steal from us. He steals our joy, our purpose, our hope. He uses it to kill pieces of us, and ultimately to try to destroy us.
Satan is a liar. In fact Jesus tells us Satan is the father of lies. “...He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
The anxious thoughts never come from God. NEVER. In fact God tells us over and over in the Bible not to be afraid. He cannot contradict Himself, so fear does not come from Him. It comes from Satan. And Satan wants us to believe the anxious thoughts are our own. He wants us to believe that we are our own enemy.
I recently read that when he lies to us he puts it in “I statements.” “I am so stupid.” “I can’t believe I did that.” He does this because if we believe they are our own thoughts, we will be more likely to believe them. If we believe the lies, it becomes easier to destroy us.
Maybe the things I am telling you are scary to hear. I know they can be scary to me too, especially when I first started to learn about this spiritual battle that we are all in. I do not mean to add to your fear. If we are going to battle our anxiety, we need to know who and what we are fighting.
A Warrior Fighting For You
There is good news. Such good news. Now that we know who the enemy is, we can prepare ourselves for the battle, and we can win. It’s important to know too, that we are not in this battle alone. Jesus is fighting for us, and He is so much bigger and more powerful than Satan. We also know that in the end He will defeat Satan and fear, sadness, tears and pain for good. (Revelation 21:4)
Not only that, but He is fighting for us now. Notice the 2nd half of John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus wants you to have a full life. And He has the power to give it to you. He wants to heal you.
He is healing me, and in the process showing me so many truths about Him, about myself, and about how to win the battle against anxiety. It is my heart, that by sharing my experiences and what I am learning, you will begin to heal and win the battle in your life as well.
As I said, I am working on a series of posts to share what I am learning. Soon I will share with you 4 of the ways that I have learned to stop the anxious thoughts that consume my mind and spiral out of control.
I am also putting together a free downloadable resource with specific practical tools to help us all fight those thoughts. I would love your input, so I can make it as helpful for you as possible. Would you please take a few minutes answer some quick questions? It will take less than 5 minutes, and I will send you a thank you gift for your time.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Now that we know who we are fighting in this battle, we can be prepared to win. I am taking my life back from the grip of anxiety, and you can too.
Have a fantastic day, and remember you have been Redeemed For More.