How to Define Anxiety and Not Let it Define You

Download your printable bookmark now. It's all ready for you to color and personalize. This would also make a great Bible Journaling template!

Download your printable bookmark now. It’s all ready for you to color and personalize. This would also make a great Bible Journaling template!

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7

Anxiety is baffling to me. Had you asked me 5 years ago if I struggled with anxiety, I would have instantly denied any anxious feelings. It’s not that I never had anxious feelings or thoughts, but I never seemed to dwell on them long enough to give them a name. After three and a half years of dealing with chronic hip and back pain, I have become very familiar with anxiety and find myself swallowed up by it often. It is not pretty. It comes and goes and probably from the outside not many people would even know that I battle it as often as I do. Lately it has felt suffocating at times. After a long break from the hip pain, it has returned. It is so discouraging to not know why it has come or when it is leaving. Like I said in a previous post, I have spent more time and money than I care to on this and I just don’t want to do it anymore.

But anxiety is a funny thing. I feel anxious about the pain, yes, but then it seems to grow from there. I find all kinds of other things to be anxious about. Some are valid, but honestly, some I wonder why I even throw them into the mix. It turns into this overwhelming feeling of depression and defeat. I hope I am not alone when I tell you that it is at this point that I turn to Jesus. He is an ever-present part of my life, but that is just it. I sometimes keep him as PART of my life instead of giving him my WHOLE life…Surrender.

1Peter Bookmark Color

…or download this original artwork by me! You can use this as a reminder for your own life or to remember to pray for me. 🙂

As I sat with Jesus and tried to make sense of these anxious thoughts, I realized some things about where my anxiety comes from. Here is where and how I began to define my anxiety:

  • Anything that I cannot bring a resolution to on my own.

How to get rid of the hip pain, a relationship that I know needs mending and I don’t know where to start, starting a blog and running into more technical difficulties than I ever imagined. 🙂 And the list goes on…

  • Anything that causes me to feel overwhelmed and incapable

What do I make for dinner for the millionth time? (seriously, I hate to cook), how to get back to a healthy lifestyle (again for the millionth time) and stick to it this time, how do I clean my house AND educate my children AND work from home all at the same time? And, again, the list goes on…

  • Anything that distracts me and divides my attention away from God’s calling on my life

Again, finally stepping out in faith and starting this blog only to be bombarded with attacks from the devil…feeling inadequate, getting caught up in details that I don’t know how to do instead of just doing the thing God asked me to do. Letting selfishness and laziness dictate my priorities with my family relationships. And, still, the list goes on…

So, as I defined some areas that my anxiety was coming from, I was able to take them head on, straight to Jesus. When I turn my focus on Jesus instead of the anxiety-prone questions that crush me like dead weight, my perspective changes and it becomes about my calling in that moment. Jesus is right there, carrying me, ready for my attention to be on Him and not my own efforts.

I love to read the devotional Jesus Calling. It amazes me that when God directed her to write that book, that He already knew I would have that book in my hands on that particular date and need to hear that exact thing on that exact day! Amazingly Awesome! So, as I am wading through this low point in my anxiety battle, He brings me to 1 Peter 5:7. The verse that I started this post with. CAST all your anxiety… Do you know what cast means here? If you are like me you might have pictured casting a fishing line. But if you do that you are still holding onto something. “Cast” here is to “throw away” or “give up to God.”

I just need to recognize the source, give up, and let Him care for me in the perfect way that only He knows how to do.

4 Comments

  1. You are doing a wonderful work with your blog Terah! I appreciate how well you express your experience with the Lord in spiritual yet practical ways. It’s uncanny how your “journey” of these past few years mirrors my own. You put it into words beautifully and encourage my heart as I seek to cast my anxieties on Him as well. Thanks for sharing your heart and faith!

    Reply
    • Karen, it is so fun to hear from you and to think back on the times we were serving Him together. In a weird way, I am encouraged that you too, have been facing some of these things. It helps me to know that I am not alone in how I feel…and I’m not crazy!! 🙂 I pray God continues to show himself to you in beautiful, personal ways. Say hi to Keith! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Terah, your blog is so inspirational! Thank you for sharing your journey with anxiety and how you get through it. I, too, have struggled with suffocating anxiety over the years and continue to struggle with it occasionally. I, too, have to continually cast my anxieties on Him. You have a great way with words and are such an encouragement. Thank you for being bold enough to share your heart.

    Reply
    • Kryste, I love how God weaves us in and out of people’s lives. It is such a blessing to hear from you and to hear how my writing is encouraging you in your struggles. Thanks for taking the time to let me know how much my words have meant to you. We are all in this thing together! It is so helpful just to know we are not alone!

      Reply

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