I wish we could take breaks from our anxiety. When it gets to be too much I wish we could just stash it neatly in the corner and walk away. But a lot of the time anxiety chooses for us. We don’t get to decide how anxious we will be…we just are…no mater what truths are there to believe, we simply don’t.
I’m on vacation this week. Spending some much-cherished time with family in Colorado, that doesn’t happen often enough. I can’t tell you how much I have been looking forward to this break! No more driving everyone around 2, and sometimes 3, times a day. No more cooking, cleaning or working. There is just relaxation and memory making in our future for the next week.
But as we packed up to leave, travelled here and finally arrived, it seemed the anxiety that I tried to keep at bay just pushed back with even more determination. I can’t put a finger on it and that bothers me. I don’t understand this feeling of dread when there is nothing to fear. We are going on a fun vacation for crying out loud! But a funny thing happens when I don’t know where the anxiety is coming from. I attach it to something. I almost make up a reason for the anxiety and then at least I know where I can focus my counterattack.
This time it was my unsuspecting husband who was on the receiving end. What should have been a simple conversation about some things that we needed to work on turned into my overreacting and hurt feelings. Believing lies is one of the most effective tactics our enemy uses to fuel our anxiety, and I had fallen right into his trap.
I am fully convinced that this latest flood of anxiety is a spiritual battle that is being waged all around me. The more I write and obey the calling on my life, the more soldiers satan brings to the battle. I am a vessel of the Lord and satan wants me to crack.
So, as I lay awake at 5:45am on the second morning of my vacation, with knots in my stomach and thoughts running through my mind like a freight train, I knew my only course of action was to call on God.
And when you call on God, He is there every. single. time.
And this was no exception.
I pulled out a binder from our life group and started praying through verses. This particular list included verses on some of the names of God…
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
As I read this verse, it caused me to reflect on the verse I read the day before…
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
There is was. Prince of Peace. I had settled on this name of God, let it weave its way though my heart, but as much as I tried to meditate on this, it simply wasn’t bringing the relief I was looking for. I still seemed to be plagued by these feelings whirling around inside me. So, as I sat there mulling over the name Prince of Peace, I pulled out my Jesus Calling devotional and turned to the reading for that day…February 13…
“PEACE BE WITH YOU!
…as you sit quietly, let My Peace settle over you and enfold you in My loving Presence…”
My heart began to melt at the personal attention Jesus was giving me. There, at the bottom of the page, was the verse that went with the writer’s words…John 14:27…
…the very next verse after the one on my list just a few minutes earlier…
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Tears immediately came to my eyes as I began to feel, at that moment, that I was the most important person in the world to Jesus. He was taking the time to give me personal, intimate attention. Attention that was not wasted. A peace washed over me that calmed my mind immediately. I could breathe again.
Only after this transformation took place was I in the right frame of mind to sit with my husband, apologize for my behavior, and have a conversation that only brought beauty and wholeness to our relationship.
God met me in a divine way that I don’t think I will ever forget.
When anxiety threatens to choke the joy out of your life, turn to Jesus and let him draw you to a place where the only thing you can see and feel is Him. It is in this place that you will find incredible, freeing peace, and the thoughts that were holding you captive immediately release their grip. It is in that place that you are free.
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