How to deal with anxiety.

As I write this, it is 04.29 on a Saturday morning and it's one of those morning's when I feel totally broken. Living with a chronic illness is harder than I ever imagined, if you add a mental health wobble into the mix? Well you end up, sat awake at 04.29 feeling both physically and emotionally broken. I feel incredibly distant in my faith right now and am finding it difficult to engage, but nonetheless I know that perseverance is key. I know Jesus is with me, even though right now I struggle to feel Him.

The early hours of a Saturday morning seems as good a time as any to catch up on one of the preaches that's been sat in my bookmarks for my months than I like to admit! This particular talk was given by Jules Jacob and was entitled "How to deal with anxiety".

"The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life."  John 10:10 (NLT)

The second part is what Jesus wants for my life but right now, life actually feels full of anxiety and stress and worry. My courage is wearing really thin. It becomes a bit of a cycle though - I go to church with my game face on, I serve with the babies, I worship but all along I don't engage through fear of people seeing how vulnerable I really am. Jules highlights one of the reasons why I'm not feeling God right now and why I can't feel His promises in my life. Currently, my mind is not healthy, I need to learn to think in a different way.

"Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2 (NLT)

God's will for us is good and perfect, but we need to renew our minds to receive it.But how do I go about that?

"Letting God transform me" sounds so easy, but in reality? Giving up that control is the hardest thing ever. At the moment I feel like I'm reaching a bit of a crisis point. I'm feeling utterly lost and disengaged at church. Without that support, work has become overwhelmingly stressful. I've always been a fairly anxious person, but at the moment it's ridiculous, supermarkets and restaurants are just a few of the places that have the ability to bring me to tears. The problem is though, if I let it, the rest of my life will become overwhelmed by these (quite frankly highly irrational) fears.

I need to face the fear with God's promises and the things He speaks over me.

"We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NLT)

The joy from my day is so often robbed from the moment I wake up. The fear of what the scale will say that morning. The dread of how many calories I may or may not eat that day. The worry about my patients dying. I need to think on Jesus and his words to counteract all the negative thinking. I've recently bought some new posters and popped affirming Bible verses up around my room - the first things I see in the morning now are God's promises for my life. I'm hoping it'll have an impact soon.

When we have faith, it releases God's power. God's word is powerful and can set us free. I've just got to keep swimming and persevering.


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