Fighting Against Anxiety, Fear, and Doubt

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For the past month (or actually the past several months) or so, I’ve known big changes were coming for our family. From finding out about the upcoming birth of our newest family member (in March), to thoughts of where we would fit another human being (and all their stuff)  in 450 square feet, to Freeman’s job situation changing drastically, to our housing situation needing to change, to possible changes in my work situation (due to all these other changes), etc., etc., etc.

In this whole process, I’ve tried to just “take it a day at a time” because honestly, what else could I do? I could lose sleep at night worrying about where we will live, the logistics of a move, how we will raise two kids in the city, how this all will affect my watching Emma, will we have enough space for our new baby, etc., or I could just sit back, pray through my anxiety, and watch God’s hand work it all out for us. (Because, let’s be honest, me worrying about these things changes nothing. God’s plan still prevails. I can either sit back and enjoy the ride, or I can worry the whole way.)

So far, this had been the game plan, and it had worked. I had been able to give most of my anxiety up to Him, until this past week, that is. This past week we looked at our first apartment in our budget, and I quickly found out that what I am looking for, in our price range, is going to be hard to find. It kind of knocked me down and took out much of the wind from my sails. (And brought up lots of fear and doubt about what that would mean for future apartment, neighborhood, community, etc.)

But when doubt creeps in, that’s when you just have to fight against it by reminding yourself the truths you know (about God and his character). Here are a few of the ones I have come back to lately (with scriptures that validate these thoughts):

-“He’s never failed (or left or forsaken) me yet.” (And he never will.) Deuteronomy 31:6

-“He already knows where I will live.” Acts 17:26

-“More importantly, he has prepared a place for me in Heaven.” – John 14:1-2

-“He will meet all of my needs.” Philippians 4:19

-“He’s done the ‘impossible’ before, and he’ll do it again.” (Difficulty finding a place to live is not a new struggle for us.) Luke 1:37

-“I am compelled to remember his past deeds and miracles (in my life and also just in the history of his people).” Psalm 77:10-15

-“He didn’t spare his best gift (His own son), so he’s not withholding anything good from me now.” – Romans 8:32

-“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done.” Phil 4:6

Fortunately, even in my lowest and most doubtful times, I don’t have to be my own cheerleader. I have a loving husband and sweet friends who, when I explain how I’m feeling, quickly come to bat for me and refresh my heart and mind by reminding me of these same truths. (Christian community is such a sweet, sweet thing, and I encourage you to seek it out if you don’t already have the benefits of it in your life.)

One last caveat – in these times of anxiety, fear, and doubt, you don’t always just come to a place of peace instantly. Sometimes it takes completely pouring out your heart to God first, totally emptying yourself before him, so HE can fill you back up as His Holy Spirit speaks the truth to you. For me, for example, it took sitting in my rocking chair, holding Fairley with tears streaming down my face, choking out worship songs as I just fully surrendered to Him. It also took me journaling through my doubts and fears, but then ending with the reassurance of the truths above. Trusting in God doesn’t mean you have to skip the step of pouring out your heart to Him and letting Him know how you feel. He’s your loving father, and he wants to have a conversation with you about everything in your life. He loves you and cares about the details, so don’t forget that step.

“Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. ”

Psalm 62:8

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