For a great majority of my life I have struggled with anxiety. If you've ever experienced it or struggled with it yourself, you know how crippling it can be. Panic attacks grip you physically and emotionally and are all consuming.
Anxiety looks different for everyone but for me, I picture it as this tsunami like force that is rushing around inside of me. When I'm riding the wave of anxiety it becomes hard to breathe, to stand, and its almost impossible to form words sometimes. For years my anxiety made me feel weak, and I was ashamed of it. I hated the fact that I had no control over it and that nothing I did could make it better. I didn't talk about it to anyone, and I tried to ignore panic attacks to make them go away.
Picture me on the bathroom floor in the midst of a panic attack, struggling to breathe, and in my head denying the fact that I was suffering at all. My avoidance never helped my anxiety at all, in fact most times it made it worse. Trying to fix it myself never helped either, it only manifested itself into long fought struggles with depression, self harm, experimenting with drinking and drugs. If you're following along you can see the very clear theme here.
On my own I cannot win a fight against the things that are attacking me.
When I try to win these fights by myself it's like those dreams where you are trying so desperately to move your arms and you think you are but they just stay there, hanging at your side.
There's a common saying I hear a lot that I really don't agree with. When you're going through a hard time people say "Well, God won't give you more than you can take!" That sounds good in theory, but what about when you're trying to fight off everything life is throwing at you by yourself? You keep falling down, and losing and failing and then you start to think God made a mistake and you question Him or lose faith. The reality is, life will ALWAYS give you more than you can take... on your own.
Life is throwing hard punches at you, and you won't be able to take them UNLESS God is the one fighting for you. For years I wrestled with my anxiety, my depression, with everything that came along with it, and time after time I failed. I got so mad at life and with God and I questioned Him. "Why are you making me fight this battle God?" "I can't take this anymore." It took me YEARS to realize that I'm not supposed to.
Exodus 14:14 says "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Matthew 11:28-30 says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me , for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
God is telling you, let Me fight for you! Let Me carry this for you. Come to Me and REST. I will take care of you, you're My child and I love you.
When I stop trying to fight my own battles, when I just sit and let the waves of chaos run their course and I trust that God will take care of me and I praise Him and thank Him for the love and grace He shows me, when I rejoice in the never ending gift I find in Jesus, that's when I can triumph over what tries to hurt me. When I realize that yes, I am struggling right now, but God is so much stronger, I will never lose. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 says "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." I love that.
Yes the world is going to put us through it, and we can expect that, but Jesus will GET us through it. God is never going to abandon us, and because of that we get to be a living testimony of HIS power. Our lives can show that through weakness and hardship and pain, God still makes a way for healing and He brings people joy. So the next time that the tsunami of hardships, anxiety, pain, or whatever it may be, starts rushing towards you let God fight and rest in Him. Even when its hard, and you don't know how you'll make it through take heart in the fact that GOD DOES. And in the midst of your greatest weakness, give thanks, and praise Him still.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Psalm 34:1 "I will praise the Lord at all time, I will constantly speak his praises."
Deuteronomy 31:6 "So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”