I was born with the anxiety gene. No doubt about it. Recently I’ve been watching a friend go through cancer, chemo, surgery, radiation, the whole nine yards. She has amazing faith. I have more anxiety about many trivial things in comparison. Wow, how does she do that?
Watching her and spending some time on my own familiar anxiety coping mechanisms, and in God’s word I have a new strategy for dealing.
Step 1: Write down or say out loud all the things you are stressed out about. I recommend writing. Get them all on paper so you can really focus on them.
Step 2: Now worry about them as much as you possibly can for 5 minutes. Name the what ifs, the How Can I’s, anything that means worry to you. I almost guarantee you’ll stop before 5 minutes, but try to keep it up.
Step 3: STOP worrying. Make a boundary in your head…you’ve done that already. And say this out loud
“Where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord
the MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH!” (Psalm 121)
Shout that part and think about it. What kind of help are we getting here?
Step 4: Now say this
When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
Your love O lord supported me.
And take deep cleansing breaths picturing God’s love pouring in.
Then say this:
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation joy to my soul. (Psalm 94)
Take another deep breath and relax asking God for consolation and joy. Sit there and relax, breath, calm yourself.
Step 5: The rest of that day, when it comes at you again say, “Help, Lord!” Take a deep cleansing breath and calm yourself.
At the heart of all of this is knowing that the Maker of the Universe loves you, has everything in the palm of his hand, and the hope of his full restoration of all things is sure. SHALOM.
As my friend with cancer has faithfully declared: since her diagnosis.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14)