It’s the same feeling I get every time.
Continual thoughts making circles in my mind.
Tightened chest and heart beating.
Laying wide awake while everyone else is sleeping.
I try my best to stop the worry.
But my body and my mind are in no hurry.
I know these feelings will pass with time and prayer.
My God is always reminding me He is there.
But sometimes it doesn’t get any better.
That’s why I am up tonight writing you this letter.
My dear friend,
I know what it’s like to suffer from anxiety. It’s like all your worries are hidden inside your chest and they are weighing you down like there is no tomorrow to fix them. I know what it’s like to stay up for hours on end trying to make the time pass waiting and praying for the painful anxious feelings to subdue. I know what it’s like to spend night after night in prayer asking, no, begging God to take those feelings away and put you to sleep. I felt so angry inside wondering why God would let these feelings happen to me. Why must I suffer from extreme worry and anxiety? I didn’t understand.
One night I had one of the worst anxiety attacks of my life. I literally felt like I was sinking into a deep hole that led into hell. It was the absolute worst night of my life. At this time in my life I had a lot going on. I was getting over an abusive relationship, fighting my war on drugs and really starting to get back to the roots of who I really was. During this sober filled time, my thoughts were now exposed again after being tucked away by anything that would get me high. I don’t really want to go into much detail here, but my nineteen year old self spent that night between her parents because it was the only thing that kept me from feeling like I wasn’t going to die.
After that episode, I went to the doctor to receive treatment. I did some counseling and they put me on anxiety and depression medication. They told me this happened to certain people and that it was normal. So I walked out of the doctor’s office with a prescription in one hand and a feeling of relief in the other, but after about a year of taking the medication, my body slowly became used to the ingredients inside that little white round pill and I had to switch to a different kind of medication. Once again, my body gained a tolerance, but this time I was back to my roots of who I was and decided to ditch the pills.
Today, I still suffer from anxiety, the same kind I had when I was nineteen. It doesn’t change as you get older. It doesn’t get any easier the more times you experience it. I still get a tightened chest that works its way up the side of my neck and I still get frustrated when I lie awake at two in the morning feeling anxious. This time though, I don’t have pills to fall back on. I choose to not have pills to fall back on. I have something much better and it has taken me all these years to finally realize that all this anxiety I face is caused by someone who wants to destroy my life; like he tried to do in my past. He is a hater of all things good and pure, and wants you at your lowest at all times. His name is Satan, and trust me, he is out to get you too.
This letter is not intended to strike fear, but to be a fierce warning to you to realize that Jesus is not the perpetrator of your fear, anxiety, and worry. Ephesians 1:4 states
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”
Jesus is holy and blameless. So I ask myself, why have I spent so many years wondering, even blaming God for my anxiety? I guess I was of little faith. I forgot, or never realized for that matter, that God is bigger than anything satan tries to hand to me. I recently rediscovered one of my favorite passages in God’s word.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to our life?” Matthew 6:25-27
Reading this verse often helps me to put into perspective how much I am really taken care of . Through my many of hikes through tree-lined forests, I have seen many birds going about their daily lives singing for anyone to hear without a worry in the world. God takes care of them, so why wouldn’t he take care of me? Anxiety is probably something I will always struggle with, but in the times of those long, restless and worry-filled nights, I now turn to God who takes care of me and protects me. Matthew 6:34 states, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Even though anxiety feels like it is taking over your life sometimes, just know that Jesus gave you this life and He doesn’t want you to waste it worrying. In times such as these when our world is a mess and you feel like God is obsolete, remember that you have all the tools to fight off satan’s attacks.Philippians 4:6 is one verse I have turned to many times. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I can assure you that the peace of God has helped me many of long, anxious nights and I am only just learning how to live with Jesus and anxiety.
your anxious friend in Christ