If there is anything I know about in my short life of just shy of 50 years, it’s anxiety.
I’ve struggled with worry, fear and anxiety (my dad, Dr. Hackett, calls it WuFA) all of my life. I recall as a child laying in my bed paralyzed with the worst kinds of fear about things so irrational.
Do you struggle with anxiety?
I believe anxiety is very common for women, because we’re fixers, we’re pleasers, and we tend to want to control our environment.
When things come up, for which we can’t control the outcome, we get crazy.
It was in this kind of situation I found myself earlier this year.
In a very short span of time I went from holding the trump card to the whole situation being almost completely out of my hands.
I had one move to make, but even that move had to ultimately be approved.
It made me absolutely crazy with anxiety. I lost a lot of sleep and didn’t eat a crumb for three days. I wasn’t purposely fasting, I was genuinely so worried that I had completely lost all desire to eat anything at all.
I knew I had to overcome the anxiety I was facing.
And there was only one place where I would gain the victory: My war room.
5 Bold Ways to Resolve Anxiety in Your War Room
I’ll admit, the first morning I padded down the stairs toward my war room, I was anything but bold.
Well, first of all, I was fatigued – very fatigued.
I hadn’t slept most of the night, but knowing that I had just one hour to meet with God before waking my son for school, I knew I needed to keep my time with God.
I think I must have stood on that battlefield looking a lot like David: small but determined.
Oh, I was very determined.
I was done feeling that sick, sinking feeling – that feeling of grief deep down in the pit of my stomach – all day long.
I was done with those questions of “what if”.
Are you ready, today, to go to war and battle for that peace that surpasses all understanding to guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus?
Are you ready to stand on that battlefield determined, though small, to defeat the giants of worry, fear and anxiety?
1. Realize that anxiety isn’t the root, it’s a symptom
As I sat in our canvas chair early each morning, drinking my cup of black half-caf, I slowly began to realize that my anxiety wasn’t the issue.
There was a much deeper issue at play in my heart that kept it in a constant cycle of anxiety; much like the spin cycle on my washing machine.
Sometimes it spins faster, other times slower, but it’s always spinning.
And the off button isn’t resolving the situation causing the anxiety, the off button is resolving the inner issue in me that causes anxiety to amp up when a situation arises.
Anxiety has a root, and you have to get to that root.
As you dig deeper, you discover that anxiety comes from a lack of trust, and that lack of trust comes from the desire to be in total control.
A desire for total control comes from pride, a belief and trust in one’s own ability and achievement.
John says in 1 John 2:16 that all of sin can be boiled down to these three common denominators:
- Lust of the flesh
- Lust of the eyes
- Pride of life
Pride is what must ultimately be dealt with.
2. Acknowledge your lack of trust that comes from pride
This truth hit my heart like a sledge hammer; and when it did, a light came on for me.
You see, way back in the late fall of last year, I was suffering the same anxiety over the same issue – it was draining my energy from me.
A new year was on the horizon and I hadn’t yet taken the time to consider what my word for 2019 would be – and frankly, I wasn’t planning to.
I didn’t have the desire or energy to give to that this time.
But standing in my row in the church service, singing the lyrics to the worship chorus my sister had written, “Come into your victory, come into your victory. Freedom is yours, receive it by faith.” Tears began to pour down my face and suddenly the word slammed into my heart.
And I knew the bitter truth: I was really good about having faith, but not very good about trusting.
I could have faith for huge, amazing miracles – I grew up seeing the most amazing works of God, things you read about in the New Testament.
I have faith for other people.
But I didn’t know how to trust God with those things very close to my heart: my husband, my children. I couldn’t let go of them and leave them in God’s hands.
I had to have control over the outcome of every situation.
As I sat in my chair that morning, I had to acknowledge that the real sin in my heart was pride.
The same pride that got Lucifer kicked out of heaven resided in my heart, too, and it was keeping me from a place of real victory over worry, fear, and anxiety.
Not only that, it held my family hostage as I couldn’t, from a heart of trust, pray earnest prayers that avail much.
I repented of my pride that resulted in lack of trust leading to anxiety.
And then it was time to take the next step.
3. Look the situation straight in the face and go to war
Have you ever taken that plaguing question of “What if” and looked it square in the face?
Not skimming over even one feature, not from between the slats of your fingers as you cover your face, but looking at it with utter boldness, as if memorizing every feature.
If you’re going to fight your enemy, you need to get to know your enemy.
- You need to know what he looks like
- You need to know what his tendencies are
- You need to know his personality traits
Believe me when I say that your enemy is an expert on you.
He knows all about you, and one of the things he knows best is what your triggers are. And he will go for those triggers Every. Single. Time.
If you don’t become an expert on him, his tactics, and his strategy, how will you know how to defeat him?
If you want to go to war to win, you need to know the enemy you’re fighting.
Here is a series of posts about spiritual warfare and using God’s Word to defeat the enemy.
4. Come to a place of objectivity
One question I asked myself over and over was, “What if the one thing I fear most happens?”
Here’s the thing, we have a promise in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for our good. And when God says all things, He means all things.
Anytime we’re facing a situation over which we do not have control, and we’re plagued with anxiety, we need to come to a place of peace no matter the outcome.
Where we can stand between two outcomes – the one we want and the one we fear – with complete peace of heart knowing that whichever way it goes, God is in control and He will work all things for good.
I can say with certainty that I have come to such a place.
It was a battle unlike any I have ever fought, but I am there.
5. Leave it at the feet of Jesus
Charles A. Tindley wrote the old hymn Leave It There. The third verse is so profound:
When your enemies assail and your heart begins to fail,
Don’t forget that God in Heaven answers prayer;
He will make a way for you and will lead you safely through—
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
Leave it there, leave it there,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there;
If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out—
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
Once control over our situation has been wrested out of our hands and placed at the feet of Jesus, we need to leave it there.
Not pick it back up.
Oh, how many times have I picked back up those things I left at Jesus’ feet!
Many times this step is a battle all its own.
But when we’re finally about to leave our burden at Jesus’ feet without picking it back up, there is amazing freedom; and that peace that surpasses all understanding fills our heart.
Are you battling anxiety today? I pray that these 5 steps that helped me come to a place of peace and tranquility will help you as well. Anxiety is an enemy over which we absolutely must gain control.
Get your armor on and get ready to go to war….and make a resolution for victory!
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