For the next six weeks I have the joy of sharing my blog with a lovely lady named Jane! Be sure to check out her blog, and leave your comments below!
Life is all about choices. Sure there are some things that happen to us that are out of our control, but how we handle them is always our choice. For as long as I can remember I have suffered from anxiety. Medically speaking I am diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and I fear just about everything, but social anxiety is what truly works me over, although you wouldn’t know it by looking at me, and that is by choice. Even though I suffer greatly inside, I choose not to allow anyone to see it from the outside. For years it has been my dirty little secret that I have kept deep inside. I just knew if people knew I was suffering they would shun me. I knew I would be made fun of. I knew they would cause me more suffering. I knew nothing is what I truly knew because the exact opposite is what happened when I admitted my suffering was there and allowed the Lord to fight that battle for me.
You see, I am not and never will be strong enough to fight the battle of anxiety. I am weak and I lovingly admit it. I say lovingly because I have learned to love and accept my afflictions. They make me the person I am and that person was created by the Lord, afflictions and all. When I realized that loving myself was all I needed to do I found freedom. Was I free from the affliction of anxiety? No. It is still there and finds its way into the forefront of my life daily. Where my freedom came was in the battle. I no longer carry around the heavy shame of anxiety, but rather admit it is there and let the Lord squash it into the ground when it tries to overcome me. Guess what? The Lord always wins!
I know you are thinking that it sounds easy in print but it is difficult to put into action. How do I let the Lord fight the battle? When anxiety overcomes me, and the rush of panic fills my mind, how am I supposed to so easily let God fight that battle? Let me share a short story with you and then share three ways you can allow God into your battles today and see a difference immediately in your life.
Last year I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. If the diagnosis is not scary enough the medications are overwhelmingly terrifying, to me anyway. One of the medications is a chemotherapy drug. I told myself in the doctor’s office I could take it. I filled the prescription. I went home fully prepared to take this medication and not let fear get in my way. I had a nice full dinner upon the advice of a wonderful friend who had taken it and didn’t want me to be overcome with illness after taking the medication. I bravely picked up the bottle and opened it. I put the medication in my hand and in that instant I froze. I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t even move because I was terrified and anxiety had taken over. In that moment I lost the battle because I chose to fight it myself, but here is where it gets awesome. My husband, seeing my fear, stepped up behind me and began praying. I began praying. I stopped fighting the battle and let the Lord take it. My anxiety disappeared and I took the medication. The battle was over and the Lord won.
How do we let the Lord win the battle?
Make the choice to let the Lord fight it. This is your affliction but it is not your battle. We are weak human beings incapable of winning against mental illness. We do not have the capacity to understand it nor do we have the power to overcome it. We can choose to go it alone and try to win, all the while struggling and finding ourselves miserable, or we can choose to see it for what it is and let the Lord handle it.
Utilize the 3 T’s. Take it to the Lord, talk to the Lord and trust the Lord. When we realize our afflictions it is best to take them to the Lord. Taking it to the Lord is simply admitting we know something is wrong and that we need Him to help us fight the battle. Talking to the Lord in prayer daily will keep Him close and give you a sense of peace. Trusting Him is the key to allowing Him to win. When you trust Him to fight the battle you will not get in the way as He fights for you.
Accept and love who you are. We are not our afflictions. They do not define who we are; they are simply a small part of the story of our life. We may live with them in one season of life and find ourselves freed of them in another season. Accepting those things that make us who we are allows us to love ourselves without limits. We no longer tell ourselves we will be happier when the affliction is gone, but rather find love in the affliction through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jane Reed is the author and creator of The Green Tomato Experience blog and the owner of Jane Reed Photography. She spends the majority of her time in the kitchen where she finds peace and harmony in her life. She is known to enjoy Starbucks Frappucinos even though she knows she shouldn’t. Her favorite woman in the Bible is Ruth because she loves her perseverance and integrity. She is currently working on an amazing cookbook that she hopes will bring peace and joy to your kitchens as well!! All photographs are property of Jane Reed Photography and come from Jane’s personal Stele Collection.