For the months of March and April, Defying Shadows will be dedicating their weekends to sharing Wisdom from the Bible! Be on the lookout for some great posts from some great guest posters, past and new! Today, we welcome back one of our past guest posters, Jane Reed! ~Nichole
Anxiety is a bully. It pushes itself on you without warning and seeks to destroy your life bit by bit. It is cruel and overbearing. It is aggressive and seeks you out in your weakest moments hoping to intimidate you and wreak havoc on your body and your mind. It, however, is no match for Christ. No matter how strongly the spirit of anxiety tries to be, Christ is stronger. Not only is He stronger, but He is very willing to fight the battle of anxiety with you and for you. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to” Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (NIV) Think about how bold that is. He tells us to cast all of our anxieties, worries, concerns, deepest fears onto Him so that we can live care-free and content. Why? Because He cares for us! He is always thinking about us, watching affectionately over our cares and burdens. He wants us to let Him carry our burdens so that He can then sustain us. The realization that I can cast my anxieties on Him and He will sustain me has been crucial in the healing of my anxiety disorder.
If you read further down to 1 Peter 5:10 you see what happens when you actually do cast your anxiety on Him. He restores you! He promises to restore you, support you, strengthen you, establish you, perfect you, set you firmly on our feet, hold you firm in his grasp, be steadfast, ground you, give you a firm foundation, complete you and make you what you ought to be. Friends, He is not in the business of breaking promises either. When He says He will restore you, He restores.
I have suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder for 20 years. In that time I have gone through heavy, dark times of panic attacks and agoraphobia. There were times when I thought I could not carry on. I became depressed during the times that I just could not step one foot outside my house. Social anxiety began to be a daily part of my life. Hanging out with friends was overwhelming as my mind would race on the 1 million different scenarios that could happen while I was out. I drank to ease the anxiety. I took medications to control it, yet it always reared its ugly head. Over time it became a serious issue that was slowly destroying my self-esteem and my life. I began to fight back because I wanted to live a care-free life, but my efforts were infantile compared to what the Lord could do.
Recently I have walked directly into a massive shift in my life. I have begun to allow my old self to die in order to be restored in Christ. It has been uncomfortable. I have had to look deeply into who I am compared to who I thought I was. I have not liked everything I have realized. I have cried a lot. I have been uncomfortable. I even ended up with a massive anxiety attack that sent me to the emergency room with extremely high blood pressure. But one day, I got it. I just got it. After reading 1 Peter 5 the light bulb turned on and I saw very clearly what I had to do. I had to call on Him. Day by day I consciously called out to Jesus when anxiety would begin to overshadow my thoughts. Sometimes I had to cry out 20 times in 10 minutes, but He was always there. The minute I would cry out I immediately began to feel His presence and the anxiety would subside. Am I healed of anxiety? I believe I am, but not in the sense you might think.
The anxiety is still there, and it always will be. It will continue to try and overcome my body, but it won’t be able to because I am healed. I am restored. I no longer fight that battle, Jesus does. The minute I begin to panic, Jesus takes over and my body relaxes. He is sustaining me while He carries my burden for me. The restoration I feel is so beautiful that I actually do find myself at a loss for words as to how to describe the freedom I now have. Anxiety still finds me, but I no longer fear it. Jesus carries it because He loves me and He loves you that much!
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 a yoga instructor-in-training with Holy Yoga and plans on utilizing her training to spread the word of Christ while teaching yoga. Her favorite woman in the Bible is Ruth because she loves her perseverance and integrity. All photographs are property of Jane Reed Photography .