On a bad day, my anxiety would manifest my biggest fears, it would make me feel alone, scared and somewhat irritable for lack of a better word. That irritable feeling I would feel was more of an intense feeling that wouldn’t allow me to focus on anything. It could last for a day at the least or a couple of days at the most. I’m not sure how my anxiety started manifesting itself but when I look back I remember it probably started when I became a mother for the first time. Before motherhood, I was carefree and relaxed. Not having too many worries in my younger years was indeed a gift. A precious momentary gift until the burdens of life began to take their toll on me.
When my daughter was first born she had colic. Many newborns have battle with colic which usually disappears within a few weeks or months. I was an anxious new mother without a clue. When my daughter was diagnosed colic I immediately blamed myself. Babies are born with colic, they get colds, fevers, the list goes on. This is all part and parcel of their growth and development. The initial ‘innocent’ feelings of blame and guilt eventually grew to years of irrational fear and panic that something ‘bad’ and awful would happen to my kids or my family. As a second-time mum my anxieties only grew as I became anxious about going to sleep at night because I dreaded the interrupted sleep each night which comes with having newborn. Over an extended period, my anxieties about the little things began to grow, constant anxiety that one day my husband would leave the house and never return because something horrible would happen to him, anxiety that my daughter would drown in our pool, and so on and so forth the list was endless. It became a festering wound that would get bigger and slowly sift its way into various other areas of my life unbeknownst to me. Anxiety stopped me from experiencing true joy and caused a constant panic and fear in me that I came to believe was normal mostly because I never spoke them out loud-to anyone.
What does God says about anxiety?
The Bible mentions anxiety and thankfully we have a God who already knew all the answers to life’s problems. “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you”. ( 1 Peter 5:7) God is interested in the smallest things in our lives and especially every worry and fear that keeps us awake at night. Luke 12:7 says “He knows the very hairs on your head are numbered so do not be afraid, you are worth than many sparrows”. These precious words of comfort are a source of healing. We may not see immediate changes to our everyday fears or struggles. Over time, God opened my eyes and I slowly began to realise that what I was feeling had a name – ANXIETY and it most certainly was not a normal feeling. The devil wants us to believe that what we are feeling is completely normal and by doing so we continue along a negative spiral. One that causes us to miss out on what God has planned for us. I was able to start dealing with the root of those feelings and eventually over time the feelings of worry, panic, fear and anxiety became less intense and infrequent. At times I may feel like anxiety is right at my door but the difference is that I know now that God has me in the palm of His hand.
God wants us all to live a life an abundant life. His plan for me doesn’t involve feelings of anxiety, panic or fear. He sees me as a courageous, fearless and powerful woman. Sometimes I need a reminder of who I am because on some days I may I forget or I allow the worries of life to overwhelm me. On the days where I feel anxiety trying to re-establish itself back into my life I turn to God for assurance because He has the last say. I don’t need to be anxious over the future, over the well-being of my family or anything else that might want to steal my focus or distract me from looking up to the one who has the final say.
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