I was briefly reading Psalm 55 before a meeting this morning, and as I came across verses four and five I realized it described how anxiety feels. I am grateful that David was able to share his heart with God and thousands of years later, many us, if not all, can relate.
My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.
Psalms 55:4-5 NLT
Anxiety can be felt in your chest as it pounds to the beat of stress and sorrow. Anxiety can be a lump in the throat making it hard to swallow the fear that does not want to submit and go away. Anxiety can be sweat and chills with tension and rapid eye blinks. Anxiety can be in the trembles of the body and the mind wandering a mile a minute with a plague of worries and thoughts. Anxiety can be in the avoidance of necessary activities in life to social and step out on faith moments as well as a desire to run and hide, costing you freedom and joy. Anxiety can be the mind stuck in the past or stuck in the future. Anxiety can feel like death is following and no one can help or understand. Anxiety can feel like a death sentence as well as a life sentence. But God…
There is hope. And we are anxiety fighters. Thanks to God we can take one day at a time and fight through. We can develop courage and joy because the joy of the Lord will be our strength. We can learn about ourselves, how to endure, and learn to see ourselves the way God does. We can heal and grow, and many of us will receive the deliverance from the spirit of fear because God did not give us a spirit of fear, but that of power, love and a sound mind.
But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me. Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalms 55:16-18, 22 NLT
God is our safe place. God can and will sustain us. God cares about us and is concerned about everything that concerns us. God hears our cries and collects our tears. He is the answer to our problems. He loves us greater than anyone ever can. Jesus is a testament to His love for us. God reminds us to not fear. He is with us and He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is a present help in the time of trouble.
Let us ask God where we have not been trusting Him. Let us take a deep breath and rest in the God who loves us beyond measure and wants us to receive the life and life to the full He came to give us. Share with Him, like David, the contents of our hearts. And let us remember how good God has been and worship Him through the good times and bad, the certainties and doubts, and anxiety.
Be encouraged, loves. We are anxiety fighters.
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I decided that I would catch a movie today around the same time my preteen was going to be seeing a movie with the program he is in. And this was an opportunity to take myself out. And I could wait for him while the kids were watching their movie. The movie I wanted to see was only playing in the evening time so I had to look for another movie. One particular film caught my eye. It turned out to be a documentary and I admit I seldom watch documentaries. However, this documentary was being produced by the Kendricks Brothers, and they do not disappoint. Remember the Kendrick Brothers brought us War Room.
This documentary happened to be playing around the same time as the movie my preteen would be watching. I was elated and interested in how the documentary would actually be.
I cried, laughed and expressed my heartfelt “thank You, Jesus” several times all while sitting reclined in my comfortable red seat.
The documentary is called Show Me The Father. It is a documentary from the perspectives and voices of men I wasn’t too familiar with. I was familiar with the Kendrick Brothers and Dr. Tony Evans but not the likes of Deland McCullough and Sherman Smith.
The documentary was about the impact of the fathers on the lives of these men. Some had fathers and even father figures who were either present and pouring into their children as best as they could. Other had fathers and stepfathers not present, abusive, or struggling in some kind of way. Oh and the twist at the end regarding one of the men. Ok, hope I am not spoiling anything.
Nonetheless, what the Kendrick Brothers wanted you to realize is that there is one father that can fill the void of an absent father or a negligent father, and who loves us beyond measure. And that He can also heal the hearts of men looking to change the impact they are making in their children’s lives.
Whether you are a father or mother, the child, young or old, saved or unsaved, please go see this film. Whether your father was present, a protector and a provider or not present like mine, go see this film. And bring your kleenex.
Around the time I was promoting my first self-published book, Setting The Captive Free poetry book, I did a promo photo shoot with some friends. I had us list what God had delivered us from. And I, myself, several things including anxiety, depression, generational curses, etc.
Looking back, maybe at that time that was completely true as life during that time was most likely okay and breathable. And I could honestly say God did deliver me from depression and even a suicide attempt years prior. I also know there were generational curses that were broken. But I wondered to myself as I saw a reminder of the I Am Free promo, photo shoot and post if I truly was free or capping as they say. Or maybe I felt free at the moment.
In any event, I notice that a lot of believers know that Jesus can and does set us free. Although we may still sin, sin no longer can reign in our lives. And although the world may never have the solutions to our problems, we have access to the throne of grace of the One who is the solution. But some of us are still walking around bound. The joy of the Lord is our strength but we rarely experience or spread joy. We are worried and stressed while God is ready to be given our cares and burdens because He cares for us.
Anxiety has plagued me for years. I would not realize until years later that even in college and teen years anxiety was present. It was present when I would get sick to the point of having to go back home after almost making it to the bus stop. And when I say I got sick, it was sick to my stomach… nevermind. Lol, I will stop there. It was present when I was lightheaded and hitting the floor. It was present at every moment of overthinking and worry. It was present with negative thoughts and self-pity. It was there when I felt like I disappointed someone. And anxiety is still present.
However, now that I know it is anxiety and what fuels it and what triggers it, I can have those informed conversations with myself and a professional. But more importantly, now that I realize I don’t want to just feel and look free, I can go back to God and ask Him to help me to realize that I can be truly free.
Sometimes miracles and healing can happen overnight. Sometimes it takes time. I didn’t get this way overnight and there are a lot of components to address when someone struggles with anxiety or depression. So, I know this is going to take some time. But at the end of the tunnel, I pray that I am truly free. And that I heal from every stronghold and trauma and circumstance that is holding up the
anxiety fear. I have to understand that deliverance sometimes is continual and I have to learn to trust God through. As well as surrender every area and layer of my life to God.
I just have to understand that deliverance is sometimes continual and I have to learn to trust God through it all. As well as surrender every area and layer of my life to God.
So if the Son sets you free,(B) you will be free indeed( John 8:36). Our Savior granted us freedom, grace, mercy, and an unfailing love. It is time we walk fully in such.
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After coming across and watching several videos lately on pretty privilege, colorism, anxiety, and a variety of life topics, I realize how brave many people are to address or express their experiences or views on such. And then I think about my own experiences in life and realize that we all have some things on our mental tape (minds and hearts) to deal with. What views and perspectives did you come to take on about yourself? How did your experiences shape how you see yourself? What patterns, traumas and events in your life fuel the way you approach life, family, work?
I thought about how certain things have been on my mental tape. Some have stopped playing. Some are rewinded back. Some are being scratched out and recorded over. But there are many things on it. And I suppose there are many things on yours. I was once asked when I was young if I was adopted or found somewhere (I am not adopted; I am my mother’s daughter). At the time, out of my mom and sister, I was the only one who was of a medium brown complexion. I don’t remember all of what I felt. But I do remember that it stuck with me and when I went home, I told my mom. And I remember a family member having my other family members laughing at me saying basically I smelled (I don’t think I did; I hope I didn’t lol, but I was a kid). I cried that night. And I forgot that when I told an adult the next day what happened that night, there was complete silence. Another time, in high school, I remember boarding a school bus to head to our homecoming game and one of my classmates came to sit by me.
Another classmate who came to sit across from him asked him why was he sitting next to me. I remained quiet but that too stuck with me. I was determined to have a good time at the game and show school spirit that I decided not to dwell on it. Fast forward to an adult, there was a smear campaign against me at work I had to endure that I thought I would never get through. I cried on a regular and was so hurt. There is heartbreak I had to endure from my first serious relationship. I remember he broke up with me over the phone. I remembered feeling like can he hurry it up. Just get it over with. I was angry and hurt. As soon as we ended the call, I remember looking out the window of the rear end of the bus. I was so glad I had chose the seat at the very back because I silently cried my heart out. Tears streamed down my face.
There are countless childhood and adulthood memories that as I typed were popping up in my mind. However, I am grateful for the healing journey that I am on and most likely will continue throughout my life. And that is okay. Growth and healing is and should be constant. I am also grateful that I don’t dwell on these things nor bear unforgiveness towards those who have played a part in these events that have left hurt or trauma in my heart.
Thanks to the Holy Spirit, the grace to do the healing homework and commitment to stay on the journey, I have learned some of the triggers to my anxiety. I have learned more about my flaws and why I may respond the way I do. I have learned some of my self-perceptions. I have felt not worthy and sometimes not pretty enough. I have felt like I have to give more, do more and be more to be enough (not all the time but I have noticed that this is how I generally feel). But God. Renewing my mind is crucial. Saturating in the Word of God is imperative. Learning to see myself in the eyes of God and love myself with His love can help me not only process what is on my mental tape but also add new things to it that will remind me I am enough. I am loved.
Moreover, this is not a woe is me message. I do have self esteem and confidence (this is growing). I do have happy moments and memories in my childhood and adulthood. I do have those who have affirmed me and supported me. But like any human, I have had and have still trauma and pain, disappointments and heartbreaks that I too have to heal and grow from. And in order to heal, you have to be able to allow some things to come to the surface. You can’t keep pain, old patterns, and feelings bottled up and hidden. Allow God to bring them to the surface. Safely explore these to see what is holding up the strongholds and generational curses in your life as well as feelings of not feeling like you are enough, anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness in your heart and mind.
Have these conversations with God first, yourself, with a therapist and someone you can trust. Let the healing journey begin.
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