Why I Stopped Questioning God


Looking at the brilliant rays of sun, splashing it’s morning colors across the sky, I swiped away the tears streaming down my face.

“God, why are you still allowing me to suffer with this anxiety!? What possible good could come from this kind of mental anguish?”

The sun sprayed it’s light across my face, warming my cheeks where tears still glistened. As I leaned against the railing of my back porch, I closed my eyes, allowing the early morning light to dry my tears.

A chorus I had learned as a teenager at Bible camp came to mind. A peace I didn’t have a moment before filled my heart. Suddenly, my tears of grief turned into tears of joy, for I knew the words were true, and they brought me comfort. I began to sing the simple words with a shaky voice.

“My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow. Strength for today is mine all the way and all I need for tomorrow.”

I’d like to say I walked away from that moment 4 years ago with an answer from God. But no, I did not recieve an answer. 

In fact, over the years I have only had more situations come up in my life that I could question God about. Yet, since that day on my back porch, I no longer question God.

WHY I STOPPED QUESTIONING GOD

1. If I can trust God with my eternity, I can trust Him with my life.  Seriously though, I can’t get to Heaven on my own! That’s the biggest reason I became a Christian, my inability to save myself. If I am trusting God with my ETERNITY, shouldn’t I be able to trust Him with my life?

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6

2. God can see the whole picture. God doesn’t think the way I do. As a human, I am only able to focus on the immediate and how it effects me now. God is able to see how it will effect me now, tomorrow, and a year from now.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord .  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8‭-‬9

3. I can glorify God through my hardships. Instead of looking for relief in my trials, I needed to focus on rejoicing in my trials. Sharing with others the blessings God has given me and continuing in my service to Him through a trial are just a few ways I can glorify Him!

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” – 1 Peter 1:7

4. God works everything for my good. Looking back to 4 years ago, I know the anxiety I suffered was God’s way of preparing me for the trial I face today, with my husband’s health. I can say with confidence, the anxiety God has allowed in my life is for my own good! 

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

5. God promised peace and comfort. “There is never a trial too big that God is not already there.” I’m not sure where I heard this, but I found it to be true. If I am in the deepest valley, God is there. I can never be seperated from Him!

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” – Psalms 30:5b

Asking God “why?” doesn’t make your trial shorter or easier to understand. The sooner you accept your trial, and trust God, the more quickly you can find peace!

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” – 

2 Corinthians 4:17


Abundant Little Blessings

Summer is here! And despite a few minor setbacks due to my reaction to stress (anyone else allergic to stress?) and Gabe’s port failing, our family has been able to enjoy the first official week of no school. This week marks the end of phase 1 in Gabe’s treatment. Radiation and chemo begins on Monday.

Although it was hard to deal with the setbacks, I am very grateful that we experienced them.

For it was through the difficult moments that God decided to show Himself to me in abundant little ways.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think….” – Ephesians 3:20a

From gifts handed to us at church on Sunday, packages sent in the mail stuffed with gift cards on Tuesday, texts and email messages from friends near and far all week long, and the extraordinary kindness of neighbors, God was pretty busy this week.  Not to mention bumping into friends at parks, and hour-long phone conversations with family and friends offering hope and prayers. All of these little blessings added up to be one extraordinary message from God. He was thinking of us.

We kicked off the summer last night with the family getting ice cream after church. Since Gabe is not having any of the side effects of his chemo right now, he thought it would be a good idea to get a taste of ice cream before the chemo starts again. (I don’t know why he’s making this face, but he did it on all five pictures we took!)

Don’t underestimate God’s thoughts of you. When life gets stressful, He’s thinking of you, and He really wants you to know it!

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” – Psalms 139:17‭-‬18

Getting Through the Crazy

I should have seen the warning signs. The increased headaches, sleepless nights, and loss of appetite were all classic signs. But for some reason I ignored the signs and continued on, without thought, with my crazy life. 

It wasn’t until I was sitting in my van yesterday, trying to breathe through severe heart palpitations, that I realized ignoring those signs was a bad choice. That realization came too late, however. 

The palpitations turned into a panic attack, and I just sat there in my van, breathing deeply, fighting the urge to get out and run. Adrenaline rushed through my body, making me feel weak and shaky. 

Oh brother, who has time for this? 

To say that I was feeling overwhelmed this week would be an understatement. I have woken up everyday feeling as though a truck ran over me during the night. Monday I began wondering if it was Friday yet. I even looked at my calendar for the following two months and begin to cry.
Being as this is something I am working through still today, I thought I would open myself up completely to you, dear readers. I can’t give advice on how to ignore stress, or reveal three new steps to avoiding panic attacks. If I had the wisdom to do so, there wouldn’t be a need for me to share these very personal details of my life with you. 

I do know one thing, however. I know where to go when my body betrays me and I am in the midst of fighting anxiety. I know where I can run to find peace again. I don’t need to stop and analyze why I had a panic attack yesterday. I don’t even need to try and change this crazy life of mine. I just need to slow down enough to remember God is there, waiting for me to turn to Him.

“When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path.” – Psalms 142:3a

Even in the midst of a panic attack, I can feel peace, because God knows the path I’m on, and He knows what is ahead. 

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.   Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:30‭-‬31

I know in the midst of a panic attack, God knows exactly what is going on in my body, and He cares. 

“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” – Psalms 139:7‭-‬10

In the midst of a panic attack, I know that God is with me. No matter how awful it feels, or how alone I may feel, God is there. 

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” – Psalm 91:4

I know that I can always run to God. There is always peace to be found, no matter what circumstance we are in. I may not be able to change my circumstances that are causing the stress and anxiety. I can, however, find peace in just knowing I’m not alone. God promised to be my shield in my crazy life. 

So, although I felt pretty terrible yesterday for a few moments, these verses brought comfort to my very being. I was able to breathe normally again, and walk into my kids school. I even smiled, and chatted with teachers, hugged my boys, and laughed with other moms. This morning, I am thanking the Lord for the panic attack I had yesterday. It put my mind where it needed to be, in order to get through the crazy! 

Finding Joy In The Valley

When we find ourselves in a valley it is easy to lose sight on JOY. I remember days when I would weep because I truly believed I would never be happy again. I thought I couldn’t experience joy while in the valley. Joy was only if you managed to survive the valley.

I am so thankful for God’s Word! It was while I was reading through the Psalms in my own dark valley,  that I discovered a very precious promise.

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” – Psalms 16:11

After reading that verse over a few hundred times I began to realize I could experience joy no matter what I was going through in my life. Not just a little happiness,  but real,  FULL joy! Pleasures, too!

If you are waiting for life to “calm down” or “get better” to have that fullness of Joy, then you will never find Joy.

How do I find Joy while in a valley?

#1 Find God’s Presence.

If you don’t have a relationship with God,  start working on it.  Make reading your Bible and praying a matter of daily importance!

Make sure you are in a church that not only preaches the Word of God, but worships God! Sing your heart out during song service.

If we wait until we are “feeling better” or for our lives to “slow down” to commit to a real relationship with God, we will never have a relationship with God.

#2 Minister to others.

Find a way to minister in your church.  Join the nursery worker team.  Ask to help in Sunday school, join the choir,  go on visitation.  Ask your pastors wife where she might need an extra helping hand.

You can also minister outside of church. Pass out some gospel tracts while at the store or gas station.  Write get well cards to sick church members.  Make a meal for your neighbor who has been sick.

If we wait until our lives are “calmed down” to start ministering to others,  we never will minister to others.  (Notice what I’m doing here? )

#3 Be humble.

There is just something about those valley’s, though.  They can put you on your face and humble you.  God can reveal to you what you really are when you are in a valley.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”- Psalms 139:23‭-‬24

This verse should be our daily prayer.  When there is something (sin) between us and God, our relationship with Him suffers.

The more we focus on God and others and the less we focus on ourselves, the more we can find ourselves in the presence of God.

#4 Thank God for the valley.

God loves to hear us worship Him,  especially in our valley’s.  He loves to hear us thank Him for those hard times in our lives.  He wants to know that we trust Him even when the sky is so dark we can’t see the path right in front of us. If we keep holding His hand when we are at our weakest,  It is then we are strongest!

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9‭-‬10

What is Anxiety? 

DISCLAIMER:  I am in no way a medical professional nor am I qualified to give medical advice.  The information in this article is based on my own research through articles and books I have read over the last few years, as well as my own personal experience.

If you were to poll several random people on what the definition of anxiety is,  you would receive several different answers.  Most people define anxiety based on their own personal experiences.

Anxiety physically effects people in many different ways.  It is usually not the same from one person to the next.  Symptoms of anxiety can range from very mild (headaches or nervousness) to very extreme (panic attacks or inability to function in society).  This is why it is never a good idea to compare your personal experience with someone else’s.

What is the definition of anxiety?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines anxiety as this: “painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill; fearful concern or interest; an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.

WebMed (http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/understanding-anxiety-symptoms) describes multiple symptoms of generalized anxiety as the following: “persistent fear, sometimes without any obvious cause, that is present everyday; inability to concentrate; muscle tension; muscle aches; diarrhea; eating too little or too much; insomnia.”

The best description of severe anxiety I have ever read was written by Ray Comfort in his book, “Overcoming Panic Attacks”.  He describes anxiety as imagining you are sound asleep in bed, only to be awakened by an intruder in your room holding a gun to your head.  The physical emotions and adrenaline rush you would experience from a situation like that is comparable to what a person with severe anxiety would experience.

How do we avoid anxiety?

Because of the world we live in, the constant fear of disease, terror attacks, the knowledge of our country’s economic situation, along with the tension of countries across the globe, we as American’s have a lot to be stressed about.  Add to that the personal stresses one may have including financial trouble, job insecurity, family health, and struggling relationships.  Safety and peace is something this world is always in search of.  Unless you have your head buried in the sand there is no way you can avoid this kind of stress.

How do we overcome anxiety?

Like a box that caves under the weight of several heavy bricks, our bodies eventually cave under the worries and trials of life.  The quality of the box and what is in the box will  determine how quickly and to what extreme it will cave.   We need to be concerned about how we are taking care of our bodies.  The care we give ourselves physically has a great deal to do with how we feel emotionally.   However, if we depend on supplements, diet change, and exercise alone we will only be temporarily reinforcing our bodies to bear under all of life’s stress.

The Bible tells us that we are vessels (2 Timothy 2:20&21) being prepared to be used of God.  What are you filling your vessel up with?  Are you listening to talk radio a few hours a day?  Constantly getting news alerts on your phone?  Being disappointed by family or friends on facebook or twitter?

We are told we need to purge ourselves from something in order to become a vessel of honor.  In verse 16 of the same chapter, it says “shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness”. We need to limit what we allow ourselves to take in from this world.  Turn off the radio and TV. Turn off your phone during meals and family time.  Allow yourself to only spend an hour a week on social media.  These suggestions were detrimental to my healing process several years ago when I struggled with severe anxiety.

Have you ever heard the phrase “an empty mind is the devil’s workshop”?

Philippians 4:8 says “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever thins are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

While we need to take care of what we allow into our minds, we can’t just shut off our electronic devices and radios.  We need a replacement.  Below are a list of things I began to do during my year of healing from anxiety.  Always having something good to listen to helped distract my mind from worrisome thought patterns.

  1. Listen to God-honoring music-a lot.
  2. Download an app to listen to Scripture being read aloud (this helped a lot with insomnia, too).
  3. Read your Bible daily, maybe even a few times a day.
  4. Keep a notebook handy when you read your Bible so you can write down verses that pop out at you.  This is what I call “nuggets” and I believe they are special gifts from God.
  5. Pray.  Pray in the morning before you start the day, pray as you wash dishes, as you drive to pick up kids from school.  Pray always.
  6. Download Audible to your phone and listen to clean fiction books while you are cleaning or cooking.
  7. Talk to friends who support you and encourage you to heal the way you chose to heal.
  8. Avoid negative people.  They will bring you down, possibly cause you to have set  backs in your healing.
  9. Do something for someone else at least once a day.  Bake a loaf of bread for your neighbor, send a get well card to a church member, organize your daughters closet.
  10. Don’t dwell on what you are feeling.  If your legs are shaking and your mind is in a fog, just say to yourself “stupid anxiety!” and keep on washing those dishes.  The more we dwell on ourselves, the longer it takes to heal.

I have never recommended to anyone (nor do I now) that they should choose the same path of overcoming anxiety that I chose.  That is a personal choice I made, and a path that was very difficult. It would certainly have been much easier to take medication, but like I have already said, I am a very stubborn person.  How you chose to heal is up to you. If you are taking medication, the suggestions I made are still beneficial and highly recommended.

Lastly, overcoming anxiety can not be complete unless you have a healthy relationship with God.  Once you allow Him to fill you with peace that only He can give, you will be able to see that there is hope.  Once your heart begins to believe that hope is real, you will experience unspeakable joy!

My Story with Anxiety

Hello, my name is Carrie.  I’m a mother of 4 crazy kids between the ages of 6 and 15.  I’m also married to a wonderful man who has just recently battled a stroke and thyroid cancer.  This last year has been very stressful to be sure.  God was with me each step of each day.  The times I wanted to fall apart and throw a huge temper tantrum, God’s overwhelming peace would flood through me.

I never would have gotten through the last year without God’s precious promise of peace.  And I never would have claimed God’s promise of peace without the journey through anxiety He brought me through several years before.  I want to share my story with you, because I want you to know that I understand.  I really understand.  Here’s my story.

One beautiful spring morning I woke up feeling as though I had the stomach flu.  I kept getting adrenaline rushes, my heart was palpitating, and I thought I was going to vomit.  I felt better in bed, so I went back to bed.  My husband stayed home to help with our kids getting to school and to take care of the baby. For several days I struggled.  I would get up each day, try to eat, then go back to bed.  Finally, after five days of this, I went to the doctor, thinking maybe it was my gallbladder or something.

“It sounds like you might have anxiety.”

“No, I’m a stay-at-home mom.  I don’t have that much stress in my life.  Besides, I’m a Christian.  I don’t believe in anxiety.”

“Even stay-at-home moms can have stress in their lives.  Even if you don’t believe in anxiety, I really believe this is what you have.”

Later that day, my husband took the kids to the park.  I came along, even though I felt I was in a fog.  I felt like I wasn’t even really there.  Watching my kids play, I called my sister and sobbed on the phone.  Terri is my rock.  She not only listens well, but she has great wisdom and our common faith in Jesus Christ has made me very close to all four of my sisters. Terri confided something to me that made my mouth drop open.  She had struggled with anxiety before, too.

The next day, I got out of bed.  I got dressed.  I did my hair. I dry-heaved.  I took my kids to school. I cried.  I had panic attacks.  I cried some more.  I prayed and begged God to take this feeling of anxiety away.

Over the next year, I literally fought a battle with anxiety. I was stubborn.  I wouldn’t take medication.  Instead, I went to a local herbal and vitamin store and talked to the owner who guided me to many supplements and vitamins.   I started exercising, and changed the way I was eating.  I began drinking healthy green smoothies and eliminated caffeine.  I had to take care of myself physically, so I could take care of my family. I realized, though, that healing from anxiety was not all physical.

Taking care of myself mentally was not something I even realized I was doing at the time.  I had a friend who knew what I was going through, who remained in contact with me through it all. Looking back, I could not have gotten through that time in my life without my friend.  I also began to realize I had to stop focusing on what I was feeling and the only way I knew to do that was to focus on other people.  I began to write cards for sick church members, bake bread for neighbors.  I made it a goal to do at least one thing for someone else every day.

The most important and effective change I made in my life during this time  was to strengthen my relationship with the Lord.  Being a second generation Christian, I grew up memorizing the scripture and hearing it preached and taught from the pulpit.  All those precious promises spread throughout the Word of God was something that felt foreign to me.  I had never had reason to claim these promises.  Promises of unconditional love, bountiful peace, and endless joy.

Most mornings I woke very suddenly – the adrenaline rushes would begin as soon as I woke up -and very early.  Suddenly, reading my Bible took a different meaning.  I LIVED to read my Bible.  In the beginning, I only read through Psalms.  I read them over and over.  I kept a notebook with my Bible and wrote out the verses that I felt God was giving me.  That He was using to comfort me.  Then, I would take a walk very early.  Before the sun was up, I would begin my walk around my neighborhood, talking to God.  Usually crying and begging Him to heal me, or at least help me get through the day.

Physically, I was dealing with some serious symptoms of anxiety.  Heart palpitations, shaky legs, dry mouth, headaches, severe nausea.  I had lost 40 lbs in just a few months. I had separation anxiety issues.  I would cry and throw myself into my husbands arms when he would come home from work.

One day, I reached a pivotal moment.  It had been 9 months, and I was still struggling.  I was on my morning walk, and had ended my walk by going to my back porch.  Our back yard is beautiful.  The city made a sanctuary out of a piece of land behind our house that has a large pond on it.  I can see it very clearly from my back porch, along with lots of tall grasses and beautiful trees.  As the sun came up, it’s rays filtering through the tree branches, tears streamed down my face.

“Lord, if You want me to have anxiety the rest of my life, I accept it.  Please just be with me to help me bear it.  You are Good, You are God, and You are Holy and Just.  I praise Your Name.  Thank You for giving me this anxiety.”

After that day, I slowly began to get better, and now, today, I can say that God healed from anxiety.  I no longer endure sleepless nights or wake suddenly at 5 am.  I no longer have my legs shaking at all times of the day.  I haven’t had a panic attack in years.  Do I still have moments of anxiousness?  Yes, but now I know that it’s going to be OK.  That God is on my side.  That there is HOPE.  I have PEACE.  JOY is always within reach.

I have a new life verse. Philippians 4:7 says “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

The picture below was taken last summer when our family went camping at Lake Huron.  I am in no way a photographer, but this sunset was so gorgeous and so beautiful.  It is just an example to me of the great things God has done in my life, and how He has blessed my journey through anxiety.  The purpose of this blog is to help encourage other Christians who struggle with anxiety.  God can bring you through to the other side, and you too can have peace.

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