4 Things the Pandemic of 2020 Taught Me

     The Pandemic of 2020, where we were all told to stay home, or people would die.  Where we all rushed to the grocery stores to stock up on rice, beans, and toilet paper.  Where many of us lost our jobs overnight, and we all sat back in shock as we watched stock markets plummet.  Where schools were canceled for the rest of the year and millions of families started homeschooling overnight.  Where daily White House briefings became a normal thing. 

     The Pandemic of 2020, where it took Americans about a month to realize that the experts didn’t really know what they were talking about.  Where we realized that we were no longer free to choose what was best for ourselves or our families. Where churches were taken to court for opening their doors, and neighbors were asked to snitch on each other.

     Today is May 4, 2020, two-and-a-half months after the pandemic began, and I can’t find cleaning supplies or toilet paper in the grocery store.  Meat is being rationed, and many of the shelves in the grocery store still look bare. I feel like I have to sneak out of my house if I want to go somewhere, and everywhere I look, people are wearing face masks and gloves.  Oh, and we are all still being told to stay in our houses. 

     In this world gone crazy, one has to take a step back and ask what could possibly be the good in all of this?  Is there a silver lining amid the uncertainty we now call our new normal?  What lessons have we learned from the Pandemic of 2020?

What the Pandemic of 2020 Taught Me:

  •  WORRY IS POINTLESS – In the weeks leading up to the Pandemic, I had been agonizing and worrying over things that just seemed impossible to me.  What would my summer hours be at my new job?  What would I do with my younger boys while I was at work?  Would I still be able to work in the ministries I volunteered for every summer?  How would we afford the new car payment AND our daughters graduation party?  What about our family vacation and the kids summer camps?  I was losing sleep over these bothersome worries.  What I didn’t know at the time was those worries that I was sweating over and pouring out to God in my prayers would soon become invalid worries. But God knew that all along.  He knew that I would get laid off from my job, and that the entire world would close down, postponing indefinitely any plans I had made. He also knew that in light of this virus we were facing, I would just be grateful to have my family around me!  The Pandemic of 2020 taught me that worry is pointless – just trust God!
  •  IT’S OK TO SLOW DOWN – Getting up early and rushing to work, then rushing back home to clean the house and get dinner prepped before rushing out the door again to pick up groceries and stop at the post office before getting the kids from school.  Then there was the rush to get the kids to their doctor and orthodontist appointments, before rushing back home to finish homework and scarf down dinner, only so we could rush out the door again!  There was always a basketball, soccer, violin, and drama practice.  Then there were the special programs, recitals, and church activities to rush to after the practices!  All of that rushing made the days pass too quickly.  Our schedules were filled to overflowing and we longed for a day, just ONE day, to slow down!  Then, suddenly, overnight, we all had time.  We slept in, we sipped our coffee, and we were secretly relieved that life was canceled.  Husbands and wives talked and loved more, kids played and laughed more, and there was peace and quiet, and no rushing. What did I learn from the Pandemic of 2020?  I learned that it’s OK to slow down!
  • CONTENTMENT IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER – Before the Pandemic of 2020 I found a lot to be discontent about. I wanted new flooring in my living room and the bathroom to be remodeled, and while I was at it, why not a new house?  I was bummed that this summer we would be camping in our tent and NOT a rented camper. I was discontent with the scramble of our schedules, my kid’s attitudes, and could someone PLEASE get me a new wardrobe?!?  Want to know something funny about world-wide pandemics?  When you learn that the whole world has hit the pause button, you suddenly become grateful for what you already have.  Your heart sighs with contentment as you gaze over your chipped coffee mug at the sight of your entire family sitting safe and sound in your less-than house. The Pandemic of 2020 made me see the value of what I had in front of me, instead of what I couldn’t have!
  • ONLY GOD KNOWS – In the early days of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix quickly became household names as the nation tuned in for the daily Covid-19 briefings.  We hung on every word as we learned more about the coronavirus and what it’s effects would be to our livelihoods.  Over time, we began to notice discrepancies in what we were being told.  One day we were told to get enough food to last a couple weeks so we could stay at home, and the next week we were reprimanded for “hoarding” toilet paper and cleaners. We were told not to wear masks unless we were on the “front lines”, and weeks later our governors passed laws requiring us to wear masks. We were told millions would die from the virus, only to recently learn that the “modules were off”. It’s slowly become clear that even the experts don’t really know what’s going on.  But I know One who knows all, sees all, and is all! Even the most talented experts on earth are going to make mistakes, because they are human.  We shouldn’t be putting our trust in anything that man has to say, but putting all our trust in God’s Word! 

     I’ve learned a few other things during the Pandemic of 2020.  I’ve learned how to make whipped coffee and my own cleaning sprays.  I learned that I feel better about myself when I wake up at the same time every day, and that includes showering and getting dressed, too.  I’ve learned the importance of keeping in touch with friends and family, and that I am more of a “people” person than I realized.  Most importantly, I’ve learned that if you put all your trust in God’s Word, everything else will fall in place.

How to be a Christian in a Worldwide Pandemic

There is no doubt that we are living in the last days.  Stories of disease, earthquakes, and warring nations are plastered in every news headline.  If that weren’t bad enough, we are now experiencing a worldwide pandemic from a virus called covid-19.  It’s not just another news story, it is now in our local hospitals, and we all know at least one person diagnosed with it.

From the elderly person donned in a face mask and plastic gloves to the young mother cringing when someone coughs, there is fear all around us.  Fear over declining stock markets and failing businesses.  Consumers are fearful of empty grocery shelves, and fear has even caused some neighborhoods to self-impose quarantine on the neighbors.

As for Christians, Satan wants to distract us from being a light in these very dark and tumultuous times.  He will do this through panic, fear, or depression; frustration with being “stuck” in a house with family; addiction to the news and conspiracy theories; laziness; and newly formed bad habits.

So how can we be Christians during a worldwide pandemic?  How can we be different from the rest of the world gone crazy?

Read your Bible: Reading our Bibles right now is more important than it has ever been!  We need the comfort it provides.  We need to be reminded that although our lives have changed dramatically over the last few weeks, our God hasn’t changed.  We need to remember God’s promises! As tempting as it may be to sleep in, now is not the time to slack in your Bible reading!  If you don’t already do this daily, make it a habit starting now! Search in your Bible for God’s promises and memorize them! Here are a few words to get you started on your search: peace, hope, joy, refuge, and strength.

“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” – John 6:68

Pray:  Are you afraid?  It’s OK to be afraid, but it’s not OK to let it control you.  We still need to do what God has called us to do, despite our fears.  We have to take care of our families, and be generous to those around us because that is what God has called us to do.  So if fear or anxiety has got you hiding in your closet, get on your knees!  There is no time like the present to extend your prayer time!  Lay your fears and anxieties at the feet of Jesus, who has offered to carry your burdens for you!

“Is your fear bigger than your God?” – Pastor Jonathan Marshall

Praise God and Be Thankful:  Maybe you’ve been laid off.  Maybe you ran out of toilet paper yesterday.  Maybe someone you love has been diagnosed with covid-19.  What do you possibly have to praise God for?  Praise God because He is God!  Even on our worst day, God is good.  He longs to hear us praise Him when we are in our darkest hour.  Sing to Him. Tell Him how wonderful He is. Talk to your kids about His goodness. Make a journal that’s all about God’s goodness!

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”  – Psalms 136:1

Limit Bad News: Christians, turn off the news! Just do it. Delete those real-time covid-19 apps.  Yes, you know what app I’m talking about! Unfollow those conspiracy theory chat rooms you joined. Stop scrolling through those news headlines. I know, I know!  What else is there to do right now? The more bad news we put into our minds, the more anxious and uptight we become.  Instead, listen to music that glorifies God, or read an encouraging book.  It’s important we fill our minds with God’s goodness MORE than we fill it with bad news!

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things 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.” – Philippians 4:8

Start Some Good Habits:  If you’re in quarantine like the rest of the world, you definitely have the time to make some new habits! They say it takes 30 days to start a new habit.  Here are some suggestions: get up earlier, read your Bible and pray every morning, eat healthier, read a nonfiction book or a biography, memorize scripture, get some exercise.  You could also clean out your closet, organize the pantry, or learn how to make your husband’s favorite meal.  Don’t waste this time that has been thrust on us, be productive!

“A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.” – Proverbs 11:1

Do something for God: Ask God if there is something you can do for someone else.  Maybe you just need to focus on blessing your family and getting through the day keeping your littles alive.  Or maybe you are able to focus outside of your 4 walls.  If you have extra toilet paper, you could leave a roll on your neighbors doorstep with a letter saying you’re praying for them and a gospel tract. Give them your phone number and ask them to text you something they need prayer about. Maybe someone needs help getting groceries. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Sometimes we are led to do things that are uncomfortable for us, but that bless others!

“Never resist a generous impulse.” – Pastor Richard Sowell

Light shines brightest in darkness.  Christian, now is our time to reflect the Light of Jesus Christ to a dying and lost world!  Stop hiding in fear, and start living like a Christian in this worldwide pandemic!

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” – Matthew 5:15

 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”                        – Romans 8:38-39

 

 

HOW I KNEW I WAS A CONTROL FREAK, AND WHAT THE BIBLE HAD TO SAY ABOUT IT

“Come on! Let’s go, let’s go! Out the door, we’re late,” I yelled as I slipped on my shoes!

“Mom, aren’t we always late, though?”

Glaring at my 10-year-old, I replied, “Not today! Now move, move, move!”

Despite my shouts to hurry all the way out to the car and my somewhat-reckless driving, I still managed to be a few minutes late to work. Again.

For the first time in nearly 18 years, I have crossed over from being a stay-at-home mom to a working mom. Thankfully, it’s a part-time job, but I have certainly had my share of struggle in getting my feet wet in the work world again! I have the best job a mom could ever want working at my kid’s school. I also have the best boss and co-workers a girl could ever ask for. So why all the struggle?

After a couple of meltdowns and a few conversations with my longsuffering husband, the truth began to niggle at my heart.

The problem was me.

Well, my control-freak nature, to be more exact.

HOW I KNEW I WAS A CONTROL-FREAK

It had to be my way. My kids have always done chores, but I never realized how much energy I spent “re-doing” what they had already done. Since going back to work, I no longer have time to “re-do” anything. Instead of being grateful for what my kids were doing, I found myself stressing because – well, my vacuum lines had disappeared! Instead of encouraging my kids by what they were accomplishing, I was mourning the fact that the towels were not “properly” folded and placed on the shelf.

I couldn’t let things go. It didn’t seem to matter how tired I was, falling asleep was a struggle. My endless to-do list kept swirling through my thoughts, and I even found new things to add to it. I couldn’t shut off my brain. I also couldn’t let conversations or arguments go until everyone agreed with me, or at least saw it from my point of view! When I disappointed one of my kids or a family member because I was just too busy, I agonized over it for days!

I began to pass the blame. Once I started to feel life spiral out of control, I decided that NOTHING was my fault! Those dirty dishes in the sink and piles of unfolded clothes were no longer MY fault! But, it had to be somebody’s fault, so I blamed the kids, my husband, that phone call, ANYTHING but me! Contention started to build up in our house, but it wasn’t MY fault!

If you are an “A-plus” personality, chances are you’ve used it as an excuse to cover your control-freak tendencies.

“Um, because of my ‘a-plus’ personality, I’m going to ask that you do it this way.

“I’m sorry, but my OCD is coming out in me. Do you mind if I fix this?”

Listen, I know more than anyone, the wonderful benefits of being a control freak! It’s a great motivator, and can actually help us get more accomplished in our tight schedules!

But, what does the Bible have to say about the common qualities of someone who likes to be in control?

WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY

A control-freak is prideful What is the driving force behind someone with an “A-plus” personality? Pride. Wanting things done a particular way (ours) prevents us from putting our faith in God! Pride is a dangerous place for a Christian to be! In fact, King Solomon said that God hated the sin of pride!

“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,”

– Proverbs 6:16‭-‬17

A control-freak has no peace – It is impossible for us to control every aspect of our lives. Just when we think we’ve got things under control, life happens, and we find ourselves in impossible situations. We lose sleep and develop anxiety over the things we can’t control!

But, when we live our lives surrendered to God, and allow Him to have ALL the control, those impossible situations have hope! When we put our trust in God that all things work together for good, we can have peace!

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

– Isaiah 26:3

The next time you catch yourself blaming your OCD, or your “a-plus” personality, just stop! Admit you’re a control freak! Surrender your life to God (daily) and determine in your heart to give up control!

Bible Verses for the Control Freak:

Romans 8:28

Jeremiah 29:11

Matthew 6:34

Matthew 11:28

Jeremiah 32:27

 

What To Do When Life Kinda Stinks

“I can’t do anything right,” my daughter cried! “No one has called me back for a job, I failed my driving test, and my brain froze completely up when I was taking my ACT!  Why am I such a loser?”

My mind raced with all the possible things a mother should say, but I finally opted for silence. (Hey, the Bible says that even a fool is counted wise when he keeps silent, and I was just trying to be wise!) After 25 minutes of my daughter’s sobbing (and my silent prayers for wisdom), I finally said, “It’s going to be OK, baby girl.  Now.  It’s time to put your chin up and try again!” 

Then, I pulled into McDonald’s and treated her to a mocha frappe.  Because that is what every good mom does.  Right?

Young or old, we’ve all been there!  Plans that were so well laid, just crumble down around our feet.  We find ourselves back where we started, asking ourselves, “what next?”  So what exactly should we do when life kinda stinks?

Remember God’s blessings.  It may be hard to stop and count your blessings when you are walking out of the BMV empty-handed, but you gotta start somewhere!  Think back to your past accomplishments and thank God for the ability He gave you to achieve those goals.  Start naming the people God has placed in your life to direct and guide you.  Think of your friends and family!  God has blessed you so much, don’t forget that!

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:15

Leave the past behind.  You can’t move forward in your life if you are chained to all that is wrong in your past.  It’s OK to grieve for what was lost, but don’t stay there too long.  The longer you dwell in self-pity over ruined plans, the longer it will take you to accomplish your goals!  Sometimes moving forward means not looking back.

“…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13 & 14

Realize you can’t do anything in your own strength.  It’s easy to pat ourselves on the back when things are going right, but as soon as something goes wrong we cry out to God, “why did You do this to me?”  Reality is, we can’t do anything without God!  It is He who gives us the strength and wisdom to accomplish our goals.  When our plans go up in smoke, more than likely, we were relying on our own strength, and not God’s!  As Christians, we should remember that God can do His best work through us when we are completely empty of ourselves.

“…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.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Make sure your plan is also God’s plan.  Have you ever found yourself standing with your well-laid plans in shambles at your feet, and realized that maybe you should have asked God about your plans, first?  Me too!  Asking God to direct us and show us His will before we make plans, can save us from a lot of heart-ache later.  Before making plans, set aside some time to pray about it.  Then, open your heart to hear God’s answer.  Sometimes He will speak to you through your daily Bible reading, other times through the Sunday message from your Pastor.  God has also placed people in our lives who can give us good advice.  Seek counsel from your Pastor or a friend who has been saved and serving the Lord a little longer than you.  Remember, God promised to give wisdom to those who ask!

“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” – Proverbs 19:20

Get up and try again.  Wipe those tears off your face!  I am always teaching my children to not allow fear to rule their lives.  Whether it is a failed relationship, a lost promotion at work, or – even a failed drivers test, we can’t allow fear of failing to keep us locked in our comfort zones!  God has promised that we are more than conquerors through Christ.  That means, that through Christ, we have the power to conquer our fears.  The victory is not in defeating our fears, but in our obedience to God despite our fear!

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” – Romans 8:37

The next time you feel like life kinda stinks, and you just want to curl up into the fetal position on the floor and cry, start counting your blessings.  After you’ve named several reasons to be thankful you are alive, leave the past and all your stinky failures behind.  Once the stink starts to clear up a little, you’ll be able to realize that any strength you do have comes from God, so make sure you consult Him before making new plans.  Then, dry up those tears, get up off the floor, and try again!

Can One Really Overcome Anxiety?

Over the last few months, I found myself questioning everything I thought I knew about anxiety. I was experiencing new symptoms that left me confused, and a little afraid. I began to wonder…

can one really overcome anxiety?

This question bothered me. It circled in my mind as I lay in bed, it nestled in my thoughts when I washed dishes and folded clothes. It lingered in the background when I listened to music or watched TV. All the while, my anxiety grew. It wasn’t until I had reached the climax of my struggle, and sought counsel from my pastor, that I finally understood.

Because I am a lover of the written word, and I think more clearly when I can write my thoughts on paper, I have written this post in answer to my plaguing question! This article was not written for you, dear readers. It was written for myself. It is a compilation of all I have learned from my pastors, reading the Word of God, reading many books and articles, and my own personal experience.

Six Things People Who Overcome Anxiety Don’t Do:

1. Focus on their symptoms. People who overcome anxiety have learned that they can’t focus on their symptoms. Instead, they work on capturing every worry and fear and handing them over to God. Overcomers have learned that when they focus on their symptoms, and how terribly they want to be healed, they are actually robbing God from His glory. When the focus shifts from our symptoms to God’s goodness, we are taking the first step to glorifying Him!

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of God.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5

2. Allow their emotions to rule them. People who overcome anxiety have learned that they can’t allow their emotions to rule them. It is not a sin to feel sad, or angry. The sin lies in how much freedom we give to those emotions. If we allow our emotions to rule our spirits, we are allowing ourselves to become vulnerable to even more pain and suffering. When we allow our emotions to reign, life, in general, can feel like an impossibility in our minds, opening the door to dangerous thoughts. Overcomers choose to not follow emotional thoughts, and instead, leave them at the feet of Christ.

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.” – Proverbs 25:28

Gird up the loins of your mind…” – 1 Peter 1:13

3. Play the “worry game”. People who overcome anxiety don’t play the “worry game”. They realize that while they can’t always help the worry that might pop into their heads, they can choose to not follow them. Once you follow a worry in your mind, it leads to more worries, and before you know it, you are on a merry-go-round of unhealthy thoughts and anxiety! Overcomers choose to not follow their worry.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8

4. Quit God’s calling in their life. People who overcome anxiety don’t stop trying to please God. What is God’s calling in your life? God has personally called me to be a wife and a mother. Because of God’s grace, I have the strength necessary to fulfill this calling, even when I am having an exceptionally bad day. Every Christian, young and old, is called by God to do something, and God has given each of us the strength to obey, despite our anxieties. Yes, sometimes we need to rest, even God rested on the 7th day of Creation! However, God always gives us renewed strength to do His will! Overcomers recognize that they can still obey God, despite their anxiety.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” – Philippians 4:13

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

4. Stop Praising God. People who overcome anxiety don’t stop praising God. If it’s a good day, they praise God for the good day! If it’s a bad day, they find at least one good thing in that day, to praise Him for. Overcomers know that when they are able to give God thanks, not for their anxiety, but through their anxiety, they are reflecting God’s grace in their lives! They learn to rejoice in the day, instead of just “getting through” it.

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” – Psalms 118:24

5. Forget the true meaning of “overcome”. People who overcome anxiety know it is a daily battle. Whatever the cause of your anxiety: worry, stress, fear, past addiction, or chemical imbalance – the victory is not in defeating the anxiety, but in your obedience to God despite it. Overcoming is learning to glorify your Heavenly Father, despite your difficulty. Overcoming is not allowing your difficulty to control you.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” – Philippians 4:11

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.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

6. Ignore God’s promises. People who overcome anxiety cling to God’s promises for peace. They realize that the more they read the Bible, and the more they pray, the closer to God they become. They realize that only God truly knows the thoughts and intents of their own hearts and that God loves them anyway! Overcomers know that no matter how difficult their anxiety may become, God is still with them and that He is offering His grace!

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7

I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins…” – Jeremiah 17:10

If I ascend up into heaven, thou are 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 139:8-10

I’m not really sure I can claim to be an “overcomer” of anxiety, but it is something I strive for every day!

If you are a Christian struggling with anxiety, and this article was a help to you, leave me a comment below!

 

 

Tips to Overcoming a Panic Attack

If you are anxiety sufferer, you know the classic signs of anxiety. Tightness in your chest, palpitations, headaches, tummy upset, trembling hands, and week legs. These are all classic symptoms of anxiety. I should know. I’ve had them all before.

I’m so thankful that I’m not new to this story, and that I know what to do when I feel a panic attack coming on. I thought I would share with you some tips that can help you overcome a panic attack.

1. Know your symptoms. Everyone is different. For me, I know I’m about to have a panic attack if my chest starts feeling a little tight. At that moment, if I take the time to do the steps below, I can avoid it.

2. Breathe deeply. At the first sign of a coming panic attack, stop what you are doing and focus on breathing. Breathe in through your nose counting to 5 very slowly. Then let the breath out slowly through your mouth, counting to 7. Repeat this five times.

3. Quote scripture. Everyone should have a verse of scripture that they call “theirs”. Something that can bring comfort to an anxious mind. Here’s mine:

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7

4. Distract yourself. The worst thing to do when you feel a panic attack coming on is to focus on how you feel. Go outside for a few minutes and take a quick walk. Start up a conversation with your husband, or call your mom. Break the cycle of panic with distraction.

5. Essential Oils. I don’t sell oils, but I’ve been using them since before they were ever popular. I found a blend from Young Living called “Peace and Calming”, and I love it. I don’t know if it’s just a placebo for me or what, but the scent of this particular oil really does help me feel calm. When I feel anxiety coming in, I rub some over my heart, on my wrists, and under my earlobes.

6. Pray. If you know why this anxiety attack started to come on, share your burden with Jesus. He really does care! Leave your cares and worry at His feet. Pour your heart and tears out before Him. He’s listening!

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

7. Reflect. Once you are past the tense and anxious moment, think back on why you think you had it. Maybe you need to slow your schedule down a little, or change your attitude about something. Search for a Biblical and practical solution to whatever is causing you stress. Sometimes, just talking to a like-minded Christian friend can be enough to encourage you!

I hope these tips help you the next time you are about to have a panic attack!

3 Truths To Remember When Going Through Anxiety

Watching the car steer off the road, I looked at the driver. Her eyes were closed, her mouth gaping open. She was unconscious, and she was about to hit a telephone pole!
Adrenaline rushed through my veins, and I quickly made a u-turn. By the time I managed to get back to the run-away car, two men were already assisting the woman, and a bystander was calling 911. Not sure what to do, I ran across the street to a doctor’s office, and begged for a nurse to come with me.

I don’t know what happened to that woman, but I think of her often. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to get her face from my mind. 

Witnessing that car accident triggered the first panic attack I’ve had in several years. I am now back in the throes of anxiety. 

I have no expert wisdom to share about how to permanently overcome anxiety. I do, however, want to share a few truths that have helped me the last few days.

#1 – God has a purpose for your anxiety.  If you are serving the Lord and to the best of your knowledge, are right with Him, then God has allowed anxiety in your life for a purpose. God may be using anxiety as a way to draw you closer to Him. He may be trying to soften your heart, and give you a humble spirit, in order to use your weakness to glorify Him. Don’t waste time trying to figure out God’s plan, just trust Him. 

#2 – Don’t trust your feelings. Rest in the knowledge that God cares about you, sees your pain, hears your cries and LOVES you! Don’t trust your feelings when you are going through anxiety, because your feelings are all over the place and unreliable. Instead, rely on the truth of the Word of God! 

#3 – Distract your mind. When in the midst of a panic attack, our minds tend to get stuck on unhealthy thought patterns. Here are some ideas I have found useful in the last few days. Spend some time with a friend. Clean your house. Listen to an audio book. Sing some songs. Go to church. Take a walk. Bake some bread. Spend time with your kids. Watch a funny movie. Write out encouraging scripture. Pray – and pray lot! 

You can have peace while going through anxiety. Peace that God has a purpose for your suffering, and peace that He cares and is really listening to your cry! These truths won’t cure anxiety, but they have personally helped me, and I pray they help you, as well. 

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” – Isaiah 26:3