“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
A verse sometimes easier read than lived, but still one I often repeat to myself. Ever since I can remember, anxiety has been a part of me and a part of my life. It has always been a prominent weight in my life, and as I got older, and gained more responsibility it was more apparent how much of a hold it had on me. Relationships suffered, my mental and physical health suffered, I lived and died by what someone said or didn’t say to me. I hung my hat on what the world said about me and who the world said I was. I wanted to be ‘perfect’ in their eyes, worthy to be called dependable and someone who would do it all for anyone who asked, no matter the cost. However, as with anything you try to do on your own, I failed miserably and with each failure came a wave of condemnation that I would never be enough, never be good enough and never be perfect. I thought I would be worthless and a failure forever.
Thankfully though unbeknownst to me that feeling of failure, worthlessness, and the inability to be “good enough” brought me to the feet of Jesus nearly seven years ago. By the grace of God, He gave me the faith I needed to trust Him as my Savior, and not myself. He saved me from placing all my faith in myself and instead, placing it in the One who would never fail, never waver, and never leave me behind.
Of course, in full disclosure, the gift of salvation has not completely removed my anxiety. There are still terribly hard days spent searching for man’s praise and love rather than glorifying the Lord, and there are many times that my relationships still suffer from this hold that anxiety has on me. I still have days where I’m met with feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and despair of what I ‘should have done’, ‘could have done’ or how I ‘could have been better.’
Still there are days where I worry about something I said or didn’t say, sometimes for weeks on end. But the difference now is, I don’t have to live and die by those hard days and they don’t define me. It is in Him my identity lies, not in my anxiety.
My hope is no longer in my performance, but in the Cross and I now have that Truth to combat the lies of the enemy. Truth that says not only am I loved, but He loved me enough to die for me. I know He always keeps His promises and that one of those promises is that He will never leave me or forsake me. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, He is perfect, and He is good.
In the days of failure, I am reminded that His mercies are new every morning and even in the hardest times, I can remember that if God is for me, who can be against me? What can man or anxiety do to me? Nothing.
I have sisters who come around me during the hard days, and keep me accountable to remember that Truth, that check in and love me enough to point me to scriptures that speak to my inner monologue of self-deprecation and remind me to turn to the Lord for eternal comfort, rather than the temporary comforts of the world.
All that I may fear has been conquered on the Cross, everything has been put in subjection under His feet and nothing is out of His control. So, while I may spiral and not feel in control, He has shown me that is the best place I can be, because He is.