Anxiety: The Storm Within – Finding Shelter Through Learning to Trust God
If you’re struggling with anxiety, you certainly know how uncomfortable that can be.
Anxiety is like a storm brewing inside of you. It can feel every bit as ominous, loud, and powerful as the wind, thunder, and lightning that accompany a Kentucky thunderstorm. Agitation, irritation, fear, negative thinking, and more—all mixing at once.
You might feel this way no matter the source of your worries. Perhaps you experience specific phobias, more generalized anxiety, worries about relationships or work, or any number of things.
As your fears and worries build up in your mind, they tower into dark thoughts that can overwhelm you. You’re looking to find shelter but often find yourself overcome by turmoil. You want to live with courage and faith, but you’re not sure how.
Fortunately, with practice, you can learn to trust God and not be controlled by your fear. How?
Learning to Replace Your Thoughts
God doesn’t want us to live in fear. At Philippians 1:8, we are taught to focus our thoughts on what is good, right, and true. Basically, we’re encouraged to actively practice the skill of replacing fearful thoughts with truth.
Many therapy approaches involve learning to talk back to your anxious thoughts. The goal is to challenge them and replace them. You can start this practice by prayerfully analyzing your anxious thoughts and beliefs. Then, write them down and put an alternate belief based on truth next to each negative belief.
Putting faith in God may seem scary. It involves admitting that you can’t control everything. But with his help, you can learn to control your thoughts.
Comfort in the Storm
God isn’t judging you for feeling anxious and fearful. He loves you beyond measure.
If you’re a parent, perhaps you’ve comforted your children during scary thunderstorms before. You don’t blame them for being afraid. Instead, you hold them and reassure them. And you look for ways to help them cope and be prepared for the next storm.
You don’t want to see your child scared, especially when you are right there with them. This is how God sees us.
Tools for Shelter
Knowing that you are unconditionally loved and accepted no matter your fears or weaknesses is a powerful thing. In fact, this is one of those helpful thoughts you can use to replace negative thinking and beliefs as we discussed above.
God brings comfort and reassurance into your life to help relieve your anxiety in many ways. For example, he created our bodies to thrive on exercise and healthy food; those are steps you can take to alleviate anxiety’s effects. Moreover, reaching out to others in your life for support is a tool He offers you to help you. Prayer and fellowship are certainly powerful. Everyone needs the presence and love of other people.
And, of course, if your anxiety continues to be overwhelming, contacting a counselor is an important step you shouldn’t ignore. A skilled and caring counselor can help you find the skills and strength to move forward.
Growing in Faith
Another important element of trusting God is knowing that he can use all things in your life to help you become stronger. This doesn’t mean that he’s punishing you or being mean. Rather, he wants to help you learn that he is bigger than your fears.
As you walk through the storm of anxiety, many positive things can happen. Working through your fears can build wisdom. In the future, others may well lean on you in their times of anxiety, as you’ll be able to share the wisdom that you gained.
Anxiety and fear don’t have to control your life. We’ve worked with many individuals over the years to help them draw close to God as they grow their trust and confidence in the midst of life’s overwhelming worries. If you’d like to learn more about our approach, we warmly invite you to contact us.