Even though it’s scary, I’m going to be an open book here.
Back in March when this virus gripped our nation, I experienced something I never have before. I’ve had my fair share of depression, stress and even a bit of anxiety from time to time~ especially in situations involving my loved ones. It was always something God helped me get through quickly and easily.
But this, this was something new.
Fear and fearful anxiety, and I couldn’t shake it. It seemed to control me despite everything I tried. I would wake up out of a sound sleep with my heart racing for no apparent reason.
It seemed to consume me.
I felt alone.
I felt ashamed that I was afraid.
I knew that my mind was getting the better of me. My thoughts were controlling me instead of Christ and I couldn’t seem to make it stop.
Some days I would read His words and they would be like a familiar friend. I would feel so close to Him.
But then I left my bedroom~
my safe Jesus and me space.
Sadly, without even realizing it I had allowed myself to believe that Jesus was back chilling out on my bed while I was fighting continual battles. My mind allowed myself to forget that He was right there with me through every step and every breath that I took.
As I went about my day, the cares of this world bombarded me and pushed away all the beauty I held in my heart from earlier in the day. I would fall into bed at night feeling very far from Him and wonder what happened.
Why am I like this?
There are seasons where my inner thoughts are a continual enemy, fighting against me.
⁃ I’m so scared.
⁃ I’m so messed up inside.
⁃ If anyone knew what I was really like, they’d wonder how I could even be a pastor’s wife.
⁃ I have to appear to have it all together, even though I feel like a disaster.
⁃ I wish I could be like her. She’s so strong, confident, fearless, friendly....
⁃ God must be so angry/disappointed with me.
⁃ I can’t even tell my own husband some of the crazy things that go through my head, he’d think I was nuts.
⁃ Why am I so anxious? Why am I so scared?
- I’ve got to snap out of this.
- How can I possibly help others when my mind is in such chaos?
⁃ I shouldn’t be so scared.
⁃ I need help.
These inner thoughts can create a deep loneliness and when my thoughts start to control me, it’s a battle.
My heart fighting with my mind.
In March my mind was winning.
It was a long battle.
Whatever battle you are facing, realize you cannot fight it in your own strength. No amount of positive thinking, meditating, self help devotionals or even sermons can safe-step you through this battlefield. It is only through God’s redeeming love~ in the death of Christ on the cross~that you will have the power to defeat your inner thoughts, depression, stress or anxiety. It is only your relationship with Christ that can give you that power. His power.
Christ is the only One Who can carry you across your personal battlefield.
So today I want to share some tips with you on what has helped me get past that fear and anxiety and what has helped me get through depression and stress in the past. If you don’t remember anything else from this post, I urge you to remember this
Each one of these tips involve fighting words.
⁃ Every day, no matter how afraid or messed up I felt, I asked the Holy Spirit to help me. Day after day after day. I did not give up asking, even when I felt like it wasn’t working.
These were my fighting words.
John 14:16-18,26, 15:26, 16:13-15,
I Cor. 2:10
⁃ I started a bible plan with an accountability partner where large amounts of scripture were read daily. You can read about that post here~ https://www.cbcofcaseville.org/blog/read-through-the-bible
These were God’s fighting words.
Psalm 1:2, 119:15-16, 148, Romans 10:17
⁃ I took one day a week to sit in God’s presence and simply thank Him without asking for a thing. Even when my heart was scared and didn’t feel thankful. You can read about that experience here~ https://www.cbcofcaseville.org/blog/a-prayer-that-can-change-your-life
These were my fighting words. Ephesians 5:20
⁃ I wrote down uplifting promises from God’s word and placed them all over my house. God’s fighting words. Deuteronomy 6:6,9
⁃ I downloaded the app Dwell https://apps.apple.com/us/app/dwell-audio-bible/id1343917374 (I highly recommend this app) Whenever I am able, I listen to this all day long. It’s a beautiful way to listen to God speaking His words directly to me. It creates a place of safety, comfort and peace no matter where you are.
Again~ God’s fighting words. Deuteronomy 11:18a, John 15:11
⁃ I listen to uplifting music. Music that is centered around Christ and glorifies Him can change your heart in ways nothing else can. Here is an album that brought me much comfort back in March. https://music.apple.com/us/album/hidden-in-my-heart-a-lullaby-journey-through-scripture/464465132 Fighting words. Psalms 104:33-34, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16
⁃ And for those times when nothing seemed to help, I literally sat in bed and cried. I imagined that I was curled up in my Savior’s arms, because deep down I knew that I truly was, and I cried and cried. No words came, but I knew that God knew the words of my heart. These were the Holy Spirit’s fighting words. Romans 8:26,27, Psalm 16:11, 56:8-13, 63:6, 91:1-16
If you are trying to do life in your own strength, if you are scared or anxious, sad or stressed, if you are trying to be like someone else instead of who God made you to be, if you are trying to work your way into God’s good graces, if you are fooling yourself into thinking that you are too screwed up for God to love you or help you, if you’ve convinced yourself that He is angry or disappointed with you~ then you are basing your relationship with Him on works instead of His redemption.
I know because I have lived all of those scenarios. The last time I was feeling this way, going through some hard moments, God pricked my heart to look up the word redeemed and He showed me something that really stuck~
the very definition of redemption.
“Redemption refers to the deliverance of Christians from sin. It assumes an important position in salvation because the transgressions in question form part of a great system against which human power is helpless”.
Human power is helpless.
I can’t get past that fear or stress, anxiety or depression because I alone am helpless.
BUT CHRIST IN ME!
Those are fighting words.
I am redeemed. He is my power. He will fight for me. He will carry me through that battlefield of my mind right over to the other side. And He will carry you too my friend. Exodus 15:13
And guys, it will change your life.