By Christina Hubbard
I’ve noticed recently how many well-known Christians are talking freely about what was once taboo: their anxiety. Among them are Sheila Walsh, author of Loved Back To Life and Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. Like these women, talking freely about my own anxiety helped me start to heal.
That dreadful feeling first hit me hard three years ago when my husband and I were considering a big move. We decided not to tell anyone for a period of time. I felt like I was bearing a secretive ticking time bomb in my chest. At any moment, I was going to blow. Every time I felt the urge to share the news, I suppressed it and buried the bomb deeper in my soul.
We ultimately decided to move so my husband would have more time with the kids. His job would be 5 minutes from home, instead of 45. It made sense, but it was going to rip our hearts out in the process. We had to give up our substitute family: a life-changing Jesus community who loved us through marital canyons and joyous births.
This incredible spiritual family taught me to share exactly what I was feeling and come to God AS IS. However, I was afraid I was losing a part of my identity. I chose not to tell anyone despite the holy urge to disclose my heart.
When our house sold, I felt like I was free. I finally shared what was happening; surprisingly, the anxiety dissipated. The telling saved me.
After we moved, I thought anxiety and I were done forever. However, the daunting newness of our neighborhood, church, and everyday life overwhelmed me at the most inopportune times. I felt unsure and unknown.
As I slowly shared the real me with others, sometimes I would get stares and frightened looks—like my honesty was too much to handle. That hurt, a lot. I clammed up and pushed people away. Frequently I asked my husband to please pack us up and move back home.
My husband became my part-time therapist. He told me the truth over and over: “It’s going to be ok. You are not crazy. I love you.” I could never hear it enough, but it helped.
As I sought God’s Word, I realized I couldn’t trust my anxious thoughts. They were not mine. That’s why I needed someone outside myself to recite the truth to me. God told me through His word over and over: “You are loved. You are mine. My hand is on you.”
One day I poured out my fears to a dear friend. She looked straight at me and said, “Christina, I wish you could see what I see.” She was telling it to me straight. I am beautiful and loved, no matter how alone and desperate I feel. Believing the truth was the next step to healing.
On our recent vacation, I started sinking into anxiety. I told my husband what was going on. Here are 3 awesome ways we leveled a serious blow to the enemy:
I told my anxiety to a safe person. Someone I trusted, not someone who will fix me: a counselor, a spouse, a friend). Confession does for the soul what a bath does for the body.
I told myself the truth. When I couldn’t, I asked my husband to do it. I began reading verses to remind me of who I am in Christ. (Next time I’ll be equipped with specific verses written down somewhere: an anxiety emergency verse kit.) I love this awesome pdf packed with reassuring verses (Identity is at the Core of Most of Our Personal Problems, by Ben Malcomson).
I told myself to believe the truth. After I I recognized the fallibility of my thoughts—the old familiar desperation, I refused to stew in them. I made a decision and didn’t budge.
My theory is people with anxiety are also people with great potential to influence the world in marked ways. We sense the magnitude of what’s at stake if we don’t get it right. We don’t want to lose control of the situation in order for good to win and love to prevail. The truth is: God already has. He is striking down the enemy every time we thank Him in the midst of our fear, every time we glorify His name by telling what He has done and asking for help.
I am grateful I am among throngs of fellow Jesus lovers who passionately tell each other the truth of who we are in Christ. I hate my anxiety, and I know you hate yours. It’s a low-down scumbag, if you ask me. Let’s tell it off every chance we get.
Meet The Writer
Christina Hubbard a writer, poet, wife, mother, and blogger at www.creativeandfree.com where she shares stories about creative courage. She loves to dig in the dirt, read poetry aloud, and find wonder in her kids’ eyes. Recently, she turned in her homeschool teacher badge for an old-fashioned writing pen. Becoming a mama and wearing yoga pants to work every day are the best decisions she’s ever made. She lives happily ever after on the Kansas suburban prairie with her husband and two spunky kids. This summer she blogged for Fair Trade Friday.
GOD CALM MY ANXIOUS HEART SERIES WILL BE STARTING MONDAY SEPTEMBER 7TH