Happy 2018! I want to kick off the new year by asking you a question.
But first, let’s pray.
Lord, as I’m typing this, I come to you in an attitude of prayer and surrender. Please let the words that I speak (or, type) be from you, for your beloved daughters, or anyone who may come across this blog. Help whoever is reading this right now to put aside all distractions and to internalize these thoughts. Please bless this time of self reflection, so that we can ultimately know, love, and serve you better.
My question for you is this.
Do you have the faith to ask God to save you, to rescue you, and to help you in the very moment that you’re in a time of need?
I’m talking the EXACT moment. Do you have the guts to believe that he will answer your prayer right then and there? Stop and think about that for a moment. Have you ever dropped everything and asked God to show up?
I have. Let me explain.
I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember.
Years of my life were stolen from me due to fear, worry, and constant anxious thoughts and feelings. It was completely debilitating, and took over every area of my life. Throughout this journey, I’ve realized just how many people can relate to these feelings, and this word anxiety, whether you’re as open as I am about it, or you’re in denial/keeping it in the dark.
Now back to my question.
During my times of severe anxiousness and panic, I learned to try something. We all typically know when something feels overwhelming, crushing, or just too much for us to handle. Most of the time we will either: curl up into a ball and want to quit, sometimes we think that we need to reach out to a trusted friend or mentor for prayer, or write it down on our connection cards at church that week. But how often do you stop what you’re doing and ask God to take away those overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear RIGHT THEN?
For instance, one of my struggles was driving. When I had no choice BUT to drive, I would dread it. The further I drove away from home and the more traffic I approached, the more I started to feel my heart start thumping, my palms start sweating, my body tense up and start shaking, the breathing getting heavier, the negative thoughts racing in my head uncontrollably, and allllllll the symptoms.
Sometimes I would give up, and turn around. Sometimes I would prepare for the worst, and have myself be tortured in those situations, making me even more fearful for next time. But I got tired of it. So I decided to see what would happen if I cried out to God during those moments.
It looked like this.
“God, I need you to rescue me RIGHT NOW.” “God, give me peace RIGHT NOW.” “Fill up my heart, mind, soul, and spirit with you RIGHT NOW, Jesus.” “Satan, you are NOT welcome here. Leave NOW.” “If God is for me, who can be against me?” “Do not fear, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” “Okay, God. Show up. I trust you, I give this to you. Take away these feelings and thoughts in JESUS’ name.”
Seem pretty weird to recite these things out loud? Sometimes saying them in your head might be more appropriate for whatever situation you may find yourself in. But don’t just think that you want God to help you. You have to actually talk to him. Say it to him. Believe that he can do this. Have that bold faith.
I kid you not, when I started doing this, as weird as it may have seemed at first, somehow God ALWAYS showed up. Somehow I felt this peace come over me that I couldn’t explain. Somehow, I would always get through whatever anxious situation I found myself in. Positive thoughts? Nah. God’s power. God’s love. God’s presence. God’s saving grace, because I asked, and I believed, and I surrendered.
It takes practice. It can seem silly and awkward at first. Maybe you’re used to praying, that’s great. This is different. This is literally in the moment faith, and inviting Jesus to show up that second.
I can’t count just how many times Jesus walked with me through really, really hard moments in my journey with anxiety. My list of things I feared was so big that I don’t have time to share them with you all today. But just know that I struggled, and I overcame through fast acting faith.
Anxiety, worry, fear, depression, whatever it may be for you. It comes in so many different forms. But we all struggle with things like this from time to time. What is the area of your life that you need Jesus to show up in a moments notice? To take away those drowning thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing. Can you expand your faith to be that big? Can God be that big to you? Or are you a bit skeptical? Am I talking about asking God to reveal the 3 numbers you need to match on your lottery ticket to win $1,000? Ha. If only. I think you’re all mature enough to get where I’m going with this idea.
Let him help you with the deep things. Let him work his power in the moment. Let him prove to you that he can and he WILL show up. He doesn’t want us to feel negative thoughts, anxiousness, nervousness, fear, worry, doubt, sadness, loneliness, or struggle. He is our father who loves us more than we can even comprehend on this earth. His timing is perfect, and his plans are worth it. Sometimes we may have to walk through some really hard stuff. But, give him a chance to hold your hand and lighten the load a little while we walk through it.
I challenge you all to try this today, this week, and forever. I promise it will become second nature for you as you quickly realize how amazing his power feels rushing through your mind, body, and spirit during a hard time. It may even bring you to tears.
Talk to him. Ask him. Believe he can calm you down in a bad situation or a lousy moment. I promise he won’t let you down.
“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 (ESV)