Sweet friends, man oh man. I don't know about you, but sometimes life hits you and hits you hard. Am I right? And in these moments, days, or weeks when life just doesn't seem to let up, my mind starts to go into panic mode. My anxiety convinces me that "You can't do this. What makes you think that you can do this?" and when I start to believe these thoughts, they then trigger more distructive thoughts. It's an unhealthy and uncomfortable pattern. But over this past weekend, and throughout this week, I've been speaking to myself and God in a new way. Ready to know what it is?? Well before I do let me give you a little background information.
So often, when my anxiety is high, I start to experience self-blame, doubt, and shame. Questioning whether or not what I'm struggling with is my fault, or wondering if I'm strong enough to handle these trials by myself, or if I'm a burden to others around me. Can you see how this type of thinking isn't healthy or kind? But these types of thoughts come up and stick around when I start to believe everything that my anxiety and fear tells me is true. It's easy for me to assume the worst, but here's where this new way of thinking comes to play... instead of telling myself things such as "You'll never have a happy life because of your anxiety" or "these fears are going to ruin your future", I've begun to pray to God and simply ask "help". And by quickly redirecting my thoughts to Christ, he then gives me a new thought pattern. Thoughts such as "I know that I'm feeling anxious right now, but I'm not going to let it determine the rest of my day. God, please step in and help me get through today". By doing this I'm being more kind and patient with myself, also practicing the skill of trust... trusting that God will be able to handle what I bring to him. And guess what? He can handle it!
In Colossions 3:12, it says "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." All I can say about that verse is WOW! We get caught up in caring for others and making sure that they feel loved, worthy, and strong. (And there's nothing wrong with that!) But rarely do we remember to care for and be kind to ourselves. Right? Because yes, God calls us to love one another, BUT he also calls us to love ourselves. When God is watching us be unkind, uncompassionate, impatient, and hard on ourselves... he hurts. Why? Because he created us! Our God is a God that is proud of all his creations, and that includes me and you. He want's us to recognize our worth and be incredibly gentle with ourselves.
That may sound like a weird consept, being gentle with yourself, but it's an important one; especially in times of high stress, where those feelings of self-blame, doubt, and shame can creep up. So I want to encourage you to start practicing compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience with yourself. Seek God's truth and what he says about you, not believing everything your anxiety and fear might be telling you. Okay? Cause ultimatley we find our worth, comfort, and rest in Him.
Remembering to be kind and gentle with yourself is not a sign of weakness or selfishness, it's a sign of self-love for the person God created you to be.
Your anxiety/fear may be telling you that all hope is lost, BUT Christ reminds you that hope is found in him.
God uses trials and uncomfortable situations to strengthen ourselves and our relationship with him.