For the majority of my life I have struggled with anxiety, and it would never take much to get me worked up into a bottle of fear and confusion. So you can imagine when something major happened, how it would almost shatter my entire world. In light of recent events I was forced to take a look at that former self, and really compare and contrast the differences between that lost fearful person I used to be, and the faith filled, and confident in the Lord, person I am today. Thats not to say that there is not still a struggle with anxiety, but the way the Lord has worked in my life has changed the way that I respond in those times of crisis.
Before when some anxiety inducing event would happen, my mind would focus solely on that thing, to a point where I felt like I almost couldn't control it. So in turn, I would turn to things to “calm” my mind, or just cower in fear under the control of this fear, until it passed. This in and of itself was not helpful, and really harmful.
It wasn’t until I was 20 that I had visited a church for the first time in my adult life, and from the second I set foot in the door, I could feel the Spirit moving. There was a peace that came over me that surpassed all my understanding, and then eventually my understanding started to change. I started to live a life more focused on Jesus, and when these anxiety inducing things would happen my thoughts would change. I did as Philippians 4:8 says:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
My mind went from reflecting on all the bad that could happen, or how things seemed like they’d never turn around, to changing my minds focus to the things that are pure, things that were noble, and to the hope that things will be better. That’s the new way I respond when anything enters my mind. I look at all the good that could happen in comparison to all the bad, and after meditating on these things with praise and thanksgiving, I receive that same Spirit filled peace that surpasses all understanding.