Fear & anxiety. I can finally put words to it.
I spent years & years experiencing feelings that I couldn’t place, that I couldn’t name. I couldn’t understand these emotions I was feeling.
It wasn’t until I moved overseas and struggled with this on a more regular basis, that I was able to put a name to what I was feeling. Living in a developing country brings out both rational and irrational fears in the best of people, not to mention someone who has an [over] active imagination and desires safety more than most (I was also introduced to the Enneagram and my #6 personality type). Being there gave me permission, in some way, to validate the feelings that I was experiencing in not only a physical sense, but in many different aspects of my life in general. Suddenly, I was able to admit what I was feeling – to myself & those closest to me.
But let me tell you, saying these things out loud did not make them disappear from my life, nor were they easier to deal with. In fact, they became more prevalent. Because I knew what I was looking for in myself, I could easily spot them and drag them out to unrealistic lengths. It’s like when you notice a little detail that you never have before, and suddenly that’s all you can see – everywhere.
However, this also put the power to change my reactions and thoughts back into my own hands. I was aware of what was going on, and could make the concious effort to combat this fear & anxiety at the source. I suddenly realized that these thoughts were being put in my head to play games with my mind & throw barriers in my way. Knowing this, I was able to develop methods that allowed me to not only acknowledge what was happening inside of me, but confront it and allow myself to walk through it.
Because I knew the devil was using this weakness in me, I also knew I needed to turn to Someone who is infinitely more powerful – Someone who has already fought and won my battle. I started memorizing scripture to throw in the devils face whenever he thought he could get a hold of my heart and mind. I found that simply speaking these truths out loud made him shake in his boots.
So I came up with a list of 10 bible verses to combat fear & anxiety:
- ISAIAH 41:10,12&13: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
- PSALM 125:1&2: “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.”
- ROMANS 8:37-39: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- EPHESIANS 6:10-13: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark works and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
- 1 PETER 1:3-5: “In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”
- JAMES 1:2-4: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
- 2 CORINTHIANS 1:3&4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
- JOSHUA 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
- 2 CHRONICLES 20:15b&17b: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”
- PROVERBS 30:5: “Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”
I’ll be honest, I still struggle with this daily. Sometimes these lies & fears sink themselves into my heart, allowing anxiety to yet again win. But still I try to fight this upward battle – losing more days than not. But the ultimate journey is one of PERSEVERANCE – consciously choosing each day to still turn to Him no matter what you face or what battles you lose.
Photos by Grace & Salt.