This is one of those times where I just have to write. Honestly, God’s goodness and His love have been extended in such profound ways for me this past week that I have to share, get it out on paper (err, screen), and pray boldly that the Holy Spirit will ever-so-graciously use it to speak directly to you.
And also, this one goes out to you, Satan, because I am no longer afraid. I’m filled with God’s Spirit, armed with His Word, and washed in the blood of Jesus. Thanks for unintentionally sparking the Holy Spirit’s desire to lead me closer to God, to empower me through other’s faithfulness and obedience to Jesus, and to give God the glory that He is due through some rather testimony-worthy orchestrations.
I suffer from anxiety and depression.
Bouts of it sneak up on me here and there. It’s like a wave of self-pity, tiredness, doubt, fear, past regrets, and old sin meld together almost instantaneously to cause me to feel like my life foundations are crumbling.
And so… I usually sleep. Reflect. Think all too much. Distance myself from everyone. Cry and hyperventilate.
However, I’m learning.
I’m learning that God is mightier than my fears.
I’m learning- and really understanding- that Jesus carried my sins; all of them; up to the cross of Calvary and He laid down His life so that His shed, precious, perfect blood could redeem me from the pit of Hell and eternal separation from God.
I’m learning that the Holy Spirit is my paraclete- He is my Counselor, Advocate, Teacher. He is the One to pull me through and to stick with my ever-weary heart.
But I’m also learning that God brings other people to help along the way, too.
Like my husband who found all the verses in the Bible that talk about anxiety, wrote them down, and read them all to me. (With worship music playing in the background.) Like how he lifted me up in prayer to Almighty God, praying specifically for my anxious heart to be comforted. Like how he managed our home for nearly weeks, and particularly handled everything for a few days when I could hardly stay awake or stop the tears from coming.
Like my mom who called and listened at just the right time.
Like my Grandma who affirmed that “everyone is cheering for me, and that they all hold me up on a pedestal.” And that she would do anything to help.
Like my Pastor who listened. Who could relate. Who could affirm that the Enemy is tricky. Who preached a sermon on Spiritual Warfare this Sunday. Who understands.
And I’m learning that God is, in fact, the Counselor, Advocate, and Teacher. In addition, He has the ultimate power to bring counselors, advocates, and teachers directly to you.
Like my overseas, 8,000 mile-away Professor who heard God’s crystal-clear prompting to boldly pray for me and my family last Saturday. And for him who reached out to me, extended help, and felt called to come to my aid.
Because in the midst of this whole ordeal, as I was finally realizing that I needed professional help- in the form of hospital psychiatry, Christian counseling, Seminary school counseling, anything- I actually couldn’t get it. I couldn’t find the help. Out of the handful of institutions I had called, one month was the earliest I could be seen (which I gladly, unashamedly scheduled); but many were booked three months out.
So, God intervened. When I needed a counselor, and advocate, a teacher, He directly sent me a willing, competent, qualified, and personal one. A person, may I add, who has Doctoral training in Spiritual Warfare, and a heart to serve. For that, I am beyond grateful and in utter awe that God would impress upon someone else’s heart to be here to help me, to speak into my life, to arm me with truth, and to give my husband and I tips to defend against the Devil’s lies -when that person has no obligation to whatsoever. For you, (if you read this), my family and I are beyond grateful. And joy-filled still at God’s miraculous orchestration! May it be a testimony to His mercy and to His willingness and extent to answer prayers.
Friend, I’m realizing that you may be reading this right now and you may not be sure of where your help comes from.
You may be unsure if God hears you, if He sees, if He cares. You may not have someone in your life who has been there to listen, who has spoken truth to your weary heart. God may have not orchestrated such clear providence and provision for you in the midst of an awful anxiety attack/ depression/ fearful season.. yet.
I want to tell you that He is here. That this writing is for you. That I will willingly steward the help that God has given me to share to you. That I will soak in the truth that I learn from God’s Word, from the people that He sends to help me, from those who counsel, mentor, and advocate for me- and I will share it for you. You, friend, are not alone in this battle. As God has so clearly provided help for me, I know that He desires for me to pass along that help to you.
You’re not alone when you believe the lies of the enemy.
And you’re also not alone when you have a hard time really believing the truth about who God says you are.
And, Lord willing, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I want to help you.
Some lies the Devil tells me (and you, I bet, too):
1. You are not loved
2. You have no purpose
3. Does God really love you?
4. No one cares
5. It doesn’t matter
6. You are weak
7. You have nothing to fight with
8. Your past disqualifies you
9. You are not a good (fill in the blank;
mom, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister,
10. You will never be enough
If these lies sting when you read them, then I bet you have felt them, too. Felt them within the very deep parts of your being. Felt them, have heard them, and feel like you are powerless against them.
I’m learning that we have to battle these lies with God’s Truth. We have to battle the Devil’s whisperings with God’s proclamations. We have to battle these thoughts with God’s thoughts. We have to know who we are in Jesus.
The truth that God tells me (and you!):
1. God, the creator of the Universe, deeply loves you. (Psalm 36:7, Psalm 86:5, John 3:16, Romans 5:8)
2. God created you intricately with a purpose. Your purpose is to glorify Him, it is to be an image-bearer of the Holy, One True God. (Genesis 1:26)
3. God loves you more than you could ever fathom. (Ephesians 3:18)
4. There are people in your life who care. There are strangers who are your brothers and sisters in Christ who care. You, my friend, have a Savior who cares about you. God sees you. (Ephesians 2:4-5, Romans 8:28)
5. It does matter. You matter. You are a child of God! (1 John 3:1, John 1:12, Galatians 3:26, Romans 8:17)
6. You may be weak, but if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you have the Holy Spirit living inside you; who makes you strong. Plus, we know that it is in our weaknesses that we can boast about, because then Jesus is even the more glorified! (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Philippians 1:6)
7. We can put on the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
8. Jesus throws your sins as far from the east is to the west. Repent and you are forgiven. (Romans 8:37-39, Psalm 103:12)
9. You are put in your life roles for a reason. God created us and said that we are “very good.” (Genesis 1:31)
10. We are made enough in Jesus. (Galatians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:9, Romans 8:37)
Look a handful of those passages up today. Let God tell you the truth Himself. Listen. Hear it. Believe it. Seek Him. Talk with Him. Believe that He listens.
Heavenly Father, I pray that you will come near to those who are all too familiar with the lies. Teach them your truth. Show them your love in tangible ways. Heal their hurts. Be their Counselor. May your mighty Holy Spirit stir within their heart and quicken them to seek you. Wash over their life with your truth so that the lies can fade away. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
As I learn, heal, and conquer through Jesus; I’ll be sharing more. Stick around, share with a friend, connect with me on instagram to continue the conversation or to let me know if this resonates with you.
For more on this topic, check out my conversation called “Let’s Talk About Anxiety” on Unaltered Grace Podcast or listen to the encouragement Dr. Carpenter gives on the episodes entitled, “The Value of Discipleship.”
In His Unaltered Grace,