Can I be real with you today? Let’s just go ahead, brew a nice cup of tea, grab a blanket if you’re feeling chilly and have some real talk. Lately, I’ve been struggling a lot with my anxiety. Not the kind of anxiety where you’re like: “Oh I can see why you would be anxious about that!” But the unexplainable, irrational anxiety where you’re like: “Girl, you just woke up. What are you panicking about?” Really! I can wake up some mornings and literally feel my heart shaking in a panic nervous about what kind of day lies ahead. I feel like I’ve been on edge, but can’t quite put my finger on what exactly I’m so anxious about.
But in these moments of not knowing what’s ahead, not feeling God’s Presence around me & just having no strength whatsoever, I thank God for the faith that He has instilled in me. Because even through all the minor panic attacks, somehow someway I find the strength to still praise Him. I’ve been so grounded in the knowledge of His Presence with all the crap I’ve been through thus far that I know He’s with me even when I don’t feel His breath.
It’s Not About How I’m Feeling At The Moment
This summer, Hillsong United released their new album, Empires. One of my favorite tracks is a song called “Even When It Hurts.” Girl! There has been countless times when I will just break down & cry singing that song. What powerful, anointed lyrics are woven into that song! So many times just turning it on has brought me encouragement, reminding me of God’s Presence even through all the crap. If you haven’t heard the song, you’ve got to stop what you’re doing & listen to it now. If you’re at work, grab your headphones & sit in your favorite bathroom stall if you have to!
Satan wants us to live in the moment and only in the moment. He wants us to wallow in our anxiety, depression, and/or sadness. He wants us to doubt God, hate God, and leave God for whatever we are feeling at the moment. But nothing pisses the devil off more than continuing to praise God despite whatever storm comes our way. Lately, with all the anxiety that I’ve been dealing with, I’ve been filled with this prayer with the little bit of hope that I have.
It’s Not a Magic Trick
What does it look like for me to still praise Him? Most of the time, it’s turning on some music that speaks truth into who He is, praising Him for all He’s done. Sometimes, it’s saying a quick prayer thanking Him without having to have prior knowledge of what exactly I’m thanking Him for. A lot of the times it’s trusting Him by continuing on with my day instead of wallowing in my current emotions, trusting that He will get me through it.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Does it make me feel better afterwards? Sometimes, yes….most of the time, no…not right away. But it’s all about acknowledging His sovereignty. It’s letting your emotions know Who is really in control. I cannot deny what He has already done in my life, no matter what I’m feeling. Therefore, even when I feel like I have nothing else in me, even still I will praise Him because of who He is & all that He has done & all that He is going to do.
Our Hope In Him
I know I’m not alone in this. We’re all dealing some kind of crap in our lives, so I just want to leave you with some Scripture to help soak in during these bouts of anxiety. We have a hope in Him that cannot be denied by our emotions or feelings. Don’t let those thoughts overpower you & take control of your life.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” -Psalm 55:22
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” -1 Peter 5:7
“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” -Psalm 23:4
“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” -Hebrews 13:5-6
“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” -Psalm 56:3
“ And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” -Hebrews 8:38
With unexplainable anxiety, He brings about an unexplainable peace at unexpected times. With that truth, I will hold on tight & praise Him even still.