(Presented by Lisa Bishop)

Have you ever experienced an overwhelming sense of anxiety?

Anxiety has been something that has reared its unsettling head in my life for the past several years. I had never really experienced anxiety and now, it can come in long waves. Staring a major life changing decision in the face caused unrelenting anxiety and restless and sleepless nights. I would wake up feeling sweaty and heavy and my eyes had not even been open more than a second.

When anxiety tries to get the best of you, go to the Word, pray, text or phone a friend to talk things through and ask for prayer. At the onset of worry and anxiety, I called my friend Lisa and shared with her that I was really struggling. She graciously created a safe space for me to share all of the thoughts that were invading my mind. Sometimes it can help to find a trustworthy friend who will just listen. When we verbalize what is causing worry and concern, sometimes it can lose a little bit of its power. She graciously listened and said “Girl, I don’t have the answer to your dilemma but have you worshiped?”

With that question, she responded with humility, love, and truth. A tender reminder that in those moments of life when you feel overwhelmed—turn to worship and gratitude.

In Philippians the Apostle Paul instructs us, “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).

The first thing I want to point out is the fact that Paul even talks about anxiety! If he is addressing it, surely people were experiencing it. Sometimes I think we can feel as if we are alone and the only ones who experience anxiousness. Or perhaps we feel like something is wrong with us when we feel waves of anxiety coming on. But Paul reminds us that there will be times when we feel anxious, and he points us to truth and who to turn to in those moments.

When you are anxious, pray. Tell God what you need. His Word says that he inclines his ear toward you. Thank him, express your gratitude for who he is and all he has done in your life. It can sound trite but it is truth. When you do, God promises you will experience peace.

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