FAITH

Anxiety just needs to be gone. Right?

It’s such a horrible feeling, anxiety. I know it only too well. And when you’re a Christian, it’s even worse because you have that whole “guilt” thing going on. A Christian “shouldn’t” feel this. A Christian “shouldn’t” feel that. A Christian should never feel depressed or anxious. 

We feel so overwhelmed by the guilt.

But it’s not real guilt. Real guilt was taken care of on the Cross. But false guilt, the kind the Enemy likes to use, keeps us ineffective and hurting. Satan uses to interfere with our prayer life, our Bible study, our witness. 

And yet Scripture overwhelmingly addresses our humanness and our failing. Isn’t that why we needed a Savior? If guilt were to condemn us despite a Savior, would that make any sense?

In other words, guilt, whether real or false, doesn’t condemn us. WE condemn us. And we don’t have that right because Christ already took care of that. Did his sacrifice mean nothing then?

Today I went to the grocery store for the first time. The only other time was a quick dash in and dash out. But this time I was out of everything. Plus, I needed to stock up for the cabin which we are hoping to open this weekend.

I’m not a good mask-wearer. Is that even a word, “wearer?” At least that’s what I was thinking.

After I left the store, I wondered though, “Could it have been anxiety I was feeling?”

I think it was. The mask was only part of it, I think now. I felt like I was entering a battlefield. I felt danger.

Yep, that’s anxiety.

When did grocery-shopping ever do that to me? But this is a different time, isn’t it?

Anxiety seems to be popping up easily now for everyone, not just for long-time sufferers. We don’t need to feel guilty about it.

But there is an easy way to nip it in the bud. Deep breathing really helps.

Try it.  Breathe in through your nose so that your diaphragm (the area just above your stomach) rises as you inhale. Hold it as long as you can and then let the air out through your mouth as slowly as you can. Try to imagine your anxiety floating up to the sky and being carried away by the wind.

Do this a few times each session and a few sessions per day.

Trust me, I know this little step isn’t going to end your anxiety forever. But if you learn to breathe deeply throughout the day, it will help. I used to do it often when I was feeling really anxious. I still do it now on occasion. Now, that I’m grocery-shopping again (we’d been using a service), I may have to start this again myself.

As has been often said, much of our anxiety isn’t based on anything real. It’s usually fear of the things we imagine happening in the future and how we think about what we fear. But there are some real situations that bring on anxiety.

Like a pandemic.

Breathe in God’s unsurpassed peace and breathe out the destructive thoughts that are causing your anxiety, even if those thoughts do have some basis in fact.

Anxiety is destructive and self-defeating even during those legitimate anxiety-producing situations.

God bless and I hope this helps.

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