When was the last time a real threat triggered your anxiety?
Yesterday I faced a tense situation at work. I had to keep my emotions in check to remain professional. Yet my anxiety churned inside and I had a hard time keeping myself under control. I was edgy, quiet, and humorless. I’m sure my smiles looked forced.
After the situation was resolved, my pent-up anxiety leaked out in weird ways. I felt inexplicably grouchy for almost an hour. I got a little snappy, and I withdrew into a small project where I could block everything out. During this hour of leaky anxiety, I didn’t really feel in control of myself. My emotions were overriding my normal calm, composed demeanor in ways I didn’t understand, but I couldn’t stop.
Later in the day, I remembered something I heard on a recent Grit-N-Grace Girls podcast. When your system is flooded with adrenaline, your body needs about 45 minutes to process it. That’s why I felt so tense even after the situation was resolved. My body was at war with my mind, screaming, “This adrenaline has to be processed one way or another!” The fight-or-flight chemical residue leaked out in my negative behavior.
I’m not beating myself up for how I acted yesterday. I will apologize to those who I snapped at, and I know they will be understanding. I can grant myself grace because God created my body to respond to anxiety triggers. A quick burst of adrenaline-fueled energy will allow me to take cover or fight. That’s okay because God wants me to protect myself.
And I’m thankful I remembered to shoot up some arrow prayers. I prayed that God would reign over the situation and take control. Prayer helped me carve out a peaceful space inside the tension.
When was the last time a perceived threat triggered your anxiety?
If I’m being honest, perceived threats trigger my anxiety more often than real threats. I worry about money. I worry about my children’s futures. I worry about health. I don’t have good reason to worry, but I worry all the same.
In January I wrote a post about our looming tax bill for this year. I worried how we will pay it without going into major debt, and I committed the matter to regular prayer. We normally pay several thousand dollars in taxes, and this year I expected the normal amount to triple. Yesterday morning my husband handed me the final word from the accountant. All combined, we will pay only $102.00 in taxes this year!
I give God all the credit. He heard my anxious prayers, saying, “I’ve got this.” I don’t remember ever having a tax bill that small in the past 20 years. Though I expected our 2017 tax bill to equal my yearly salary, God said, “No problem.”
After I wrote Christmas Peace for Busy Moms last year, I chose one of the memory verses as my theme verse for 2017. Since January I’ve been repeating Isaiah 26:3 aloud daily:
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Because I am keeping God’s Word at the top of my mind every day, choosing peace is easier than it used to be. Remembering to pray in tense moments is more natural now. Trusting God to handle too-big situations is becoming my new normal. I thank God for infusing my life with peace when I dwell in His presence. I’m learning to bear the fruit of peace by abiding in Him.
Questions for you:
How can daily time with God grant you peace to face your anxieties?
Which memory verse helps you conquer anxiety?
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