Have you ever struggled to release anxiety and trust God in difficult seasons?

These past couple of years, God has shown me a rather unflattering facet of my personality. Perhaps it goes back to my younger years when peer rejection carved deep wounds into my heart and my spirit. After becoming a Christian in my teens, I still nursed those wounds, trying to tiptoe around them, as though if I ignored the hurt, the pain would eventually disappear.

And perhaps for a time, it did. 

But, God loves us too much to allow those wounds to dwell, unhealed in our hearts. Unhealed wounds fester and eventually impact every area of our lives. For me, rejection colored how I viewed every interaction with others. I over-analyzed conversations. I did whatever seemed necessary to fit in with those around me.

The result of this was that no one truly knew me, so no one could genuinely get close to me . . . even though what I yearned for was deeper relationships and close friends. 

This led to anxiety weaving into my mindset and my physical reactions.

When I finally felt ready to allow God to begin His healing work in my heart, I was scared. How much would it hurt? How risky would it be to let Him into that festering sore place in my heart? What would the cost be to release anxiety?

6 Sure How To's to Release Anxiety and Trust God—God always knows the best way to bring healing to the broken places in our lives #tellhisstory #anxiety #trustgod Click To Tweet

God always knows the best way to bring healing to the broken places in our lives. But I wonder if certain wounds crop back up, even after God’s done the healing? 

Releasing anxiety and my one word

I share this because, as I think on my One Word for the year—Cling—I’ve realized there’s a good reason God gave me this word. Our sons are both on the verge of launching into adulthood. I dropped our oldest at college a few weeks ago. 

Both of our sons are striving to figure out manhood. And both made choices that have broken my heart. And isn’t that the case with about every mother who’s launched a child? If I’m honest, anxiety has ridden me hard, leading to fear and physical problems.

Back to the unflattering facet of my personality. In the past few years with our boys, I’ve yearned to control how things happened in our family, in the decisions they made, and how they’ve done things. 

As you can imagine, that’s gone over really well. 

But, this is what God has shown me . . .

I use control to mitigate my fear. Somehow, I developed a mindset that if I could control, then my worst fears wouldn’t come true. My mindset slipped from a place of trusting God to trusting myself. And anxiety ballooned when I was forced to relinquish control.

Trusting God requires us to open ourselves up to pain. 

6 Sure How To's to Release Anxiety and Trust God–Trusting God requires us to open ourselves up to pain #tellhisstory #anxiety #trustgod Click To Tweet

Real Life Choosing to release anxiety

Pain has been the music of our family this year. Various events happened. Choices were made. Repercussions resulted. And the courage to release anxiety has been stifled.

Fear of the “What If’s” has had its way in my thoughts and heart and body for too long.

Worry wove tentacles around my stomach and squeezed; around my lungs, allowing only shallow breaths. 

Is holding onto control worth the physical, emotional, and spiritual costs it demands? 

Or is choosing to cling to Jesus in the middle of the pain the better choice? 

The easy answer is, “Of course clinging to Jesus is better!” 

And yes, we know this is true. But, this decision sometimes must be made moment by moment. It requires me to breathe through the anxiety. To release my plans into God’s hands and then hold on for the ride.

Image of a sunrise, a reminder that God is with us, and He will help us to release anxiety

Choices we can make to release anxiety and cling to Jesus

How am I learning to cling to the Lord in the middle of our mess? Especially when the “mess” lasts a long time, we make these choices intentionally, as often as needed.

Choosing to spend time in God’s word every day

Even on the days when I don’t seem to “get much out of it,” I know God instills His truths into the fabric of my being.

Choosing to redirect my thoughts

When I feel worry squeezing, I remind myself Who is in control. Hint: it’s not me. Sometimes the reminder of who God is helps release anxiety.

Choosing to share my “hard” with trusted friends

This has been a blessing, because friends check in on me or text, “I’m praying for you today.” And this offers comfort in the middle of the pain.

Choosing to remember Who God is and who I’m not

I am not God. I am simply a woman walking through some hard things right now. But, I’m held by the One who will bring me through.

Choosing to meditate on verses

that remind me God sees both the now and the not yet. 

Choosing to look for His fingerprints in my days

The other morning, I went for a walk. It wasn’t raining, yet God shared a rainbow with me. It was like His little love note to me saying, “Jeanne, I’ve got you. I’m working in your hard place. And I will bring you through.”

Take a quick look at what I saw that morning.

Conclusion

Sometimes the One Word God gives us at the beginning of a new year is intended to draw us closer to Him. To bring us through the difficulties He knows we’re going to face. 

Have I lived out “cling” perfectly? Oh goodness no. but thankfully, God doesn’t expect perfection. He only wants us to trust. It’s in the trusting that we grow closer to our Father and see His faithfulness in our days.

What about you? What has your One Word taught you this year? How has God helped you to release anxiety?

Next week we’re meeting at Lisa Jordan’s place!

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