Mental Health: Separation Anxiety
Fire and ice. Oil and water. Orange juice and toothpaste. There are some things in life that just don’t go together.
I can tell you from experience, the same is true of anxiety and faith.
My battle with anxiety has lasted decades (plural). That’s a huge portion of my life when you consider that I’ve only had three full decades to work with. Most people who know me have little-to-no idea (until now that is, LOL). That’s because life with anxiety is a dual existence, a gilded facade behind which the interior decays. No one can really know how worry seizes every thought while creating a distorted sense of control you can’t bear to be without.
But I have to be candid; in all my years of struggle, I’ve come to believe that anxiety is far more than a mental illness or a clinical disorder. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe there are biological roots to anxiety disorders—this bruised apple didn’t fall far from the family tree.
But like so many others, medication and therapy left me nothing more than emotionally stripped and spiritually bankrupt. Desperate for healing, I went in search of the root cause of my anxious tendencies. What I discovered was that like so many other cantankerous couplings, anxiety is an all-out war between opposing forces that fundamentally CANNOT coexist.
This truly is good vs. evil kind of stuff.
Let me show you what I mean. 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God has given us a spirit “not of fear,” but a Spirit of “power and love and self-control.” Simply put, a spirit of fear is not from God…
… and if it’s not from God then it isn’t good.
Yet when we allow fearfulness to capture our thoughts, evil has free reign on our hearts and seeks to destroy our faith via doubt. James 1:6 tells us that true faith doesn’t have room for doubt—that the two are mutually exclusive.
And after all, isn’t that what anxiety is—doubting God’s got you covered?
James goes on in verses 7-8 to warn us that a doubt-tainted faith will cause us to become “double-minded” and “unstable.” When we doubt that God’s plan for us is good (especially if it involves pain), we basically sever our connection to the single source of peace that can exist in this life. We begin to appease our fears rather than surrendering to the care of the Divine Healer… and you know what they say…
You can’t serve two masters. It’s that serious.
But anxiety is nothing more than a lie. It seeks to shift our focus to the threats of a fleeting world instead of remaining fixed on the eternal Truth of God’s love for us.
It may not be easy to take in and even harder to do something with it. God knows that with His power, I am still fighting this battle each day. Blessings to you and your loved ones who fight this relentless war. We shall all be victorious one day.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart”—Jeremiah 29:11-13.
Family Matters and their guest writers are not and should not be seen as true medical advisers or a substitute for medical help. If you or know someone who may be suffering, please contact a professional.
Written by Michelle Hutchison