Does dealing with anxiety make me a bad Christian?

Written by Becky Leach
Published on January 29, 2021

I’ve never thought of myself as a person who needs to be in control. In fact, I fancy myself a pretty laid back mom (with the occasional exception).

But several years ago, life felt very out of control. 

It left my head and heart spinning from the moment my eyes opened in the morning until they closed at night. 

Combat your doubting exhalations 

With a newborn and two young kids, a traveling husband, and after school activities, I was at home a lot.

I quickly went from introversion to isolation. My claim to being the “chill parent” disintegrated. Somewhere along the way, I started to do everything in my power to protect and manipulate our schedule to fit my needs.

Instead of dealing with my growing anxiety, I tried to simply manage it. I was ashamed of feeling out of control. 

I would often tell myself: “Just breathe,” while questioning my faith with every exhale.

It finally became too much while we were on vacation. 

After a mild series of panic attacks, I decided to stop the home remedies and visit an actual counselor. Choosing to visit a counselor has been the very best decision I’ve made as an adult, short of marrying my husband and having our sweet children.

Acknowledge anxiety at its root

Here is what my counselor told me: “Acknowledge anxiety for what it is.

If you are suffering from anxiety of any kind—including feelings of stress and overwhelm that you don’t think are anxiety—listen up. 

I am giving away free therapy today. 

Stop trying to fight it.

We have to deal with our emotions. Say to yourself: “I am struggling with anxiety at this moment, but I know it’s going to be okay.” 

Stop trying to figure out why you feel the way you do and simply acknowledge it. This was the hardest habit for me to break, but my counselor pointed out that questioning it only serves to make anxiety worse. 

He will equip you 

Dealing with our anxieties does not make us bad Christians. 

In fact, I believe many people in the Bible dealt with fears of one kind or another. David reeled in Psalms asking God why his enemies were prospering. Moses certainly felt anxiety while dealing with unruly (and forgetful) people.

If anxiety was not a problem, Paul would not have felt compelled to address it by saying: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).

God is absolutely for us. But for as long as we are alive, we will be dealing with overwhelm, stress, and—you guessed it—anxiety. 

In his graciousness, he has given us tools and people to deal with our sufferings. 

You are not alone, and need not carry shame. God graciously puts people in our lives to surround, pray for, and encourage us. 

Sometimes, as in my case, that person is going to be a counselor or even a doctor. Friend, please hear me. Know that accepting help is okay.

Lay your anxieties at his feet

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’” (Jeremiah 29:11–13).

God has plans for you, even in your anxiety. 

Draw near to Jesus, seek him, and you will find him. Saturate your life with Scripture, worship, and prayer. 

And above all, lay your anxieties down without fear, without shame, without regret. 

Name them in front of your Savior. Let his unsurpassable peace enter into every nook and cranny of your life. 

Start today.

Live perfectly imperfect

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Becky Leach

Becky Leach is a fervent writer, accidental speaker and self-taught artist. She adores Instagram, hates working out and is obsessive over the creamer in her coffee. She is a mom of three crazy kids and married to her high school sweetheart, who just so happens to also be her State Representative. The beat of Becky’s heart is to equip women in living free in the grace of Jesus’s great love and as a result, recently co-founded FreeToo Ministries. Connect with her at www.beckyleach.com.

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