When I stood at the front of the church two weeks ago, the pastor put his hands on me and prayed that I would have “the faith to believe God can take away my anxiety.” As he spoke to God on my behalf, I spoke up as well. Jesus was before me and I told him, I said “I believe you.” I said it three times and I meant every word.
The anxiety left my body instantly.
The next day God reminded me of a verse I read a few weeks back. It was Galations 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” and I knew it was no coincidence! How cool is it that he gave me this scripture BEFORE I even needed it?
For a week I walked completely free of anxiety, there wasn’t even a hint of it anywhere! After about a week I detected little thoughts popping into my mind, little lies trying to get me to take my eyes off Jesus and put them on the storm so I would sink like Peter did.
Then a test came to see if I would stand. I was on my way to the hospital with my daughter who has some concerning symptoms. Her eye was turning inward, which could be a sign of a brain tumor. I felt the familiar burning feelings in my arms and legs start to creep up towards my chest. I felt that nervousness, that jittery, sweaty fearful attack coming on. My heart rate increased, my thoughts started racing. I couldn’t breathe.
I protested in my mind, “No, I don’t have anxiety anymore.” But the feelings persisted and worsened. “Okay, I don’t have anxety anymore but I sure am experiencing the symptoms of it!” I thought! “What am I supposed to just pretend that this isn’t happening God?” I screamed in my mind while my husband surfed the internet on his phone, completely unaware.
“No, no no no!!! I don’t have anxiety anymore!!.” But it just wouldn’t let up. I didn’t want to admit defeat and I didn’t want to fight anymore so I just refused to think about it. The entire hospital visit long it waxed and waned and I tried to ignore it.
The doctor came in and said they believed it wasn’t an emergency situation and that she should just wait the two months to get in to see the specialist. They sent us home. This was not what I was hoping for.
On the midnight drive home the panic had lessened but the anxiety remained. As my thoughts floated around, I remembered standing at the front of the Church. I remembered how I focused on Jesus, as if he were standing right in front of me and said “I believe you.” So in my mind spoke to him again and decided to believe him once more.
“I believe you.” The three most powerful words ever uttered. I didn’t say, I don’t believe in anxiety, I don’t believe the lies Satan is telling me. I didn’t say I believe I am free either. I just simply said, I believe HIM.
I believe in everything he is. Everything he says. Everything he does. I trust him. He is able to carry my anxiety for me, so I handed it over to him. Instantly again, it was gone.
This morning my scripture was Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear; but you have received the Spirit if adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
You see the only time I fear is when I act like an orphan, when I believe my Daddy is not with me. I went to that hospital alone. It was me who had to figure out if my daughter was going to be okay. It was me who had to convince the doctors to do an MRI.”If she dies, its my fault. If I don’t do everything I can, no matter the cost, then I’m not a good mother!” I heard in my mind.
But I don’t operate from fear anymore. I operate as a daughter of Jesus. He is the one under pressure to make sure my little girl is okay, He is the only one capable of moving mountains to get her the tests and treatment if need be. And if she dies, it is HIM who allowed it, not me.
When I was a child, I tagged along with my dad as he conducted important business at the bank or drew up rental agreements, arranged deals with other men on private gun sales and the like. I always looked up at my dad as he talked about things I didn’t understand and I loved listening to him. He was so knowledgeable and so skillful in negotiations. He used the scope of all of his tools in his tool belt to get what he wanted and to make things happen.
I look at God that way. I’m just tagging along as he does his adult business. I don’t really know how he does what he does but I trust him. I cant imagine fretting fearfully next to my dad that the negotiations would fall through and he wouldn’t sell his gun or rent out the house. That was his business and I knew that even if he was threatened with losing his job, I could trust him to make a way for me. No matter what.
I would have been completely at ease living in a hotel room or a homeless shelter with my dad because I knew, no matter what, he had me. He would protect me. He would provide for me. He knew what was best for me.
That’s how it is with God. I believe him like I believed my dad.
Now that I’m older I can see that my dad was actually just an 8th grade drop out who was winging it day to day, flying by the seat of his pants and pretty much had no idea what he was doing. He just did the best he could with what he had.
But Jesus has infinite wisdom. He is perfect in all of his ways, lacking nothing. He is the source of knowledge, the creator of everything and completely in control of the universe and everything in it.
If I believed in my dad, with all of this flaws and faults, and trust me there were plenty that I witnessed, then I can believe Jesus.
Every day I wake up and my arms and legs burn. Fear jumps into my chest the second I open my eyes for the day. As I pour my coffee I say, “I believe you.” and it lessens. As I recline in the chair and listen to my husband I think “I believe you Jesus” and it lessens. When I kiss him good bye and crawl back into bed for my morning prayers I feel like I’m crawling into the arms of Jesus and in his presence I am free.
Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.