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Please pray for me, give me advice, and let me know I'm not alone and that you understand.


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Lots of good advice here. 

 

First off, I would suggest something similar to what sw said. There very well may be a physical reason for the anxiety. I would say get your thyroid checked first-TSH, T3, and T4 levels. If that comes back clean (and I mean completely normal), look into other hormonal imbalances, etc. 

 

Secondly, many folks on here strongly suggested seeing a Christian councilor. I second that. You mention that you talk to your pastor dad, but he's also busy. Working out something on this level is going to take more than a couple pep talks. You need some one who is going to help you firmly ground yourself in Christ over and over again. Regardless to whether something physical is causing your anxiety, what you are dealing with is having some very negative physical effects on you, and particularly on your brain. When we continously worry we forge a superhighway through the neurons in our brain until fear becomes the first response everytime a stressors hits, and not worrying becomes the "road less traveled". Don't worry, the brain can be retrained, thank Jesus.

 

Thirdly, cut out what you can. It sounds like you have too much on your plate like many of us do (I can attest). If you're not sure what to cut, or feel like you can't cut anything, pray about it. God will either show you what to nix, or give you His supernatural strength to get you through it.

 

Finally, assuming are saved, your best ally in this fight is Jesus, as you know. There are 365 "do not fear" verses in the Bible. He knows we mortals struggle with it. You're not alone.

I, like so many others have attested to, struggle with anxiety myself. I've been dealing with some very insidious health issues (thyroid problems included) and everytime I turn around, something else seems to be breaking on me.

I'd like to add a couple verses to the pile your already have; a few that have helped me.

 

Colossians 1:17-He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

 

John 1: 4-5-The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

 

When those dark thoughts hit you, it's not enough to "stop" thinking about it...because that never works on it's own. We need to focus on the right thing too, and we need to take God at His word.

Hold fast to what you know to be true regardless of how you feel, and watch the Lord work wonders.

 

I am praying that this scourge is lifted from you quickly. Hang in there!

 

 

 

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You are in my prayers. May Jesus give you the peace that passes all understanding.

Here is a Bible verse that has helped me in my struggles many times.

 

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 

Here is a song that has deeply touched me as well. I pray it touches you. These are the words of Jesus.

 

 

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I can empathize. I still remember that feeling of the band around my heart and lungs keeping me from breathing. It plagued me for years, along with headaches, nightmares, digestive problems, nervous tics, back pain, and other symptoms. The Lord delivered me from fear of death, purposelessness, an depression early in my Christian walk, but anxiety took the longest: thirty years of slow improvements with lapses when life got too crazy.

 

A turning point for me was when I had a dream about being tossed about by a tornado, but surviving it in the end. A few days later I heard a sermon about Jesus calming the storm. The Lord was telling me that I would go through a long storm, but find peace at the other end. That storm lasted about fifteen years, but I made it through. Throughout those years, I held onto the promise from that sermon and that dream. Now I no longer suffer from anxiety. In fact, I took a psychological test. Now 90% of people suffer from anxiety more than I do.

 

Yes, I had a dream. I also joined a prayer group for many years. I went to Christian counselors. I prayed with my pastor. I studied the Bible. I wrote poems.

 

In my case, I received a medical diagnosis: Aspergers Syndrome. This contributed to my social awkwardness and other problems adjusting at work, in relationships, etc. I did not learn of this until my mid 40’s. It is good to narrow down the causes by consulting professionals. (One of my kids has been feeling depressed. Turns out her vitamin D and B12 levels were way low and that causes depression.)

 

To reiterate, with times, this is how long it took for me to overcome each problem:

 

  fear of death: 6 months

  Purposelessness: 18 months

  depression: 7 years

  anxiety: 30 years

 

Every person is different. Every problem is different. I have issues I still deal with, like EFD (executive function disorder, related to Aspergers). I may never overcome that in this life. You don’t need a dream to tell you, “In this world, you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus already said it in his word. My experience is that God’s word grows inside of you. Even parts that you don’t understand behind to change you. Keep reading it and praying it.

 

For example. I meditated on Habakkuk 3:17-19 almost every day for 18 months while I was working on my college thesis. Habakkuk decided to praise God even if all his crops failed and his cattle died. I decided to praise God even if I couldn’t finish my thesis and got expelled. I nearly was expelled. I asked my Bible study to pray for me and barely graduated. Thus it may be that the beginning of your growth is to work despite your anxiety. God taught me to trust him so that I could make it for several years and keep functioning despite continuing depression, anxiety and fear. He taught me to be content with knowing him even when I lost a girlfriend, my car, my job, and my Bible study leader left the faith all in a few months. That suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. That is not just a Bible verse. It is a reality.

 

I am editing a book on Peace that I have been writing for the last year. To get to peace, you need a harvest, and every harvest is a process:

  1. Preparation. Get your tools ready. Early education and experience.

  2. Plowing. This is intense suffering.

  3. Planting. This is studying the Word.

  4. Pouring. The Holy Spirit is the water that purifies your heart of fear and other dirt. (When Hagar was dying of thirst in the desert, the Spirit of the Lord showed her a spring of water. We need water to withstand the heat.)

  5. Plucking. The Father works on your will, priorities, and rearranging the material and social world around you to get results. He pulls weeds and prunes the thorns.

  6. Producing a harvest. Work is involved, but you make rapid progress and are rewarded with large results.

  7. Peace. Enjoying the blessing of the harvest, before the work for the next season of struggle begins.

 

My prayer for you is that you find the peace that surpasses understanding. Two months before I was saved, a woman I had never met noticed I was depressed and offered to pray for me. A few days later I remembered that she said she would be praying for me and peace entered my despairing heart for a few hours. Trusting in that prayer was one of the most important steps I took towards becoming a believer. My prayer for you is that people who know how to pray like that woman will surround you. 

 

Peace

 

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Hi AJ, a big hug from me even though we are both strangers. 

I'm in my early 50s, you sound like you're ? late teens/early 20s? So many years between us, but while I had a pretty stable childhood I've gone through traumatic stuff as an adult. I learned how to come through it and be resilient. Resilience is a wonderful quality & worth cultivating.

I echo the praying for you, the urging to seek a Christian counselor, the advice on essential oils (high quality not cheap brands as those are adulterated) and eating real food not junk! 

I add to that good sleep. I bet you're up late on the computer trying to get it all done. You need your rest so quit the electronic devices at night, go read a real book or write longhand in a journal and get enough sleep. Add to that exercise. If you don't do much, start doing something and keep at it. Your body needs to release the nervous tension and physical activity is great for that. Be outside in fresh air & sunshine. If  you're going to be a writer as your career, that's a lot of sedentary sitting, so getting into the habit of regular exercise now is a good lifelong habit.

 

Stuff from our past shapes how we react and think about ourselves. Somehow it seems you've taken on beliefs that you are only worthwhile and loveable if you meet expectations and  achieve a high standard of perfection. The pressure to meet all these expectations and be perfect is tremendous. A Counselor can help you sort out these beliefs and loosen their grip on you. The trouble is you're in a real tight  spot where it's very daunting to try and find one. So how to get past that?

 

The self care stuff helps. Rethinking your commitments will help. You are super stressed because you're trying to do everything. See what you can drop, renegotiate, delay for a bit. 

 

Some things that cause stress and anxiety are the social pressures. How much social media do you use? Reduce. Reduce. Reduce!  Social media is a time sink & a mental trap for many. So many mixed messages for young women from popular culture too.  eg Girls can do whatever they want! Maybe it's better to think about what a person should do, rather than  she wants to do (as in seek a virtuous life not a selfish one). Young people need to save the world! No, they don't. No young person is responsible for solving any of humanity's problems  or saving the planet. That's a terrible burden to place on someone. Only 1 person came to save the world - that was was Jesus 2000 years ago and he could do it because he was God! 🙂So think about these societal messages and whether they are true or not, if you have worried about these kind of things.

 

Getting past hurts: The body traps the memory of emotional wounds. The mind can block memories just to protect you. That's ok. God's timing is perfect and knows when it's time to tease those memories open for healing. Recent hurts require forgiveness in order to be healed of the hurt. So forgive the person. Forgive yourself. Do it over and over until you feel differently about the person. Pray blessing over the person as the final step in that process. Pray blessing over yourself. Forgiveness is a gift for yourself and will always bring emotional healing. 

 

Think of yourself as being in car. Look through the windshield to the road ahead. That's your future. That's where you're heading. The rear view mirror is your past. When driving you only glance at it every now and then. To stare at the rear view mirror all the time while trying to drive would cause you to crash!  Right now you can't tackle anything rooted in childhood hurts. But you can deal with the girl who hurt you. Forgive her and let it go. If you need to apologise to her, do that simply and concisely, no additional drama. Forgive and let go. Don't stare into that rear view mirror, you are looking ahead at the road, remember?

 

Spiritual warfare: this is also part of the mix. Some of the stuff you hear in your head isn't you - it's the Enemy. The passage in Ephesians about the full armor of God was included for a reason. We need it. Study that and apply it. Pray for the blood of Jesus to cover your mind, emotions, imagination and will as a daily prayer.  Use worship and the Word as your weapons.

 

Expectations that you must be a good writer: Vanity and ego! Wanting to write something worthwhile... is a mistaken approach. Think of it as God gave you the skill and desire for writing. However, this is a craft to refine, so write to refine this skill. By working on this skill you are pleasing Him. Enjoy the process, the journey  - and don't worry about the destination. Leave your creative inspiration up to God and He'll see to it that you will produce something of merit. Your job is to get out of the way of your expectations of being a "good writer"  and just focus on the process and let God do His thing at the right time. 🙂

 

Social awkwardness: it does get better as you get older. I can empathize. I was dreadfully self-consciousness. But choose not to label yourself as forever shy and awkward - this is not your fate. Recognize it's actually a set of skills that can be learned.  People respond to questions about themselves and will talk. All you have to do is ask them questions. No need for you to think up something clever or funny or cool. Be interested in the person and make them do all the talking, and you just have to listen. 🙂

 

Useful books: How to Win Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie.

 

Boundaries, When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take control of your life, by Henry Cloud/ John Townsend

The 5 Love Languages, Dr Gary Chapman. People have different ways of receiving love. Some feel loved when a loved one spends more time with them, others feel loved through gifts. There is also The 5 Love Languages of Children – for parents to better meet their child’s love needs. 

 

There’s no rush to read these, but they will be useful to you as you navigate your life into adulthood. Most libraries will have them.

 

None of these tips are intended to be a substitute for a Christian counselor but hopefully will help you find some balance and not be stuck. Take care.


 

 

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