As Christians, sometimes the world expects us to be perfect human beings. I am here to tell you, that’s not the case. No one is perfect, but as Christians we strive to be. We want to please Jesus in every way possible. There are trials and temptations thrown our way no matter how hard we pray. That just means you pray harder, you work harder and you love harder. My trial is anxiety and I KNOW this is something I can overcome but only with the help of God. I’ve done it once; it will happen again. Until that day comes there are things I, as a Christian, go through that people may not understand or even know about. These confessions are what I struggle with, whether it’s spiritually, emotionally, relationally, or mentally.
Confession #1: I’m hard on myself.
As I said earlier, we all strive to be perfect in the eyes of God. Life happens. We slip up in some way. Then we beat ourselves up about it. For me, it’s like a continuous beating emotionally. I keep apologizing, promising God and myself to be better. Acts 3:19 states “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Deep down, I know this verse to be true but the anxiety inside me continues to scream apologies and promises.
Confession #2: It’s hard for me to say no.
Even when there are times I want to and need to (no matter what the circumstances), telling people no makes me feel horrible. It feels as if I am letting everyone down regardless of the circumstances. My husband even says “Just tell them no,” which sounds so simple but for me a million questions come to mind. What if they get mad at me? What if they stop talking to me? What if they think I’m a bad person? What if they think “saying no” isn’t something a Christian should do? Aren’t I supposed to be loving everyone the way Jesus does? Would Jesus had said no?
Confession #3: I’m a massive over thinker.
If you haven’t figured that out by now, I over think things. When I say overthink I mean I completely analyze every single situation. What could happen, what will happen (as if I can predict the future or actions of other people), what would happen to me…those are all questions that run through my mind for every scenario. As a Christian, that’s not my job. I shouldn’t be analyzing all the scenarios thrown my way. My job is to give it to God, but if I’m honest it’s not always that easy.
Confession #4: I take things personally.
It’s become hard for me to tell if someone is joking when they make a comment or if they are serious. This is hard for people with anxiety, especially me. No matter what the comment is, you don’t want to make it more awkward and say “Wait, are you kidding around or are we being serious here?” In person, I take comments, conversations, and situations in stride. Once I’m alone where my brain starts running 300 mph or I get home to my husband, it all comes out. I’m either stressing about it in my head, trying to figure things out or blabbing to my husband about it. After all, he is the reason I have learned I take things too personally. Again, just because you know that about yourself, doesn’t make changing it easy. It’s a process, just like controlling anxiety itself or should I say not letting anxiety control you.
Confession #5: I want to be left alone.
Let me explain this one clearly. I don’t mean everyone drives me insane and I want to be stuck in a room 24/7 by myself (although I do have those days). By this confession, I mean there are times my anxiety is so high I feel like I can’t function. I not only want to be alone so I can process my thoughts and get myself together, but sometimes I need that. One thing I have learned is that it’s okay to want and need time to yourself-time to think, time to rest, time to heal, time to handle the anxiety. For me, this can be as simple as a shower, a nap, reading a book for a bit, or just laying down. I think this is a difficult one for people who have never experienced anxiety to understand. As I still work through handling my anxiety, I try harder to make it known why I’m so tired or so stressed or why I have that look my husband says I have on my face when something is wrong.
Anxiety is not an easy fix. Being a Christian with anxiety definitely does not make it easier. But I know God is gracious and I can rely on Him.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” -Psalm 55:22
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” -Hebrews 4:16