You guys, the struggle is real. The anxiety struggle, I mean. And as we learned last week, it can come from just about anywhere, anytime.
For instance, several years ago (okay, it was 20 years ago…) I was on an airplane. It was one of those tiny little puddle jumper things with propellers that was supposed to fly me from Chicago to Indianapolis. Just looking at the thing made me jumpy!
And here’s the thing. I was a nervous passenger to begin with; I always had been. But sitting on the runway at O’Hare, looking up at the dark and stormy sky wondering how this tiny little plane was going to fly through it, my anxiety ramped up to all kinds of crazy.
We took off and about 10 minutes into the 45 minute flight, the plane got caught in the thunderstorm storm. It was struck by lightening (apparently, this isn’t a big deal to airplanes, but I assure you it INDEED was a BIG FAT DEAL to me), the plane dropped about 1000 feet, and the oxygen masks dropped down. Yes. THOSE masks. The ones you are instructed to put on YOURS first before helping others. The only problem was, I couldn’t move because my body was frozen in fear. And I wasn’t traveling with anyone. And the flight attendants were busy in the chaos. So…no mask for Wendie. Luckily, it was some sort of electrical malfunction from getting electrocuted in a tin canister in the sky (!) and we actually didn’t need them.
Obviously, since I’m sitting here writing, all turned out well. We turned around mid-flight and landed safely back at O’Hare. But, OH. I was SHOOK, sisters. SHOOK. I was convinced, actually, that I’d never board another flight in my whole-living-life. This was going to be problematic, though, because I lived in England at the time and traveled often for my job. Um, red flag alert.
(I think now is a good time to tell you that I eventually got back on a plane and sort of overcame this weird fear of flying. How was all this possible, you ask? Well…I sought hypnosis treatment from a certified hypnotherapist in England who also happened to be a dentist – I’m totally NOT kidding you so you can now begin to wonder about my healthcare choices. But that’s SUCH a long story. Saving that beauty for another day… 😉 I love cliffhangers.)
(Oooooh. And speaking of in-flight anxiety stories, the next time we’re together, be sure to ask me about flying with a guy whom I affectionately call “Double-Double Mark-Mark” because he needed a double-double adult beverage to make it through a flight from Chicago to Sarasota. We ended up sharing our iPad with him so he could watch “Gnomeo and Juliet” to calm his nerves. It was all good until he offered the remainder of his adult beverage to my daughter – who was 11 at the time. Um, no thank you, kind sir; perhaps it’s time for you to close your eyes for a bit.)
I SWEAR, you guys, I do not make these things up.
But here’s my main point: my anxiety in those airplane moments was totally rooted in my need to CONTROL things. Problem is, I’m not a pilot. Not even close.
That’s the thing, really. Control. Well, it’s our need to have control. Which is just a dressed up word we use when we decide we need to manipulate our circumstances instead of letting God take His rightful place at the helm. Girls, when we grab control, we are essentially saying we don’t trust Him. And if we don’t trust Him, we are playing right into the hands of our enemy. (See this post regarding our enemy and his manipulative ways for more info…)
I love this quote from Beth Moore: “When it comes to anxiety, we can cast it and pray, or we can keep it and become prey. We’re not convinced God is listening. If we really believed He – the creator of the Universe who has all things at His fingertips – if we really thought He was there, we would pray.”
So what’s a good Bible study girl to do in the face of such anxious times and circumstances? Ladies, we need a plan.
Our plan is 100% scripture-based (and therefore TRUTH-based) . It starts with knowing what anxiety is and how to call it out, and finishes STRONG with declaring Truth over ourselves, our circumstances, and even over others.
If you are interested in attacking anxiety instead of letting it attack you, click here for our girlfriend’s guide to kicking it out of our lives. Remember from last week, it may not change your circumstance or situation, but it sure can bring you freedom from the freak-out surrounding it. And that freedom allows us to step out in faith and take action when and where it’s needed.
God is good all the time, sisters.
Following our She PERSISTED study? You can click here for our homework for week six! Can you even believe we are HALF WAY THROUGH this awesome study?! And for those of you who like all the extras, click here for some great online resources supporting our topics this week!
Smooches and prayers for FEAR-FREE moments this week!
Peace, love, and SO MUCH JOY!
Note: I take anxiety, on the clinical level, with extreme seriousness. Prayer and a relationship with God have been incredible tools in my own toolbox for dealing with it, personally. Having said that, if anxiety is affecting you in ways that disrupt your sleep, your daily life, your ability to take basic care of yourself, and/or your ability to relate to others, PLEASE reach out to a professional (doctor, therapist, pastor, counselor). Help from every level is so important in conquering it. If your anxiety or depression makes you feel like you want to harm yourself or someone else, PLEASE tell someone immediately and call 911. I’m praying for you. Relief IS possible, sweet friend.