Battling Anxiety With Faith

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My whole life I have been asking God for concrete proof that he exists. I’ve said and thought ridiculous things like, “God, if you just flicker the lights or play a certain song on the radio right now, I’ll believe in you.” Those things didn’t happen because I’ve realized that it’s not God’s job to appease me just because I can’t believe in Him on faith, which is what the Bible calls us to do. And then I realized, if I don’t believe in God, then who have I been talking to and asking for signs? If I didn’t believe he was there listening to my irrational requests, then why would I continue talking? I’ve asked him to remove whatever is blocking me from believing and I’ve asked for prayer from others. And then I realized that blockage was me.

I’m the one telling myself that I have an issue with faith. I’m the one who is so terrified of dying that the idea of Heaven not existing is too much to handle. So much so, my OCD latches onto it and replays that thought over and over and over until I start to believe it.

Jennie Allen in Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts says that God has given us the innate ability to take hold of our negative thoughts the second they happen and turn them to Jesus. And it works. It works when I focus on what I’m thankful for instead of wallowing in the negative until I’m depressed and anxious and Jesus is far from my mind. So, why does it seem easier to choose the latter?

If God doesn’t exist, then why have I inexplicably cried during church services where we’re all praying for a filling of the Holy Spirit? Why did Mickey’s hand become burning hot as he touched my shoulder and prayed against my anxiety and fear? Why has my life been transformed and I’m no longer interested in things like horror films that scare me and keep me awake at night? Why do I feel an overwhelming desire to help my friends and others who don’t know God to find him and be saved? Why, if He doesn’t exist, does he take the stomach pain away when I can’t take it anymore? Why did He do that even when that was the only time I called upon Him?

Because God is real. Because He led me to my husband who helped me find Jesus. Because no matter how many times my brain, fear, and anxiety dragged me into hopeless places, I always came back to Him. I pick my head up off my desk and say, “Hey God, I’m sorry I’ve been trying to fight this anxiety on my own. I’m ready to give it to you.” And he lifts me up. Until I drag myself down again. Because I’m human and live in a world full of negativity, but the strength to take those negative thoughts and turn them to Him is all it takes.

I choose to believe and I will battle my thoughts every minute of every day. Even when I fail, because I know that I can always come back to Him.

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