ANXIETY: Here’s an encouraging story.
Imagine being so afraid of driving that you never left your town. Imagine being like this for more than 20 years.
A few years back, a father entered my office and asked for help with severe fear and anxiety. Think of the limitations associated with this.
- You can only select a job close by.
- Your family can take only “stay-cations.”
- You miss all of your children’s away athletic games.
- You politely decline all missions trips at your church
This father so wanted to be there for his kids’ milestones, but he could manage to go only one exit on the highway. And leaving his suburban town terrified him. He knew his fear wasn’t “rational.” But that didn’t help with the tightness of chest, trembling hands, and flooded emotions every time he tried to drive farther than a few miles.
The anxiety was so uncomfortable that he had quit trying. His doctor had given him a prescription for some medicine that might help, and he was considering it, but he knew that this was something more than medicine alone could fix. We wrestled through scripture, and he was challenged to think differently about his fear and to try some new things. He has a supportive family who was willing to help him too.
Victory over Anxiety!
Fast-forward to this past weekend: Mother’s Day, 2018.
I received a text from him. In it he said he just drove back from this daughter’s graduation from graduate school. He was a proud father, and he was there to see her receive her diploma. In another state. Many exits away. And God was pleased!
In God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
I must perform my vows to you, O God;
I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling
that I may walk before God
in the light of life. Psalm 56:11-13
A Progression in Anxiety
Consider the progression here:
- Anxiety is a call to trust God.
- Anxiety is a call to worship God.
- And anxiety is a call to renew my walk with God.
When it comes to anxiety, God wants our perspective to change away from the way it makes us feel, to the opportunity to trust, worship, and renew out walk. That is what ultimately changes our perspective in anxiety.
Sometimes victories take 20 years, which is the frustrating part of anxiety. But whenever they come, God is pleased! So to my friend, I say, “Well Done.” And to others who resonate with his story, I say “Keep Trying” because whenever the breakthrough happens, there will be great worship, thankfulness, and joy!