“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Struggles with mental health, particularly anxiety, are very prevalent in today’s society. Growing up, I had never imagined that I would ever struggle with mental health issues; however, over the years anxiety crept up on me. I didn’t recognize the warning signs until I started suffering from frequent anxiety and panic attacks. My anxiety became very severe in early 2020, and last year it took on a new level when I developed insomnia. I hit what I refer to as my own personal “rock bottom.”
In September 2021, I was anointed and prayed over for healing (according to James 5), and God has put me on a healing journey ever since. Shortly after I was prayed over, I began a 28-week Bible-based program, which equipped me with certain tools to help me gain freedom and healing God’s way. This program can help people find freedom and healing from a variety of different challenges, including addiction, trauma, depression, anger, and fear. One particular session was a breakthrough session for me in my healing journey. The session focused on trusting God by turning our life, our pain, and our will over to the leadership of Jesus Christ. I thought I was already trusting God, but I realized I had still been trying to control things in my life. I often worried about the what-ifs and the worst-case scenarios. If I could prepare my mind for the worst-case scenario, I felt as though I could better prepare for it; however, this mental rehearsal just increased my anxiety. The Bible says worrying only causes harm (Psalm 37:8). This program has taught me to ask myself certain questions when I’m being tempted to worry: What am I hoping to gain by worrying? What do I really want more than this worry? What action will (or did) I take to help defeat this temptation in the future? Answering these questions helps me to refocus my attention from worrying to trusting Christ. There are also other tools that have helped me to monitor and overcome my anxieties.
Bible memory is very important at slaying Satan when he attacks our minds. The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). We are in a spiritual battle. Satan wants to destroy our lives. If we have the Word of God memorized, we can use Scripture to defeat Satan and his lies. We also know that Jesus employed the power of God’s Word when He was tempted in the desert. Speaking the Word of God and claiming a promise from the Bible is effective at helping our minds overcome anxiety.
Praying in Jesus’ name has also been life-changing for me. The name of Jesus is the name above all other names. We can pray in Jesus’ name that Satan would flee our minds and bodies. We cannot create peace in ourselves; it must come from the Lord. Asking Jesus to fill me with His peace has truly transformed my life. He has repeatedly shown Himself faithful by providing me with His peace.
I have grown so much closer to God through this valley, and I give God all the glory for the healing He has done, and is doing, in my life. Anxiety can be a daily battle, but we can overcome with Jesus on our side. If you are struggling with anxiety, there is hope and freedom available through God’s power.
Chilliwack, British Columbia