Have you read the other posts in this series?
- My Anxiety Disorder: Part 1 -Vice of Fear
- My Anxiety Disorder: Part 2 – Glimpse of Hope
- My Anxiety Disorder: Part 3 – How bad was it? And have you got one, too?
- My Anxiety Disorder: Part 4 – The Physical Fix – Are Drugs the Answer?
When I look back on the year the Lord set me free from my life-long anxiety disorder, it seems to have been nearly instantaneous and effortless. I give God all the glory because:
- though I did pray about my problem, it was not with the vigilance which I was certain I would have to exercise to be delivered.
- though I did try to renew my mind with Scripture, I did not achieve the saturation that I thought would be necessary.
What I’m saying is, it wasn’t all me and my efforts that brought healing – I was not alone in this. God stepped in, made up for where I was lacking, and brought deliverance though I did not earn or deserve it. I praise and thank Him!
But when I looked back in journal #60 to research for this post, I found an entry that showed that there were steps I took and hard things I did to facilitate freedom and healing. The following is a situation in which I had to consciously choose the way of freedom and turn from the thoughts and actions that were binding me in a prison of stress.
Jeremy and I had been married 1 ½ years but there were still people who didn’t recognize us as a unified couple or respect our identity as husband and wife. I would occasionally receive a phone call in which someone wanted to relay a message to Jeremy through me. Not a big deal until you understand that the message was something they didn’t feel comfortable saying to him personally, so they were using me as a go-between. Otherwise known as a pawn. You can imagine the stress potential here, right?
One morning such a phone call came and I decided to put my self-conscious, quavering foot down. This was a decision only possible because my mind had been renewed by scripture and Godly counsel to the point where I understood I actually had a choice here! I took a deep breath and calmly told the individual that if they had a message for Jeremy they would have to call him themselves.
This annoyed my caller, who immediately launched into full manipulation mode (it had always worked on me before!). But I would have none of it. Caller became angry…and…hung up on me.
Oh, no! what had I done!!!? For the first time in my life, I had consciously made someone angry enough to hang up on me! And someone I cared about, too!
But wait – what had I done? Nothing. Nothing but what I was supposed to do. Their anger was their problem and for the first time in my life, I didn’t make their response my responsibility. I didn’t let someone else’s opinion keep me from doing what was right for me and my family! I was free!!!
…And sick to my stomach. And shaking. And weeping — crying out to God for strength and an accurate perspective on what had just happened. I couldn’t wait for Jeremy to come home so I could cry on his shoulder and hear him say I’d done the right thing.
Jeremy was a great coach during the season in which I had to relearn thought patterns and my responses to people. He could care an owl’s hoot for what people think of him. He is a very considerate, thoughtful person, but he doesn’t obsess about other’s response to what he feels is right. His example has done much to teach me balance in this area.
If you know you need help in this area, I strongly encourage you to find a mentor, coach, or friend who can help you see things from a more balanced perspective. Jeremy found scripture for me that counteracted the lies I was believing, he prayed over me, and he kept me accountable by challenging me whenever he saw me slipping into people pleasing mode again.
But most importantly, don’t forget to reach out for help to the One who created you, knows your inmost being, and died so you could be free.