An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

Proverbs 12:25 (NIV84)

Huffington Post article described anxiety as the following:  “It is like your mind being on fire – overthinking and overanalyzing everything with no shut off switch.”  Anxiety is really the fear of being afraid, and anxious hearts are constantly plagued with “What if’s.” There have been many nights anxiety has wreaked havoc on our home as fear expressed itself through anger or uncertainty escalated into emotionalism leaving us exhausted and feeling defeated and hopeless.

There have been many nights anxiety has wreaked havoc on our home. For us, fear often expresses itself through anger and uncertainty can escalate into emotionalism. Our anxious home can leave us feeling exhausted, defeated and hopeless.

However, we have discovered that the battle with anxiety can actually pull us together, make us stronger, and more aware.  The key is believing that God is working through everything and always has our back.  Let’s look at 3 beliefs that are essential for us grow together in this battle.

God Cares

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Too often, we bottle up our anxious thoughts and feelings keeping them to ourselves. This makes us feel alone and even more vulnerable to fear.  However, God wants us to throw every anxious thought and feeling on him.  He never gets tired of listening, never feels overwhelmed, and never gets exasperated with us.  Every anxious thought can be overpowered by openness in prayer and a deep belief in God caring intensely for us.  Our family works every day on the conviction that God is a God who cares and wants to know everything we go through.

I Am Not Alone

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT)

One of the biggest temptations when we feel anxious is to isolate ourselves.  We get into protection mode – protecting ourselves from hurt, disappointment, rejection, and failure.  But isolating is the worst thing for us.  The best thing for our family has been opening up our home and bringing in more people.  Having friends see us for who we are – the good, the bad, and the ugly – makes us feel vulnerable but at the same time has brought support, security, and strength.  When life is a struggle, it is best to struggle together with friends.  When our kids see us parents reach out to friends, they learn that relationships make us stronger.

Everything Has a Purpose

I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.

Psalm 57:2 (NLT)

God has designed every family to fulfill a purpose.  What is the purpose of our family?  Why do we have the strengths we have?  Why do we have the challenges we have?  Why do we have the opportunities we have?  All of it is because God has a purpose for us as a family.  Often, we think that because we are struggling with anxiety or fear, that we are unable to help anyone.  But, just the opposite is true.  God uses us when we are at our weakest points to reach people who are otherwise unreachable.  How can your family reach out and connect with other families who have similar struggles?  Seeing how God can use us, makes the struggle have meaning and value.

Anxiety does not have to control our family  In fact, it can help us develop a set of beliefs that make us stronger. The Bible is filled with people who turned to God to overcome the paralyzing grip of fear.  Find one, study them, make him/her your favorite character and follow in their steps.

Scott Colvin

Scott Colvin

Scott Colvin is an evangelist at the Bay Area Christian Church. Scott ran cross country for the University of North Carolina. Some say he's still running to this day.