Do you have an anxious heart or trouble being still? Today I want you to meet, Julie Loos, a friend of mine who blogs over at Unmasking the Mess. She brings us a fresh perspective as she shares what it is like to be still in the midst of anxiety. She is my hero when she states her disorder has been a blessing. We all can take away some useful tips from her wise words. Thank you, Julie.
Calm my Anxious Heart: How God Enabled me to Trust
Guest post by Julie Loos
Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.
(Psalm 46:10, NLT)
When I decided to write for this series, I was a little nervous. I mean, I could write something, but what could I say? The word “still” and I just don’t go together.
Being still is one of the hardest things for me to do. When you have an anxiety disorder, your mind is always going. The hamster in the wheel, yep, that’s my brain. Asking an anxious person to be still is an oxymoron.
I’ve tried numerous times, whether it be walking, sitting or lying in my bed to be still. I try to empty my thoughts and see if God will say something to me. It feels like minutes or hours of trying not to think when in reality it’s a minute and a half.
Why I Couldn’t Be Still
My whole life has been doing, striving and giving my brain workouts until six years ago. I found myself almost bed-ridden from years of stress. My balance was out of whack, so driving was out of the question. For someone who was always on the go, it was a significant awakening!
Anxiety became a new way of life. At that time, I was frustrated and hopeless, but as I look back, it was the way God urged me to find stillness.
Stillness in the form of two ways:
~To be physically still.
~And to trust in His ways and plans.
Previous to this, I had ideas and dreams, and I was beginning to live them out. However, it was an uphill battle trying to go on the path I wanted. Things were so hard because, in retrospect, I was going in the wrong direction. God needed to send a struggle to get my attention.
How about you, are you struggling with something right now? Do you feel frustrated as you battle this day in and day out?
I beg you to look differently at your struggle. Might God be teaching you something vital as you fight against it?
The Greek word for still is “rapa” which means to cease and let go. The idea is to stop your fighting and instead trust things will work out.
Be still and know that I am God.
Here’s what I’ve missed, I thought I was to cease all my activity, but in reality, I needed to stop trying to figure everything out by myself. To be still is to trust my Heavenly Father, know He has my life in His hands, and to allow Him to lead me.
Why was I anxious, because I thought everything depended on me. I held all control, but really, God was the one always in the driver’s seat.
Isn’t this what struggles do? They cause us to realize we were never in control. The daily battles, the health battles, the parenting or marriage battles, all show us we need to be dependent on God. We don’t have to struggle alone, but rather trust that He is with us.
Only in trusting in God during these hard times can we get to know Him.
4 Ways to Get to Know God Better
1. Spend time in His word.
2. Through prayer.
3. Ask Him to know Him deeper.
4. Be still, stop your struggling and trust God’s help.
The key to being still and getting to know God better is to stop striving and doing life in our strength, but instead, find the time to spend with Him and trust in His leading on life’s journey.
Being still is less about not moving in a supine position, but rather realizing your purpose in life. Our mission is to know God better and do His will. We will never fulfill those assignments when we’re busy and struggle on our own.
My anxiety has been a huge blessing because it caused me to become more dependent on God. When I have anxious days, I am ultra-focused on needing to fill myself with Him more than anything else on earth.
I have found I can be still even in the midst of anxiety!
Please meet my friend –
Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 17 years. She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes. You can find her blog at www.unmaskingthemess.com.
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