When Anxiety Attacks

Earlier today, I sent out messages to some of my accountability partners because of my heavy heart. I remember having anxious thoughts about certain concerns that I have been dealing with recently. After asking for their prayers, the burden felt lighter. However, on my way home from work, the thoughts came back again. This time, they were darker.

As soon as I stepped out of the office, I knew that I had to talk to God about my anxieties. So, while I was driving, I played the songs I wrote last year which were based on Biblical truths. For the first 30 minutes of my drive home, I felt peace in my heart as I was in awe of how amazing and comforting God’s Word is. I thanked Him for His grace and the privilege of writing and singing His truths. But, during the second half of my drive home, fear slowly crept in my heart. I felt my heart tighten as I heard SPECIFIC words spoken to me. Words such as “FEAR, HARM, and RAPE.”

As soon as I felt the fear, I immediately prayed and asked God to remove them from my mind and protect me from whatever attack that was. After praying, I remember feeling the fear still, so I continued to open my heart to the Lord. I reminded myself that He was in control, good, sovereign, and loving, no matter what. I  also recited verses in my head, verses about who He is and the promises that He has for us.  After doing so, I closed my hand and pounded my heart as I rebuked the fear and lies in Jesus’ name. By that time, I was already inside our village and was about to park when this song randomly played in my Spotify playlist: “Don’t Be Afraid” by Brandon Heath:

For the one who keeps it all inside
Or the one who says: No, I’m just fine
For the one who hurts too much to cry
Don’t be afraid
For the one who knows but will not say
Or the one who’s blinded by the pain
Anyone just trying to be brave

Don’t lose faith
Don’t lose heart
He is with you wherever you are
Don’t give up
When you fall apart
He is with you

You gave Him your heart
He’s keeping it safe
When you’re in the dark
Caught up in the fray
Wherever you are
Whatever you face
You’re held in the arms
That nothing can break
So don’t be afraid

I took a deep breath as I thanked the Lord for His reassurance and the security that we have in Him. Tonight, I was reminded of the importance of these three things:

1) NOT TO LET SIN LINGER ANY LONGER – During the attack, I remembered Ephesians 4:27 which says: “and do not give the devil a foothold.”  N O T  E V E N  A  H I N T. I saw how Satan can use our sins (even our anxieties) to try to distort our view of God and His truths.

2) REMEMBER WHO GOD IS AND WHO WE ARE IN HIM – 1 John 4:4 says “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” How ironic that this happened right after I listened to songs about God’s Word and the day after I posted a blog about making 1 John 4:4 a reminder for me this new year. But somehow, God allowed these moments to happen for a reason. Tonight was a reminder for me to be intentional in seeking the Lord and His Word each day.

3) KEEP MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE – I cannot grow in my spiritual walk without being honest and accountable to God and people who will lovingly rebuke me and pray for me, when needed. It says in James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” By God’s grace, I pray that I will continue to improve in this aspect. Thank you, prayer warriors, for fighting with me, on your knees.

Cast All Anxieties on Him

While I was driving home from work a few days ago, I felt an unusual kind of dizziness and a constant tightness on my chest. It lasted the whole 2-hr ride and I remember wanting to get home as soon as possible.

I asked my parents to check my blood pressure and it turned out that I had a normal one.🙃

Me: So, what was it po? What did I feel while driving?

Dad: ANXIETY, anak.

I was shocked because it was the first time that I felt anxiety physically (that intense). It’s possible that the burdens I’ve been carrying this past month overwhelmed me so much. A similar feeling happened a month ago, after I ate a huge chunk of sansrival with thick butter frosting. Both times felt like I was going to have a heart attack.

I realized that God was serious when He gave us 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he CARES for you.” and Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect PEACE those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

It was God’s way of telling me “Nic, because of Me, you REALLY don’t have to worry about anything. Lift them up to me. I gotchu.”

Whew!

Thursday Tune #37: I Am by Influence Music

A colleague asked if I could pray for her this afternoon. She was struggling with a number of concerns and her anxieties were already piling up. My heart ached because I knew that battling with anxieties isn’t an easy thing to do. In fact, in the recent days, I’ve had my own share too! Sometimes, I wish that there was an off button for worries and anxieties in life. Can’t I just erase them from my mind the moment I have them?

Two days ago, I struggled with it so much that I spent the whole day at work going through my tasks with a blank look on my face. It was as if my default mode was set to being melancholic. I was filling my mind with so many “What If’s” and this hindered me from intentionally laying my concerns before the Lord. Instead of having faith, I was nurturing fear in my heart. Instead of trusting in God’s sovereignty and love for me, I was trying to solve things on my own wisdom and strength.

That night, as I drove home, I took a deep sigh at the sight of the heavy traffic ahead of me. I only had two choices: 1) Spend the next hour grumbling on the road, or 2) Seek the Lord and listen to His Word. By God’s grace, I did the second option and I chose to listen to one of Chip Ingram’s podcasts about what to do when we are overwhelmed with anxiety. Yes, I specifically chose this topic. The main passage that Chip dwelt on was Philippians 4:6-7, which says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

My heart was crushed while I was listening to Chip Ingram’s podcast. Even if I’ve already read these verses a lot of times before, I was still moved by how intentional and gracious the Lord is with us. He knew that we would struggle with anxiety waaaay before we did and His sovereign hand has been guiding us all along through His Word. I was encouraged to develop a lifestyle of praying Biblically and specifically, more so when I encounter anxieties and worries.

Instead of just whining about my concerns and telling them to the Lord, I am reminded to remember who He is in my life. This is because my view of God will affect how I think, feel, and respond to different situations. It will also affect the way I seek Him and pray to Him. Here are some of the characteristics of God that I am encouraged to think about tonight:

“God is greater than all of my fears combined.

God is in control and is always on time.

God deeply cares for you and me.

God is faithful and He will continue to be.

God is merciful over and over again.

God is able to do more than we can imagine.

God desires that we grow in Christlikeness

God loves us — no more, no less.”

In relation to knowing who He is in our lives, I would like to share this song that I discovered on Spotify a few weeks ago. It is called “I Am” by Influence Music. I pray that it would strengthen our hearts as we seek the Lord and His Word even as we deal with anxieties.