I mentioned last week pressure coming from three sources; sin/disobedience (our choices), wounds (other people’s choices), and an invitation for more or need for maturity.
This post looks at pressure coming from sin. My sin. In this case – worry, lack of trust, anxiety. Whatever nice cultural terms we like to use it’s sin.
Here’s my process to partner with the pressure so I grow instead of just wishing it would go away or remaining a victim to it.
1. Humble yourself before the Lord.
Lord, I’m feeling so stressed and anxious. I know that’s not You.
2. Ask Him where the pressure is coming from.
Where is this pressure coming from? What is attacking my peace?
3. Shed your shell – be vulnerable and honest with the Lord
As I pause to ask and answer my questions I realize I have let a list of things creep in to my subconscious thinking.
- Troubling thoughts about hard relationships
- Creative ideas I don’t have time to pursue
- Comments made on social media that aren’t true and aren’t worth responding to
- What to make for dinner
- How to get my baby to sleep
- If anyone cares what I write
- Books I want to read
- Business projects I want to pursue
and on and on and on…
4. Begin to grow a new shell. Ask Him “What do I do now?”
The idea He gave me was to write the thoughts down. Writing down the thoughts is symbolically giving each one to the Lord. With each thought I record I am reminded of His good character and promises to take care of me and everything concerning me. As a move my focus to the promise and His faithfulness I feel anxiety decrease and peace flow in to my soul. I repent. Changing my thinking to match His. The thoughts that come are a mix of His words to me and my own thoughts.
Troubling thoughts about hard relationships I carry peace. I release them from any expectations of them. I bless them in Jesus name. Creative ideas I don’t have time to pursue.Lord I thank you for the wisdom to continue working on my routines so I will have time to pursue ideas You ask me to pursue. Comments made on social media that aren’t true and aren’t worth responding to.I’m thankful for Your faithfulness over the years to show me that the truth always comes out. I’m thankful I don’t need to put any effort into defending my character. You do it better than I ever could. What to make for dinner.Just decide. No really, pause and make a plan. (That’s Him 😊) How to get my baby to sleep.Be consistent and patient. (Him again 😊) If anyone cares what I write.Father I remind myself I am writing for You and I’m writing for me. As I am faithful You will bring the opportunities and connections I need to accomplish what You have in mind. Books I want to read. Set one by the couch. Read when you lay Teagan down. You only need to read a little at a time anyway. You can’t apply everything all at once. One thing at a time. (and again 😊) Business projects I want to pursue.I have so many ideas. I give them each to You. I trust You to give me time and resources and direction for the right time to pursue the right idea. Thank You for providing everything we need; ideas, finances, connections, time, and strategies.
5. Stay hidden in His presence until your new shell is grown
Every time the anxious thoughts return I choose what to do with them. He is teaching me to put the anxious thoughts away. They do not belong continually in my mind.
Obviously, this shell will be growing for a very long time, maybe the rest of my life. I am getting much better at putting my thoughts away instead of letting them run wild in my head.
How do you deal with anxious thoughts?
Please share your strategies in the comments.