Today I want to talk about fear. It can come in all shapes and sizes leaving one to feel sick, miserable, alone, frantic, and dare I say flat out crazy. Fear is so debilitating. Do you know how to identify fear? Many times, we think of fear as just being afraid to accomplish or achieve something, but what about those fears that you cannot see or identify. How can you cope with fear that you seemingly cannot control?
For years, I have suffered from a mental health condition known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This high level of anxiety has kept me fearful of many things in the world including the loss of family members, my purpose / calling in life, the judicial system, germs, and of the world around me. Medically speaking, to deal with any forms of anxiety one should turn to the world of pharmaceutical drugs. There are so many drugs to treat every condition know to man; yet, why is that always the first steps taken by doctors for your treatment? Whatever happened to good old fashioned prayer, talk therapy, dealing with your problems, and a proper diet of organic foods, vegetables, fruits and herbs? All of these things were designed by God in order to help us live healthy lives by enhancing our growth and nourishing our minds and bodies. “Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made.” (Genesis 2:8 NLT) Still, we are so quick to turn to drugs to cope with our pain. As a result, we aren’t actually dealing with the pain at all, we are MASKING the pain.
Through my spiritual journey, I’m learning that God is all I need. I’ve taken medications for anxiety before and they never made me feel the way the Lord makes me feel. With medication, I’ve felt sleepy, confused, paranoid, nauseous, dizzy and lightheaded. Having a relationship with God now, I feel weightless, stress-free, happy, clear-minded, peaceful, joy, love, patience, less anxious and full of energy. How is this possible you may ask? Well, let me tell you getting to this point in my life didn’t happen overnight.
For a long time, I doubted that God was that powerful to heal me and deliver me from all of my stressful, anxieties in life. It’s not until I stopped doubting and trying to deal with things on my own that I was able to dig deep within myself and star figuring out what my pains / problems were. I was able to do that by coming to God, seeking His Spiritual guidance and asking His son Jesus to help me deal with the things that were causing my anxiety. Once that journey started, I was able to identify what my triggers were, why they bothered me so much, as well as find proper scripture passages that helped me cope with the fears. Everything was guiding me directly towards where God wanted me to be — with Him. Again, this process wasn’t easy. It took 3 years of crying, praying, reading, worshipping, studying the word of God, writing down my feelings; toppled by years prior of suffering with my anxiety, failing at doing things mine and the doctors way before I saw God’s light and was able to officially start the healing process.
During that time, some of my fears, or the things that I was so anxious about losing, came to pass. I used to be so afraid of losing my grandmother until she passed away. I used to be so afraid of not having my grandfather around, until he passed away a few months before my grandmother. I used to be so afraid of being broke until I lost all of my money. I used to be so afraid of having nowhere to go, until I wound up homeless. I used to worry about people liking me until I lost all of my fake friends. I used to be so anxious to be in love and have a life partner until I found myself tired of being abused, broken, sad and alone in dead end relationships. I used to be so stressed out and concerned about being seen as a black statistic until I experienced racism while in college. I was never afraid of germs until I was in the hospital a few years back fighting for my life while battling viral meningitis. I didn’t fear cops and the judicial system until people I knew were brutally beaten by police, targeted by criminals for testifying in court as well as watching many people from my community being shot and killed because of the color of their skin.
After spending years battling the emotional roller coaster that came along with many of the things I’ve encountered, I’m finally at a stage where I’m now saying no to anxiety altogether. I’ve finally had enough! I’m placing it all in God’s hands. I don’t want to deal with anxiety anymore. I’d like to get to the point where debilitating fear doesn’t ever paralyze me again. I’d like to walk or ride by police or enter a courthouse without fearing for my life. I’d like to not be afraid anymore about germs killing me. I’d like to fully get to the point where I never worry about things I cannot control. I believe that only God can fix those annoying, lingering fears that still plague me. Just as He did it before, He can do it again. I’m not saying that you should throw away your medications. I have asthma as well, so I still keep an inhaler to maintain my breathing. However, I do believe some things or medical diagnosis can be healed holistically for God says,
So all I’m encouraging you to do is to pray first. Start by dealing with your inner self and the things you can control (the foods you eat, physical activity, spiritual wellness and your overall lifestyle). There are simpler ways to handle things rather than masking it with medication. I hope you take something away from me sharing my story. Whatever it is that you are battling with, afraid of, stressed out about, or sick from, cast it all out to God and watch how He moves in your life. Let Him handle the stressful, exhausting things that you feel burdened down by. We can’t do it on our own — we were not designed to carry ALL of the weight. “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29 NLT)
There’s only one person that can handle it all and He’s already paid the price. Try Him for yourself and see what happens. Just be sure to be consistent in your efforts — God is not a sometime God. He’s an ALL THE TIME GOD! He can heal you too, if you let Him. Come take the journey with me and let God heal us all!
Sincerely with love,
Travel photography by IG users: @ilhan1077 & @plantfolk