It has been a trying summer for many people that I love. Several family members and close friends have struggled with their health. The central theme seems to be anxiety… something that I struggled with immensely in the past. In trying to encourage them, I have looked back at my own struggle and deliverance and I believe the turning point for me was the day that I recognized that I could no longer sit and be battered by the invasive, irrational thoughts plaguing me. I had become a punching bag for lies that told me there was no hope, no light and no future. I laughed every time someone called me a hypochondriac and believed them. I nodded when they would say I was the biggest worrier they knew. Eventually one night a person I consider to be a chronic nervous worrier said “I’m glad I’ve never become a worrier of your magnitude.” I was horrified… had I actually gotten that bad? When I told my husband he shrugged and didn’t disagree. Bad news. Something had to change. One day I was listening to a sermon called “Know your enemy, know yourself” where the minister started talking about how we are so well acquainted with the devil’s strategies and we recognized them well… yet we still hadn’t evaluated and executed our own rights and privileges. We don’t understand our own spiritual identity , the strength and authority we possess through Jesus … and certainly we forget to use the weapon in our hand. What is our weapon? The sword of the word as Ephesians tells us.
From that day, I started to memorize scriptures and each time an invasive thought came… I quoted the scripture to it. At first, I didn’t necessary “feel” what I was saying… but I said it in obedience. The more I quoted them I started to notice the sooner the thoughts would flee. First they would come 100 times over and I would quote the same thing. Then without me really even being conscious of it, they came less and less. Now I found myself in the foreign position of laughing and telling people I USED TO BE FEARFUL LIKE THAT! What a miraculous thing. Now… don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t worry any more but something has certainly shifted. The thoughts DO still come every day. But they don’t stay. This morning as a close friend was desperately struggling to keep her head above water I decided to make a long fridge poster to help her combat the thoughts that are plaguing her. I thought I would share it. Hopefully it is useful for someone out there too.
And finally the greatest antedote to depression, oppression is meditating on what is true, good, right! What could fit this description better than scripture.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.