Unanxiously waiting

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Peace. It is my number one goal. I have come to realize that feeling a sense of God-given peace is the foundation for a life lived for Him and above the worry. Knowing it and having it, however, are two very different things.
I was once an anxiety-riddled person. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. In knots. Constantly. It’s an utterly exhausting way to live. Tonight I was reading the Jesus Calling app (do yourself a favor and download it now. I’ll wait while you do it … Go ahead. Trust me, you can spare three minutes to read it each day – maybe cut out one game of Angry Birds or bejeweled and you’re there.) and she used the word parasite to describe anxiety. How perfect. Worry and anxiety are more than just a negative feeling (unless you’re that one in a 44578865 person who just doesn’t get fazed and I’m super jealous of you) they truly suck the life out of everything else in your life. They make a beautiful colorful life increasingly black and white by the day. I know this. I’ve lived this.
If you live in a state of anxiety (FYI do NOT buy into the lie you’re just a “worrier” and you must live with it. Christ promises to renew our minds. And since He keeps those promises … And He promises to prosper us we can trust that whatever comes our way can be met with peace from Him.)
In the past I found some of the most frustrating moments of my anxiety soaked days to be the ones where nothing was happening. It was often as though the tough days were livable while I cowered in fear awaiting the what ifs during the non-valley periods. I realized this is because during the tough times I sought and clung to and enveloped myself in Him. He was my lifeline during those times. I was suddenly able to make time for the Word and listening to Klove in the car and living in constant dialogue with Him. The storm would pass and then I would find myself suddenly “too busy” to read that three minute devotional and jamming out to Lady Gaga (which everyone should do every so often – I’m not here to knock the gaga). The point is that at some point I realized that the key to freedom from my anxiety is to remain in Him.
Anxiety, like a parasite, only worsens when you ignore or accept it. Imagine knowing you have termites and just turning a blind eye? It’s what I did far too often or worse I accepted they were just a part of my life. The termites of the soul never pack up and leave when you accept them. They invite friends. And they will leave your soul rotting and in shambles.
For the anxious I recommend doing many things but start with these two books – Calm my Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow (the one with study guide included is an absolute must) and Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. It’s a process to eradicate anxiety and I’m still working on it. But, life is in full color these days.

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About Amanda Jean Elliott

I am a joyful believer in Jesus Christ, a mother, a sister, a writer, a maker of gluten free roux and a style editor. I love my son Wilder and the wild life that comes with a 4-year-old who has the energy of a pack of wolves. I also love naps (a lot). I love to cook and create my favorite dishes without gluten not because I'm trendy and anti-gluten so much as it makes me feel like I've been run over by a pack of wolves. I teach 5th and 6th grade girls Sunday School and have a classroom of the greatest girls I could imagine. Girls who often teach me more than I teach them. I believe these girls and many others are the spark to start a fire for The Lord the likes of which this world has never seen. I see more and more girls learning about more than just who God is ... but, learning about who God says THEY are. It is my prayer for every woman to know without doubt that we have a good good Father in heaven and whatever is not right on this earth, He will make right in this life or the next.
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