Unpeel the silken layers of perceived serenity, the contented smile, the calm responses to whining children, just beneath the surface can lie a churning whirlpool of fear.

Stomach churning, chest so tight that breathing comes in only short breaths and mind clouded, all sense hidden by the fear of something which doesn’t even exist.

Anxiety, the foe which follows me around, hiding in corners, awaiting his moment to pounce and steal my peace. I knew he was there, I’ve felt his eyes boring into me for weeks, watching my every move, seeing the chinks in my armour. He’s an evil genius, he knows just where to strike to cause me maximum damage.

This week he went for it, he found my Achilles’ heel and took me down, almost drowning me in a sea of fear.

For a few days I wrestled with him and he seemed to be winning. I tried to pray, but to no avail, I was consumed with fear, irrational fear.

I’ve spent weeks transferring my anxieties from one thing to the next, a sure sign that it was anxiety that gripped me and not genuine concerns. I suspect my hormones are struggling as Timothy weans, as it’s not the first time I’ve felt this terror.

Why would I be afraid? My God loves me, I have nothing to fear.

Sadly I know all too well that he allows his children to suffer. My childhood was peppered with pain, death, financial crises, walking on egg shells, feeling invisible after Mum died, as Dad threw himself into his own life, his own grief, and I just felt like a giant inconvenience.

God’s allowed me to suffer before, so he could allow it again.

Is that it then, is that why I’m afraid, is the inner child in me still frightened? Maybe. Perhaps it’s just hormones, or my highly sensitive personality, after all God’s healed me of my pain from the past, hasn’t he?

I often feel guilty when I’m afraid. I shouldn’t feel this way, I’m a child of God. Where’s my faith? Perfect love drives out fear, doesn’t it?

I feel guilty because I feel, at that moment, unable to be full of joy and yet, as Christians, aren’t we supposed to have joy in all circumstances?

You see, I was wrestling. Satan wanted to bring me down, to whisper these doubts into my ear, to whisper fears and gradually turn up the volume until the noise of my fears drowned out the voice of God. God’s still small voice was always calling me, but FEAR and DOUBT were shouting.

Finally it came to a head on Wednesday, tears choked my voice as I pushed them back, I was broken, but then God intervened.

Wednesday was my prayer night with my ever faithful prayer partner, Jennifer. I shared the emotional horrors of my week and she prayed, bringing me before God’s throne and petitioning him on my behalf.

It was like the mist cleared, my senses sharpened, my mind became still. The wind and the waves of fear listened to God and obeyed him, the storm in my mind subsided.

God gave me a new perspective on the problem that I’d blown out of all proportion, the one which appeared unsolvable. God cleared the confusion from my thoughts and showed me the way forward. It was so simple, why hadn’t I thought of it already? Panic is no friend of clear thinking.

The battle for my peace is over, as if it had never occurred, except for the immense gratitude I feel towards God for saving me once again.

I know Anxiety is waiting just around the corner, he’s been forced into retreat, for now, but he’ll have another go, next time I need to be better prepared.

I’d best put on the full armour of God to defeat this enemy, he’s a wily one and determined too, he knows anxiety is the sin which so easily trips me up.

‘Therefore since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.’ Hebrews 12:1

‘Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.’ Ephesians 6:11.

I have learnt through this that prayer may not change the situation but it can change our perspective and that, for me, changed everything.

Sending blessings to you all, Vicki

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8 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. Praise God for giving you victory! The struggle sounds horrible.
    Interesting that you say “he”, not “it”.
    I obviously know nothing about your story and what Jesus already did.
    Surely anxiety is from the devil, the question is, are these attacks from outside or inside? It could be a demon manifesting. Trauma seems to open doors for demons, but often it’s hard to tell. I’d try to find someone near you who has experience with praying for deliverance and most of all, faith. This can be normal Christians, no “professionals”, and it must not be anything like a hyper charismatic show or Catholic exorcism. (If praying for deliverance is new for you, you might have some misconceptions or fears.)
    If you read the gospels, beside preaching and healing, casting out demons was a big part of Jesus’ ministry. Those demons didn’t just disappear or went all to Africa…
    Btw, I don’t see how anxiety is a sin or where the bible mentions it as sin. Yes we need to be careful not to allow sin in our lives, starting with our thoughts…but please don’t beat yourself up for having anxiety, on top of suffering from it.
    It surely is also a good idea to be alert (not the same as fearful awaiting the next attack) and fighting back the enemy with God’s word which is our sword (like Jesus when he was tempted by the devil).
    I’d also recommend to ask your husband to pray for you when you feel attacked, for he’s your head and has spiritual authority.
    I won’t promise you anything since few disciples are perfect like their master but I surely would give it a try.
    My husband had some strong experiences due to God’s grace, like someone being delivered from nightmares he had daily for 12 years. We also have a good friend who suffered from awful physical pains for years as teenager and no doctor could help, until she was delivered from (a) demon(s).
    I pray the Holy Spirit will lead you what to do and maybe find the right people to pray for you in Jesus’ mighty name.
    Be blessed and encouraged!

  2. I also know that God allows his children to suffer. My childhood was painful, death, financial crises, walking on egg shells, feeling invisible Mum was a devout authoritarian Christian, she was brought up in an orphanage & had never experienced what it was like to be a gentle loving parent, Dad was there sometimes but even when he was there it felt he was absent, unconnected, disinterested in his own children. God knows how I prayed yet he still let me suffer & feel unloved

    Now in my older years God lets me & my loved one suffer as I battle being a carer 24/7 in the fight against delusional dementia day after day. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s tests my faith each day as God does not answer my prayers for the miracle of faith healing. Therefore i can only conclude my faith is not strong enough & in God’s eyes must be smaller than a mustard seed. Surely God does not want his children to suffer, so why does he, allow so much pain & hurt

    I have no answers for you or myself

    May God hear & answer your & Jennifer’s prayers over your anxiety, heal you & make you whole & strong. Amen

    Philippians 4:6 NIV
    Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

    • Jonathan, I’m so sorry to hear of all your suffering. I know that God allows suffering and Romans 8:28 tells us, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ Some things we will never understand this side of Heaven, ‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9. You will be in my prayers, Vicki

      • Thank you for your reply which brought me to the breaking point of tears.

        I will be truthful at times I don’t know how much longer I can endure this & I have prayed for death as a release from suffering

  3. James 5:16 NIV
    Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.


    I pray for each & everyone of you & pray that you will join me in prayer now, that we may be strengthened & God will hear our prayer petitions & answer them in the affirmative AMEN

  4. I hope this cut & paste article on The Book Of Job & his suffering published in the guardian Newspaper may help & bless those that read it.

    There are 8 parts/blog articles on Job’s suffering, links to which can be found at the bottom of the free online Guardian Newspaper page. 511 people have posted comments on part one alone, which are also interesting

    “The Book of Job, part 1: Who was Job? Why does he matter?
    By Alexander Goldberg

    The Book of Job is the first document in history to take seriously the question of why really bad things happen to really good people

    My introduction to the Book of Job (Iyov in Hebrew) was not a promising one. I was in my early teens. A woman with three teenage sons, a stalwart of our community, was dying of cancer. She asked for a Rabbi to attend to her and answer one question: why is this happening to me when it is not my time? A Minister was found who promptly told her to read the Book of Job as she would find consolation within it. But she had read it already and still she searched for an answer.

    So a second rabbi was called for. This one did not tell her to read Job: he spoke for hours with her. She resolved many of her difficulties and died in relative peace. But after this experience, “Job” came to embody for me a “Bible in my pocket” answer to suffering, something that could be whipped out to explain uncomfortable questions. It had been used to curtail a more painful and intimate discussion about mortality which was needed at the time.

    None the less I gave Job a second chance and picked up the book and read this story. For the first time I understood why anyone should think it held answers to our questions about the nature of suffering and the extraordinary nature of the relationship between God and Humanity.

    In this series of blogs I shall revisit the Book of Job, the personality and some of its meaning for contemporary society. It centres on the theme of theodicy: why do bad things happen to good people? The central question of theodicy is to explain how an all-knowing, all-powerful and benevolent and just G-d allows bad things to happen in the world: this applies equally to those suffering or to those witnessing suffering.

    In exploring this topic, I am coming from it from a Jewish and a personal point of view and look forward to engaging with some of the difficult questions that arise out of Job with those who have different beliefs.

    The Book of Job is one of the first documents in history to concentrate solely on how a just G-d can allow the suffering of innocents. Some scholars claim it might have been written in the 5th century BCE; and some traditional Jewish views even claim Moses was the author of the story.

    The story of Job starts in heaven. Satan, the adversary, claims to G-d that Job is only righteous because he is basically wealthy and comfortable. Satan asks G-d whether he can test him. He wipes out Job’s 10 children, his possessions and gives him a nasty skin disease to boot. Whilst mourning the death of his children three friends increasingly challenge and berate him suggesting that he must have seriously done something wrong to have received such a fate. Job then questions G-d regarding his suffering, finds Him to be unjust and speaks harshly against G-d. A fourth companion enters the story, Elihu, and it is Elihu’s speech that creates the basis for theodicy. He chastises all, tells us G-d is never wrong, merciful and that we cannot know or comprehend all that G-d does. There are greater things than us that we do not and cannot understand. G-d then turns up, confirms this position and tells everyone that Job is a righteous man and that the three people who mocked him should make a sacrifice and that Job will forgive them. The story ends with Job receiving his wealth back several fold, having another 10 children and living for another 140 years.

    Job’s wife appears briefly in the Book but she is an interesting character which we shall return to later in the series. Having lost her 10 children, she apparently gets angry with Job’s piety and a domestic dispute ensues. Reconciliation must have followed at some point as she has another 10 children with him. Her own feelings are never spoken of and she is never challenged in the same way as Job.

    Judaism and other religions have “developed” the story of Job. Indeed there is a second Job, of legend and tales. The Talmud mentions him as one of the three Prophets consulted by Pharaoh prior to his decision to drown the Hebrew baby boys (Exodus). Balaam tells him to kill the Jews, Yithro to spare them and Job who does not agree with the plan says nothing. The Talmud concludes that it was for this reason that Job was punished. This undermines the notion of theodicy and rather raises the possibility that he was being punished for his deeds after all.

    Legend goes into different religions and cultures. Job has two graves, one Islamic in Oman and one Druze site in Lebanon. With such uncertainty about his identity some Medieval religious scholars are quick to claim he was a myth invented to illustrate a point and if true then this is the ultimate irony: for a man that may have never existed he has given us a lot to think about.”


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