My personal fear, worry and anxiety caused a lot of different health issues, as I shared before. I was letting fear and anxiety rule in my mind and it transcended into my health. I started to experience a lot of digestive issues, started to become sensitive to so many foods that I could hardly eat anything without discomfort or stomach pains. I believed that something had to be wrong with me; this isn’t a normal or biblical way to feel, right?! ́
I went to my doctor 4x in the last 3 years asking for blood work and tests because I believed something had to be wrong, but every test came back normal. So why in the world was I feeling so sick and overwhelmingly exhausted!? Why couldn’t I control my weight no matter what I did, why was I so tired all the time, and why did I keep thinking “I just can’t”.
This I can’t ́mentality was overarching feeling that consumed my every waking moment. I was spending hours reading my Bible and doing Bible studies, but there always seemed to be a block, like I couldn’t break free of the demons running my mind and telling me I wasn’t enough. See, I knew who God was, but I didn’t know God intimately. There was a gap from head knowledge to heart knowledge and with the power of God that gap has started to close quickly.
In the midst of these inner battles with stress and fear consumed me and my thoughts and my life, my dad got sick and died of cancer in a matter of 30 days. Through this pain and spending time with family and friends I decided I was done with fear and anxiety. I was done letting my life be filled with the worries about tomorrow and I was going to count my blessings today, because tomorrow may never come.
My dad left a legacy of laughter and everyone that knew him had great stories to tell. He may not have lived life perfectly, but he lived, and people knew him, and he made an impact. I wondered, am I doing that in my life or am I too focused on myself and my shortcomings? I was so distracted by my fears, worries, and complaints about life or my body to do anything that could change someone else’s life. And, friends, that’s no life at all!
Today, I don’t struggle with extreme fatigue or food sensitivities anymore. I believe my exhaustion and food issues stemmed from my negative thought life. I was thinking so negatively that my body responded accordingly. I was exhausted all the time because I was chasing so many different things and not just living for the LORD. I was living double-minded. One foot in the ways of the world, one foot in the ways of the LORD and that was ripping me apart. (the two don’t belong together)
By bringing God into my health and my thoughts, my body began to heal! (Proverbs 4:20-22) This isn’t always the case, but more of a reminder that with an unhealthy relationship with ourselves and food, our physical body will respond in negative ways. (autoimmune diseases, fatigue, inflammation…)
First, if you currently live like this, my heart breaks for you because I know how painful and dark it all seems! But there’s hope and it’s written all over the pages of scripture. It will take work, lots of committed and dedication, but the Truth will set you free! (John 8:32)
20 My son, be attentive to my words;Proverbs 4:20-22
incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their[a] flesh.
As we spoke of in the last section, thought life has everything to do with our quality of life. What we believe and mediate on impacts our bodies at a cellular level so how we speak matters! Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21)
Types of Fears
We experience many different things in our daily life that can put us into a poisonous mind-set and state of stress. There are two types of fears we face:
- fears, worries and anxieties related to everyday life (future, finances, deadlines, tasks)
- fears from a breakdown in relationship and a broken heart (being hurt and mistreated, fear of approval, fear of abandonment, fear of rejection..).
Fears usually come with underlying questions that we rarely say out loud but are present in our actions and thoughts, conscious or subconscious: “am I enough?” or “Do I measure up?” These thoughts haunt us if we allow them to, and, sadly, too often we do. We don’t even intend to think them, yet they hang on every action and every word, and every moment.
Let me pause here now to say – you are enough, and you do measure up.
I’ve asked these self-worth questions my whole life, thinking that I’d find the answers in other people, in achievement, in parenting, in fitness… I wanted peace more than anything and for some odd and slightly backward reason, I thought striving and worrying about it would get me to the destination of peace. So, I stressed, worried and was anxious over everything and was working my butt off in hopes of finding peace in work, at home, within myself, with friends and family… But couldn’t find it in any of those areas, because it wasn’t there.
I believed that peace was up to me and how well I’d execute my plans, how clean I’d keep my house and how good my relationships were. I’d do all this weird and random stuff, work myself to the bone in the pursuit of the feeling of perfect peace. My hunt for something righteous, ended up in a toxic mind-set.
Carrying the weight of the world, of my world, on my shoulders. I was burdened, burnt out and my already broken heart was breaking further because I could only see failure. That’s not how we’re called to live as daughters of God, and I was never going to find that perfect peace I was working for by going about it my way.
When we chase after peace with stress and anxiety, we’re not looking at peace through the eyes of God. The bible says that perfect peace comes when our eyes are stayed on Jesus, that He establishes our peace as we abide in Him, not from chasing after it on our own. (Isaiah 26:3) We’ll never arrive at an abundant and peaceful life if we think it’s from our works and efforts. Peace is what Jesus gives us, not like the world, that gives and is quickly lost or taken away, but peace that lasts forever and in all circumstances. Something we’ve been given already – we only need to step into it by believing this truth. (John 14:27)
Scripture to support mind renewal
Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
2 peter 5:7 – Casting all your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you.
Corinthians 12:9 – But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.