My mind was shouting “you’re a failure.” “Everyone is only tolerating you.” “You don’t belong.”
I waited till I was in my car. Then my emotions broke through. My throat tightening, tears rolling, and my mind saying I wasn’t enough.
It’s okay to experience emotion, but we need to get to a place where we can pick ourselves up off the living room floor, and allow Christ to enter and heal our anxious souls.
Many things this past year have left me feeling anxious, insecure, and uncertain. Not being able to see family who live out of the country. Missing out on a lot. Spending too much time researching and scrolling about the evils of the world.
What triggers your anxiety?
An upcoming event? A past trauma? Excessive scrolling? Feeling like you’re not enough?
I don’t know about you, but when I experience anxiety I isolate myself. It’s easiest to hide when we feel like we’re in survival mode right?
Instead of turning inward, as I often do in these anxiety inducing situations, I sought counsel, mentorship, and fellowship. And praise God! Christ healed me from specific spiritual anxieties as well as the low-grade, constant anxieties we all have faced this year.
It was not instantaneous, but it challenged my old way of handling anxiety. Christ healed me through community. I still get anxious, of course, it’s a human emotion, but through community I’ve gained some new insight and understanding.
The power of gathering with people
Jesus spoke in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.” There is power in gathering with other people. We are wired to be amongst others. I think that’s why this year hit many of us hard. We aren’t meant to live in isolation. Physically or spiritually.
I was able to start back up my bible study group this summer and I’ve found SO much victory in sharing my struggles with my group. If you’ve been wanting to start a group of your own, this is me encouraging you to start! Start small and gather when it works. Find a mentor. Sign up for counseling. Seek Christ in what aspect of ‘community’ He’s calling you to.
You don’t have to fight alone
The enemy wants you to think you’re alone in the fight. You aren’t. By gathering a group and sharing each other’s struggles you are defeating the lie that you have to fight alone.
Just as Christ calls us to come to him, “all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28) we are called to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
This is why we are called to community. C.S. Lewis says “every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.” Christ’s ministry on earth was centered around people. Teaching people. Loving people. Dying for people. Rising from the grave for people.
By loving and living in peace with other people, we are loving and living for Christ.
A forgotten factor in overcoming anxiety is community, so begin praying about how you can create community in your life today.
For more on this listen to these podcasts: