Cultivating calm and stillness – letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle
I have been sharing with my sisters in Christ that when in distress , I would say pray for peace and I would say repeatedly “ that alone is enough”
I was declaring this not knowing that this was the exact same promise Phillippians 4:7
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This is what comes after the scripture that says do not be anxious about anything. I have felt that when I truly acknowledge what is going on inside of me , not wishful thinking or proclamation of a desired situation. But when I become honest to myself about what is truly going on , what truly bothers me . That specific thing passes away because I was honest about it to God and to myself…
Now having grown up in church , speaking stuff and truth as is can sometimes feel like I am saying I am one of little faith . But I remembered a man who once lost an axe and a prophet asked where was it and the man pointed to the point where it fell off
When you are a person of faith , it is not always easy to point at where the axe fell off. It is not even a skill I have…. to own how I truly feel. It is very tempting to saying Ohw it fell but we believe and trust God etc etc etc . But no no no , in this case , in an anxiety filled time we point to the thing and we say it as is , as raw and hard as it is and we acknowledge it and we allow Gods peace to fill our hearts … peace is what you need when filled with worry and not so much tangible things
And I have learned that this is a skill to acquire 🤷🏿♀️
Let’s take a look at another scripture that blew my mind . This is a resource from Dr Anita Phillips
The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Another version: And that sown toward the thorns, this is he who is hearing the word, and the anxiety of this age, and the deceitfulness of the riches, do choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Another version : And the one on whom seed was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the worries and distractions of the world and the deceitfulness [the superficial pleasures and delight] of riches choke the word, and it yields no fruit.
This scripture made me conclude on one thing. What’s been choking me , got nothing to do with the seed God placed inside me . It has everything to do with the distractions and stuff that I have placed so much meaning to. I literally did a list to check how much of my stuff meets the criteria
But first before I share my list – Dr Anita explored further the issue of thorns
Remember apostle Paul ? – a thorn on his side – he asked God to remove it ? The scripture says it grew in the wilderness and God said nope , the thorn stays because my grace is sufficient
You know every time I reflected on this scripture I got goosebumps. For the first time I understood that wilderness is a part of who I am , an inherent attribute that I had to go through and thorns are those things that God may have removed but some He may have left them to be , because His grace is sufficient. I also learned that thorns do give some form of discomfort
There are thorns that I carry and an inherent part of me , purpose : to truly humble me and help me rely on God. I fully get this now
So through this process I started being a little kinder to myself because ohw man , the stuff that I worry about , is the stuff I acquired in my wilderness !! In my case , my wilderness is
Poor quality education
Hence my list of anxiety causing stuff was
⁃ Inability to proceed further for a second qualification
⁃ Lack of proffessional qualification
⁃ Lack of academic belonging to my peers
⁃ Limited thinking towards the type of schools my kids will attend
⁃ Anxiety about staying married when most women in powerful positions get divorced
The relief I had when I finally merged the two —— haaaaaa
Because of my wilderness, poverty and poor quality of education . I desired wealth and defined good education as something else either than what I received . This also made me worried for my kids . Despite the fact that I am extremely successful , I just couldn’t take a moment to say thank you 🙏 I just still wanted more and the more I failed the more anxious I became and I just set an unrealistic bar and meaning to success and education
I finally learned that , what’s causing me anxiety are distractions about wealth , success , the future . I learned that I am still seeking control over the future and missing out on life 😭
So I have been saying this prayer being specific about what worries me
Dear Lord Jesus
I come to you in prayer , I acknowledge that you said you have plans for me , plans about the future. Lord I come to you with my worries , I cast my dares and my burdens unto you
I bring to you my insecurity about my academic success . I worry that I am less qualified and that I have not achieved the goal I was set to achieve and I forget that is all a process. When I close my mind I see clearly that I still have many years ahead of me to achieve whatever I want but when I wonder around , I get worried.
Dear Lord , I repent for not being grateful for your provision . I see your hand upon my life. I thank you for open doors and Lord I ask that you help give me peace about this area of my life
I know that you knew me before my parents conceived me and I know that my days are written in your book of life
Help me Lord enjoy the fruits of my labor, that is , the beautiful family home that you have provided unto us . Help me Lord to celebrate with my brothers and sisters to what has been provided unto them . I surrender the feeling of insecurity and I know it is a deep seated desire to want to belong but I know that you have given me the best and I am truly grateful…. stuff is not what I should use to measure myself and belong with.
I love our home I love how it brings so much joy and meaning to my life my kids and family. Help me use this time on this earth to use everything you have given unto us to serve you
And just because I am different and choose differently does not mean I don’t belong so I bring this insecurity to the cross. Help me to be content about the person you are making me and be content about being me because there is no other person like me on earth
I am grateful for the battles you have helped me fight and the rivers you have enabled me to cross. From the farms to the presidency
I thank you for an amazing experience of love and marriage . I ask for your peace and as you help me and KG choose each other daily , that we will rest in the knowledge that you will honor our commitment to one another
I ask that you will help me learn from the challenges of my other sisters in power and that I will not be anxious and lose my faith or be anxious in my marriage
And that Lord I will trust your assurance and calling and that you will provide both of us with wisdom and that you will send us the support for every season in our marriage
Dear Lord you see our hearts our desires our intentions to glorify you in our marriage to raise kids that honor and fear your name
Help us dear Lord
And finally Lord
As I post this prayer tonight I ask that you will help me to lead an anxiety resilient lifestyle as your word desires
You got me . You got my future . Grow the seed planted in me and enable me to thrive
In Jesus name I pray , amen
Dr Anita Phillips concludes
We see the thorns on the cross – Jesus put on a crown of anxiety – which basically means that even with our stress and anxiety , He died for us too !!!!
He hung on the cross , not leaving us behind , we was there and He rose again
So that we too can conquer !!!!
I am eternally grateful for the cross 🙏
Part – 3 to follow