Does Anxiety Mean I Don’t Have Faith?
What are you so anxious about, if God’s in control?
If you are one of the millions of people who struggle with anxiety, you’ve likely been told a myriad of dismissive quotes that might leave you feeling like a ‘less than’ Christian.
Perhaps you think to yourself, if I had trust in God, I wouldn’t have anxiety, right?
After all, scripture is clear that we are to be anxious for nothing (Phil 4:6).
Yet struggling with anxiety does not define one’s level of faith anymore than struggling with arthritis.
Yes, anxiety needs to be addressed. But no, it does not mean that you don’t have faith.
You may be saying, great, I’m glad to hear that I’m not a terrible Christian but why am I still suffering from the debilitating effects of anxiety?
Let’s talk today about 4 possible sources of your anxiety that have nothing to do with a lack of faith.
#1: Old wounds
Anxiety can result from the triggering of an old wound—a physical manifestation of an old emotional issue that still needs to be addressed.
Our bodies are amazing. They can signal something is wrong even before it registers in our minds. You may have convinced yourself that you are no longer bothered by your toxic ex or manipulative mother , but your racing heart and knotted stomach say otherwise.
Maybe you get anxious when you have to talk to your boss about a project that wasn’t completed on time. He’s a fair but firm man who intimidates you. Upon further examination you may discover that you are triggered by ‘firm’ men because of your narcissistic father. Until that father wound is healed, you may react in a similar, anxious way with everyone that reminds you of him.
#2: Old patterns
Do you struggle with a performance mentality? Do you battle with perfectionism?
These beliefs will create patterned behaviors that can trigger a feeling of anxiety.
Have you ever found yourself reacting in a way that you weren’t proud of? That’s likely from an old default pattern. We all have an ‘imprint’—a pattern of behaviors that were carved out for us early in life. They are forged though our experiences, our personalities, and our perception of those experiences.
For example you could have grown up in an environment where Mom was always on edge. Perhaps if things didn’t go her way, she got upset. Or maybe she was never at rest. These behaviors (whether we like them or not) become ingrained.
Old patterns don’t change until you actively set out to learn new ones. Recognizing the behavior pattern and the cultivating the desire to break the chain reaction is a great start to creating new patterns.
There’s anxiety and then there’s anxiety disorders. An anxiety disorder is when your anxiety interferes with your ability to function. You over react and you can’t control your responses to situations.
There are different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobias, and separation anxiety, just to name a few.
It is believed that some of these disorders are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. These chemical imbalances can often respond well to therapy as well as medication.
If you believe you might be suffering from a chemical imbalance, talk to your doctor. There is no shame (or a lack of faith) in needing to take medication.
If you had heart condition, you wouldn’t expect to be shamed for taking medication, would you?
Have you ever felt the physical symptoms of anxiety but weren’t worried about anything? I have. I drove me batty. I would spend hours evaluating my feelings, looking for a trigger in my past experiences, and I’d come up empty. I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t worried, but my heart would race and my mind would have trouble focusing.
That’s when I learned that anxiety is not always a mental issue, it can be a byproduct—much like a fever is symptom of an even greater issue.
And just like there are many things that can trigger a fever, there are other things besides worry that can trigger anxiety.
Here are 7 issues that can contribute to feelings of anxiety.
- Other health issues (thyroid, heart, diabetes, asthma, brain, etc.)
- Low magnesium
- Insufficient sleep
- Inadequate nutrition
- Hormone imbalances
- Digestive issues
- Substance (drug, food, alcohol) withdrawal and even certain foods can all trigger feelings of anxiety
If you have evaluated your emotions and come up empty, or if your symptoms are constant regardless of your circumstances, you may want to get a full exam by your doctor to rule out any potential health issues.
Whether your anxiety is from a chemical imbalance, a distorted upbringing or old wounds, Jesus is the answer. Jesus is your healer.
If you need to be delivered, cry out to Jesus
If you need breakthrough, call on Jesus
If you need to walk in new mercies, do it with Jesus.
He came so that you could have life and have it in abundance
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Related Post: How to Have Faith in God When Everything is Going Wrong