I awoke anxious and afraid almost every morning during my school-age years.
Nothing traumatic had happened in my past. No one in my family had died. Two stable parents left for work every morning & returned home every night. We always had a roof over our heads & food on the table. The bullies at school didn’t have time to bother me.
Yet still I woke with a sick feeling in my stomach and the urge to hide from the world and the certainty that no one could protect me from the fearful things that were coming my way. My morning alarm was the signal for my current “What Ifs” to begin circling in my brain . . .
. . . “What if I miss the bus again & this time Mom gets mad? What if the history teacher gives a quiz on the chapter I didn’t read? What if I can’t find anyone to sit with at lunch? What if I do something embarrassing & the whole class sees? . . .”
Somewhere along the line, I learned to give myself a “good talking to.”
Back then, my early morning mantra went something like this . . . “You’re fine. Everyone you know is fine. This is just life. You can handle it. And when you can’t, it’s okay to ask for help . . .”
I didn’t realize until after I became a Christian, what a valuable lesson my young self had learned.
As a dear friend who battled depression for years told me, “When I started talking to myself instead of listening to myself, that’s when I began to heal.”
In the dictionary, talking & listening are opposites.
When it comes to our inner life, not so much.
But in the Bible, we see that men like David understood the subtle distinction. Psalm 42 shows us the conversation he had with himself . . .
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
How freeing to learn that we don’t have to be the victims of the fearful, anxious thoughts that try to take up residence in our brains. Are you experiencing fear & anxiety?
Maybe it’s time to give yourself a good talking to!
Here are a few verses & quotes to start you off . . .
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” ~II Corinthians 10:5~
“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” ~Colossians 3:2~
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8~
“For God has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” ~Hebrews 13:5b~
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” ~Psalm 56:3~
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.” ~Isaiah 26:3~
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” ~William James, philosopher, psychologist, physician, 1842-1910~
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” ~Corrie ten Boom~
“When fear comes knocking at your door, send faith to answer.” ~Joyce Meyer~