By: Layne Gudenkauf
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine.” – Isaiah 43:1
If you have anxiety, you know that things people do or say kind of stick with you. The whole “sticks and stones” thing doesn’t apply when you have anxiety. You are constantly questioning everything. Basing your decisions on your past. Being hard on yourself for things you had no control over. And identifying yourself based on other’s opinions of you or the lies that you have told yourself.
On Thursday I went to the young adult group at my old church. From the beginning they split us by guys and girls. In the girls group, we talked about our feminine identity in Christ and our value in Him. Now, don’t get me wrong, the idea of finding all of my value and worth in Christ is one of the greatest things ever, but it is also one of the hardest. Something that was said last night has really stuck with me. “The devil is a liar, but he is LOUD!” and really, that couldn’t be more true. The bible says that we are loved, redeemed, protected, and co-heirs with Christ, but sometimes the devil’s lies are louder than the truth. It is easier to think badly about ourselves than it is to think highly of ourselves. How are we supposed to feel loved, redeemed, protected and like co-heirs, when we feel unloved, not worthy, alone and horrible about ourselves? It is just hard. I really wanted to feel free!
Anyway, I went out of church feeling changed. While realizing that I was strong and that I could find my worth and value in the Lord, I felt attacked. I had that little voice in the back of my head reminding me of all of my mistakes; telling me I wasn’t good enough and telling me that I would never be able to get past those mistakes and move forward confidently. That I would always feel pulled back by something.
The next morning I woke up feeling exhausted. I had a headache, I felt drained and I basically felt like garbage and wondered how I was going to make it through a full day at work. My anxiety also started to spike as I remembered the talk from last night and began to think about all of the things that make me anxious that could hold me back, and instead of saying, “Hey devil, get the fork out of my heart, because that’s where the Lord is and you’re not welcome there,” the devil became loud.
Let me tell you, having a simultaneous spiritual attack and anxiety attack is really one of the worst things, but here is the thing… I only get them when I start to become closer to the Lord. I know… that sounds extremely weird, because you would think the opposite, but after talking to my friend, I understand. It’s because the devil is SCARED. He is no longer just whispering those doubts and fears into your ear, he is screaming. He is seeing the kingdom of God grow. He is seeing that he is losing power over you and is trying his hardest to keep even a tread of power so he can unravel your faith when he sees even the tiniest opportunity.
Even when you know this Truth, and you know that you are having an anxiety attack and lies are being whispered in your ear, it is hard to not have a complete and total meltdown. It is hard to pick yourself up, tell yourself that the devil can (pardon my French) suck it, and move on and remind yourself that the Lord has got you; that you are redeemed and loved and protected by the Lord. It is hard to get yourself going after an anxiety attack, and a spiritual attack, and it is worse if they are combined. But if you do feel this way, always know that there are many people you can talk to about it; your friends, your family, anyone on The Lionheart Society, and most importantly the Lord Himself. His ears and His heart are always open to you when you need strength and truth spoken into your life to lift you up!