Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Therapy for our Hearts

I just wanted to take a moment here and be really honest. I struggle with anxiety. I have for years. Some months it's worse than others but it always seems to be there, lurking in the darkness, and it seizes opportunities to rear it's ugly head. At times I have anxiety just thinking of my struggle with anxiety. For some reason, usually fall triggers it again. Don't get me wrong, I am the same as every other white girl and love the season, but with the changing leaves and crisp weather comes a change in my moods. I understand that this is a struggle that is very real for a lot of women so I wanted to be raw and share my struggles in the hopes that it may encourage someone else out there. 

Currently I am reading You Can Change by Tim Chester. It has been so convicting but it's also been an encouraging read as well. I wanted to share some of my favorite paragraphs that I have read recently. They really uplifted me and reminded me to stop listening to my thoughts and speak truth to myself.

Chester writes, "Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, "Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?" We need to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Our problem, says Sinclair Ferguson, is that "we think with our feelings." We don't always feel joy in God, but by faith we can tell ourselves that he is our joy. When we find ourselves tempted to engage in sinful behavior, or when we find that our emotions are getting the better of us, we need to speak truth to our hearts. Say the truth to yourself repeatedly so that it sinks in: "God is all I need." Say it slowly: "" Say it out loud. Say it back to him: "You are all I need." C.S. Lewis says, "The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job of each morning consists of shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in."

Chester goes on to add some key thoughts to remember:

1. God is great - so we do not have to be in control. 
2. God is glorious - so we do not have to fear others. 
3. God is good - so we do not have to look elsewhere.
4. God is gracious - so we do not have to prove ourselves. 

Some other books that have really lifted my heart in dark times outside Scripture, are The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges, Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George, and Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. I strongly recommend any and all of these books for anyone that struggles with anxiety and depression.

If you are battling with this very thing at the moment please know you are not alone. I am praying for you as you read this that God will draw very near to you in your dark season. There is hope and everything will be ok. I know at the moment when you are in it everything seems hopeless but that's a lie. So much of our struggle, yes yours and mine, has to do with the mind. That's why it's so pivotal that we stay connected in scripture and prayer. We need to be filling our minds with truth about God and truth about our ever-changing emotions and feelings.

Lastly, I leave you with one of my favorite verses. My mom would quote this to me time and time again when I would go to her for counsel and still does. I have even hung it in my bedroom so I can be reminded of it everyday.


  1. Hannah, I read this again today and it was so encouraging to me. Exactly what I needed this week. :)

  2. Thanks so much, Emma! I'm so glad it encouraged your heart! :)