When I gave birth to my youngest little one in May of 2013, it was a very traumatic experience emotionally. It was a failed VBAC, and it affected me in a huge way. However, I had no idea how God would use that as a catalyst for a complete change in my life.
Because I was in a heightened emotional state, I became very introspective in the months following Lynley’s birth. I did a lot of thinking, and for whatever reason, I just sensed that there was emotional work I needed to do within myself. However, I had no idea where to start. I knew I felt anxious, worried, paranoid, and other similar feelings, but I didn’t want to blow anything out of proportion. I also didn’t want to ignore it anymore either.
I coordinate the women’s events for our church, and through mutual friends I was introduced to Susan Goss, who founded Tangible Truth Ministries. I got in touch with Susan to be our speaker for an event, and to say it was God-ordained is an understatement! Susan developed a seminar called “Addicted to Anxiety,” and she has become one of the dearest people to me. After one conversation on the phone, I just loved her! To further research her as a speaker, I went online and watched Susan speak about anxiety (you can watch her by clicking HERE). In short, I knew I needed to get to the root of where everything started for me. I needed to “go there” in my mind and really figure out why I was struggling.
So, I sat down at my computer and started typing. I closed my eyes and thought back to my first true memory of being anxious, and I just started writing and writing. My intent was only to keep this for myself; to never let anyone see it. But then I felt a nudging from the Lord to share it on my blog. I was absolutely terrified, because I had never been that transparent or honest. Did I share my story perfectly? No, definitely not. And even after I hit “publish,” I had to go back and reword things to make sure I expressed myself as I intended. But it felt really good to be honest, from the very, very beginning. You can read my full story HERE.
I urge you to sit down, close your eyes, and go way, way back in your mind. Find yourself as a child, and put yourself there again. As hard as it is, find the place where the first lies were planted. Find the feelings you felt then. I encourage you to cry if you need to. Be willing to open up places of your heart that you have been fighting desperately to keep hidden and closed. But here’s the key: imagine Jesus with his arms around you, holding you close. Because HE IS. He is right there, wanting you to open up these places to Him so He can bring you healing.
For He has not despised or detested the torment of the afflicted. He did not hide His face from him
but listened when he cried to Him for help. Psalm 22:24 HCSB
Do you know why you have to go back to the beginning? Because most (if not all) of the time, Satan plants his lies in us when we’re children. He begins to infiltrate the mind when we are young. Jesus highly, highly values and cherishes children, and anything Jesus loves and cherishes, Satan despises. The enemy knows that if he can plants lies early, there’s a greater chance we will hold onto those thought patterns for life.
Sometimes trials, pain, hurts, and struggles happen at different stages of life (not in childhood). But regardless, it’s so important to open up those places of your heart and try to pinpoint where patterns originated. I like to say, “Think like a therapist!” Therapists and counselors are trained to help you get the the root something. Why? Because you can’t truly understand your struggle until you identify its source.
Nothing, NOTHING should ever replace the Word of God in our lives. We should consistently be filling our minds with Scripture and making that our first source of help. That being said, when I entered into this journey, there were two books that really aided me in this process:
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero
- Lord, I Want to Be Whole by Stormie Omartian
Of course, Susan’s “Addicted to Anxiety” talk was instrumental as well.
Once you’ve identified important moments that negatively shaped your thought patterns and mindsets, go into combat against them! Stormie’s book, “Lord, I Want to Be Whole,” is an excellent tool for this. She walks you through speaking against the oppression of the enemy and fighting him with the Word of God. I remember reading this book in one sitting. It opened my eyes to the power of quoting Scripture and breaking free! Why is this instrumental? Because Jesus did the exact same thing:
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. 2 After He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He was hungry. 3 Then the tempter approached Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 But He answered, “It is written:
Man must not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes
from the mouth of God.”[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][a]
5 Then the Devil took Him to the holy city,[b] had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
He will give His angels orders concerning you,
and they will support you with their hands
so that you will not strike
your foot against a stone.”[c]
7 Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.”[d]
8 Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 And he said to Him, “I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.”[e]
10 Then Jesus told him, “Go away,[f] Satan! For it is written:
Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only Him.”[g]
11 Then the Devil left Him, and immediately angels came and began to serve Him.
For this very reason, I bought this sign for our home:
It is a constant reminder of not only this journey for me, but of the power we have through Christ to experience a life that we are actually LIVING; not just surviving.
10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. John 10:10
Retrace your steps so that you can gain a full understanding of the enemy’s tactics against you. Armed with that knowledge and the Word of God, start to move forward in victory!