3 Quick Biblical Tools for Anxiety

I pulled over in a Starbucks parking lot, heart racing and cheeks soaked from tears. I had been struggling secretly with what I had self diagnosed as anxiety. I had no tools for anxiety to use when life began to fall apart in my mind.

I had dropped the kids off at school: 

-and someone swerved in front of me

-and then there was the struggle with paying bills that month and 

-then the screaming child being pulled off of my body to go into kindergarten on week 10 of the school year.

The weeks prior to this time in the car had been building to this melt down in the parking lot. 

I couldn’t blame one decision, one person, or one moment on a huge breakdown like this. 

But I was reminded about numerous stories in Scripture where God’s people were overwhelmed and looking for tools for anxiety to use with the spiraling circumstances. 

Job. A man who feared God and shunned evil. (Job 1:2) But lost everything. Talk about overwhelmed!

Esther. A Jewish woman brought into a pagan king’s court for a beauty pageant. She then was told she should fight for her people or possibly die. Overwhelming? Just a bit. 

King Hezekiah. You may not be as familiar with this one. But he:

“did what was good, right and true before the Lord his God.”

2 Chronicles 31:20

But Hezekiah was overwhelmed with a bully. An enemy who threatened to destroy him, his people and his God. Have you ever felt the bully threaten your marriage, your peace, your finances? Overwhelming? Maybe. 

King David. After he slept with Bathsheba then murdered her husband, he became very overwhelmed.

“Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.”

Psalm 51:11

Begging God to not leave you feels desperate… overwhelming.

When we find ourselves in a state of feeling overwhelmed, what are some tactics to fight the lies, insecurity, doubt, and anxiety?

Three things came to mind as I remember sitting alone in that car that day. 

The first thing to fight the overwhelming feeling and anxiety that has worked for me is to take deep breaths.

I know you’ve probably heard this before. But the relief and the exhaustion from fighting these battles begins with a clear mind. And you can’t have a clear mind without calming down. 

One of the first things I tell my children when they fall and begin crying is “take a deep breath so I can hear what’s wrong.”  

So dear friend. Take a deep breath. You can’t know what the root of the anxiety is stemming from and God can’t speak to that need until you take some deep breaths. 

The second thing I found myself doing that day in the car was racking my brain for Scripture.

Any verse. Any promise I could hold onto would be of more value than my own spiraling thoughts. 

Have you ever been there? One thought spirals quickly into another and before you know it the tears begin and the heart is racing. 

Scripture is our weapon against those lies. Scripture is one of the main tools for anxiety we have.

Often when these thoughts have spiraled long enough it is hard to detect what is truth and what is lie. “Am I really a horrible mom? Do I really have no gifts to offer the world? Am I truly not enough… for my kids, my work, my writing, my husband?”

This is where Scripture allows me to fight back and cling for dear life to the truth that holds me steadfast. 

What am I? Who am I? Whose am I?

Scripture tells us time and time again that if we confess our sins He will forgive us. Cleanse us. Renew us (hint: this includes our minds and the thoughts we allows to run rampant and false). 

So today, if you are wondering when can the unruly lies stop. I can tell you where to begin. 

Memorizing Scripture. 

Because that day in the car, after I took some slow, deep breaths… I heard God whisper to my soul. 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly I will boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9
tools for anxiety

I grasped for a napkin out of the glovebox and with shaky hands I began writing truth:

“My grace is sufficient for you.”

“My power is made perfect in weakness.”

“For when I am weak then I am strong.”

“I have created you to reflect me, to be like me.”

I also wrote this that I felt God tell me:
“You begged me to show up again in your life. I can be seen the best when you are desperate for me.”

I had. I had begged God to show himself to me in ways we had seen Him in the past. 

Had God changed? No. But He was showing Himself to me in a new way, in a way that wasn’t on top of the mountain. But in a way where I wasn’t going to be getting any glory, only He would. 

If I let Him. 

Along with quoting Scripture came a time of repentance, our third step. Often when we are overwhelmed it is because we have yet to release into God’s hands, what belongs to God. 

Time. Circumstances. Future plans. Outcomes. Desires. Motives. 

These things belong with Him. 

So along with deep breaths and quoting scripture comes a deep time of repentance. I was striving to be the right mom, the right business owner, the right mom at my kids drop off and the upstanding citizen that paid my bills.

None of these things in their own right is wrong. But what is wrong is when they became priority over trusting in God’s hands what belongs to Him.

Trusting that He is more valuable than the outcome of my circumstances. 

tools for anxiety

So if you find yourself weeping in your car in a Starbucks parking lot I would love if you paused to find time to take some deep breaths, cling to promises of Scripture and spend some time in repentance. Use these tools for anxiety to strengthen your mind and your soul.  

These steps are not a cure all for anxiety. I have come far from this cure. I’ve also spent time the last couple of years talking to doctors, talking to friends, asking for help, taking my vitamins. So if you’re finding anxiety continually being a struggle, reach out for HELP!

But these 3 steps are more for the moment. When you don’t have those resources in your car with you. 

But trust me friend, God’s power is made perfect in weakness. 

What tools for anxiety do you have in your tool belt and what weakness can you boast about so that God gets the glory today?

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