Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7
My mind is racing, heart pounding, breathing quick and shallow. Everything goes dark, my body gets fuzzy, my brain starving for oxygen shuts down momentarily, and I pass out. Eventually, I wake up wherever I dropped and struggle to remember what happened before this panic attack began. This is what transition does to me. I have this love for normalcy, for familiarity, for routine, for control. When one of those things is disrupted, fear of not knowing what will happen sets in, and I’m sent into a tailspin of anxiety. I’ve come to learn that it doesn’t matter if I’m willingly transitioning into a new season of life or if life has thrown its own new season at me, discomfort in the situation and fear of the unknown set in deep and quick. But that’s not what The Bible tells us to do. Don’t worry about anything.
Don’t. Worry. About. Anything. Do you know what I’m an incredible professional at doing? Worrying.
In another version of The Bible, Philippians 4:6 says “do not be anxious.” What a command! This isn’t just some fleeting suggestion to try to not be anxious in whatever situation; it’s a command to never be anxious no matter the situation.
Changing jobs? Do not be anxious.
Starting school? Do not be anxious.
Moving? Do not be anxious.
Family dynamics changing? Do not be anxious.
Breaking up with your boyfriend? Do not be anxious.
Stuck trying to figure out your next move? Do not be anxious. ...instead, pray about everything.
The perfect antidote to anxiety is to pray to The Prince of Peace. I can guarantee you that if I spent half as much time actually praying about times of transition as I do worrying about them, I would be a completely different person. Praying and asking God for peace in transition, confessing your worries and anxieties to Him, relinquishing control to Him changes things. I can say this from experience. As I sit here writing this, I’m very, very aware of some changes that are in the near future of my life. While I know that one of them is going to be incredibly hard, I also know that getting anxious about it will do me absolutely no good. So, in the times that I’ve felt anxiety creeping in recently, I’ve gone to The Father in prayer - not just about whatever transition I’m going through/about to be going through, but also in the day-to-day craziness of life. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
I’m a rather stubborn person and actually hate asking people for help. As it turns out, I’m not Superwoman (surprise!) and am definitely not capable of handling everything on my own. The only thing I can do is ask for help when I need it. Sometimes, I go to other people, but more often than not, I ask God. So, would it surprise you if I said that when I’m feeling anxious about some sort of change, I ask Him to calm my heart and my mind? I’d encourage you to do the same! As it turns out, God loves to give us the things we ask for when He sees fit. If my mind is running too fast to figure out what I need, I spend time praising God for who He is and what He has done. There’s something about spending time pointing out absolute Truths that calm my heart and mind. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Spending time reminding myself to not be anxious, pray about whatever situation I’m in, ask God for what I need, and thank Him for everything He’s done does something for my heart. The more and more I sit and practice this, the more peace I feel. This peace isn’t fleeting; it’s a close-the-door-and-lock-it kind of peace. When God’s peace enters my heart and mind, anxiety leaves. There isn’t room for both. It will for you, too. Now, I don’t say all of this as if I’m some sort of expert. Frankly, I’ve been really bad at keeping up with these practices recently. But friends, I encourage you (and myself - feel free to contact me and hold me accountable) to do these things when you’re feeling anxious - especially in times of transition. Transition is hard enough as it is, so why go through it while being an anxious mess? Reflection 1. Where does your mind and heart go during times of transition? Do you trust God with His plan? Or do you sit and worry about the unknown? 2. If you struggle with anxiety in times of transition, what would it look like for you to start following our verse for the day? 3. What is another verse you could find to help you in times of transition? Prayer God, You are so good. Thank You for what You’ve done in my life so far and what You’re going to do. God, I know Your plan is perfect and good - even when I can’t see the outcome. I confess that sometimes I get anxious when things change. Would You help me to not be anxious? I know Your peace can surpass whatever I’m feeling - I’ve felt it before. So, I’m asking You for it now, God. Thank You in advance, Father for the ways that You will still my heart and mind in the future. I love you, Father. It’s in Your Son’s name I pray. Amen.
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