Updated: Jan 23
This week I shared the first of the 3 D's of anxiety on my blog; distraction. These are three major topics that consume anxiety in teens today. After working with teens in the mental health world and being a mom of teenagers myself, the pandemic of anxiety among the middle and high school ages breaks my heart.
I genuinely believe that when we start understanding where our anxiety stems from, we can learn how to combat it. Join me today as we learn about the second D of anxiety.
Did you know that the Latin original word for distress means to stretch apart? This is what anxiety does. It stretches you between what God says and what the enemy says. When you choose to stay anxious, you are not picking God's side.
Let me tread carefully here. Anxiety is not sin. I still struggle with anxiety. In fact, I had a major setback just last year on vacation. Feeling anxious is not a sin. But choosing to stay anxious is where the problem begins.
We say things like;
I'm just an anxious person.
My anxiety is just who I am.
God made me this way; you just need to deal with it.
Did he? Let's look at what He says about anxiety.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
We have many opportunities to be anxious because this life is full of trials. But Jesus himself said to take heart, which means to have courage in HIM. He will always be with us.
So instead, we are invited to pray. Not to be distressed or pulled apart, and to hop on over to God's side and believe HIM. To trust HIM. To pray, petition (to ask Him what you need), and be thankful— our recipe to not be anxious.
Then you know what the Word says will happen? This is cool.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Let me teach you something about fear and anxiety.
Fear is counterfeit love, and if left unchecked, it can make you do some crazy things. Where fear is operating, God's love cannot freely flow.
Fear loves to mask itself as a concern. It says things like;
You're going to die young and have a life full of suffering.
You will never get into that D1 school you have been dreaming about
You will never get married because you are ugly and stupid
You have no value, and people will never recognize you for who you are
There is a difference between concern and worry. Concern moves you to action, and worry stops the action.
Concern says I have a genuine problem and need a plan to solve it. Worry says I have a real problem, and the action I'm going to take is to be anxious.
Fear makes you feel like it cares by raising concerns, but it tricks you into believing untrue things. On the other hand, God's love cares and gives you solutions for your worries that calm anxiety and bring about peace.
So let's make a pack today. Don't walk in distress, being stretched apart between what God says and what the enemy says; instead, let's believe in God and walk in peace.
We do that by bringing our anxiety to God.
In my next blog post, I have one more tip I'd like to share with you about anxiety in teens. You can get it straight to your inbox by subscribing to my weekly anxiety tips. Bonus: when you subscribe to my email list at the link above you will receive 10 free art prints, go grab them today!