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When Worry Doesn’t Remove Anxiety-Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 11, 2017

I’m not prone to worry or struggle with anxiety. The only times I’ve felt anxious is moments before I step onto a platform with a large audience or waiting for biopsy reports. For thirty years I’ve taught people to find “the peace that surpasses all unde

rstanding” (Phil. 4:6,7) by changing their worry words into prayer words. It looks something like this. Instead of worrying about a huge problem at work, change your words into a prayer: “Heavenly Father, You know that by tomorrow I have to resolve (the problem).   I confess that I don’t know what to do. I ask that when I wake up tomorrow you will guide me to the right people, the necessary paperwork and give me wisdom to resolve the issue. I thank you in advance for how You will work this out. Thank You, Amen.” In the last thirty years God answered this prayer for me hundreds of times.

Until February, 2017 

Numbing sleepless nights. Anxious heart pounding days. I didn’t understand where all this anxiety was coming from. This was all new to me and I didn’t know how to handle it. I stayed awake all night praying and nothing changed. God, in the midst of my pain have you abandoned me? Why are you not taking away this anxiety? Why can’t I sleep? What do I need to do? Feeling helpless and frustrated I reached out to family and trusted friends.

Months later I look back with clarity and understanding.

At times catastrophic events come into our lives that our bodies cannot handle. There is no quick fix. No all night prayers. We need help to live out the trauma or change that came into our lives. At this time I am aware of several people unable to overcome their anxiety. They pray and pray and nothing changes. God has not abandoned any of us. As we wait for the “peace that surpasses all understanding” we have to take some intentional steps.

  • Something is wrong that can’t be fixed overnight.
  • Ask for help. Look to someone that you trust and knows you intimately. Ask them to be your second set of eyes and ears.
  • Perhaps it is something physical, and you need medical attention.
  • If it’s something deeply emotional, seek good and trusted counselling.
  • Try not to be alone. Isolation adds angst at this point.
  • Get regular exercise, even if it’s just walking around the block.

Listen to the loving nudges of God as you traverse this exhausting and helpless valley. God is right beside you, guiding you to do the things that will bring healing and new energy and joy into your life. It’s not an instant fix; it’s a process.

And it’s only temporary

My heart is filled with compassion and understanding for everyone suffering from worry and anxiety. We live in a complex world but God’s word is true and faithful. When we pray, peace does come. However, sometimes it takes us on a journey.









Posted in: counsellor, Faith, friends, isolated, Jesus, joy, Peace, pray, Prayer, trust, unanswered prayer

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