Posted by: Kris Lindsey | September 1, 2014

The Ultimate Anxiety Solution

I plopped down on the sofa and took a deep breath as I surveyed my living room. Everything was now in its place. I went down my mental check-list. I’d washed the guest bed sheets and made the bed. I was all ready for company. Or was I?

My body ached all over. I took another deep breath and commanded my shoulders and chest to relax. They eased up for a second, then clenched again. My stomach was in a knot. I should eat something, but the thought of food made me feel ill. And I felt so antsy. Why was my anxiety fan running at full blast?

I thought back on the past few days and the three projects I was working on—all complex with lots of steps, controversy, and inadequate solutions. I’d spent hours struggling to bring all the parts together and make them fit. No wonder I was all worked up.

I’d better get myself calmed down before my company gets here or I won’t be much fun to be around. I called my friend to see what time she would arrive, but instead found out there had been a miscommunication about dates and that she would come in a couple weeks instead.

Oh well, with this change I could escape to the mountains and meet up with my parents at their camping spot a few days early. The thought of pine trees, babbling streams, and marshmallows toasting over a campfire seemed so appealing that I packed up my gear and was on the road in two hours.

CREEK PANORAMA

 

I had a great time visiting and hiking with my parents. At age 86 they still walk easily up the steep trails—quite an inspiration! After two days of clear mountain air I felt calmer and more relaxed.

As I drove home, I sat back in my seat and tuned in the Christian music radio station. God, what did I do wrong to get myself so wound up and anxious?

The answer suddenly seemed clear. I’d been working hard to put things together. I’d been trying to solve all the problems. I’d been trying to make all the decisions and make things happen. I’d been steering my life instead of letting Jesus lead.

driving a car

I knew I was supposed to hand my steering wheel over to Jesus—I could even sing all the lyrics of the song about it. But how could I actually do it?

That answer now seemed clear, too. I’d spent months practicing connecting to Jesus. Now I just needed to take it one step further. At each turn in my day, I’d not only remember Jesus was there, I’d let him lead by:

  • Asking for God’s advice on what to do next.
  • Listening expectantly for his answer.
  • Waiting for God to provide the help I need.
  • Accepting that help and advice by acting on it.

I thought back on my anxious week and realized I hadn’t once asked God to help me with my tasks. Even so, God had provided at least two people who offered to help me, but I had turned them down and plodded on by myself. I picked up the phone and took them up on their offers.

Since then, I’ve been practicing asking God to direct each step of my day, and trusting him to provide the things I need. It’s not easy to remember or to do, but when I put Jesus in control I feel a new peace, and I think this is how the Christian life is supposed to be.

What do you do to let Jesus lead?

 

Photos courtesy of Crestock

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Responses

  1. Awesome Kris!

  2. Wow, Kris….what a terrific message. It spoke directly to my heart. And the link to the song “Jesus Take the Wheel” was great! You are truly inspired by The Holy One.

    • Hi Christine, so glad you could relate, too. Thanks, as always, for your encouraging comments.

  3. I’m impressed you were up and out the door in two hours. That’s being spontaneous and keeping life in perspective. Hope I can hike at 86.

    • I was really motivated to escape to a quieter place. And as for my parents, I walked and worked out for a few weeks so I’d be in good enough shape to keep up with them! Our favorite one-hour hike is all switchbacks.

  4. Thanks for the bullet point on how to look to Him for help. Encouraging real-life story 😉

    • Hi Suzanne. Good to hear from you, and thank you for the helpful feedback. I hope everything’s going well with you.


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