Anxiety and worry have to be one of my biggest struggles as a mother, and honestly one of the things that shocked me the most about motherhood. Along with the enormous amount of new love I was experiencing, I also was so unbelievably scared that something would happen that would hurt my baby or that this love would be taken from me somehow. Don’t get me wrong, I do not think I was or am a special case. I think that this worry is something that comes with the territory of being a new mother. Love is never ever without risk so naturally one of the greatest loves of all comes with the greatest risk of heartache. The ironic thing is the worst thing of all would not be something bad happening to you. It would be something bad happening to your child.
Let’s face it. The world is a broken place. There are terrible people who do terrible things every day. There are literally a million reasons to be scared, anxiety ridden, and overprotective of our children. It’s so sad that we have to worry about the things we do, but that’s the world we live in. And as much as we want to, we can’t be shut ins. We have to leave our homes, we have to interact with other people, we have to expose our children somewhat to the dangers of the world. We can and should protect them from a lot, but we just can not protect them from everything.
I understand that many people have medical conditions starting with or stemming from anxiety, and in no way am I against talking to a healthcare professional and/or a biblical counselor to help in these instances. PPD, depression, and anxiety are real, and there is no shame in seeking help if you think that any of these feelings are out of control. However, I do want to let you know today, especially if you are a new mother, you are not alone with your anxiety and worry. I do not believe that one day you are going to be a good enough mother that you will not worry or that one day you will become a good enough Christian that you will not worry. But there are things you can do every day, every hour, every second to combat anxiety, and live a more peaceful, God focused thought life. Although it may seem like it’s our job to worry about our families, it is REALLY our job to run our homes and raise our families in the peace of God.
1. One of the best weapons against anxiety and worry is positive thinking.
Okay, calm down, I hear you, that might sound cheesy or worldly because that is the world’s term, but the world was not the one to come up with this idea. It was God. Remember this?
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
God made us. He knows how our minds work. He understands that we need to fill our minds with good thoughts in order to combat negative ones. Memorize Bible verses, talk to yourself lovingly, do some deep breathing, whatever you have to do to stay positive in the midst of worry, do it. Negative, worrisome thinking only leads to more negative thinking. We constantly need be dwelling on things that are good. Like God.
2. Which brings us to our second weapon-practice gratefulness.
I personally feel like one of the best ways to stop worry in its tracks is to thank God for the thing that you are worried about immediately right then and there. Peace and gratefulness go hand in hand.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:15
How blessed are we to have lives so wonderful that we worry so much that something could change or be taken away from us? By practicing gratefulness, I mean: You are worried about your kids getting sick? Stop, and thank God for the health of your family. You are worried about your children getting hurt while they are with someone else? or maybe they are driving and you’re worried that they will get in an accident? Stop, and thank God for His protection over them. The Bible says we literally enter into the presence of the Lord when we are grateful.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100:4-5
What could be more peaceful than the presence of the Lord?
3. What brings us more into the presence of the Lord than our third weapon- Prayer.
This should be a given. Talk to God. Tell Him your thoughts. Talk to Him about your fears. God does not want you to be filled with worry.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Matthew 6:25-34
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7
As women, we like to talk things out. It makes us feel better. So, yes, of course God knows you are worried. He knows your every thought and feeling. You are not talking to God for God’s benefit. You are telling him for your heart. Be assured that when you are talking to Him, He is listening. He cares about your thoughts and feelings, even the silly or just plain crazy ones. Tell Him.
4. Lastly, add to your life arsenal the weapon of Peace.
Wait, what? You might be thinking peace is the goal, the end, the outcome. But, friend, peace is so much more than that. Satan would just love for you to be too caught up in your own feelings and worries, that you miss the chance to do God’s work and live your life with the joy of the Lord. Peace is so vital to the Christian life, and God is willing to give it to us if we are willing to pursue it. By running peaceful homes, we set our children up to live and love more freely instead of being burdened by fretfulness. We set our husbands up to be successful in their work and their daily relationships when we emanate peace instead of anxiety. Life is stressful enough. I want my home to a safe, peaceful haven from the outside stress of our lives.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. Psalm 34:14
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy. Proverbs 12:20
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13
I could list on and on the verses in the Bible that talk about peace. You can and should read them for yourself though, and write them on your heart. As I said, there is no cure all to completely expel worry in life. If you have gotten to a place in your Christian life where you live without worry at all, please let me know your secrets. As mothers, sometimes every day will be a battle for peace. We have to seek, search for it, work for it, and ask for it. The Lord has given us the weapons to go to war, and he is willing to help. Fill your mind with positive thoughts, practice gratitude, pray about your worries, and pursue peace. Now, we just have to make the decision to fight.