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When Anxiety Strikes: My Journey to Inner Peace

I feel like these blogs are truly inviting you into my mind. It feels like you are personally stepping into my dear diary moments LOL. And as you know, I am typically speaking from personal experience when I write. I hope articulating my thoughts will help you share your truth freely. That is my true hope in writing these posts. I remember looking for a space or a person who would be transparent with their lives so that I would feel safe enough to speak my truth and be transparent in my life. So this blog is a love letter to my younger self. Telling her it is ok to BE YOU, the YOU that God sees and loves, and to know that everything is going to work out. It is going to be alright...

Over the last decade or so, I have struggled with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I can't even pinpoint where things got rocky for me but I know when my Anxiety kicks in here comes its friend's Depression and Hopelessness. By nature, I am a planner and I want to have my entire life mapped out. And of course, my plans don't always work out but it is nice to have something in place if they do work out. So when I don't have any idea about the future or no plans in place, my anxiety goes off the roof! I used to have really bad panic attacks just thinking about not having a plan! Even writing this right now made me a little anxious.

After many years of intense therapy, I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder. It finally gave me the language of what I was dealing with so I could decide on how to move forward. I knew I did not want this to have a hold on me forever and I knew something had to change. I have a faith-filled family, so of course, they told me to pray for God's healing in this area. I prayed for years for this healing but I still would be triggered. It wasn't until the Covid-19 pandemic that things changed for me.

The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 was the most unique time of our lives. Everyone has different stories about what that time was like for them. For me, I believe God truly began healing my anxiety. Picture this, I just finished my Master of Business Administration degree and I am walking across the stage in March 2020 with high hopes of new possibilities. I just knew I was going to be able to find a good-paying job and elevate my career.

Master of Business Administration Capella University Commencement March 2020
Graduating from Capella University with my MBA

And the next week after graduation, the WORLD SHUTS DOWN! I mean who would've known? I had a master's degree with no job and no money... Talk about my anxiety rising!

But God! He truly took care of me in that season. I had a place to stay and didn't have to worry about bills. I spent my time studying the Bible with my church community. I honestly believe God used the pandemic to heal my anxiety because I truly had to trust in him. Proverbs 3:5-6: This scripture kept me at peace as we endured all that 2020 brought us.

" Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

And to be honest, I wasn't fully healed of anxiety because in 2021 when we were back "Outside" I was hit with so much anxiousness, hopelessness, and fear. But God promised that he would deliver me from this and I had to trust him. It wasn't until my 30th Birthday in 2022, the year I coined my "Worthy Year", that I truly saw God's hand in healing my anxiety. I became free from all the things that were holding me back. I truly seeked God's heart and fell madly in love with HIS version of me. I didn't feel any more triggers. It felt like things suddenly got better. I was at peace.

I realized the peace of Jesus was my gift from God. To me, peace is the opposite of anxiety. It is calm and nurturing. It is something that you can maintain and control. I realized that I cannot think clearly or make rational decisions if I don't have peace. Don't get me wrong, I still have moments where I may freak out because I am human. But I always remember to Pause, Breathe, Pray, and Repeat.

I truly believe anxiety is triggered most when we feel like we are out of control. And to be honest, that can occur often. I combat that feeling of being out of control by finding something I can control - MY PEACE! I transfer that energy to a different result which helps me to maintain inner peace.

I know it can be easier said than done but I invite you to experience Peace today. I welcome you to try out the Pause, Breathe, Pray, and Repeat technique to help you. I also invite you to welcome the peace of Jesus into your life and heart. I promise you it will bring you so much love, patience, and clarity. As always, here are some lessons that I would like to share with you.

Faith Over Fear

Having faith is believing in what you cannot see. If you could see the future, you would not have faith in it. Anxiety is the little brother to Fear and Fear is what is controlling you and making you anxious. Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). I encourage you to understand how much God loves you. Once you understand his love, you can believe in God's plan for your life and trust that it is far greater than your plan! When you can rest in God's plan it will bring peace in the presence of fear.

Pause, Breathe, Pray and Repeat

By practicing this mindfulness of Pause, Breathe, Pray, and Repeat I have found so much solace. When I Pause, I realize that I can stop and assess the situation. When I Breathe, I inhale for 10 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds. I do this 3 times which helps me to calm down. When I pray, I am surrendering this moment to God to intervene because only he can bring me that peace. And if I haven't felt his peace I repeat. This technique has helped me to overcome my anxiety when I am triggered.

Pause: Stop & Assess the Situation

Breathe: Inhale for 10 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds. Do this 3 Times

Pray: Surrender this moment to God

Embrace Peace

Jesus said "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27 NIV.

That peace is a peace you can't buy because it is priceless. And it is given to you by Jesus when you follow him. As I look back on my life, it wasn't until I truly submitted my life to Jesus that I understood that peace. When chaos was going on in the world I was able to sit in the presence of Jesus and hold on to my peace. I pray that same feeling and experience for you today!

Frolicking in the Flower Fields in Palmdale
Frolicking in the Flower Fields in Palmdale

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