A personal message from Korie:
Friends, I don’t know about you but for me the last few months have made me more aware of my mental and emotional health. When your schedule completely empties and there’s not a lot of busyness to distract you, you find yourself more aware of your own thoughts. I personally had not struggled with anxiety until a few years ago, when Wes started having some overnights away for work and I was at home managing our four littles (we now have 5 children). Thankfully the Lord has given me some insight as to why the anxiety comes and what to do about it. Here are some ways for stamping out those feelings…
Do not own it as your own. Remember that anxiety, stress and depression are NOT your identity and the Lord did not cause this. Satan would love for you to take this into your soul, thinking this is just who you are now. It’s a complete lie! Instead of saying things like “I have an anxiety disorder” say (and think!) “I am struggling with this right now but it will not rule me. God has given me everything I need for life and godliness. I am a child of God and the evil one cannot touch me.” Our words matter. We can use our words and thoughts to speak life into our own hearts.
Check out your physical symptoms and go to the doctor if necessary. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether the anxiety is causing the physical symptoms or the physical symptoms are causing the anxiety. For example, my last pregnancy I kept having these “lows” where I suddenly felt really weird and like I needed to lie down and wait it out. I couldn’t figure out what was happening but since it was the early months of pregnancy I simply assumed it was sadly just part of the deal. Finally at one prenatal appointment I was describing my symptoms and my midwife said it sounded like a dip in blood pressure. The real way to stop these “attacks” was to drink a bunch of water so my blood pressure would not dip like that. Well that was encouraging! I’ve also gotten some tests to check other things like my vitamin D and iron levels. Sometimes just ruling out nutritional deficiencies or something like high glucose levels can be helpful in knowing your overall health. Ask the Lord to show you if there’s a supplement you could be taking. One time I had a dream that had turmeric in it. Come to find out turmeric has been shown in several studies to be JUST AS EFFECTIVE as giving an antidepressant (source)! The Lord is good! Believe that He can speak to you in this way.
Go to bed for a while. After having a baby (remember I’ve had five!), I have often felt pretty emotional the first few weeks. Yes, it’s a huge change to add a baby to the family, but it’s also physically exhausting. I try to remember how tired I am and so I stay in bed or on the couch as much as possible. I choose to not let my emotions get the best of me during this time. Treat your anxiety like a warning signal that you aren’t getting enough rest. Grab a cup of herbal tea and read a real book in bed. Go to sleep thinking of how great it is that the Lord is going to fight for you while you slumber (Psalm 127:2).
Get out in nature. The beautiful creation the Lord God made is so peaceful isn’t it? Fresh air, flowers, the sound of birds and other critters…these are for our pleasure! Enjoy the details of God’s design. I think it’s often easier to hear His voice out there as well.
Be purposeful in what you listen to. This makes the MOST impact, my friends! Wes told me recently of a guy he had met who had been clinically insane. He was actually at a mental institution and remembers talking to inanimate objects. What changed in him to now be a normal guy in his right mind? The Word of God. Isn’t that so encouraging? He didn’t need some new protocol or magic pill…hearing and reading the Word was enough. I try to be proactive now by listening to the Bible on my phone, reading scripture, and hearing worship music throughout the day.
Many people struggle with feelings of anxiety - you are definitely not alone! God has solutions for you. Start believing that God is going to break this stronghold in your life. Praise the LORD! Love,
For more on anxiety vs. the Peace of God, you can check out Wes’s book called He Sat Down (So You Can Too): How to Receive the Peace of Jesus in a World that Stands.