Overcoming Anxiety: Choose Your Words Wisely - West Ridge Church

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By Angela Richardson

The choice of words we use are very important when describing what is actually happening to us.

I used to use the word “migraine” loosely, until I had one. I remember feeling apologetic to all of my friends that suffer from actual chronic migraines, and now I’m very careful to differentiate between a headache and a migraine.

The phrase “panic attack” is very common. You’ll hear it daily. A mom watching her son playing too close to the road, “Get back here, you almost gave me a panic attack!!” Or, waiting for the results on American Idol as they slowly announce the winner… “Eeek! I’m gonna have a panic attack!” However, if you have legitimately had a panic attack, you know there is a huge difference between a spike in adrenaline and a full-blown panic/anxiety attack.

When it comes to the issues of panic, anxiety, and depression, most people find themselves at a complete loss for words. A loved one might ask, “Are you okay? Something seems to be wrong. Can I help you?” We try to explain the swirl of emotions we are currently facing, but are so overwhelmed by the enormity of it all that we simply say, “I don’t know.”

The battle going on inside of us leads to questions like:

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Am I too much to handle?

When will this end?

What is happening to me?

Why does everything seem hopeless?

There are some questions we may never know the answer to this side of heaven, but we are not without direction. And we are definitely not without hope. While we may not be able to control what is physically happening to us, we do not have to surrender to a life of gloom and doom.

The enemy wants you to believe, you will always be this way, there’s no way out and that you are too far gone. Those are lies. Lies are like a prison sentence on your life, keeping you bound to harmful thoughts and behaviors. The only way to combat those lies is to know the TRUTH. John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”

Here are a few truths:


1. You are NOT ALONE

Deuteronomy 31:6  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”



John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”



2 Timothy 1:7

 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”



Hebrews 6:19 tells us “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” This is not a wishy-washy hope! This hope is firm and secure.

One of the biggest lies the enemy loves to attack believers with is that our spiritual maturity must not be up to par if we are still battling with anxiety. I have been there. When I’ve been at my lowest point, I couldn’t even make sense of scripture when I read it. I desperately wanted Gods words to wash over me and give me peace. I felt so ashamed, and I felt like my walk with God must not have been as strong as I thought. Again, those are lies. God doesn’t NEED our spiritual maturity in order to heal us. He just needs US. When our hearts are surrendered to Him, He knows it. He knows when we are struggling to make sense of even the most simple truths. Psalm 91:14 says “Because she loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue her; I will protect her, for she acknowledges my name.” For the simple fact that we love Him and call Him “Lord”, He promises to rescue and protect us. He’s not asking for us to have it all figured out.

When you are faced with lies from the enemy, I want to encourage you to replace them with truth. Sometimes this can mean taking a thought captive moment by moment because we have gotten in the habit of giving those lies validation. There is so much power in the words we believe about ourselves. Choose to believe the One who created you.