Anxiety and stress are old frenemies of mine, and lately we’ve been spending too much time together. They don’t seem to get the ain’t nobody got time for this vibe I’m sending them–they’ve set up camp and seem to be here to stay. They are crappy house guests. They make horrible messes, don’t clean up after themselves, and they rearrange the decor.
All metaphors aside, my anxiety has been out of control lately to the point where I’m counting down the minutes until I snap and need medical intervention. It might sound silly, but I literally have spent large portions of days thinking, “do I need to drive myself to the hospital?” It’s exhausting, this constant worry and being afraid of myself. It’s humiliating that the smallest actions or thoughts can send me spiraling downhill.
Right now, I lack the ability to easily turn my thoughts around when I get on a negative path. It seems like such a luxury to imagine there are people out there who have a negative or scary thought and can easily brush it aside and go about their day. I used to be one of those luxurious few, but right now those worries pull me under and I spend too much time being paralyzed by them. It’s terrifying, exhausting, infuriating, and embarrassing. I am flat out pissed that I can’t seem to make myself listen to myself. I’m like a cranky toddler who is 2 hours past a nap but refuses to listen to reason and go.the.F.to.sleep. My “mom voice” doesn’t work on myself.
During these periods of high anxiety, I’ve been turning to these 20 Bible verses. These were a huge source of comfort to me during pregnancy when I was anxious about my impending c-section, and they continue to comfort me now. My goal is to memorize all 20, but in the meantime, I have a list on my phone so I can always have them close. These verses are from the NIV unless otherwise noted.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Psalm 46:1-2 ” God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the sea.”
Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…”
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”
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.” (NKJV)
Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Psalm 62:8 “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
Matthew 11: 28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Psalm 118:6 “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.”
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.”
Psalm 94:19 “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” (ESV)
Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Matthew 6:27 “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:25-26 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Proverbs 3:5-6 “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.”
I hope these verses bring you a measure of comfort like they have for me. Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite that isn’t on the list!