What If We’re Wrong About Anxiety?

What If We’re Wrong About Anxiety?

She was like me. Anxiety plagued her.

Not the kind that makes you nervous but the all consuming, paralyzing, depression causing beast that is true anxiety.

We had different views, she and I. I believed the root of anxiety was my sinful distrust in God. She had been told that she suffered a chemical imbalance.

But which diagnosis holds more hope?

I dare say the first one.

The Bondage of Anxiety

In scripture, we only find anxiety referred to as a sin or something to cast off and replace with trust in God. And while I do think it’s possible that a percentage of men and women may experience panic attacks due to an imbalance of some sort, the majority of sufferers may only be tending to the surface wounds of a deeper issue.

If this is so, the medications they use could be the very thing tightening the cuffs on their hands and feet, keeping them chained to the thing they hate most.

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:5b-8 ESV)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith… (1 Peter 5:7-9a ESV)

Sometimes our bodies are struck with panic seemingly out of nowhere. But more often than not, we can travel down the previous pathways in our mind to find the compounded thoughts which caused our bodies to react in this way. Taking an honest look at what we’ve allowed our minds to dwell on can shed light on the root cause. This is almost always the case, if we’re willing to do the work.

Both of the above passages and the many “do not fear” verses in the bible, show a putting off of anxiety, fear, and distrust and a putting on of prayer, thanksgiving, and good and truthful thoughts. Maybe that’s because our thoughts have a whole lot to do with anxiety.

If our thoughts are not guarded by truth, they are a playground for Satan who is “prowling around like a lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Who better than a woman whose mind is weak with fear for him to attack?

Hope in the Healer

Anxiety is painful. It creeps into every corner of your life and strangles the joy out of your heart. I understand the draw to medicate. Taking a pill to find rest from the mental and physical stress sounds pleasing to our quick-fix ears. I’ve spent many nights in 5-hour long panic attacks wishing for a pill to calm my restless soul and shaking body.

But if I had a pill to take all those nights, where would I be now?

In even more bondage.

If you told me 4 years ago that I would no longer have panic attacks 3-4 nights a week, I would have never believed you. I was so entangled in fear and anxiety that I didn’t think I’d make it through some days.

Fear ruled my heart and every decision I made. But God didn’t leave me there. He showed me through biblical counseling (much different from a Christian therapist) and his Word that the disease didn’t reside in my mind, but in my heart instead. I didn’t trust God with what I was fearing. My anxiety was a symptom of unbelief in a very faithful God.

It was not a disease placed on me but one I was causing myself, by way of my sin.

What’s the hope in that? Oh dear friend, let me tell you.

The hope is that while there’s no cure for a chemical imbalance, there is a Healer for sin! And he stands ready and willing to fight with us and for us and heal us of it.

Furthermore, he has bought our freedom. Those who are in Christ are no longer slaves to sin! And if anxiety is a sin, you and I are free! (Romans 6; Galatians 5:1)

God’s power which raised Christ from the dead lives in us and it’s that very power that enables us to choose trust over fear and peace over the chaos that is anxiety. (Romans 8:11; Ephesians 1:19-20)

There is Freedom

I still have much to learn about trusting God, but my heart rejoices that I’m not where I used to be. By God’s grace, panic attacks have become few and far between. And when they do emerge from my anxious heart, God always meets me there reminding me to cast my fear on him as he walks through the fire with me.

I look to his Word and find freedom.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36 ESV)

I know this is a touchy subject. Many emotions are at play here.

But we need to ask these questions about anxiety, because there is much at stake.

3 1/2 years ago I wanted to die. I don’t know where I’d be had I not looked more closely at the lies I was believing about anxiety.

Many go through life only masking the issue and not addressing it honestly so that they can be healed. I want freedom for them.

As I think about the dear sisters in Christ who are still in bondage, how can I not speak out? How can I not share my story? How can I not endure the cutting remarks from those who disagree if it saves but one soul?

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  • I will give the thought of the “Christian Therapist” to confirm your experience. I am a believer in a faithful loving Heavenly Father Who wants His dearly loved children to walk in the freedom His One and Only Beloved Son came to give them when He redeemed them from darkness. The problem I find is their unbelief that this freedom exists. It can be completely heartbreaking for me to see clients suffer needlessly because they refuse to believe God more than what they see or feel. I don’t want them to rely on drugs or any other earthly thing, especially psychology, to deliver them. I constantly find myself speaking to brick walls. Sometimes I want to ask, “Do you want to be healed?” Just like Christ did at the pool of Bethesda. I wish my clients had your attitude about trusting God. So, please know, there are a few of us “Christian Therapists” who know the Truth that makes us free.

    • Brittany Allen

      Misti, I’m so glad you commented! And it’s awesome to hear of Christian Therapists like you who are teaching these things! I think, what keeps them in bondage is that they think freedom should come naturally but truthfully it’s a fight! Christ has set us free but we have to choose to live in that freedom and it’s a minute by minute choice. It’s fighting the lies and replacing them with truth and that’s HARD work. But it’s so worth it. Praying for you and your ministry now, sweet sister!

  • You know I love all your words, right? This right here is why! Love this truth, friend! <3 "If our thoughts are not guarded by truth, they are a playground for Satan who is “prowling around like a lion, seeking someone to devour.” – SO GOOD!!!

  • Kristi Ragsdale

    Thank you for speaking truth and being faithful to the scriptures! Love!

  • Kristi Ragsdale

    Thank you for speaking truth and being faithful to the scriptures! Love!

  • Such an awesome post packed with so much truth! God’s word provides so many answers and His healing is a prayer away. Yet, so many of us rely on what we can see rather than what we should trust. Thank you for being Brave 🙂

  • Florencia

    Thank you for sharing Brittany, I’m 23 and mom to a 2 years Old and one on his way. For a couple of years now I’ve been struggling with anxiety and depression. Today its harder because I’m having a second child and terror fills my days. I’m not confident of being a good mom for my children or a good wife. I am in the point where I want to die but my kids and God’s grace holds me here. I am desperate for freedom. I’ve tried it all, they are medicating me now because my baby’s life is in danger and it kills me to not be able to see what the root is or how I can find a way out. By reading your article I realize I don’t trust God as I should. But I would love to read from you how you took a step out of anxiety, if it helps me. Thank you again. Flor.

    • Brittany Allen

      Oh Sweet friend. Though the circumstances are different I know what you feel and I know the pain that comes with anxiety. Know that I am praying for you. I am in the process of writing another article about anxiety and hope you will find it helpful. Don’t give up. Keep clinging to your good good Savior. He is with you.

  • Brittany, everything you said is true. I’ve been experiencing anxiety since I was VERY young, almost since I can ever remember! Our family has a central nervous system disorder called essential tremor/dystonia. It causes certain parts of the body to shake or tremble especially under anxiety. It appeared in my life around 13. Nobody knew what it was until way later in my life and by then I was hooked on benzodiazipems. At age 20 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord. I’m now 55 and I too have struggled with anxiety and depression. How did you find biblical counseling? I feel so alone and don’t know how or what steps to take. Any advice would be a blessing. It’s a battle and many times I just wanted to give up.

    • Brittany Allen

      Maria, thank you for reaching out! I am so sorry to hear about your condition. I can imagine that would be difficult. I was able to do biblical counseling (also known as Nouthetic counseling) through my church where they have a few men and women who have gone through the training. If you research Nouthetic counseling, you may be able to find a nearby church that offers it as well as some resources that may help you. Don’t give up! Keep fighting and cling to Christ, friend. He will never forsake you.

  • Love this!!! I suffered from an eating-disorder for many years. My grandmother finally got me to go to biblical counseling, and finally, I began to heal. The closer I became to God, the better my recovery. My husband now is considering biblical counseling. He is a firefighter and sees many traumatic events. I fully believe that counseling for work trauma focused on God can help him! ????????

    • Brittany Allen

      Yes! Biblical counseling is so awesome! There’s nothing like using God’s Word to combat sin and heal our hearts.

  • Cara

    I went through the amazing journey of accepting Christ as my Savior in the last year. I struggled with doubt my whole life untill finally I decided to walk the Christian path and it changed my life. I look to God now in times of struggle and my life is 100x better for it. A year and a half ago I would have been angry reading this, having struggled my whole life with anxiety. Now I read this and I understand, because I DO feel comforted by Him in times of anxiety. Thank you for putting this I to words. <3

  • Sandy Cheney


    I have a sincere desire to speak with you further, but not in a public forum like this. If you can and are willing and have the time, please reply to my email address I will include. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this post, God showed it to me this morning for a reason!

  • Hannah

    Thanks for writing this Brittany, a lot of what you said sounds just like me- “fear ruled every decision I made”. I can’t seem to stop my thoughts from spiraling around the same questions and thoughts and I just want God to take it away, it’s hard for me to tell or admit if it’s from my sinful distrust or not, it can be mind numbingly confusing.. where are some good resources to seek biblical counseling? I want to be understood and helped through this, not chastised for sin..

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