Living A Radiant Life: Peace Through Anxious Times

Have you ever gone through a hard breakup? One of those relationships you knew didn’t feel “right” anymore to you, but you thought it might just be a rough patch and deep down believed that as long as nothing better came around you two might work it out. And then, before either of those things happened, theybroke up with you?

That’s what I felt like two weeks ago when I was unexpectedly laid off from my job. I knew it wasn’t my dream job - making cold calls is not my passion - but I figured since I was exceeding quota, I was doing okay enough. So it really hurt to hear that they no longer wanted me at the company and I was shocked.

How could you be breaking up with me?! I moved across the country for you. I lead a monthly volunteer opportunity. I started a company-wide recycling initiative!

Even though I hadn’t been happy at work in months, I was still hurt by the sheer fact that I was no longer wanted, and terrified to no longer have a reliable source of income. Even in an environment that I felt uncomfortable sharing my faith, I was devastated.

Not a Good thing, But a God thing

A few hours after being laid off, I remembered that I had written out a prayer about work a few days earlier...

I went back and I found that had written this:

“I felt anxious and sad at work… I’d like You to set a clear path for me LORD. I will apply to jobs and let You guide my steps… You know what’s best for me - please give me a clue and a direction.”

While I was deeply saddened and worried by my circumstances, seeing this prayer comforted me immediately. I no longer viewed this as a problem that I had to sort out on my own, but this was an answer to prayer! Through my quiet time in Galatians, God spoke to me and said

“Because I am God, I will use your broken nature so that others may glorify Me. I want you to be free of anxiety - I want you to be close enough to me so that all you feel is My presence and My peace. If I have called you to be mine, what do you have to be anxious about?”

Anxiety and Peace

Galatians 1:3 “Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”

If you have done a lot of bible study of the new testament, or have been going to church awhile, this verse probably sounds familiar to you. It should - it’s used a lot in the new testament.

So many times in the last few months, I felt anxious and didn’t know why. Paul lays it out here for us: peace comes from God. When I am in tune with what God is doing in my life, there is no room for anxiety. It’s when I am trying to force something ungodly or something out of sync with what God has for my life that I feel anxious. But instead of turning to God for peace, I turn to everything on earth that has ever given me temporary happiness: junk food, alcohol, attention from men, shopping… etc. Then I am shocked when I feel anxious a few hours later.

Through Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus repeatedly tell us “do not be anxious” - that seems pretty easy to say as a Man with all the power of God on the fringe of His robes. But why would Jesus tell us not to be anxious? I seriously doubt it’s because He wants us to have a comfortable life on earth. Instead, Jesus knows that being anxious is an evidence that we aren’t living in tune with God.

If true peace comes from God, then there is no room for anxiety when you are trusting Him.

Of course this is easier said than done; mental health is a very real concern and God provides health professionals to help us through anxiety disorders. But also, know that anxiety can be used as a red flag to show us that we aren’t living in God’s peace.

Practically in my life, this looks like:

  • Spending time in the word daily. I journal with God and let Him know I’m scared. More importantly I listen to what He has to say.

  • Volunteering at church. Being on the worship team or greeting on Sunday gives me a sense of purpose and fills time in a valuable way.

  • Enjoying time with other believers. My community has been so helpful during this time, even if we are just cooking dinner together or talking at a coffee shop, it’s nice to not feel alone.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on… … Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

My situation hasn’t changed. I was still laid off by a company who didn’t want me and I am still without a viable income. But remembering God is my provider and I am valuable to Him gives me a peace and security that I never would have had otherwise.

Thank you Tricia for volunteering your time and talents to write this beautiful piece of truth!! We loved hearing about your personal journey during this challenging season! We are so encouraged by your words and how you choose to focus your heart and eyes on God's character and nature! His truth always guides us as a light on dark and unknown paths! We are praying for you and we love you!

- Radiant Faith Ministries Team