It was January 1st 2023.
Instead of the usual optimism that accompanies the first day of the year, my mind was plagued with anxious thoughts which felt heavy like a wheelbarrow of bricks and incessant like a twitch you may get on your right eyelid.
Quite frankly, I was annoyed by it all. It wasn’t any fun.
On that New Year’s Day, my kids were spending time with their grandmother and I should have been feeling great having gained a day to myself. But that wasn’t so, my mind was uneasy and I felt troubled. Truthfully, the last few years had been hard.
The pandemic, a move, a failing family restaurant business were contributors to what I was going through on that day. I kept thinking, What will this new year hold? And will my family be ok?
The peculiar thing about anxiety is that when experienced, it leaves you with very little energy.
Not being able to live fully in the present because of the imagined fear of the future is a very real thing, leaving you feeling mentally drained and worn out.
I knew I didn’t want to start 2023 with the nagging anxiety I had been dealing with for several months. So, I did what any child of the King would do, I decided to seek my Heavenly Father in prayer.
My prayer wasn’t lengthy in words, nor was it a perfect and eloquent delivery. It was simply my heart’s cry. When you approach God with sincerity and reverence, He will answer.
The beauty of serving the Lord is that you can call on Him any day and any hour. After pouring out my heart and declaring my immediate need for the Lord to minister to me, I felt a gentle lift in my spirit. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7KJV).
I don’t think I will ever forget the response I received later that day. I started the day with anxiety but I ended it with divine peace. Hallelujah! Only a couple of short hours after my prayer the presence of the Lord was with me. My angst was completely lifted and replaced with a wonderful sense of peace, almost like I was spiritually glowing from the inside.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7 KJV).
I’m thankful that ever since experiencing the presence of God that day, I haven’t endured anxiety in 2023. Praise God!
Aside from the minor stress that arises occasionally from daily living, I believe I was healed from the distress I felt for most of 2022. I continue to seek and depend on God daily. He is my strength.
Have you truly had a personal encounter with God? If you feel you haven’t, try Him. He is more than able to respond to your need. What a friend we have in Jesus!
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