When anxiety and motherhood collide get ready to fight an intense battle for freedom of your spirit, body, and mind. I don't say this to scare you, but rather to prepare you for what lies ahead. The enemy wants to put a wedge between you and your children and he will do anything in his power to pervert the way you are feeling.
In my 14 years of being a mom I have struggled through the various by-products that anxiety can produce: guilt, anger, isolation, insecurity, sadness, and any other ugly emotion you can imagine. At times I've had to fight the next battle while still bleeding from the last. But it wasn't until I really allowed God to come in and lead me through this collision of motherhood and anxiety that I began to heal.
There are three important factors that helped me defeat the ugliness that motherhood and anxiety can produce. While I am going to share these life-saving factors with you today I want to be very clear: I still struggle with anxiety and will always be a mother. However the difference is that I don't dwell and live in my anxiety nor the ugly by-products it can produce; because of Christ I am able to overcome them almost instantly as they present themselves.
3 Steps to Take When Anxiety and Motherhood Collide
1. Seek Godly Counsel
This is a very important factor. Anxiety is one of those emotions that can quickly spiral out of control if not carefully monitored. I've personally struggled with anxiety my entire life but had more difficult bouts with it postpartum. The first time that I experienced a feeling of uncontrollable anxiety was after the birth of our first child nearly 15 years ago. I knew right away that this feeling was not one that I could fight on my own - I needed to seek some godly counsel.
I found this counsel in my husband, a close personal friend, and my Pastor's wife. Regardless of whom you seek your counsel from, I encourage you to make sure they are people who are rooted and grounded strongly in their faith so their words of advice/wisdom will come from a biblical place. I say this because you don't want to get advice from someone who doesn't believe in the power of God as that could lead you down a dark path. Anxiety is a beast of it's own so godly counsel and encouragement are a must.
2. Stand Firm in Your Faith
Be sure to stand firm on what you believe and not allow your (very strong) emotions to dictate your life. I'd encourage you to write or print out some scripture verses that speak directly to the struggle that anxiety is presenting in your life. Perhaps anxiety is making you scared or angry, then seek out scriptures that are directly related to the victorious promises that God's word provides in these areas.
No matter what, decide to take God at His Word that He will heal you of the torment that anxiety can bring. Surround yourself with people who believe like you do and watch how the Great Physician will show himself strong.
3. Grab a Prayer Partner (or two)
I have found over the years that having a committed prayer partner is a must in my life. While submitting prayer requests to your church or other online ministries is a good thing - it's even better to touch and agree with someone about what you are believing God for. I encourage you to seek out at least one person to pray with weekly (to start). I guarantee the results will be life-changing as you both pray for God to work in one another's lives.
While the fight may be one of the most difficult you've faced, one thing is certain: If you let Christ lead you through this battle, your end result will be victorious living. I pray that you will find relief to the anxiety you experience in motherhood and am praying for you! If God did it for me, He will do it for you, too!
In His Great Love,