Nobody wants to be known as the “worrier” mom we would rather be known as “warrior” moms, ready to fight off the enemy. Read below to discover ways to combat worry.
One night as I lay in bed my mind was filled with worry and fear and I couldn’t shake it off. I asked God to help me. I pleaded with God to make it stop but still, I lay there overwhelmed with fear. I tried to fight it with scripture but my mind would immediately come back to the disturbing thoughts that filled my heart.
Let me give you a brief glimpse into our amazing bodies God has given us. God has designed our bodies to respond to danger but here’s the thing our brain doesn’t know the difference between real danger like actually seeing a person outside your window and the thoughts that the shadow in the darkness you see is a person. I’m going to refer to the two parts of your brain that are most affected by this as the upstairs brain and downstairs brain.
So when we perceive danger whether it be an actual person in the darkness or worry, fearful thoughts that the shadow you see is a person lurking in the darkness; both of these messages regardless if they are true or not alert your “downstairs brain” there’s danger.
So the job of our amygdala which is the part of your “downstairs brain” that is constantly scanning the environment for threats so it can protect you, then rings the alarm to alert your body that there’s danger. God designed our brains in this way to protect us but our “amygdala is hijacked” when the danger is false but your brain goes into fight, flight or freeze mode.
At this point, your brain is flooded with adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormone) pumping through your system shutting down certain parts of our brain–the upstairs brain. The upstairs brain gives us access to logic, reasoning, and problem-solving. We perceive everything as a threat even though the messages are untrustworthy because we aren’t able to think logically. Our anxiety and worry distort our perception and so the problem gets bigger and now the shadow we see in the dark isn’t just a robber but a murderer coming after you.
The problem gets bigger and we get smaller. Our God gets smaller.
In order to silence the alarm, we need to calm our “downstairs” brain. We help our downstairs brain filled with emotions with connection, not rules. It’s vital to calm yourself in order to move forward which is why I start my Worrier to Warrior process with “receive His grace” instead of going straight into “releasing the lie”.
I share this with you not to get overly techy but to explain what is physically happening inside you in the midst of a worry attack so you can catch it while it’s happening in the moment or before the alarm goes off.
So remember the fear stupor I was in. Well, annoyed that I couldn’t go back to sleep after trying to remind myself of truth, I went downstairs and started praying. If you’re going to keep me up devil you better believe I’m going to keep fighting. So I’m currently praying the Psalms for my children so I pulled out my connection card and the verse for that day was Psalm 34:14 “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
When I was in high school I was a part of the Jr. ROTC. I wore this army green uniform that I disliked and I had to perform different drill formations with my team. One of the basic commands I learned early on were things like “right face”, “salute” and “about face”. Take a look at the diagram below to see what “about face” looks like.
Whether you’re marching or in place when you hear “about face” you make a complete 180 turn in the opposite direction as pictured above and then continue in that new direction. (image via armystuideguide.com)
When I read this verse in Psalm 34:14 the words “TURN” and “PURSUE” stood out to me. They’re some of the commands found in this passage. We are told to TURN away from the worry and PURSUE peace.
How would you fill in this for yourself? I will TURN from ____ and pursue _____ by _____.
I added the “BY” so you can make an actionable step. Some of us don’t need more knowledge but more action. So we do a 180 turn an “about face” and “pursue” truth, peace. How will you do that? By telling God what you’re worried about and receive His grace, release the lies and rehearse His faithfulness using the biblical affirmations printable below that’s full of verses reminding us of His faithfulness.
Back to the overwhelming worry and fear I felt that night. Remember I said I was quoting scripture and praying but still I felt the grip of fear holding on tightly. Why? Guess where my eyes were focused on in the midst of the worry attack? On the fear.
I couldn’t shake it off or get calm because my eyes and mind were focused on my fears.
Instead of doing an “about face”, a complete 180 turn, to focus my mind on God’s truth I kept my eyes and mind focused on the worry even though I was praying. I was gripped with fear and worry because I couldn’t stop focusing on it.
Please note: If you are struggling with debilitating anxiety these things I’ve outlined here may help you but you will need to seek other support like a professional Christian counselor and medicine if needed.
From Worrier Mom to Warrior Mom
In order to fight this Worry bully we need to confront it, not ignore it. We give our worry more power in the dark silence. So I want to share with you some tools that have helped many including myself to become warrior moms for ourselves and for our children. Remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control! (2 Timothy 1:7)
Can I hear an amen? He has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to help us in the midst of all life circumstances. He is for us not against us.
Warrior Mom Plan of Attack!
The “about face” turn starts here!
- Receive His Grace – Go to God with your worry or anxiety even if it sounds ridiculous or overwhelming. He can handle it so bring it to Him. Sit with Him, don’t try to fix, condemn or justify it. This is your time to connect with God and receive His grace and love. Remember His voice never sounds condemning. He doesn’t EVER call you names, belittles you or shames you. If those are the voices you’re hearing they are not from our Heavenly Father they are from the father of Lies.
One of the practical things I start off with is taking deep breaths. I breathe in and in my mind, I say “breathe in truth” and then I breathe out and I say, “breathe out the lies”. When you take a deep breath your heart rate slows as you breathe out. “Repeated deep breaths will naturally bring your heart rate more in sync with your breath. This leads your brain to release endorphins, which are chemicals that have a natural calming effect.” ~Neurocorecenters.comLet Him sing truth over you. If the silence is unbearable listen to a song or use your Bible app to listen to portions of God’s word. Pray! It’s important to have this connection with God in order to calm down. You can also talk to a friend who is in a healthy place and will remind you of truth not egg you on in your worry. As you calm down, you’ll be able to listen to Him more clearly instead of your inner critic. If it’s not the middle of the night I journal to calm my heart. I write in my journal as if I was talking to God. Sometimes I repeat a verse over and over again- God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7 the verse that sit next to my bedside says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
In this connection time, you may discover you need to bask in His truth. Maybe you just need to allow His grace to embrace you in a bear hug. He may also guide you towards repentance. Remember repentance is not a “beat you down time” but it’s His Love being poured out over you.
- Release the Lies – This may sound odd but as much as we hate the lies, sometimes we find comfort in them and we don’t want to let them go. At other times we can’t differentiate between what is true and what is lies.
Regardless, it will take great courage on your part to hold on to truth and let go of the lies. His truth always sounds like His word. He will never tell you to do anything that goes against His written Word. Just remember, the enemy will put up a fight because He wants you to stay stuck in this pit. You’ll need to remind yourself of His truth over and over again often it’s not a one time done deal.Above I shared how false danger rings the alarm in your brain and “hijacks your amygdala”. Well, in this step, I want to help you figure out if the alarm is false. So you don’t assume everything is danger but rather appraoch it from a place of curiosity than panic.
You’ll write down your fears and worries that are overwhelming you at the moment. If I’m in bed I’ll do this in my head. Then go back through them in prayer and ask God to show you the distorted truth or lies. Every time I do this it’s amazing how 98.9% of my worry is distorted truth.
- Rehearse His Faithfulness – Something we have become experts in is rehashing our failures, our kid’s failures, and our spouses’ failures.
What we want to do here is rehearse His faithfulness not rehash our failures.Once you release the lies into God’s hands you need to replace the lie with the truth that’s rehearsing His faithfulness. I made the biblical affirmations pdf below to help you remember His faithfulness. Sometimes in the midst of the worry bully, our minds go blank and we need reminders.
Let us lift our eyes towards God and away from ourselves, our children, our problems, fears, and worries. I know it’s easier said than done. It’s going to take time to remind yourself to follow a different habit but it’s so worth it.
Biblical Affirmations for Worry
Here’s a free printable of biblical affirmations that have been a wonderful reminder of God’s faithfulness. I use these not as bandaids but as part of the process to find healing.
Remember our Warrior Mom Plan of Attack
Receive His grace- Go to God with my worry, fear, hurt… and in the midst of that I receive His grace. Release the lies by asking God to help you see the lies you’re believing about the situation.
Rehearse His faithfulness using these biblical affirmations below.
Print this PDF off it’s FREE—-> biblical affirmations for worry and place it by your bedside, on your mirror, in your car or keep it in your purse.
I have a background in counseling, life coaching, teaching and I was a missionary but still, I struggle. The reality is that we are all in the process of becoming more like Him. We can boldly proclaim Romans 8:31 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
As warriors moms, we can stand strong on His promises–He is never against us!