It was 16 years ago at 3am when I received a call that changed our lives in my family. My nephew died in a car accident on Christmas eve when he was only 18. His passing broke my mind.
I became anxious whenever my phone rang. Then I was anxious whenever my siblings travelled interstate in Malaysia and whenever Steven, my husband needed to go out by public transport. I was afraid they would be killed in an accident.
My mother passed away on 13 Jan 2020. She was in a coma for 10 months, and day after day I was anxious about receiving the call on her passing. During that period, I would often wake up in the morning gripped with fear. These days I am doing a lot better as God’s Word has been a great refuge and calm to me day after day.
Jesus said, 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? (Matt 6:26).
I am not alone in my struggle with anxiety; God is with me in the midst of this fierce storm in my mind. I often feel so useless as a person, so pathetic to be so afraid of this and that. In my mind, there is always a dark figure around the corner with a knife, ready to stab me. And I was so afraid… every day.I imagine myself standing before God with my anxiety and He says: “Amy, you are valuable to Me. 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?”. Anxiety doesn’t make me a lesser person before God; I am a person of worth to God.
Jesus also said; “… your heavenly Father knows that you need them all” (Matt 6:32b). God knows my need better than me. God knew I was tired of fighting anxiety. He knew I was afraid to wake up in the morning because I was afraid of all the bad things that could happen.
I imagine God holding me tight in His embrace and saying, “I know, I know. I know you are afraid my child. I know.” My heavenly Father knows my need. And what I needed was to know with all my heart that He is with me when I am anxious. – In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. (Ps 94:19, NKJV)
I found delight in God through my journey with anxiety. And that is what I needed the most; delight in God. As I experience delight in God, I imagine Him inviting me – Jesus said: … seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Matt 6:33)
I sought relief from my anxiety but Jesus invited me to something better and greater. He invited me to seek first His Kingdom.Now, often I find the brilliance of His Kingdom in my mind and in my emotions. As I learn to seek first the Kingdom of God; day by day, bit by bit, the grip of anxiety eases and I see the goodness and greatness of God at every corner awaiting to embrace me!
Through my struggle with anxiety, God brought me onto this journey to experience life and to live my life with Him in the Kingdom of God. Soli Deo Gloria!
By sister Amy Ong