From Pieces to Peace. How to Cope With Anxiety

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As we journey into the life of one of God’s special daughters, we find her frustrated and broken as a result of the tug of war game of a twenty year marriage. She races home every day hoping to find peace, but instead she finds shattered pieces. As she drives into her driveway one dreadful night her heart races and the pain that follows leads her to believe she is experiencing a heart attack. She reaches for her phone to call her husband, only to hear him respond he will be there shortly. Hours pass and the palpitations intensify as she continues to wait and wait and wait. Without thinking, she gets behind the wheel of her car and races to the emergency room. As the sliding doors open there’s an urgency in her voice as she beckons to anyone who would listen “help me, I think I am having a heart attack”. Though the emergency room was quiet on that night, it quickly became chaotic as doctors and nurses rushed to remove her clothes and attach her to heart monitors. As she listens to her heart race out of control, she wonders if this will be her exit from this life to the next.  She remains in that emergency room for some time just to hear the calming voice of the doctor say “this is not a heart attack, it’s an anxiety attack”.

Though this is a fictitious character, it could be the reality for any of God’s children as we find ourselves bogged down with the anxieties of life. Paul encourages us in Philippians 4:6-8 “Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” How familiar are these verses to some of us, and yet foreign at the same time, as we traverse through life on broken pieces.

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The above scripture is very specific about how God wants us to deal with anxiety. The one indispensable remedy for anxiety and worry is prayer. How awesome is that? Problems arise, however,  because we want to race ahead of God and sometimes even try to help Him out. As we venture through the many hurdles of life our hearts become inflated with worry, and we can literally experience the GREAT fall of humpty dumpty as we come crashing off the wall of life and breaking into pieces. Paul specifically explains that in every single situation God is calling His children to prayer, petition and thanksgiving, but we must seize every moment to answer the call.

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Like those who stand guard unflinchingly at the palace door of royals, God has given us peace to stand guard unflinchingly at our heart’s door. This peace guard is an inner stillness empowered by the Holy Spirit beckoning us to relinquish broken pieces and embrace peace. The King of all kings has stretched out His scepter of peace, but nothing happens if we refuse to grab hold of it. While our fictitious character above was called one of God’s daughters, we never once see her fall on her knees in prayer. Her struggles crippled her and released a sense of helplessness. How often do we find ourselves in her position? We can only find a solution when we resolve in our minds to pray intentionally. It is then and only then that we gain access to the peace guard residing at our hearts door, positioned to mend our broken pieces and put us back together again.

Sharon holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Management, a Master of Science Degree in Counseling, graduating Suma Cum Laude, and a Doctorate in Biblical Counseling/Studies, graduating with honors. She is currently pursuing an EdD from Concordia University. Dr. Sharon is the author of six books. She is a licensed pastoral counselor and an ordained minister. Dr. Sharon has been an adjunct professor for the past ten years at Indian River State College and Palm Beach Atlantic University. She covered under the FIRM in Pensacola, Fl.