Lies, Fear, & Anxiety

Stop writing - No one cares about what you think. They have better things to do than read your blog.

That piece of trash you just painted? You call yourself an artist? You are a fraud. 

Your clients are going to be so disappointed with your work when you show them that.
 

These words are faint whispers that I can easily ignore after a productive day of writing and/or painting, but they ring loudly in my ears when I am not happy with what I have created. The words also scream at me when a paid project runs into a road block or when a client is being difficult. 

I find myself really ashamed of these destructive thoughts.  A part of me does not want to burden others with my problems. Mostly, it is my pride that does not want anyone to know I am struggling.
I think to myself, 

I work for myself and am doing what I love for a living! People will think I am ungrateful but I am not at all - I love my job! It just gets hard sometimes. But no one can know this is hard or I might be judged for not trusting God. I am a Christian so I should be joyful in all circumstances.

Convinced that no one will understand me or judge me, I isolate myself to try everything I can to change my mindset and attitude.

This is exactly what the enemy wants.

The voices in my head are lies from the enemy but my prideful flesh denies his existence. He stands by as I try everything in my power to change my mindset and attitude. The devil does not have to lift a finger because I am pushing God out of my life, isolating myself from Him. I give the enemy free reign to play on my fears and anxieties with his lies.

Fear and anxiety can become crippling to our work and ourselves. We fear failure, judgment, and criticism. We are anxious about living up to expectations, letting go of perfectionism, and trying desperately to be original. The enemy can either use fear and anxiety to cripple us or we can use it to rely on God.

 
    From  The Anxious Christian  by Rhett Smith

 

From The Anxious Christian by Rhett Smith

 

During seasons when my relationship with the Lord is strong, I receive so much peace from reading the bible, praying, and journaling. God is able to work on my heart because I am in a constant state of desperation for Him. However, He cannot when I try to use Him as a "quick fix" to rid of my fears and anxieties. 

When I have not been daily abiding in Him and/or if my heart is not in the right place, I get frustrated with God's seeming inactivity and unwillingness to help me. I move on to my favorite coping mechanisms, all of which are done in isolation. I try to forget by numbing my mind with TV shows for hours on end. I overindulge in treats, like chocolate or potato chips, but after the last bite, I usually just get sick. On occasion, I will scrub down the entire house just to feel productive but that only proves to be physically exhausting. All of that ends with me moping around and feeling defeated. In these lowest of moments, isolated and blinded by my fears and anxieties, the lies of the enemy keep me from not only doing my work, but also from the Lord.

Fortunately, I have been blessed with a community of believers that embrace me and accept me when I am at my lowest. They do not let me isolate myself for too long, gently and lovingly redirecting me towards the Lord. I owe so much of my faith to the people God have placed in my life, the regular encouragement and admonishment I receive from my Godly husband and the believers that surround me.

What lies of the enemy are you prone to believe? 
When you are fearful and anxious, what are the coping mechanisms you tend to turn to? 
How do you move from a place of anxiety to dependence on God?