Identity in Anxiety
I don’t about you, but I can sometimes identify myself as an anxious person. After all, I struggle with anxiety, I sometimes get panic attacks and it’s a part of my story. Anxiety is an unwelcome friend in my life and in certain seasons in my life, it has taken the spotlight. In those seasons, anxiety has become my identity. I became Linu, the girl who struggles with anxiety. Every part of who I am was tainted with how it related to anxiety – Linu who quit her degree because of her anxiety, Linu who went on a mission trip in the midst of anxiety.
It took me a long time to realise that I unknowingly placed anxiety and being anxious as a big part of my life, maybe even the biggest part of my life.
It took me a long time to separate Linu and anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I am Linu, the girl who struggles with anxiety but more than that, I am Linu - child of God almighty. I am Linu - co-founder of We are Chai. I am Linu - daughter, aunty, chicken-loving, a coffee-drinking woman who loves Jesus. I had to learn that while I suffer from anxiety, it does NOT get to play the leading role in my life. Anxiety gets to play a minor role in the middle of the film that everyone forgets. Jesus and Linu get to play the leading role in my life.
Don’t get me wrong, anxiety will always be a part of my story and there is nothing I can do to change that BUT it does not get to be the whole story. Friend, anxiety may be a part of your life, it might be something you struggle with on a regular basis and you might feel like everything you do links is affected or altered because of anxiety but I want to encourage you – don’t give anxiety that much power of your life. We get the chance to change the narrative here. When I struggled with anxiety, I held on to Psalm 91: 5 – ‘you will not fear the terror of night nor the arrow that fly by day’. I used to get most of my anxiety at night so that verse became my best friend, my most-welcomed companion sat with me.
I am Linu, the girl who was rescued by God from doing a degree that I didn’t love. Linu who went on a mission trip despite my anxiety because I knew who goes before me. Linu who chases after God’s own heart and His calling for me despite my anxiety because I know that I am a child of God who is so loved that God’s love for me casts out all fear. Linu who does not and will not fear the terror of night nor the arrow that fly by day.
The question I want to ask you is, what is your narrative? Is it plagued by anxiety or is it a story where the anxiety, the minor character is left behind and what remains is a beautiful love story between the girl and her Saviour?
The verses you hold on to and the prayers you lift will shift the spotlight from anxiety to the Prince of Peace. Let’s not give anxiety any power to dominate our life and steal the spotlight. Anxiety may be a part of your life but it does not get to be the whole story.
Our story goes a little like this: we are so loved that Jesus came to die on a cross. He took all our sins away and broke every chain so that we can spend all our earthly and eternal life being with our God who loves us more than we can imagine.
Let’s pray. Father, thank you for breaking the chains of anxiety. Although it is a small part of our story, our eternal story still remains. Lord, may our identity be rooted in you, may you always take the place of the leading role in our life. May anxiety never have the power or authority to dominate in our lives and may our lives speak the love story between a girl and her Saviour. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.