Anxiety is not only a growing problem, it has become a cultural way of life. Statistics for anxiety disorders and anxiety related issues are growing, while the word “anxious” is commonplace for most people. It seems that high levels of stress, tension, worry and ruminating thoughts are just a way of life.
Anxiety disorders includes many battlegrounds, including panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder and even just generalized anxiety.
Most people amp up their lifestyle to match their anxiety. They remain busy, they perform and achieve. The buzz of their daily busyness keeps them from facing inner pain, anxiety and fear based struggles so that can receive healing. Others mask over their anxiety with habits that numb them, whether it be entertainment, drugs, addictions or just numbing out and not dealing with pain.
Anxiety is a sign of fear’s presence, keeping us from peace and preventing us from walking bold and confidently. It’s greatest work is to build in us an avoidance, where we run from what we need to overcome.
Today’s episode will begin to peel the layers off of anxiety and expose it for what it really is.
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Help for Overcoming Anxiety
Mark: I thought as we’re looking at the dialog of this, I have some stats that could help us in just understanding this dilemma. Anxiety disorders are higher in North America than anywhere else, which tells us something. In the United States, it effects at least 40-million Americans. I would say that that’s people that are actually going and getting diagnosed. I think it’s a very hard stat to measure … because a lot of people are not even talking about it.
Melissa: Yeah. I don’t think, which we’ll get into it, I don’t even think people know that that’s what they’re even experiencing.
Mark: Yeah. A recent survey showed 41% of employees from a range of industries reported high levels of anxiety in the workplace. Now, that’s just in the workplace. A report found that more than half of college students are seeking help for their anxiety issues, which that’s very startling to see. It’s showing us the pain. It’s showing us the struggle.
Now, this I clipped a while ago. It’s an article by New York Mag. It’s women are twice as likely as men to have anxiety. Now, the article says, “That’s because women have twice as much to think about as men.” I think that that shows that’s a problem. That’s a problem that A, women feel a pressure to think about twice as much. It shows that they’re carrying a heavy burden in their minds. Speak from a woman’s perspective, why is that? Share your own perspective on anxiety as we launch into this discussion.
Melissa: Yeah. I can see why it would register that way, that women are twice as likely to even express that they have anxiety, because I think we’re more, maybe in-tune to that because it goes back to your original thought of I don’t even know how we could measure that. I think, and maybe after, you can speak to this, I don’t think men are more apt to say, “I feel anxious.”
Mark: No. They’re not.
Melissa: Even in registering those statistics, I think it’s pretty equal.
Mark: I actually think that anxiety manifests a lot in men through anger. Their fear issues manifest in a combustion. Now, when I say angry, people don’t get what I’m saying.
Mark: Because they think anger means, “Argh.”
Melissa: An outward reaction. Right.
Mark: Yeah. Anger is this fuel of fear, stress, insecurity that it’s really, it’s a violent combustion that makes us very driven, very stressed-out and I’m overwhelmed as a man. “I’ve got too much going on.” There’s an element of anxiousness that’s in there because if they’re less anxious, they’re more at peace. They’re engaged in love and connection. Men manifest it through anger. We also manifest it through passivity. Because of our fear, we tend to deal with anxious, anxiety-ridden things by not doing anything at all.
Mark: We become more passive. We take a laid back approach. In helping men with their struggles today, one of the things I’m seeking to light a fire in is for men to be more active in facing the issues of the struggles of their home. Man’s traditional approach to problems is, “Ah, don’t worry about it. Don’t worry. No. Don’t.” Really, that translates, don’t think about it.
Mark: I’m going to pose this, the man taking issues and not dealing with them, pushes it over to the female and adds to her burden.
Melissa: Correct. I think that’s just the kind of the thing that I wanted to talk about, especially for my own journey. Let me just start with this. I think that it manifests more in women because we just seem to manifest more outwardly, or they think it’s women more.
Mark: You express more.
Melissa: We express more.
Melissa: We’ve joked about, on the show, many of times, the women having, husbands will say, “Oh. Well, she’s just crazy.” Men throw out their little things that they say about the-
Mark: She’s being really emotional.
Melissa: Yes. I think that women will express more.
Melissa: We also get very, very busy. I believe, sometimes women can show more manic-type things where we can get super-hyper up and down. We do just express more. I think that I can see where that stat would come from. For me, I think that this speaks to the point that we were bringing up before, is that I don’t think a lot of people really know that it is anxiety that we are manifesting. I know for myself, growing up, I can look back now and say, “Wow. I had a lot of fear.”
Back then, I did not know it was fear. I did not really know I had fear and you can attest to this, until you and I got married, really. I didn’t know that’s what it was. I didn’t know I had anxiety over things. I wasn’t given the tools to understand what I was dealing with, what was going on in my life, what I was lacking, so I didn’t really know.
Mark: How did it manifest, then? If you didn’t see it as anxiety, what did you see it as?
Melissa: I just thought I was messed up. For lack of better words, I honestly just kind of thought I was messed up, that I didn’t really know how to walk out life.
Mark: Did you feel anxious and label it as something else?
Mark: What would you label it as?
Melissa: I feel messed up. I don’t feel right.
Mark: Got you.
Melissa: I didn’t have the language and I think a lot of us don’t have the language. For me, my journey of uncovering that, when you and I got together, and this could just be a whole show in and of itself, but I had to understand that I did have this and then try to unwind why I did. One of the biggest reasons for me that, as you and I got together and we were unwinding the issues of life and everything was confronting us, is I had to understand what I was not given.
This is something often, that we talk about on the show, but how we do life, how we look at everything, how we take in everything that’s going on in the world, how we take in everything, how we give and receive love from God, really comes back to, what was the foundation of how that was built when we were a child? This topic can go in many different directions, so you may have to harness me a little bit.
Melissa: Because I think that this is something that, for me, wow. When I’m in church, when I’m at school functions, I’m looking around and taking in the pulse and heartbeat of people. It’s something that I think we can all do. We can look at somebody and analyze them a little bit and you can see people that maybe look more anxious or don’t look, maybe all put together. I think that, over the years with everything we do, I look past that and I can see things in everybody but I see people’s pain.
For me, a big thing for me, and I’ve had to reconcile this and I can talk about it freely because I’ve had many conversations with my dad, but one of the voices that I needed as a child was my dad telling me that things were okay because I think that, as children, that’s where we learn to process everything. How your parents deal with you is how you learn to process everything.
We had an incident happen at our house and you quickly were on it with me. I reacted very fearful, very reactionary to something that had happened in our home and you were very quick to pull me in and tether me and say, “The kids are watching you. The kids are watching you. They’re learning from you, how to process something that happened, that was traumatic.” I’ve had these little lessons along the way, to illuminate for myself, how as a child, I was taught. Actually, how I wasn’t taught in my home, on how to process life.
As a result, I was a very fearful, anxiety-ridden child, teenager, young adult, adult and have really had to come to terms that I didn’t have the voices that I needed to help me to learn on how to process pain and how to process life. One of my biggest passions, now moving into this, is what’s going on in our home and in the Christian home as far as men and how we’re dealing with our wives because I’m seeing the church full of women, full of women in pain and anxiety. I ask them, “Is your husband interceding for you? Is he laying hands on you? Is he praying for you?” “Well, no. I know he’s praying for me.” No, no. What-
Mark: Or, “He’s a good guy.”
Melissa: “He’s a good guy and I know he’s thinking about me and he’s praying about me.” I’m just picking that one example. We are not fully-equipped in our homes, to be dealing with the things that are coming at us in life. We’re not processing this out properly. Am I making sense?
Or am I just going on and on? This is a huge … It’s a cry of my heart because of the pain that I have experienced in my own life, the things that I didn’t have to grab onto. Of course, everything gets confronted in marriage and it got confronted when you and I got married. All of those things have come flooding out. I want to squash a big misconception that because Mark is so amazing that I have it all together.
Mark: Or that I have it all together.
Mark: That’s by no means even close to the truth.
Melissa: It was at last week’s episode I mentioned this, because of the kind of man that you are, it’s been able to heal me. Because of the steady voice that you are, it’s been able to heal me. I think that that’s a big thing that I would like to talk about a little bit, too, if we could, on what that means. How we process pain because of what the voices were or were not in our life, regarding anxiety.
Mark: I think that what you mentioned about how anxiety forms in us at a young age because of how we feel protected or not protected, a key thing that strikes me is how a child is taught or feels safe in problems.
If you’re struggling with something and you tell your parents, too many times, the reaction is, “Oh. Just stop thinking that way,” or “Just stop feeling that way.” There is no ability to be able to dig into the issue and break it down. Many people grew up feeling neglected in being able to process their pain. I didn’t know what to do with my struggle in pain, so I just felt like something’s wrong with me. Then, the anxiety just increases and increases and increases.
Then, we’re not taught how to live more fear-free, how to not serve fear’s thoughts, so anxiety becomes a way of life. It becomes a way of living. I know, for my story, anxiety was pretty much the voice in most of my life. My earliest memory that I can think of are depressing, anxious-ridden kind of thoughts, insecure, a sense of not feeling like I’m good enough, not feeling like I can fit in.
Mark: I have a sensitive heart so I was able to detect feelings a little bit better. I just didn’t know where to go with them. Getting older, then as the anxiety builds, the anxiety builds, the only thing I knew to do was to get hyper-busy and create a buzz in my life that matched that anxious feeling, that matched that anxious kind of atmosphere. That’s where Americans typically go, is we go into that place.
Now, this really came to a peak in the early 2000s and at the time, there’s a lot more, at least articles or things you can read about today, regarding anxiety, panic attacks, or things like that. Back then, there wasn’t a ton of sites. There was a handful of things. Nobody in ministry was talking about it, nobody. Even now, I’m very disappointed at how little we’re talking about it in church culture.
We’re leaving it to therapists. We’re leaving it to people like myself. We’re leaving it to people to talk about it. When, if you look at the church, I was in a large church and I would say probably half the people had really intense anxiety-ridden kind of battles. The rest did but they could maintain a little bit better than the others. It’s never talked about. It’s never preached on, taught on. It’s left.
This is the thing that really gets to me, is how if you look at the typical teaching schedule and emphasis of churches, and I’m not saying that we should talk the whole time about broken issues and struggles, but if you look at the church calendar, how much of it is dealing with the brokenness of our thinking, the stuff that is influencing our families, breaking down our marriages, creating all kinds of havoc? Our subjects are very doing-oriented. “Get involved. Do these things. Go reach people. Tell your story. Evangelize,” or “Let’s grow. Let’s get bigger.” Meanwhile, people are not healthy and they’re achieving this. That’s what happened to me. I had a breakdown. I was in my 20s and I had a breakdown.
This is unheard of. I was manifesting things. I was going to the doctor and the doctor was going, “Why are you having this at this age?” Asking me these kind of questions. Not the anxiety but other physical issues and GI issues and other stuff that’s going on in my body. What’s going on? This is like a 45-50 year old kind of stuff. I’m noticing that the problem is manifesting in younger, younger, younger.
We see college students, half of college students getting help and probably another quarter of them aren’t saying anything at all and are struggling in this prison. I suffered in silence but it got so intense that then I began to go, “I need help or I’m going to be in a really bad place. It’s going to get really ugly.” I came to terms with, “If I don’t do something about this, then I’m going to be locked up.” I used that strong terminology because I had to be very strong about what was at stake. I think that I’m very passionate about this subject and I know you are too.
Because there’s a lot of misunderstandings that people have around anxiety and you mentioned one of them. It’s that I don’t think people even realize and are self-aware and discerning that they have problems with anxiety. Most of the times, we don’t admit it until it’s really, really bad in crisis. Then, we call somebody or we quick call a counselor, or a therapist, or someone like me in a panic, but then if we feel a little bit better, we still don’t deal with it.
I think that’s a big one and you mentioned it, is you didn’t realize, “Wow. This is anxiety.” Even deeper, recognizing, “I have fear. This is fear. This is fear talking.” Even in my teachings, I really help emphasize that we use words that shroud the fact that we’re dealing with fear-based issues. “I’m just anxious. I’m concerned. I’m worried. I’m just troubled about … You know, I’m just, I’m conflicted. I’m, you know, I’m worried. I’m … ” All of these kind of things that are just repackaged language of how fear affects us.
Different Aspects of Anxiety
Anxiety is basically that sense of unease that usually goes in a couple of directions. You have, like when you said you’d go to a social setting and there’s anxiousness about that setting. Then, there’s the general anxiety, which is just there all day but there’s not really a specific target. Then, and this is another one that people don’t even, they don’t even get to think about, and that’s the contagious anxiety other people have that leaks into you.
“Oh, you got a … I don’t know. I’m really worried about that. You know, what about your finances? Aren’t you concerned about your … ” The contagious aspect of fear that the source of the thought’s not even yours, it’s now coming through somebody else.
Melissa: Right. I think a lot of moms can relate to this because I posted the article, I think on my Facebook page, about your kids getting sick and I don’t even think you moms listening can totally get this, the amount of anxiety that is going on in the home around another thing happening, another sickness coming into the house, because of, really, how bad it wipes you out.
Melissa: We’re already depleted.
Then, we’re going into fear of more depletion. This is what’s going on with moms right now, in the home.
It’s a passion of ours because it’s just getting worse. I know because I’ve dealt with it.
I’ve dealt with it.
Mark: Sure. We have a lot of discussions based on it because I feel like I spend a lot of time swatting flies in our home of fear because news is fear-based. Even our social feeds and even the, I’ve told you this a million times, we have so many discussions about this, about whether it’s vaccines or things. There’s good dialog to have. Even the flu virus, or the latest thing was the, I’m drawing a blank here, lice.
Melissa: Oh. Don’t get me started.
Mark: The lice scares that are going on in schools. “Ah. That kid’s got lice,” and all these things. Now, there’s genuine things to be sober about. I love the word sober because it means I’m alert, I’m paying attention, I’m on-point, but then it moves past sobriety really quickly and moves into fear-based thinking. I think that first we have to recognize that we actually have struggles with it. I think that anyone who says, “I don’t struggle with anxiety at all,” is not being honest.
Melissa: Well, I don’t feel like they’re real person. You’re not a real human being, in my eyes, if you don’t have something that you’re anxious over.
Mark: Yeah. Now, I don’t have anymore because of what I’ve learned and what I’ve grown through. I don’t have general anxiety disorder manifestations anymore. I don’t have the constant anxiousness. I have battles with stress in the sense of pressure but there isn’t an anxiety like I had that torments me.
I’ll have waves of it that will want to come over situations but I have the tools to battle it because I feel that the more that you grow, the more that you get into more uncomfortable situations that God’s moving you into. I’ve said this for years. One of the reasons the church is unprepared for the days ahead is we’re not dealing with our current fear issues, our current anxieties.
Then, it’s just going to just keep compounding and compounding and compounding when we think of what’s ahead because life isn’t necessarily going get easier no matter who you thought should be president or no matter who you think should be doing what. There’s difficult times that we’re going to have to face as a church and if we don’t deal with our fear issues now, we won’t have the tools to deal with the things that are ahead. Even just that thought, causes people to go into fear.
Melissa: Right. It’s so true. Yeah.
Myths We Believe Regarding Anxiety
Mark: And it’s not. I think one of the mistakes is definitely, we’re not self-aware of our own anxiety. I think two is, a lot of times we think of anxiety as just panic attacks.
That’s actually anxiety that now adds another layer to it. I really believe panic attacks need … People say, “I’m having an anxiety attack.” No. That’s a panic attack. I really believe … Again, we’re not doctors. We’re not psychologists. We are just everyday people that research and help people and we know what works and we know what doesn’t work, so don’t take this as doctoral advice.
Panic attacks need a layer of anxiety to build upon to increase that, “Wow,” dissent that will cross your chess, that feeling of where people just freeze up and they’re immobile. I think another myth, and we’ve talked about this a lot, is we think, “If I just get rid of this anxious feeling, then I’ll be good.” We think of, “What drug do I need?”
We’re very big on the drug we need. I’m very big on get this thing, this feeling that I’m having, away. We have to help people understand, no, there is a whole way of thinking that has to change. You have to move into a more fearless kind of thinking basis more than just one momentarily-
Melissa: Yeah. I think this is a good topic to be on. We had somebody that sent us this question about anxiety and the whole aspect of, especially with the church, a reference back to even part of your story and not really being able to get help. It was either, “Well, go to the altar. Jesus will help you with that. Give it to God.” I’m like, “What does that even look like, to just give it to him?”
Melissa: Or, we go and we want it prayed off of us. “If I can just get this thing off of me, then I’ll be good.”
Mark: Oh. Yes, yes.
Melissa: Could you speak to that … a little bit because I think that that would help people because I think that there is a lot of misconceptions about anxiety, how to get rid of it, how to pray for it. Going back to the statement, “If I can just get this off me, I’ll be good,” and what that kind of deliverance aspects really looks like.
Mark: Right, because if you ask people how to get free from anxiety, you ask 100 different people, professionals, ministry leaders, whatever, you’re going to get 100 different answers. They’re all good. They’re all well-meaning. What we have to understand and I want to help create somewhat of an even ground that we can have dialog on in this discussion, we have to first recognize that anxiety, by it’s nature, is fear-based.
Recognizing Three Dimensions of Thought
If I can use the word fear, I’m going to make more leverage in helping you to recognize this is fear because people will first say, “I don’t have fear. I’m just anxious.” No. That’s fear. That’s the language of fear. Then, there’s the dialog and this is the debate in church right now when it comes anxiety, it’s either a chemical imbalance, it’s either poor thinking, or it’s demonic.
Mark: Okay? If you have dialog with somebody, they’re going to give you one of the three. One person will say this is a chemical imbalance. That means that the typical pathway for that is through a drug. The other will say it’s just poor thinking. What you need is you need a psychologist. You need a therapist. You need someone, a professional person to sit down and talk to. Those who say this is demonic, this is a stronghold, this is the enemy, they will say you need to go sit down with someone and walk you through deliverance to get you free from that. Right?
That’s pretty much what you’re going to get from people. There’s a mixture of that in there. They may say you may need a special kind of ministry process. There’s many different kinds out there dealing with trauma, or hidden memories, or things like that. That goes into the poor thinking maybe arena, that you need therapy.
I put that in the therapy category. This is the thing that I like to bring to the table, is that chemical imbalance, poor thinking patterns, spiritual battle, it’s all three. I want to explain this really quickly and concisely. The way that thought affects you, it affects you on three levels when it comes to the areas that you struggle with. There is the chemical aspect of thought because every thought you have has a chemical, biological reaction.
If you think about, “Oh, no. I don’t want to go out in traffic because I’m going to get hit by a car,” that thought has a chemical impulse that flows through your body. People that are chronic and in chronic anxiety conditions, their chemical state has been altered in such a way that they have serotonin levels that are dropping in some levels. They’re not being processed in the neurotransmitters because serotonin is the chemical that is the peaceful, feel-good, “I’m okay.”
Which, when they medicate people, they give you a serotonin reuptake inhibitor to help keep serotonin in the synapse so that you can feel the levels of it. It doesn’t add serotonin to your brain. It just helps keep the reuptake working so that, over time, you can feel better. We look at it from just a chemical level.
What we don’t often do today in our culture, is we don’t address that second dimension, which is the thought level. The thought level is so critical. How you start your day, your perspective, the story you’re living by. When I deal with people and their thoughts, I deal with the whole real estate. “What’s your story? When you wake up, do you feel empowered? Do you?” Most of us live and this is what I had to confront, we live a very passive thought process.
Whatever thoughts come, we address them as they come. We don’t initiate, “Here’s what I’m going to think about. Here’s where I’m going.” This is really, now, dealing with the soul level of our thoughts. The soul is composites of your mind personality. It’s the grid framework that’s been established that manifests through your body. Your body receives signals from the soul of what’s going on in your thoughts.
It’s a comprising of your mind and our memories and how you think the world operates. “Does God love me? Does the world love me? Am I loved? Do I know who I am?” All that stuff. We spend lots of money in all kinds of arenas but we don’t invest in the cultivating of strong thinking. Even when we deal with thought, Christianity has not always understood not every thought is your own.
That leads us to the third level of dimension, which is the spiritual arena of thought. You can have a thought cross your pathways and it’s not even your own, it’s enemy thought. That’s why Paul said, “God’s not giving you the spirit of fear.” Now, what does a spirit of fear do?
It gives you a thought to then transpose that fear-based thinking upon everything, circumstances, situations. It just keeps pulsating. How do we heal in these areas? Well, it starts from the inside-out. We tend to work from the outside-in. “Help me feel different so that I can think different so then my spirituality will be stronger.” No, no, no, no.
My spirituality needs to be addressed so that my state of thinking is based on the spirit of God and not any other crispy critter, or interference, or any other infiltrator that will speak because that’s spiritual warfare right there, 101, is the predominant thought that has access to you. Then, that trickles down into my body. I begin letting God heal my spirituality, which is not really discussed and talked about.
In the sense of, what does love mean in my life? Perfect love casting out fear. Sometimes people think, “Well, if I just pray and someone says, ‘In the name of Jesus.'” No. Here’s what I do when I pray with people. Sometimes I get in these situations in a church where someone goes, “I’ve got anxiety. Can you pray for me?”
I’m like, “Okay. I don’t have time for you to read my book and go through five sessions, okay, we’ll pray.” I always say this at the end of my prayer because I say, “You’re going to feel peace. You’re going to feel absolute peace,” when we’re done praying, I say, “How do you feel?” They go, “Man, I feel a lot of peace.” I said, “This is what is available to you.”
“What you’re feeling right now is what’s available to you.” Let’s just soak this in for a moment because what I’ve done is I’ve taken who I am because I’ve overcome many anxiety areas and I’m praying with you and blessing you with what I’ve overcome because that’s really what God’s called all of us to do. Take where you’ve overcome and give it to others.
I say, “But listen, you’ve got a fight on your hands because it’s not as simple as just praying this monster off of you. It’s thinking because tomorrow, if he speaks again, what are you going to do?”
“Tomorrow, when you wake up and fear is right there talking, what are you going to do? You have no tools. We have to spiritually equip you.” What that means is, first we’ve got to deal with the spiritual arena and that involves, what does love mean to your life? Healing of your broken heart. That means breaking agreement with fear. Consistently you have to do this. That’s repentant.
It’s breaking the agreement. Even recognizing, discerning, “I have fear in my life.” Otherwise, you’re never going to bother. Then, there’s the next level of dimension. That’s really cultivating healthy soul life, which is, “I’m going to establish … I’m going to be led by the spirit of God in my spirit and I’m going to train my soul to live in the dimension of, what am I going to think about today? What’s the focus of my thought?” Focus causes everything, your story that you live by, your perspective.
That’s where I said, “No more fear-based thinking is allowed in my life.” If it’s fear-based, I’m chucking it. I want hope, love and faith. Faith, hope and love-based thoughts. Then, this is the part that takes time that people get frustrated with, is how you think, takes times to settle into your physiology.
It takes time for your body to be convinced that you’re walking out of agreement with fear. It takes time for it to get into the cells of your being. That’s why certain practices like stillness, quietness … I even teach healthy biblical meditation. I teach how to process and orient your day in such a way that you’re guarding yourself from the work of fear. Here’s the thing, this is what’s the frustrating part, Missy, is we just want to feel better.
We want a momentary relief from this anxiousness, or panic, or OCD, or whatever it is but we don’t want the overhaul and God’s like, “I need to fix your whole life.”
Melissa: Yeah. I think that point right there, if we could just for the next few minutes, stay on that because that was something for me that had to really sink in. That it’s not just a … Yes. We all want deliverance and we want those things and we want to walk in more wholeness but there was a bigger picture and journey that God had for me because, at the end of the day, the question for me was, why does the enemy have access to those things?
Melissa: For me, when you’re-
Mark: Why does he have access to give you …
Melissa: Why does he have access to torment me?
Mark: … to give you a thought that is not God’s thought? Many people make the mistake where they say, “Man, I just can’t get it together. I’m weak,” or “I just don’t know how to think. What’s wrong with me?” They don’t recognize and that’s why the Bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant.” How many times does the Bible need to say, “Casting down arguments, every assignment that comes against the knowledge of God, taking every thought into captivity”? We’re just like this all day.
He’s beaten the tar out of us with fear-based thoughts and then we don’t deal with it until it’s like DEFCON.
Melissa: Yeah. Do you know what’s funny? As you were saying the word spirituality, I had this picture on my mind of how that is built. It goes back to what I was trying to layout when I was originally sharing this morning, well, this afternoon now, is that it goes back to how that was created in you as a kid because your parents are there as a representation …
Melissa: … to lead you towards the father.
Mark: That’s right.
Melissa: They are showing you, they are demonstrating for you. Everything they do and don’t do, is eventually how you’re going to view yourself …
Melissa: … to God, the father. That was something huge that I had to confront because the enemy had access in the areas that were not perfected in his love, okay?
Melissa: He has access to those things. Because I never had the strong male voice in my life saying, “Missy, honey, you’re going to be okay. You didn’t make the cheerleading squad, it’s okay. You’re still my precious daughter,” oh, I could cry, that’s what we all have to confront. What’s the voice that you’re missing in your life that settled your body when things went wrong, that spoke peace to you over the storm when you were four or five and your parents were fighting? How was that all created in your life?
I think, now we’re adults and we’re flailing. We’re going, “How come I can’t deal with this? What is going on?” We have to confront those things. Why does the enemy have access to that? It’s because you’re broken and God hasn’t been represented to you in the best way. Maybe it was growing up or even at home. You may have an awesome husband but maybe he doesn’t know how to stand in for you and be the watchman over the home, so slowly, over the years, you’re going, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I carrying all these burdens?”
Because you don’t hear his voice and your kids don’t hear his voice. It’s not a dig, it’s to go, “Let’s illuminate to the areas of healing that we need.” Yes, he’s an awesome provider, but is he standing over you saying, “Don’t worry, my wife. I have this under control. Whatever decisions you make, I stand behind you. I’ve got you. Let’s pray. Let’s come together”? All those things. We need the voices.
Melissa: We need the voices representing how God, the father, thinks about us, how he loves us. That’s been the journey of my life. I have an awesome man but if I don’t really get that healed and see who I truly am before him, what he does just pounces right off of me.
Mark: That’s right. There’s moments when Abby, our daughter, has these battles, already, where fear’s wanting to get in there. I’ll help her and I have these moments where I start crying and start weeping because I connect to my own experience and I didn’t have that. I didn’t have that moment to let …
Because here’s the discipleship for anyone struggling with anxiety, is first John four, “He who fears, has not been made perfect in love.” Perfect love casts out fear. God is love. He carries perfect love. Wherever you’re anxious, is an area that God’s love needs to come in and perfect that. To share with you that you’re safe. Usually, in order for us to do that, we’ve got to face our brokenness.
Mark: We’ve got to get out of denial and go, “Okay. There were some things I needed, I didn’t get and I need to be equipped with.” That becomes your overcoming journey. That becomes your story of how you start helping people at a really powerful dimension. Thanks for being so honest and transparent. I think that what we want people to understand is transformation, freedom from anxiety, even the signal of anxiety, signals to you there is a invitation to a process for God to heal you.
Many times, we don’t take the invitation. The invitation from Heaven is, “Let me invite you into this process journey where I will take you.” This isn’t just about healing these momentary panics, or these anxious-ridden moments, or these DEFCON levels you get to. I want to give you a grid to live in the peace of God.
If you’ll take that invitation, God will go deeper but he’s a safe God to go there with. He wants to show you and this is why we’re so big on helping people be restored to the father, because the father carries the love that Christ Jesus manifested. If we will take the invitation, he wants to settle us in that perfect love.
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