The world can be an incredibly scary place, and as an anxious Christian mom I can struggle with an unending line of “what-ifs”, worries, and fears.
Over the past month it has seemed like it has been one scary thing after another. And by scary I mean worst nightmare kind of stuff…. the child in the gorilla pit, The shooting in Orlando, a drowning on our lake, the mom that had to beat off a kidnapper in a store, a friend losing a baby, the alligator incident (shivers)…I’ve literally had to breathe into a bag.
So we have ruled out zoos, movie theaters, lakes, Disney, and basically any place with a parking lot for family outings so it looks like we will just be staying home the rest of our lives.
Sorry kids. All us anxious moms will just be staying home forever.
But of course we can’t just stay home.
We can’t hide. We can’t live just taking deep breaths into a bag everyday filled with worries, fears and anxieties. I believe Jesus wants more for us as Christian moms than living in fear. John 10:10 says,
“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” (AMP)
God has so much more for us than I life filled with fear, worry, and anxiety.
I’m so glad, you as a Christian mom are seeking spiritual encouragement for dealing with an anxious heart from encountering hard times and hard emotions. This article and these tips may be all you need and the best way to overcome your fears and be refreshed and refocused on Jesus.
But it is essential to acknowledge that not all forms of anxiety and depression can be effectively managed through faith-based methods alone.
Disclaimer: Seeking Professional Help for Clinical Anxiety and Depression as a Christian
I want to emphasize the importance of seeking professional help if you or someone you know is struggling with clinical anxiety or depression. If you or someone you know is struggling with negative thoughts, self harm, postpartum anxiety or mood swings, I strongly advise seeking professional help. While faith and spirituality can provide significant comfort and support, these conditions often require a comprehensive approach that includes medical and psychological intervention. Please remember:
- Medical Assistance is Normal: Getting medical help for anxiety and depression is a normal and responsible step. These conditions are treatable, and medical professionals can provide valuable guidance and treatment options.
- Consult a Mental Health Expert: Reach out to a licensed mental health professional, such as a therapist, psychiatrist, or counselor. (This is beyond the scope of pastoral counseling.) They can offer evidence-based therapies and medications tailored to your specific needs.
- No Shame in Seeking Help: There is no shame in seeking professional assistance. Just as you would seek medical help for a physical ailment, a mental ailment is a real medical condition also needing help and care. It’s crucial to prioritize your well-being for yourself AND your partner AND your kids.
- Supportive Communities: There are so many Christian communities and support groups that understand the intersection of faith and mental health. These groups can offer a safe space for sharing experiences and gaining insights.
- Balancing Faith and Treatment: It is possible to integrate your faith into your treatment journey–ask your counselor or therapist if they are willing and able to do so. In my personal experience receiving mental health counseling has deepened my relationship with Jesus.
- Family and Loved Ones: Be honest with your loved ones about needing their understanding and support. Yes, it may take time away from your kids and spouse now, but it is also crucial in you being able to continue to be there for them in the future. And yes, it may be an extra expense now, but your life (and showing up WHOLE and HEALTHY in all aspects of it) is priceless.
Please consult with a healthcare provider for a personalized assessment and guidance on the most appropriate treatment options for your specific situation.
Your well-being is of utmost importance, sweet mama, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for anxiety and depression. Personally, I have found combining professional help with your faith can be a powerful approach to long-term healing and finding peace.
As a believer you also have the Holy Spirit partnering with you to remind you of truth and provide comfort in your life. You aren’t alone on your journey nor does having a chemical imbalance mean you are spiritually deficient or need to “try harder” to be a “good Christian”.
One particularly heavy news day as I was combating anxious thoughts, I began reading in God’s Word about “Joy” while studying the fruit of the Spirit. I turned to a very familiar passage,
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”
The overtly peppy tone of this verse annoyed me. Didn’t God know that REAL LIFE was happening? Didn’t He see the broken world He was asking us to live with joy in?
Because I’m a nerd I looked up the definition of “joy” in the Greek lexicon. I found the word “chara” defined as a cheerfulness or calm delight. Also, it can be a greeting meaning “be well or thrive”. So I picked the two definitions that resonated most with me and replaced joy with them.
Calmly delight in the Lord always; again I will say calmly delight.
Thrive in the Lord always, again I will say thrive.
I soak in those words as a promise from a loving Daddy, not some super-spiritual cheerleader’s chant.
You see when I am grounded in the knowledge of God’s unshakable love for me, when I truly understand how big and deep and wide it is–I can rejoice, aka calmly delight and thrive, in all things. Not because I am a spiritual super-woman, but because I know WHO holds all things together. And I know He. Loves. Me.
Further on in Phil 4:5-7 I read…
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
The words “The Lord is at hand,” jump out at me.
Don’t you love that? He is literally right here, reaching out His hand to me.
I think of all the times my little one reaches out for my hand—when she’s scared, needs help, or just wants assurance of my love and care. I know that me being at hand brings peace to her heart when she is afraid.
Holding God’s hand means my Heavenly Father is ready to guide me, reassure me, comfort me, support me, protect me. It means I don’t have to be afraid. It means I can rejoice when the big things are hard AND when the little things are hard.
Since writing this when I was a new mom and my kids were just 2 and a newborn, a lot of life has occurred. My little children aren’t so little anymore. My husband left his job and became a pastor which brought a new level of spiritual attack and emotional weight. A pandemic hit. Public schools shut down and I became a homeschool mom for a bit. I suffered from an autoimmune condition that was called “a panic attack from my skin”.
There have been and there will be in the future very real trials and fearful situations that continue to come.
The feelings of anxiety never left, but by God’s grace they aren’t what controls me or my parenting. I continue to trust in God’s faithfulness no matter my present circumstances. And He has always come through–bringing peace, relief, a new layer of patience, fresh courage, next level community, a good therapist, and effective medication when needed.
8 Encouraging Truths from Scripture for Anxious Christian Moms
So how to be a courageous mom in a scary world? I don’t have it all figured out and I’m not 100% free from anxiety, but I’m leaning into Jesus and finding joy and peace. Here are some helpful things I use when I’m struggling with worry, fear and anxiety in my daily life as a Christian mama.
1. Stay in the Word.
Let the promises of God wash over you every day whether you have an hour or just a few minutes. I have more than a few resources to help!
- What are Devotions: 5 Devotional Examples to Grow Your Faith
- 15 Simple Ways to Spend Time with God in Busy Seasons
- Claiming the Promises of God Bible Study
- 25 Best Devotional Apps for Moms
2. Be thankful.
When scary things happen in the world it’s okay to hold your kids tight and be glad it’s not you. It’s normal to breathe a thankful sigh of relief even as you pray for the mom who IS stuck in tough time.
Starting a thankfulness practice helped me in so many ways and I highly recommend beginning one yourself.
3. Memorize key Bible verses to target your anxieties.
Two of my favorites I like to repeat to myself:
Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Commit these verses to memory and repeat them out loud and in your head as you combat anxious thoughts and worries.
Talk to God honestly about your fears and anxieties. I have a practice of journaling out my worst-case scenarios and fears before God which you can read about here. I take Psalm 62:8 quite literally when it says…
“Pour out your hearts before Him, for our God is a refuge.”
Also, pray protection over yourself and your family when you go to the grocery store, when you’re playing at the park, and when you’re at home. Pray for those involved in scary situations-that is the best thing you can do for them!
Hebrews 4:16 reminds believers we can ask God with boldness for our needs.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
5. Refocus Your Heart with Worship Music
When I’m overwhelmed or I feel waves of anxiety or heightened emotions from sleepless nights or simply frustrated by my kids and operating in anger or grumpiness–I turn on worship music. It’s almost like an instant settling of my spirit and change in the atmosphere of our home.
Here’s a Playlist of some of my favorites!
Worship music immediately reminds me and challenges me to LIVE like I believe the good news of God’s unshakable love for me is true.
Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
6. Avoid excessive information.
Yes, be informed, but that doesn’t mean you need to read every article or watch every news segment on a given situation. Stop dwelling on bad things. Turn off the true crime shows and podcasts. By all means PRAY and take recommended safety precautions, but there is a point where over information feeds anxiety, especially for me.
7. Focus on the pure, beautiful and lovely.
Philippians 2:8-9 says “Whatever is pure, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if there is anything excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
So along with not tracking down every piece of information about a tragedy or scary situation, you may need to avoid trigger TV shows or anything that floods your heart with evil.
There are more and more shows I avoid because the content is just too scary for me and I can’t handle putting that kind of content in front of myself. I KNOW the world is broken place, but I don’t need the brokenness and evil paraded in front of me for hours each night.
Instead I look for wholesome or funny shows, podcasts, and books that lift my spirits. It doesn’t have to be overtly Christian–just not intense or creepy!
RELATED: 30 BEST PODCASTS FOR CHRISTIAN WOMEN
8. Embrace beauty.
Life is hard and ugly and it’s also beautiful and blessed. Sometimes I need to be intentional about opening my eyes to the good and joyful all around me by watching a sunset, soaking in a bath, collecting flowers, creating a home that brings me joy, reading good books and seeing movies that make me laugh.
Also, marveling at the simple delights of family life–like the colors in your baby’s eyes or enjoying taco Tuesday around the table together or noticing the way your grandparents still hold hands—God has given us so much beauty to rejoice in.
6 Resources and Books To Help Christian Moms with Anxiety, Fear and Worry
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Let’s loosen our grips on our breathing bags and tighten our grip on Jesus. The tragedies will come, but He is still good and He is still God.