When I was tempted
to return to my old ways
God’s loving truth spoke to me
and pulled me from the grave
Recently our family of five went swimming at our local lake. Those of you who have teenagers will realize how special it was for me that we were all there together.
My husband suggested we buy milkshakes on the way home. Yum. He picked up large ones for himself and the kids, and a medium one for me, since he knows I can’t keep up with their appetites. As I reached the halfway point of my rich and thick chocolate shake I wondered how many calories were in it. I thought about how our hotter than usual weather seemed to have melted off my winter weight and plunged me into my normal summer slimness without any effort or thought on my part.
I pulled the straw out of my mouth and considered not finishing the milkshake. A still small voice warned me I didn’t need to restrict myself from enjoying this treat. I didn’t need to count or consider the calories. I needed to relax and enjoy the moment. Fear was threatening to pull me back in the direction of my old eating disorder patterns from 3 decades before. Yikes!
I said no to ED (eating disorders) and I enjoyed the remainder of the delicious and frosty drink.
I listened to the voice of Love and Truth instead.
When we’re under extra stress or fear, old addictions may try to resurface and push us back.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
This is the first verse I memorized when I began my recovery from eating disorders back in 1983. I don’t mess around with temptation. I safeguard myself from relapse, even after 32 yrs of being well.
A wise woman doesn’t take unnecessary risks.
My secret to winning the battle of fear and anxiety is to wield words of Truth.
Even good stress can create an environment ripe for risk. For example, I’m excited to be launching my new site, and I’ve had some interest expressed for one of my manuscripts. Whichever way it goes concerning my publishing dream, I’m here for the duration. I love blogging, writing, and hanging out with you. So there’s no way I plan on succumbing to fear or ED.
God’s got my back.
Power, Love, and Sound Mind Blessings ~ Wendy
What’s your favorite verse or quote that helps you battle fear?
PS – My new blog at www.wendylmacdonald.com looks like my existing one.
In the third week of September I’ll transfer everything there permanently
and leave a note here to redirect visitors.
68 thoughts on “My Secret to Winning the Battle Against Fear and Anxiety”
Love how God’s word is so alive and always on point. Today I’m riding high on “Keep yourselves in God’s love” from Jude 1:21. There’s peace in knowing we’re surrounded by his love and truth. Truth not as we sometimes understand with our natural eyes, but truth in the way that he sees us, whole and well.
Bupe Rose, I love your comment and the verse you quoted. God’s love is healing and empowering. It surpasses all of our fear.
Yaasss!! It’s so good 🙂
we need to listen to that small quiet voice, don’t we. 🙂
We sure do–all the time. 🙂
It’s wonderful that you felt yourself in the moment, possibly going to a negative thought, and then just nipping it in the bud. I do believe God talks to us, in ways that we can understand, and nudges us in the right direction, keeping us whole and healthy. How beautiful Wendy, what a great way to start my day.
Thank you, dear Linda. “Nipping it in the bud” sure beats entertaining temptation and ending up in a prison of pain. I’m not interested in revisiting that dungeon. Blessings for a beautiful day. <3
I am anxious to read your published manuscript!
It can be so easy to fall back into bad habits. Its a good idea to set some margin in those areas so that enjoying the pleasure of one small milkshake doesn’t place us on the edge of disaster, but instead back from the edge at a safe distance.
Thanks for cheering me on, Gene. Yes, setting a margin is a great idea. Moderation in all things is a healthy and flexible guideline. Life doesn’t have to be an all or nothing adventure.
I have struggled with bingeing in the past, and I also look to God’s direction regarding food choices now. Thank you for sharing honestly!
Nice to meet you, Sarah. I’ve experienced both extremes of the eating disorder spectrum. Staying close to the Lord is the best safeguard, for sure. He is able to keep us from stumbling.
2 Timothy 1:7 was a verse I said again and again when were in the midst of major trouble with our children. It was a reminder that my fear was not helping and it certainly wasn’t from God. I look back and wondered how we survived. The only explanation is God’s grace. Thank you for the reminder to listen to truth.
Thank you, Karen. Big amen to fear is not from God and it doesn’t help. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve said this verse to myself over the years. His word is powerful. I never want to take His grace for granted. Blessings.
Excellent post, Wendy. It’s so true that fear and temptation always work together.
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Thank you, Bill. 1 Corinthians 10:13 was definitely part of my arsenal against ED. I would savor that verse and meditate on it. It’s perfect in that it reminds us we have no excuse to give in to a temptation. God does not lie—but our enemy is the father of lies. And yet, when we fall, our gracious God forgives us and continues the work He has started in us. God is good. I appreciate your comment, dear friend. I know it isn’t easy for you to ‘type’ them in—so they are all the more precious for that reason. Blessings to you and Mary.
Amen-Well said-truly a blessing…
Thank you, Krissy.
So glad you heard that voice of truth, dear friend, and kept the old evil thoughts at bay! I was given 2 Timothy 1:7 by my dad along with Phil 4:13 in high school when I tried out for my first play. I have carried them both in many an anxious situation. And congrats on the manuscript! Praying the very best! 🙂
Marisa, what a blessing to have a dad who passes on wisdom from the Word. I quoted Phil 4:13 to one of my teens yesterday. I love that one. Thank you for your prayers. I want God’s will to be done, whichever way it turns out. He sees the big picture and knows what’s best. Blessings.
I’m so glad you said “no” to ED. Yay! We all have that one thing that wants to creep in and destroy us. We have to stay one step ahead of the enemy, for sure. My favorite verses for fear—”He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me—God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.”—Psalm 57:3 and “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”—Isaiah 49:16 <3
Thank you, dear Shelli. Those are lovely verses. The engravings on His palms are purest Love and more beautiful than any work of art. When we walk with Christ we stay a step ahead of our enemy. A friend once warned me that Satan will wait ten years to gain an inch in our lives–he never gives up. But ‘He who is in us is stronger than he who is in the world.’ <3 I was surprised by the enemy, but I ran into our Father's arms.
You have prompted me to get my camera back out. Battery is charged. It will go with me on our next trip. Thank you.
That’s wonderful, Kathleen. Last night I forgot to bring my camera on our evening walk. The sky was magnificent. Lesson learned. 😉
I used to take lots of photos of our kids. Stopped. Long story why. I am excited to try my hand at it again. It will be a while before I post any shots. But I look forward to finding joy in photography again.
Have fun. Photography has helped me appreciate creation more deeply. I’ve discovered beauty in all four seasons that I had not noticed before.
Wendy, this made me cry. My mom I believe has an eating disorder. She is very very tiny and loves to talk about how much food there is. Good for you for enjoying your shake. I need to focus on ordering small shakes and to not want more. I am on the opposite side of things. I love how the word of God helps you to enjoy a healthy mind-body-spirit balance. 🙂
Thank you, Laura. I’ve been on both ends of the eating spectrum. God’s peace and power have placed me in the moderate zone for the last 3 decades. I like it there. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control, and I couldn’t attain it by my own strength. May the Lord reach into your mom’s heart and heal any brokenness within. Sometimes all we can do is pray for someone else–and that happens to be the most powerful help we can give. <3
Thank you for sharing this Wendy. I need some of that Spirit in this way myself! I’ve been a bit out of control since these knee replacements. I felt Him yesterday speaking to me about this very thing and when I stumbled upon this post it had an effect on me in a couple different ways. The most important way is that He is showing up everywhere on this topic! I am listening. 🙂
He’s an attentive and compassionate God. There’s an old hymn that has the lines: “Love lifted me. Love lifted me. When nothing else could help, love lifted me.” God is Love. <3
He is. And he shows up for me in multiples to get my attention. 🙂 I love the hymn Wendy, thank you for sharing it. 🙂
Truth. The Lord wants us to be brave and with His Love there is no fear. The evil one is always trying to take us down. Good for you Wendy!! Sounds like a wonderful day!
Rhonda, it’s so true “the evil one is always trying to take us down”. But God leads us into triumph. Blessings.
Indeed!! Hugs and Blessings to you Wendy!
Beautiful post – photos and words!
Thank you, Judy. 🙂
Thanks for sharing Wendy
Thank you, dear Marylou.
“Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will uphold you with my right hand…” I heard this in my mind while taking a shower when my husband and I were separated. I’ll never forget this scripture. Thank you for another inspiring post, Wendy
Thank you, Susan. You’ve reminded me of a lovely hymn that includes those words. What a wonderfully encouraging verse. We don’t realize the power behind them until they’re all we’re holding. <3
You have good ‘weapons’ at hand, Wendy. And what a lovely time you had with your family.
Thank you. It’s been hot here, so we repeated the family outing last night. I love being at the lake and hearing my family laugh together. 🙂
I can hear the laughter. 🙂
Bringing the mind back to the stillness of no thought at all, although hard to do at times, works for me. But a favourite mantra (like a verse from the Bible) can be one of the tools to do that. “I am protected” works for me, especially when, at the same time, I visualize a stream of phosphorescent light cascading down around me from above! Makes me feel beautiful, and beauty itself is a safety net. Thank you for making me think about this!
‘Beauty’ calls out and begs me to believe, “I am protected.” Diane, I’ve been waiting for inspiration for a new poem to go with some beautiful beach pictures I took. You’ve blessed me with an idea. Thank you.
Power. Love. A sound mind. One of my favorite verses for anxiety. I also love a little book called “Telling Yourself the Truth” by William Backus.
Linda, I’ve just downloaded a free sample portion of the book you mentioned and added it to my wish list. Thank you for sharing the title here. It looks like a goody.
Inspirational and lovely testimony, Wendy. <3 Indeed God's Love is amazing and you are precious in His sight! Hugs, Iris
Thank you, dear Iris, for the reminder that it’s His thoughts toward us that matter most. <3
Yeppers, when fear rears its ugly head these day, I start quoting Scripture to myself too, Wendy. Hugs, N 🙂 <3
Natalie, I’m so glad you were able to visit Europe this year. I’m enjoying your posts about it. <3
Like always beautiful words and pictures, Wendy.
Thank you, Arindam.
Congrats on your new website, I’ll sure be visiting. I love this post, I don’t have a specific scripture for fighting fear and stress, but I have this deep unshakeable feeling that God watches over me all the time.
Thanks for sharing Wendy! 😀😀
Thank you, Seyi. That “deep unshakeable feeling that God watches over me all the time” is priceless. We’re never alone. Blessings.
Beautiful post Wendy, old habits can come back, but with a little faith and trusting in gods plan all can be well. Im glad you enjoyed the milkshake and time spent with precious family. When I am fearful I remind myself that this is the road I am meant to be on. Trust in gods plan and all is well.
Thank you, dear Kath. Yes, great peace is to be had in remembering we’re right where we should be–in his hands.
Agreed, have a great day.
I’m pleased you are still well Wendy. This post struck a chord with me in a very deep place; different addiction but similar if not the same emotions. And yes! Fear and stress can be massive triggers if we let down our guard, even good stress as you say. There are times when I would love to be able to have a glass of wine to help me relax and feel good but I know exactly where that will take me, and then I will end up with double or treble the fear and also will once more be a long way away from the person I am now and am reasonably content with.
I always remember a quote from a daily reading book from my early recovery days and it is simply “Courage is fear that has said its prayers”. 😊 xx
Christine, I love that quote. It’s worth memorizing and repeating: “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” I find so much extra wisdom in the Recovery Bible I read each morning. It includes the 12 Steps and quotes associated with it (plus it’s in big print). <3
The 12 steps certainly saved me, along with the support of loving new friends, many of whom are now old friends and very much valued. x
Beautifully reassuring, Wendy.
Thank you. dear Cynthia. I hoped it would be. I need His ‘blessed assurance’, daily.
Yes! Another inspiring and uplifting blog post. And yes, we should never let fear prevent us from enjoying life’s simple pleasures. I’m pleased you finished that milkshake and that interest is being expressed for one of your manuscripts. Onward, Wendy.
Thank you, Mary. It’s an exciting time to be a writer. There are so many options available now. I will keep knocking, writing, and growing until I know which way I’m to go. Blessings.
Wise words, Wendy, and they have prompted a full garden of resplendent wisdom.
In times of temptation and fear, and as a relatively new Catholic, I’ve been comforted by crossing myself as I speak directly to the evil one saying, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, get thee behind me.” It shouldn’t amaze me, I know, but at my most vulnerable times, I’m still surprised with the power of this prayer to completely disperse any remnant of evil.
Than you, dear Mary. Your words remind me of 1 John 4:4 … He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. NKJV ( I like to recite this when I’m spooked by something or someone.)