“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT
The call came in, the surgery was booked. Before that call, it didn’t feel real but now that reality had set in and it was confirmed the tightness in my chest began. The racing thoughts, the planning, the list-making, and the what-ifs all filled my thoughts. Two years ago in the middle of the pandemic, the panic attacks started with the talk of the first surgery. My chest tightens and breathing becomes hard. It’s taken a whole lot of prayer and being in the Word for me to replace these thoughts and find ways to combat them. God has been faithful and never left me and He has helped me through these tough moments.
The Word says we should, “give all your cares and worries to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT).
Now when the thoughts start spiraling, I stop myself and start praying to God to help me take these thoughts captive.
The Bible tells us “We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT).
I’m a visual person so I start visualizing lassoing these words/lies/lists. Once they are lassoed I begin a process of self-talk, deciphering the truths, and replacing lies with truth. The surgery is necessary. The surgeon is good, but I will start praying for him and his medical team. My family will help me with the physical limitations, I’ll be praying for them through this too—the fear of what-ifs is replaced with truth.
Moses reminds us in Deuteronomy 31:8 “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
This verse helps keep me stay grounded, knowing that God has already gone before me and He will be with me through the pre-op, surgery, and recovery. He’s not leaving me.
Reading God’s promises helps me refocus on him and stop worrying about things out of my control. Throughout scripture, God reminds us that He’s in control. These five reminders have helped me find peace when the anxious thoughts arise:
- Prayer – learning to turn it over to God and trust Him.
- Reading the Word
- Taking my thoughts captive
- Visualization to calm/refocus
- Asking others to pray with me and for me through the anxiety
Dear friend, please hear me when I say you are not alone, even in your darkest valley, you are not alone (Psalm 23:4). I don’t know your circumstances or your anxiety but I do know that God does and He will never leave you nor forsake you. He’s our comfort and our peace. He’s gone ahead of you and made a way, just trust Him, follow Him and give all your cares to Him. He’s got this.
Lord thank you for never leaving me, forgive me for the times I struggle with anxiety and fear. I pray for your peace in the situations that I’m facing. Help me to replace my thoughts with truths from you. Thank you for guiding me along and for comforting me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Note: Surgery and recovery went well. God was in control the whole time.