Overcoming Anxiety

Row of 7 white chairs overlooking the lake with Nicole sitting by herself in the far left one.

I thought I was doing okay. That I had a reign on my fears. But as I sat waiting for scan results in the patient room, I felt my heart beating faster and faster. She wore heels that day. I heard them clicking down the hallway and as they became louder and louder, my hands began to sweat. And as the steps faded away, I sighed and rubbed my face vigorously as there were patients before me that she had to see.

Wes smiled at me and held my hand but it was hard to relax. Finally, the clicking returned getting louder and louder and then stopped. She was in front of my door to deliver the news.

Pause here.

Anxiety is real. Most of us experience it because we simply don’t know what the future brings and we have trouble accepting that. It is caused by our lack of control and it’s something we simply can’t predict.

This type of anxiety is formally called anticipatory anxiety. Anticipatory anxiety is the anxiety you experience thinking about an event or situation coming in the future Nicole's back facing the camera as she walks by the fountain looking out at the lake.that you fear. We can experience it in the medical world as we wait to hear news about ourselves or someone we love, hearing of layoffs or cut backs at a job, when we are about to confront someone or know that we are going to be confronted, or leading up to a game or race that we are about to compete in. The scenarios are endless!

In my case, it came in the form of receiving scan results, or what we like to call, “scanxiety”.

She came in and shared the results with me and I learned that I still had no evidence of disease. I was incredibly relieved but I cried anyway. Much of it was gratefulness but part of the tears came from having built up this meeting so much that I was just overwhelmed by all of the possible outcomes I weighed myself down with.

I realize that receiving news that we hope for is not always the case. I’ve read about and have spoken with many people who are facing difficult news and hard times right now. Maybe you are one of those people. And I would love to pray for you through your journey.

No matter what news you and I receive or the results of an event/situation, anticipatory anxiety does nothing but burden us and it is worth pausing and making time to overcome it.

How we can overcome anxiety

Awareness: When we allow ourselves to be taken captive by anxiety, we weigh ourselves down with 1 million “what if’s” and mentally and emotionally exhaust ourselves before even experience a reality. We can save our energy and remove ourselves from the “world of what if” rather than creating many exciting or painful outcomes that may or may not happen.

Nicole up close with her eyes closedCombat it: When was the last time that worrying helped us? I think we can safely say that has never happened. This verse really puts things in perspective:

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” -Matthew 6:27

My Christian Counselor {that I see as part of my survivorship plan} weighed into this as well:

“This is exactly where faith and science interject. Because if I don’t have the ability to control what’s coming, how do I experience comfort? Who can I trust that is in charge? God and only God.”

Holding tight to faith during times of anxiety is crucial to combat it. God has cared for you in the past. He cares about you in this moment. And he cares about and holds your future and eternity in his hands. You are safe in his arms no matter what happens.

The Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to
accept the things I cannot change
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Every time we find ourselves becoming entwined in anxiety, we can always go to God in prayer. I think this prayer is incredible because it is a plea to God to help us practically in the moment. We can stop and ask:

“Can I do anything to change this situation/event coming up?”

If the answer is no, let go and let God. Pray for peace. He will give it to you (Matthew 7:7).

If the answer is yes, make the changes needed. Seek wisdom and advice if you don’t know where to begin. Pray for courage. God will not leave you to do this by yourself. He will be by your side every step of the way.

If the answer is “I don’t know”, then pray for wisdom and clarity. Consult others who will pray for you, pour wisdom into your life, and are wise in the area of concern. That is why God gave us community! There is no shame in reaching out and asking for help.


I will have scans every 3 months for the next 2 years and I want to live my life to the fullest and experience the abundant life that Jesus talks about in John 10:10! We don’t have to be overcome by “scanxiety” or anxiety of any kind! By removing anxiety, we can place our entire focus on the situation at hand whether it is good or difficult rather than “what ifs”. So let’s grow in this together by encouraging, loving, and reminding each other of these truths!

Nicole standing in front of a fountain and lake laughing

Do you have an event or situation coming up that is causing you anxiety? I would love to hear from you, encourage you, and pray with you.

*Thank you all SO MUCH for walking this journey with me! It means the absolute world to me to have such loving family, friends, and new connections turned into friendships through it! I love you all.

God bless you!

Sparkle on,
Nicole Body

 

P.S. One of my go-to places in Scripture to combat anxiety is Luke 12:22-34!

12 comments

  1. Beautifully written as always. I definitely battle anxiety and can’t wait to talk with you more about it and how we can help each other! Love you lots.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Let nothing upset you,
    let nothing startle you.
    All things pass;
    God does not change.
    Patience wins
    all it seeks.
    Whoever has God
    lacks nothing:
    God alone is enough.
    –Saint Theresa of Avila

    the original language I actually like better:

    Let nothing trouble you.

    Let nothing scare you.

    All is fleeting.

    God alone is unchanging.

    Patience

    Everything obtains.

    Who possesses God

    Nothing wants.

    God alone suffices.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely awesome read!! My first scan was NED . But before that I had to remind myself that God walks with me no matter what. I remained positive and relaxed my fears.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Praise God for NED status for you! I will pray the cancer stays far away!! You have such great faith and such a wonderful attitude! I know you must inspire so many!! Thank you for your encouragement and for reading!

      Like

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