If you’re struggling with anxiety about the new year starting, you are not alone. The month of December and January are the hardest months for our hearts because the things we’ve pushed to the side during the year — with busyness and distraction — rise to the surface when we slow down and reflect: Hope. Desire. Our dreams and our longings.
We are confronted with the truth of what we really need. What we truly long for and what we really want.
And along with those deep, beautiful whispers of the soul come also the fears, difficulties, or disappointments we’ve sustained during the year — or before then. The people, problems, and things that have hurt us or confuse us also surface.
And that is why we experience anxiety. Anxiety happens when we can’t move in the direction of how we feel inspired or prompted by God to live. Anxiety happens when we want to do something or say something — if we have needs — but we aren’t able to speak, take action, or express ourselves honestly with the truth of how we feel.
There is a disconnect between what is happening inside us and what we are or not able to do or say. Fears or uncertainty overwhelm us.
But, anxiety isn’t the end of your story or mine.
God’s Whispers For You
Anxiety is a doorway through which your loving Savior can enter into the most vulnerable places of your heart, to wrap His arms around you and tenderly say: You have what it takes for the journey ahead. A sunrise for new beginnings, stars to light the night, friends to share the quiet. You are My beloved. You have Me.
May Grace and peace be multiplied to you . . . (2 Peter 1:2 ESV)
By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for a godly life . . . (2 Peter 1:3 NLT)
Three Simple Soul Care Practices
As you step into the new year, here are three simple soul care practices to restore calm and experience God’s peace:
1. Meet with Jesus through a friend sitting across the table from you.
Call to have coffee. Tell your friend about both your hopes and anxieties.
Notice how you feel better after talking to someone about your troubles — even if the problem hasn’t been fixed?
Research shows depression is eased, anxiety is reduced, and people bounce back sooner (resiliency) when people share their stories and talk about how they feel when events impact them (rather than just describing what happens).
Carry each other’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
2. Take a walk outside today and let God touch you.
Don’t think about it. Just put on your shoes and go. You’ll return refreshed!
Studies show that just 10 minutes can refresh and help with anxiety — depression in school, work, and everyday life.
Are you tired? Worn out? Come to Me. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me. (Matthew 11:28-30)
3. Write a letter to Jesus. Confide in the One who calls you beloved.
Just grab a piece of paper and start writing about what’s important to you, how you’re feeling, and your worries. You’ll feel better!
Studies show you don’t have to “keep a journal” to reap the benefits of writing. Research shows just 15 minutes of expressive writing makes a difference, leading to behavioral changes and improving happiness.
For the word of God is living and active . . . It penetrates dividing soul and spirit. (Hebrews 4:11–12).
The word “logos” applies to God’s living word, not just written. Don’t you get ah-ha moments from God as you write?
Anxiety may be your heart’s whisper but Jesus hears you. He understands you. Anxiety is not the end of your story. Jesus steps closer to whisper to you in return —
I am making all things new — in you. (inspired by Revelation 21:5)
Take one day at a time. God will provide.
Pull up a chair. How can you allow God to bring calm and peace to you? What energizes you?