If you haven’t read Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado, I need you to go right now and buy it. I am gifting this book to all of my family and friends. Once my mom gifted my husband and me with this book, we immediately dug in, because both of us have some anxiety in our lives. I, personally, haven’t met someone who doesn’t have any anxiety, and once I started reading this book, I began to look at my anxiety in a whole different way.
Max Lucado is a fascinating author and inspirational speaker. The way he broke down the strategies for dealing with anxiety made this daunting task seem doable. I read this book as a devotional, half a chapter each night. I felt if I spent several hours and read the book in its entirety, it would have been overwhelming, and I couldn’t digest all the goodness. Here are my key takeaways from Anxious for Nothing:
- Pray for specifics. This may seem obvious, but for me, it was a learning point. Before I read Anxious for Nothing, I felt like praying for specific things was almost like a wish-list. Max taught me that being honest and having a conversation with God helps your anxiety. I now pray with my heart wide open and talk to God. There is something so calming about talking to God and letting Him know what you need help with.
- Gratitude goes a long way. I am generally a positive person and see the glass half-full, but there are times where I can see things in a negative way. In this book, Max taught me how being grateful to God for what you have and what plan He’s laid out for you, can help with your anxiety. If I am worried about what’s going to happen next all the time, then how can I focus on the blessings I do have now? It’s impossible. I’ve been working on pushing that anxiety away by replacing it with what I’m grateful for. Thinking of 3 things I am grateful for and thanking God for them each night helps ease my heart and calms my mind.
- God is sovereign over everything. Before reading this book, I knew that God is sovereign and in control of everything but I do not think I really allowed myself to understand this. I would think, “I know God’s got this, but I am also worried about ________ (insert work, health, family, life, etc.).” God is truly in control and maps out our lives in His hands. Why do I need to worry so much about the food I eat and the clothes I wear, when I am here for a greater mission and God will take care of me? God won’t give us anything we cannot handle, and He even gives us the tools we need to handle situations.
- We are here for a greater purpose. Now, when I catch myself with anxious thoughts, I take a breath, center myself and say a prayer, “God, please take this anxiety away. I am calm, You are in control, and I am here to glorify You.” Just saying that puts everything into perspective, and most the time, if I really meditate and focus on those words, the anxiety goes out the window.