Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
FULL OF CARES, ANXIETY AND STRESS
We were planning a camping trip with friends and the situation got complicated, causing me to become stressed. Camping in and of itself causes me a lot of stress — I certainly did not need more.
As it happens, I am going through perimenopause and one of the symptoms I am experiencing is scent sensitivity. This makes life very difficult for me, for if I get exposed to too much perfume or certain chemicals, I get a migraine – and not just any migraine. I get cluster migraines which means I am sick for a week.
Added to that, my sense of smell is as sharp as a bloodhound’s. Due to the scent sensitivity, I can smell things no one else can. It’s very odd, I know. So, because of campfire smoke, camping stresses me out. Last summer, I went camping and was anxiety-ridden the whole time. It was awful.
WHAT DO I DO WITH THE CARES AND STRESS?
Now I know my family and the friends we plan to camp with will want a campfire. Am I going to stop them from enjoying that because it may amp up my anxiety? (Last time I went camping, the campfire smell caused anxiety but nothing more.)
So here I sit with all these cares. How do I deal with this stress? (I have felt sick all week due to stress/anxiety.) I tried looking for help online and found nothing useful.
Then I prayed, asking the Holy Spirit to lead me; I was led to 1 Peter 5:7: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I started to wrestle with this. How does one take their cares, stress, and anxiety and cast it on the Lord?
CAST MY CARES ON THE LORD – HOW?
An image of a beautifully wrapped present came to mind. Inside were my cares, stress, and anxiety. I was to offer this beautiful present up to the Lord. In my mind, there is nothing beautiful about stress and anxiety, but I thought, Alright, I’ll go with that image.
I imagined a beautiful present and pretended it was in my hands. I then thrust my hands upwards and made a releasing gesture. Every time anxiety tried to rear its ugly little head, I would remember this Scripture and do my hand gestures. The anxiety would leave, and I started to feel better.
CAST YOUR CARES – AN EVENING MIRACLE
The day we were packing up to go camping, anxiety attacked big time – over and over again – but I kept repeating the Scripture to myself and offering up this gift.
At the campsite while setting up our tent, I walked inside and it smelled awful. I started to cry. I was so ready to go home to my safe house, but I was reminded of the Scripture and the beautiful gift. Once again, I offered up my smelly-tent and campfire-smoke stress.
Evening came, a fire was made, and you know, a miracle happened for me. I smelled a campfire, a beautiful campfire. The stress and anxiety had left me – gone, fully gone! When I went to bed, there was no scent in my tent. None! I had total peace all weekend.
A STRATEGY FOR ANXIETY AND STRESS
I have tested this “offering up my cares, stress, and anxiety as a beautiful present” many times since then. God keeps taking it from me. Stress and anxiety still come, but I now have a new strategy for how to deal with it.
Deborah lives in Kelowna, BC, with her wonderful husband Ben, three beautiful teenagers (two of her own and one of her daughters’ close friends), a golden retriever, and two cats. Even though Deborah has been struggling with osteoarthritis, primary lymphedema, anxiety and scent sensitivity, she tries to find ways to thrive. Despite chronic pain, she is on a mission to encourage as many people along the way as possible.
13 Verses to Lean Into
Lean into these verses, write them in a journal, choose one or two to memorize, and then think about who else might need to read them too. The Word of God is alive and powerful, able to bring us comfort in a way that nothing else can.