Monday, October 21, 2019

Breaking Anxiety's Grip by Dr. Michelle Bengtson

Back Cover:
Discover true peace in an age of anxiety.

No question, we have a lot to worry about. Children, jobs, homes, health, finances, and more. The solution isn't to rid ourselves of the sources of anxiety--as if we could. Instead, we need to recognize that anxiety originates from a spiritual influence and that we can fight back using the God-given weapons of power, love, and a sound mind.

Sharing her own story of emerging from the battle with anxiety as well as the stories of others, Dr. Michelle Bengtson reminds you of your identity as a follower of Christ and of the peace he promises you in spite of everything. She provides tools to cope with the crushing emotional burden of anxiety now and, more importantly, shows you how to reclaim God's peace as a way of life so that you can break anxiety's 

grip.

I first met Dr. Michelle through Hope Prevails when she wrote about her challenges and victories with depression. Her writing style is clear and focused, and she liberally scatters Scripture through it all. Her second book about anxiety is very similar. 

Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand (though not always), and I found this book very helpful in defining anxiety. While I don't face the challenge of anxiety on a daily basis, I come in contact with people all the time who do, and sometimes it can be hard to relate if you don't know what someone's going through. Dr. Michelle gives examples from other people who describe how anxiety makes them think and feel which is helpful in defining anxiety in your own life and observing it in others. 

Dr. Michelle's foundation for anxiety is that it stems from a lack of trust in God. She defines anxiety in the first chapter and then goes on to explore some of the medical science behind anxiety. Her pages are filled with hope and a constant reminder to trust God. Fear, worry, and anxiety tend to spiral when crisis hits (not to mention the daily thoughts about what could happen but never do), and Bengtson writes from personal examples with cancer in her family. She guides the reader with helpful suggestion at the end of each chapter and often encourages verse memorization or placing verses on sticky notes all over your house. Her Recommended Playlists (first seen in Hope Prevails) also find their corner in this book too. 

Anxiety likes to use the questions of "what if" to bring us concern, worry, and fear, which ultimately lead to our lack of faith and unhealthy introspection. Dr. Michelle write about reclaiming the power that is all ours from the moment of salvation, and how, in Jesus' name and with Christ's blood, we can have freedom and victory over worry, anxiety, and fear. Bengtson also discussing living in God's love and how we can live in the moment of pain and still realize that God is good and His love is perfect. Her last chapter details how we must use the power of a sound mind in dealing with mental struggles. We do get to choose how we respond to trials or fears, and we have the choice to talk back words of Scripture to ourselves or give into the numbing, panic-inducing terror of anxiety. Changing our thoughts takes practice and time, but it does get easier with time, and Dr. Michelle reminds us that negative thoughts come from the reign of darkness and not of the Light of Christ. We can conquer through prayer against Satan and Scripture verses that turn our minds to the freedom in trusting God. 


*I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review. 

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