Letting Anxiety Lead Us to Jesus Instead of Judgment

By JJ Gutierrez

God's Brave Women - JJ's Story


Here I sit again. Butterflies flapping wildly in my belly and anxious thoughts racing from one side of my mind to the other. I’m convinced behind my physical eyes lies the Grand Canyon. A very active part of me that no one sees…my thought life.


I am a processor by nature so I ponder information longer and deeper, searching for the why’s and meanings behind everything. There are pros and cons to mulling over life this way. People who reflect upon their inner motives, feelings, actions, reactions, relationships and God experience a richness to life others may miss out on. However, it can be a doorway leading to unrest where worrisome and fearful scenarios play out over and over again.


"People who reflect upon their inner motives, feelings, actions, reactions, relationships and God experience a richness to life others may miss out on. However, it can be a doorway leading to unrest where worrisome and fearful scenarios play out over and over again."


From early childhood I’ve lived in and out of anxiety. It’s like an unwanted friend who just keeps coming back to visit. A rollercoaster ride of ups and downs that’s rendered me helpless and hopeless, leaving only shame and confusion. I once heard someone say, Anxiety is like a rocking chair. You are constantly moving but going nowhere.”


Do you ever feel like a rocking chair? Maybe the uncertainty of the pandemic, a job loss or relationship tension has left you anxiously rocking back and forth. I don’t want to see any woman suffer with anxiety as I have, but if you do, I want to share a Bible story that has encouraged me many times. One that I hope will encourage you too.


I am continually drawn to this story found in both the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Mark. It’s not the typical “overcoming anxiety” Scripture that worriers usually turn to, so it may surprise you. However, through this story, God has given me brave faith.


It’s about a woman who suffered from bleeding for many years. Her condition was considered unclean, and it would have prevented her from social activities, as well as community worship. We don’t know her name, but we do know that she saw many doctors and spent all her money, yet only got worse. (Mark 5:26) This woman heard about Jesus, and she courageously sought Him out in a crowd.


The Scriptures says,


She touched the fringe of His robe, for she thought. ‘If I can just touch His robe, I will be healed.” (Matthew 9:20)


The anonymous woman knew under Jewish law that touching Jesus would have made Him unclean, but that didn’t prevent her from doing it anyway. Her faith pressed her forward. The very thing that caused this woman shame, isolation and suffering was the thing that brought her to Jesus.


"The very thing that caused this woman shame, isolation and suffering was the thing that brought her to Jesus."

What happened next is beautiful.


Immediately upon making contact with Jesus’ garment a miracle happened – the bleeding came to a halt. Jesus stopped what He was doing and turned to look for this woman…not to shame her, scold her or tell her He was too busy, but to minister to her heart. He called her “Daughter.” It’s actually the only time in the Bible Jesus refers to someone as daughter. How precious is that?!


“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. You have been healed.” (Mark 5:3)


Fearing that I was a failure, a disappointment or that God would rebuke me has prevented me from taking my anxious self to Jesus. The enemy enjoys driving a wedge like this between us and God. The truth is, Jesus is ready to lovingly help you and me. He wants to restore, heal and mend us with His love.


"Fearing that I was a failure, a disappointment or that God would rebuke me has prevented me from taking my anxious self to Jesus... The truth is, Jesus is ready to lovingly help you and me. He wants to restore, heal and mend us with His love."

Over the years I’ve learned to let my anxiety lead me to Him. Instead of beating myself up and staying away, I’m training myself to have brave faith by drawing near to Him right in the middle of my butterflies and racing thoughts. Jesus is sufficient to calm my worries and doubts. He is able to tend to the inner storm.


"Over the years I’ve learned to let my anxiety lead me to Him. Instead of beating myself up and staying away, I’m training myself to have brave faith by drawing near to Him right in the middle of my butterflies and racing thoughts."


Like this woman, in faith we can courageously reach out to Jesus in our most desperate moments. Just enough brave faith to touch the trim of His garment is all that is needed. Immediately, Jesus will respond with open arms saying, “Welcome Daughter. I am so glad you are here.” No shame. No scolding. Just simply the healing power of the love of Jesus.


Today, will you join me by courageously grabbing a hold of Jesus?


Brave Woman Manifesto