The Bulldog Principle

It’s no secret. I suffer from anxiety. Most days I’m fine. It’s usually when a major life crisis hits that–boom–my emotions go crazy.

I resemble the quote that says, “Anxiety girl! Able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!”

That’s totally me.

The Bible says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7, NIV). I think that’s a better way to live. That and pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17). So why is it whenever I’m faced with a challenge?




Right before the holidays, I met up with my friend and fellow author, Lisa Velthouse. She told me she loved my work ethic. Even called me a “bulldog.” Instantly, I remembered back to my working days when my boss used to call me a “bull dog.”

I have a confession…

I like being called a bulldog.

I like how it makes me feel.

I like how it sounds.

I love working hard and being rewarded for a job well done.


(And here’s where I be painfully honest).

A couple of years ago, before I became a full time author and speaker–I never wanted to quit my job. I really wanted the company I was working for to let me go.

They knew I was having anxiety.

I knew I was having anxiety.

But when weeks turned into months, the decision became quite clear.

I had to quit.

Although I wanted someone to blame, God didn’t give me an out. No matter how much I wrestled, God broke me. I thought I was done suffering. God showed me I had just begun.

He showed me the purpose of being pruned.

Of abiding with Him.

Back to my friend Lisa. A few days after she called me a bulldog, my anxiety caught up to me. I was supposed to finish a few more articles during my husband’s week off before Christmas.

I couldn’t.

It took a lot of humility on my part to say–I’m sorry but…I can’t.

It forced me to remember the lessons I learned two years ago when God showed me, Hello, chica! This is never going to be about your job performance or work ethic.

I’m still learning how to surrender the bulldog principle in me and just rest.. As cheesy as it sounds it’s true.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV).

[Pictures taken from Pinterest]


  • Travis Mamone

    This Anxiety Boy has the same superpowers you do! Short staffed at work? OMG, THE PATRONS WILL TAKE OVER THE LIBRARY! IT’LL BE TOTAL ANARCHY (AND NOT THE COOL KIND, EITHER)!!!!!!!

    What helps me is focusing on what I need to do Right Now at This Very Moment. Not what I need to do tomorrow. Not what I should have done yesterday. Right. Now. So far it’s working.

  • Dawn Wilson

    I don’t know if you’ve ever been around real bulldogs, Renee, but their temperament is often misunderstood.

    They are stubborn and intense at times, yes, but they are also faithful, forgiving, sensitive to mood swings in people, and extremely devoted to loved ones and things they care about.

    Tough on the outside, but real marshmallows inside. And when it looks like they are “resting” (which is what you say you need sometimes ~ Amen!), they are really quietly strategizing and prioritizing. Their rest times are never wasted times.

    Yep … sounds just like you, Renee!

    <3 Dawn

  • Lisa Velthouse

    The only thing that’s off-putting about bulldogs is their general propensity for snorting. Which also happens to be a symptom I have NOT observed in you. Keep plugging away, keep stopping sometimes, keep relying on God for strength and rest. You’re fab.

  • Beth Kinder

    Oh Man!!! so good, so good, soooo gooood!!! I’m juggling more plates in the air than I’d prefer to be juggling, and I know a few are about to come tumbling down! Apart from His supernatural ability, nothing will be finished!

    Most definitely need to take my super-power and submit it to the Holy Spirits super-natural power! Thanks for the great reminder today!

  • Lana

    Happened to come here, today. When the anxiety woke me up before the coffee. I lost my job i’ve had over half my life out of the blue last Thursday, one at which I felt was my calling, serving God the only way I know how. I am grateful for this message, today. Ask, rest, abide.

  • rachelle

    Wow, do I ever comprehend this! I was diagnosed with anxiety as a teen and it’s been a long battle. But the past year I’ve really fasted and worked hard to start to diminish it and have more peace. It’s been going well and I’ve even let work related anxiety go! (that was a hard one: I’d enjoy my job if it weren’t for my boss).

    I’ll be praying for you Renee!

  • Renee Johnson Fisher

    @Lana – Thanks for your comment and I will definitely be praying you find a job soon!

    @Rachelle – Thanks for the encouragement back. It is a long process, but definitely worth the fight. Sorry to hear about your boss 😛