An anxious soul

One of the most prevalent challenges of having faith is admitting to oneself that there are periods when their faith weakens. Whether it be a difficult situation or an unwanted result, we can usually take a few days to come to terms with our faith and bounce back. However, something that I have been wondering for a while is when those periods turn into weeks, then months. More specifically, I wanted to bring attention to the growing anxiety in many of our lives. 

When I was younger, I didn’t know what the recurring feeling of dread was or how to classify it. At the same time, I wasn’t sure how to communicate this with my family. Whenever I did try to, they would simply tell me that I was only wasting my time by worrying and that I could just choose not to feel that way. However, since arriving at college, I have made an effort to become better at communicating my feelings. From this, I have learned that many of my friends are in the same boat: anxiety is not something many parents are prepared to discuss. 

Anxiety is a tricky subject, for me, at least. It is a complex feeling, being worried about something that might not happen despite knowing that God is simply waiting for you to lay those worries on Him in exchange for peace. However, this is something I have been working on for a while. Anxiety is a natural feeling and part of what makes us human. It’s not meant to be easily understood. I believe that self-awareness has been very helpful when dealing with worries, and recently I have come upon a bible verse that serves as a beautiful reminder:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
– Hebrews 11:1

It is almost ironic how this verse precisely addresses my worries about events that have not yet occurred and, for the most part, any future apprehensions. There have been a few times where I have heard people think of anxiety as an absence of faith–an absence of confidence in God. It made me feel bad because the last thing I wanted to do was restrain my faith, but anxiety feels uncontrollable sometimes. 

My point is that no one should let their anxiety be an indicator of “how much” faith they have, but instead see it as an opportunity to share their anxieties with someone they know will never judge them in their time of weakness– and that is God. I have learned that moments of weakness, while only moments, are important because each one opens up the opportunity to be vulnerable and honest with God. 

I wish there was an easy solution to anxiety, but what would be the point of life if we knew everything that lay ahead of us? No surprises and nothing to look forward to. It sounds like a life I would not want any part of. I don’t believe that we have to forfeit faith during periods of anxiety. Instead, we should take the opportunity to strengthen it.

For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
– James 1:2-3

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