There was absolutely nothing to be afraid of. All I had to do was stand upfront for a few minutes. Normally, I would’ve just gotten a few butterflies in the stomach. Not this time. This was different.
What had started as a bit of uneasiness became a swirling cup of fear. My head was light. My heartbeat quickened. Panic was waiting at the door, threatening to break through.
Unfortunately, anxiety became a part of my life after I passed out about a year ago. What was once only a twinge of nerves, is now a battle to calm down and remind myself that I’ll be okay.
This week, I interviewed a few teenage girls who have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks. When asked how it affects them, many of them told me about how difficult it is to deal with.
“I have a really hard time thinking about anything else, I’m just so consumed with worry and fear.”
“My chest will get tight and I can’t think about anything else until my anxiety is gone.”
“Sometimes it makes me want to hide, or be away from all people. Other times it makes me freak out if I’m left alone. Uncontrollable crying, rocking back and forth, and pacing are sometimes involved.”
Anxiety can have many different levels, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. For the person who is going through it, it can be a very scary and worrisome experience.
As Christian girls, we know that the Bible says, over and over again, not to be afraid. Where does that leave those who have unexpected panic attacks and unintended anxiety?
Those of us who struggle with intense fear and worry want an answer to the big question.
“If I have anxiety, does it mean I don’t trust God enough?”
As I pondered this question, I thought about what it means when God says, “do not be afraid”. Does it mean nothing should ever scare us? Does it mean it’s wrong to be nervous about something?
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
It’s not that nothing will ever be scary. Not at all. There are tragedies all around us; things that really are frightening.
For me, my anxiety started to increase after I passed out. Now, whenever I get a little nervous or something reminds me of that day, I have trouble staying calm about it.
Does that mean I don’t trust God? No. It’s simply something that has entered my life because of a frightening past experience. It’s only when we choose to dwell and focus on our fear when it becomes a lack of trust.
Trusting God doesn’t mean things won’t be scary. It’s about what we choose to do with that fear.
Philippians 4:6-7 doesn’t say that we will never be worried. What it does say is that we can bring all of our worries to God in prayer and experience His peace.
Does having anxiety mean you don’t trust God enough? That depends on what you choose to do with it.
Come back next week for 5 tips on giving your anxiety and worry to the Lord.
Hey Girls! It’s such a blessing that we can encourage you in your walk with Christ, however, we are not licensed counselors and cannot offer professional advice. If you are seeking help and counsel, we strongly encourage you to talk to a trusted adult such as your parents, a godly woman, or a pastor. They can better guide you, as they are able to know the details of your situation.