I'm a Christian, and I Struggle With Anxiety

When I moved away to a different college my sophomore year, I didn't realize how much my faith would be tested. The common misconception about Christianity is that, once we're saved, we're safe from every earthly scary thing that comes our way. That couldn't be more wrong.

Anxiety disorders affect millions of people every year, and it's a lifelong struggle. Just because you have anxiety doesn't make you any less of a Christian. Anxiety causes endless amounts of overthinking, doubt, fear, and invites a lot of nasty things into your mind.

My darkest times have come from anxiety attacks over things that I would never do, worst case scenarios, and feeling like a complete failure to God. A close friend of mine gave me two important pieces of advice when I'm struggling with anxious thoughts and attacks:

1. The devil wants to keep you in isolation, and will constantly obsess, frighten, push, and twist the truth to make you believe in your fears.

2. Give yourself grace.

When I had my first anxiety attack, I was left in a state of complete hopelessness and loneliness. I didn't understand what was happening to me, and I felt like the entire world was caving in.

I didn't open to my parents about my debilitating anxiety attacks until I was home one summer and I had just experienced my worst heartbreak and I finally talked about how i was feeling with my mom. We prayed together and she said to me, "When you're feeling anxious, say this: 'In the name of Jesus, be gone. The devil always trembles with the sound of Jesus' name.'"

Since then, I constantly tell myself in the midst of an attack, "In the name of Jesus, be gone." It's a reminder that no matter what's happening around me, my God is always more powerful than my fears.

God will relentlessly give us grace and forgiveness, but the second step to that is forgiving ourselves for the lies that we've believed and dealt with for so long. I still struggle with forgiving myself when a dark period comes along and God feels so far away. When you give yourself grace, it gives less power to your anxiety. Choose to keep fighting, moving forward, and giving yourself so much grace when life becomes really difficult.

Remember that anxiety is where the devil wants you to be, and he wants you to feel small and scared. But God is so much mightier than our anxiety. God wants you to feel loved, cherished, and completely forgiven. My anxiety does not define who I am in the eyes of Jesus. The devil won't win as long as Jesus is a part of my life and embedded in my soul.

About a year and a half ago, God put the word "grace" on my mind when I was going through a difficult season of depression and anxiety. After being weighed down by guilt, shame, and my mistakes, a friend of mine said these exact words to me, "Emily, give yourself some grace."

How in the world did I deserve grace for the things I'd done and gone through? But here's the thing: God already extended His hand of forgiveness toward me, but I felt too ashamed to lay my burdens at the foot of the cross. God doesn't operate based on a 'do you really deserve this grace?' basis.

If He worked like that, none of us should get any shred of forgiveness and mercy for our sins and mistakes. But the good news is that God looks at us and says, "No matter what you've done, I forgive you and I love you."

How do you give yourself grace? It takes time, but you have to accept that your mistakes don't define who you are. It's the response of accepting that we are all flawed where beauty can be found. When we realize how precious we are, it allows us to see our worth through God's eyes and we are able to see how amazing and beautiful we are.

If anything. the little victories in my struggle with anxiety make God's big picture even more apparent. Remember the phrase, "bloom where you're planted." When we're planted in seasons of uncertainty and anxiety, these are the times when God is working within us the most. It may not feel like it, but God is relentlessly fighting alongside us to lead us to victory. Trust in Him, pray continuously, and have faith that God's strength is so much greater than anything else that we will battle.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Politics and Activism

4 Ways The Plan To Deport International Students Is Dumb, According To An Exchange Student

The whole policy isn't very stay-in-place, if you ask me.

Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, July 6, new federal guidelines were announced that do not allow international students to remain in the U.S. unless they are taking classes in person. Which, if you ask me, is stupid.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone remembers the first time they went to one of the Disney parks. Spinning in teacups and having Goofy wrap his arms around my 8-year-old self were some of my fondest childhood memories, and I'm surely not alone in that.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less

Now that college is around the corner for most if not all young adults, students once shook by a pandemic now have to shift their focus on achieving their career goals. As if we thought we had it together already! As an NYC girl, I have always seen myself as a hustler, hungry to advance my career in journalism by having one skill: working hard.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 BBQ Essentials Every Vegan Should Bring To Avoid Summer Cookout FOMO

You'll have your whole family drooling when you bring these goodies over too.

All vegetarians and vegans can relate when I say this: summer barbecues aren't fun when there's nothing you can eat.

Keep Reading... Show less

Kourtney Kardashian has decided to leave "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" after nearly 14 years and although we saw this coming, it breaks our heart that she won't be there to make us laugh with her infamous attitude and hilarious one-liners.

Kourtney is leaving the show because it was taking up too much of her life and it was a "toxic environment" for her.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

We Asked You How You Felt About Resuming 'Normal' Activities, And Some Of Your Answers Shocked Us

The New York Times asked 511 epidemiologists when they'd feel comfortable doing "normal" activities again, considering COVID-19. We asked our peers the same thing, for science.

Last month, the New York Times surveyed about 500 epidemiologists asking about their comfort level with certain activities once deemed normal — socializing with friends, going to the doctor, bringing in the mail. That's all well and good for the experts, but they are a very niche group, not the majority of the population. What do "normal" people feel safe doing? In certain states, we've seen how comfortable everyone is with everything (looking at you, Florida), but we wanted to know where Odyssey's readers fell on the comfort scale. Are they sticking with the epidemiologists who won't be attending a wedding for another year, or are they storming the sunny beaches as soon as possible?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments