Welcome to the last of my Summer Chronicles! Thanks to those who have been reading along, to those who have not: you can check out last week’s right here.

This is what functioning anxiety looks like:

I’m not here to glorify anxiety, nor even say that my symptoms are what everyone who suffers from anxiety has; this is just what I have walked through.

My life has always been laced with anxiety and most of the time it was not about anything in particular. I had separation anxiety when my parents divorced and I had to split my life into two separate ones.

Then when I was in sixth-grade tests gave me unnecessary anxiety.

My friends didn’t really understand, but my family tried to help.

My mom would give me verses to put in my notebooks so that I could do a quick review and then read words like Psalm 94:19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Honestly, we thought that my anxiety was just one of side effects of the medication I was taking every day.

It was not until later that I realized anxiety did not always have to be about one certain item in life - something that most adults still do not know. In high school, I would stand in front of the mirror and pick at my pores until I was derailed by a knock on the door.

My mom would ask why I ruined my skin, I told her it made me feel better. I had begun coping with my anxiety by inflicting harm (though it was small) onto myself.

Now, I still deal with anxiety, the other day I may have unknowingly pulled on my ear so hard that it was bruised the next day, but guess what?

I still trust God.

Ever since I was little I heard the passage in the Bible - Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1Pet.5:6,7).

And while I do pray about the anxiety I experience, I also know that God doesn’t just do a little magic and *poof* that feeling at the bottom of my stomach is gone.

Yes, there are days when I just wake up anxious, over nothing. Sometimes I cry on my boyfriend’s shoulder because there are uncontrollable thoughts of worry inside my head. I may seem a little paranoid at times, but those times usually can come right back to anxiety.

You see, while I believe that choosing to hold onto anxiety is not biblical, I do not see that suffering through anxiety is the same. It is not my choice to have inexplicable knots where my stomach used to be, but I do have a choice to either reach for God through it or hold onto those knots.

I can either wallow in self-doubt, pity, worry, fear, and sadness or I can stretch my hand up from the pit of darkness I am in to be embraced by the Comforter.

Psalm 55:22
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.