LETTERS TO THE MAN UPSTAIRS: Anxiety turned to joy


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you are all thinking…I got senioritis and that’s why I haven’t written any articles; and, you would be correct. I became lazy and put it off for so long and here we are. But we’re not done yet!

Although things may seem well and good for all seniors who are graduating and planning to take the next step into life, but looks can be deceiving. For me, graduation has brought on a whole new kind of anxiety that I didn’t know was possible. I really hate talking about it, but one of the most important things about anxiety is becoming comfortable to discuss it with family, friends, and, especially, God.

As soon as my brain knew there was a whole new bunch of stuff coming up in life, it went nuts. It saw the ending of an era here at BA; it saw me going away from home in August from my family and friends; it saw a very, very, very uncomfortable future ahead. And because my brain began to convince me this future, I began to give in and believe those horrible thoughts. Anxiety swooped in, like it has in the past, and took control. It grabs hold of your brain with both hands, and shakes it and brings dark thunderstorms rolling through. And lemme tell ya, it sucks! I know I don’t typically use such language, but it does! Not only does the mind games play with you, but the physical symptoms of anxiety appear as well. My stomach gets real upset when I have an attack and I convince myself that I’m sick and there’s something wrong with me. Then, I shake and shake like you shake one of those Blender Bottles. I feel as though the world is coming to a crashing halt and I’m going to feel like this forever. What anxiety doesn’t know, though, is that I’ve got tools.

That’s right, I’ve got a toolbox full to the brim with tools of all kinds…hammers, saws…no, no, not that kind! When I say tools, I mean steps to take when an attack comes about. What most kids who struggle with anxiety don’t realize is that they are in control. When an attack comes, you feel out of control and like your mind has all the power. This is completely the opposite of what you should be thinking! My mom and dad have been helping me to realize that not only do you have control over your mind and body, but you are your own safe place. I’ll give you an example.

A few weekends ago, I was training at DAP for my summer position and I felt an anxiety attack coming on. I couldn’t handle it, so I left my boss’s office and I went outside to try to calm myself down. I called my dad and begged him to bring me some Cheerios (my comfort food) and let me go home. I was so out of control and wanted to be in my safe place at home so badly that I forgot that I am my own safe place and I am in control. More importantly, God is in control.

Now, why on earth am I telling you this? I’m telling you this because I want all who read this to know these three things about anxiety:

  1. Everyone has it. You are not alone.
  2. Anxiety always passes. Bad moments are temporary.
  3. You are your own safe place.

There’s lots of other great advice about anxiety, but the key component here is that you are your own safe place. Remind yourself that wherever you are, God is with you, and He is your safe place. He is your safety net. He is your caretaker. And sure, it is easier said than done, but with practice and repetition, anxiety will realize that it can’t bother you anymore, and it’ll go away. Anxiety will slink away and never come back, because you know how to deal with it and conquer it.

And, to be truthful, I’ve been having a tough time with God lately. I’ve felt that He’s left me and let go of my hand. I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated with Him and how this anxiety has been treating me. It’s been hard to think about Him and know that He’s got me. This is normal, as well! My mom told me that it’s okay to doubt God. It’s okay to become angry and to get frustrated because those are normal human emotions. What’s not okay is blame. Blaming God is never the answer, because it isn’t his fault. God loves you and adores you and hates to see you in pain and suffering. But this doesn’t mean He’s left you. In James 1:2-3, it says, “dear brothers and sisters, when trouble comes your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” When you are going through trials, remember that this is a grand opportunity to grow in your relationship with God. It is an opportunity to become closer and become STRONGER! My mom sent me a song the other day called, Stronger, by Mandisa. I would sooo recommend listening to this. Not only is it upbeat, but its lyrics are so good.

What we, as God’s children, need to realize is that trouble will come our way. Turn your hardships into times of learning. Persevere! I know it’s hard, TRUST ME. I’m still struggling with anxiety but I know, in my heart, good times are on the way. And, in the meantime, enjoy the good things that come up each and every day. Look at all the green outside and the feel the warmer temperatures that are all around. The school year is almost over which means three whole months to enjoy lots of relaxation. Life is about enjoyment and God wants us to live here on earth abundantly.


John 10:10 – “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (In contrast to the thief who takes life, Jesus gives life. The life he gives right now is abundantly rich and full. It is eternal, yet it begins immediately. Life in Christ is lived on a higher plane because of his overflowing forgiveness, love, and guidance. Have you taken Christ’s offer of life? *from Life Application Study Bible NLT)