By Jenna Hart

I have always been a worrier. I find myself worrying about things I have absolutely no control over, like what people think, my future, my family - the list just feels endless sometimes.

When I was a freshman in college I was diagnosed with anxiety. A lot happened that year leading up to being told this diagnosis. I was informed that my ballet career had to be put on hold due to an injury, a childhood friend passed away, and divorce hit my family. In the moment of all the struggles, nothing made me feel weaker than to be told I had anxiety. I worried about what people would think about me. Would they question my faith in God? Would they think I’m weak?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. Philippians 4:6

I used to hear this verse a lot, especially from people who knew I struggled with anxiety. After a while I didn’t want to hear it anymore. I had even been told by people that as a Christian I shouldn’t be anxious. I began to feel defeated by the struggles I was faced with, but I never forgot Philippians 4:6 because I heard it so many times. I remember looking the verse up on my own and reading it, months later. But this time when I read it, I found that the Lord had more to say to me. Because the next verse said;

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

I began feeling overwhelmed by God’s word and was thankful for all the times scripture had been quoted to me. God’s word is where I needed to be to find true healing.

Whatever struggle we are facing, God is bigger. This is something I have to remind myself of often. We all have those days that couldn’t get worse, or the problem that seems impossible to fix, or even a worry that doesn’t seem to go away. I was so devastated by my anxiety that I allowed Satan to use it to blind me from who God had called me to be. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our struggles we forget that we are forgiven, loved, and free, through Jesus Christ.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Loot at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:25-26

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

As humans we are going to worry about something. But because of Jesus we are able to surrender them to the Lord.

Changing our minds to see that God is able and bigger than anything we could be worried about brings peace. When I acknowledged that the Lord was bigger than my anxiety, it brought a lot of healing to my life. I know my anxiety is still there but I also know that I have the power through Jesus to decide if it wins. We can let ourselves get defeated or we can choose to lean on the one who holds us all.

Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2

You are not your struggles. The Lord has a plan for each of us and it is so much more than this world has to offer. So whatever your struggle is, don’t let Satan use it to defeat you. Through scripture, prayer, and surrounding yourself with a godly community, you will find true peace that only comes from the Lord. You are loved.