Pursuing Peace

 

It’s 11:30pm on a Sunday night, I’m deep into the silent stacks of the campus library, and facing a week of three tests, three 10 page papers, at least 100 pages of reading each night, trying to maintain somewhat of a social life and support my friends who also have tough weeks ahead of them, several meetings with professors, and it isn’t even midterms yet. Not to mention, I had changed my major 2 days before for the 7th time and now every class I was taking that semester would only count as an elective, in addition to being at least a year behind the rest of my peers in my new majors. Oh, did I mention I was now a double major too… bring on the panic. Can you sense the anxiety here?

The national anxiety rate for college students is 41.6% and increasing each year. That means that almost half of all college students battle with anxiety. If you look into a specific school that number may be even higher. These statistics show me that I am not alone in my battle with anxiety. But no matter how prevalent anxiety may be, the stigma surrounding mental health makes every anxious heart feel alone in their battle. This is Satan’s favorite thing. Satan is really good at isolating us and convincing us that we deserve to struggle with this on our own, and that it’s embarrassing so why would we want to tell anyone we’re not perfect?

Vulnerability is really tough and it’s much easier for us to just say that everything is fine and have no further discussion. No one will look at us like we’re any different if we don’t tell them. But the reality is, we are imperfect and have been for a very long time. The only perfect person to ever walk this earth was Jesus. Fortunately for us, he takes our imperfections, flaws, worries, and insecurities upon himself and calls us loved. Anxious thoughts are from the devil, God wants to fill our minds with thoughts that honor him not things that make us doubt his beautiful creations. Philippians 4: 6-7 says,

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Anxiety has no boundaries, it affects the straight A student with a 4.0, the NCAA top athlete, the sorority girl, the hipster, the Christian, the atheist, this list could go on forever. It’s not fun, but it’s your journey and it’s something you have to overcome. But please remember, you are never alone in your journey. Jesus desperately desires to come alongside you and guide back to him in your battle but first you have to choose that walk. He fills each anxious heart with peace if we pursue him first.

I am a beautifully imperfect person loved by a God who created me from dust alone. I am a person who takes on the battle of anxiety but knows my God is bigger. I am a person who does not need to worry about my future because my God is already has it all mapped out. AND SO ARE YOU.

When we place the ball in his court we don’t need to worry or be anxious about the path ahead of us. Trusting in God with your everything, brings you peace in everything. Additionally, like Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6, pray about everything. Prayer is so essential to putting our trust in God alone, and eventually that trust will lead to a peace that surpasses understanding. Sweet friend, you are not alone in your battle, you are imperfect but loved by a perfect God, and you can live a life of peace if you pursue him first.

XOXO,

Maddie G

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