What if?

How worry affects my life and how I cope with it

Story by Amanda Garmon, staff writer

No matter where I am, no matter what I’m busy with, thoughts roll around my head constantly. Sometimes, the thoughts transform into irrational ones– fears. Fear of the potential. Fear of what could go wrong. Fear of not being able to handle certain circumstances when they arise. I work myself up only to make myself upset.

It has not been simple fixing myself. At times, worry and fear creep up on me spontaneously, without reason. It’s difficult to control.

I have struggled with anxiety and uncertainty since I was a little kid, and I have struggled with it in many different ways. When I went to daycare from the time I was in kindergarten to when I finished the third grade, I worried about my mom coming to pick me up, though she would be five to 10 minutes away from where I was. I worried when she was five minutes later than usual, even two. From fourth grade and to this day, I have worried about her traveling. I worry about everybody, every day on the road because I am terrified of what could possibly happen to them. Because of my need for certainty, consistency of routine and dependence on others, I tend to feel bad about myself as a person. I tend to feel weak.

I worry about people when they get sick or when they get hurt. I worry about others when I don’t see them one day at school. I worry too much about others when I feel like I said something wrong or if I hurt their feelings, when in reality, everything is fine.

I care a lot about people. Some say I care too much because of how much I worry about them. I don’t deny it, but I’m not exactly proud of it.

The more that I sought to dampen my deep anxieties, I found strength elsewhere, outside of my own realm, from someone bigger than the monsters that I deal with daily.

I’ve been really trying to take these thoughts captive. I can’t say that it’s been a breeze. I have been relying on my faith in God to get me through my worry and help me to overcome it. I have realized that there is no way, no avenue to take by myself to get me through it. Relying on myself does nothing. Relying on the world does nothing. But relying on someone bigger than me has given me hope.

I currently have a Bible verse saved on my lock screen on my iPhone, serving as a daily reminder:

“But even when I am afraid, I keep on trusting in you.” Psalm 56:3

In addition to this verse, I try to constantly remind myself of my favorite verse. This one applies to my life so well that I memorized it the second I found it:

“Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be at your side and keep your foot from being snared.” Proverbs 3:25-26

It is a beautiful thing to me that God knew of everyone’s struggles from the beginning. He knew that I would struggle, and He is making sure to be there for me through it.

As well as reminding myself of these verses, I try all I can to pray and seek comfort. When I do this and remember that God is in control of my life and that, even if things don’t work out the way that I would like them to, He will make all things work together for my good [Romans 8:28]. My other coping mechanisms include listening to profound Christian music, watching encouraging YouTube videos of Christian speakers and preachers (PS, I especially like Jon Jorgenson, John Piper, FarAwayDistance and Chelsea Crockett) and laying down on my bed or on a couch, closing my eyes and trying to relax. Sleep tends to help.

It will take time for my worry to somewhat be a thing of the past. Overcoming an obstacle in the walkway of your journey with Christ is not immediate. It’s gradual. But I am thankful that I am able to rely on an all-knowing, all-loving being.