1. Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune

  2. Earnest but tense desire; eagerness

Everyone has some type of anxiety: a test coming up, a job interview, proposing to a significant other, the political and economic situations that are happening around the world, moving into a new house, or a hectic day at work, etc. It’s a normal type of emotion that happens to everyone at some point in life.

I struggle with anxiety every single day; the constant running ragged circles in my mind, the continuous “what if” questions, and the antagonizing replay of every event, conversation, and person that have impacted me in some way. My anxiety is at its peak when there is a big change in my life such as graduating from college, moving from North Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee, and starting the Nashville Fellows Program. Let’s be honest though - who wouldn’t have anxiety during a big transition?

Since I have moved to Nashville and have been in the Fellows Program for a little over two months, I have begun to notice that I have become a slave to anxiety. I have let anxiety own my thoughts, opinions, and emotions in every aspect of my life. In my job as a Preschool Spanish Teacher, I worry about whether children are understanding what I am teaching them and how I look to teachers who have more experience than me.  In our classes on Monday mornings, I am sometimes afraid to speak up because my answers might not be “good enough” in comparison to the other Fellows’ answers. I critique every little thing I say, every interaction with someone, and always note the flaws and negatives. I have built walls to deflect anything that might hurt my heart, but those walls have also kept out what other people deem the “good things” about me, and what I think of myself.

As I drive to work everyday, I listen to the song, “At the Cross,” sung by Chris Tomlin.

At the cross, at the cross

I surrender my life

I’m in awe of You

I’m in awe of You

Where your love ran red

And my sin washed white

I owe all to You

I owe all to You, Jesus

This song has helped me to realize that I don’t have to be a slave to anxiety and that I can surrender it to the Lord. Through the Fellows Program, my walls are slowly coming down, and I am seeing myself as God sees me. I have been learning and continue to learn how to lay my burdens down to allow my friends and those closest to me to see the beautifully broken, vulnerable person that I am. I pray that over the course of the next six months, I can continue to be myself, not ashamed of who God has made me to be, and to help others not become slaves to their anxieties.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.