I struggle with change. I like having routine and structure, but change is inevitable. It’s not that I struggle to combat change, but I get anxious about it. More often than not, my thoughts and feelings of anxiousness are an overreaction due to over thought. I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with overthinking.
My struggle with change and maintaining structure increased while I was in undergrad. I do believe the feelings escalated as a product of my environment, but regardless of where they came from, I had to face them. Let me tell you, caffeine does not help. Coffee has always been a comfort beverage for me. I grew up in a family that owned a coffee shop, and roasted their own coffee from home. The caffeine spikes my anxious thoughts and feelings unhealthily, so I dialed back (as much as a college student could).
Coffee and journaling had been part of my daily routine, but I started journaling without the coffee (or at least less of it). Included in my words and doodles, I would sprinkle in scripture I searched in my bible app, YouVersion. I also discovered that YouVersion had devotional/study plans specific to any topics that encouraged me, topics I may have struggled with, or simply topics I wanted to learn more about on my own.
One thing high school doesn’t prepare you for is the number of moves you make in and out of dorms and apartments. One thing college doesn’t prepare you for is the number of in-the-wind scenarios you end up in post-graduation. The amount of change and inconsistencies throughout the last few years still has me rattled, so I turned back to YouVersion and started two new devotionals. Each provided a different perspective on anxieties and scripture to build my peace of mind.
Scripture tells us that we need to renew our minds by spending time in the Word. This renewal takes place when we have a better understanding of what the Bible is telling us, and we decide not to dwell on the negative thoughts.
Do not conform to the patterns 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
Just like change is inevitable, so is being broken. Often when I feel anxious about little things that are a part of everyday life, it feels like those thoughts and feelings are invalid. I am here to tell you they are not. As my devotionals reminded me, we live in a fallen world where God allows brokenness so we can have the opportunity to witness His restorative power. Repeat that to yourself again. Write it down if you have to, because those words are worth remembering. Here’s why…
Look up John 9:1-11. A man born blind did nothing to deserve his lack of sight, but he was able to play a role in displaying what Jesus is capable of to those around who did not yet believe. God uses our weaknesses for His glory, and we need not forget that. He turns our pain into purpose even when we don’t see it yet.
Finally, I would like to leave you with this piece of encouragement. While practicing positive thoughts is beneficial, there is a verse I like to recite in my head while doing breathing exercises when I start to feel anxious or panicked. Particularly the portion in bold:
My peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.John 14:27
Haven’t had enough yet? Here are a few more verses I would recommend looking up to meditate on when you are feeling anxious:
- Philippians 4:6-7
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10