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As I prayed for you during quarantine and how I could best serve and encourage you, God laid on my heart to ask some of my friends to share their wisdom and expertise.  I am so excited to bring you a series of guest posts from my friends.  Last week we began with my friend Ericka Eller’s post on stress.  This week I want to introduce you to my friend Sarah Nichols.

Sarah Nichols and I first met at MOPS.  Since then the military moved her family away, but we recently reconnected over our shared love for writing and encouraging others.

Sarah shares her heart on her website sarahnicholswrites.com and is a featured writer on ibelieve.com.  Her writing is vulnerable, honest, encouraging and relatable.  

You can connect with Sarah on Instagram @sarahnicholswrites and on Facebook at Sarah Nichols.

My Friend Anxiety

by Sarah Nichols

Lately, the walls feel as if they are continuously closing in on me. My husband has been working from home for almost three months and will be for at least a couple more. The kids have been home long before summer break started and are already bored. The things we normally look forward to during summer break have been taken away because most things around where I live are closed. I can’t even send them to the basement to burn some energy and play because it has become my husband’s new office. 

It’s times like these I’m reintroduced to my friend anxiety. She’s selfish, always trying to make things about herself. If I had time I would put an end to our friendship for good, but she’s the type of friend you can’t really seem to get rid of. If I’m guessing, you may have even met her yourself.

For me, she showed up long before the current events and global pandemic we are dealing with now. Often she likes to knock on my door when I’m in the middle of mundane tasks of motherhood. I can’t answer because of how busy I am, but she barges in anyway, making herself at home. She doesn’t understand that I just don’t have time for her games. 

When she is around, I lose all motivation, and am left feeling defeated. I can’t focus and life becomes a fog, as if I’m sleepwalking. Which makes sense because when she’s around I want to close my eyes and put on autopilot. Do you ever feel like this?

I know firsthand how anxiety can consume your thoughts, leaving you overwhelmed and exhausted. Last year I was experiencing some weird health symptoms, after multiple tests came back normal my doctor suggested anxiety could be the cause. I had no idea I had been struggling with it, I just assumed every woman or mom felt like this. 

Know you aren’t alone if you too have experienced some of these same feelings. Sometimes acknowledgment is the first step to getting help. Sometimes a walk helps, fresh air, prayer, time alone, or time with friends. Sometimes these things help but you need more, you may need to talk to a counselor or take the tiny white pill your doctor offers even though you really want to handle it on your own. Striving to do more, control more, only makes the anxiety worse. I know

I would love to leave you with 2 verses that I have clung to in the past when dealing with anxiety: 

“ Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2

“ For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Often it’s the earthly things that bring me anxiety, when I remind myself to focus on things from above instead it helps. And when I remind myself that fear is not from God and with Him I can have self-control I remember that I am not alone in this fight. He has gone before me and He will go before me again, and again, and again. He will for you too