Keep calm and pray on

Everyone everywhere tells us to pray. You’re applying for a job….pray. You’re looking for an apartment…..pray. You got straight As…..pray. Life is going great…..pray. You’re hardcore riding the struggle bus…..pray.

I can do all things in Him Who gives me strength. Philippines 4:13

Paul and Timothy are literally telling the Philippines that if they pray, they’ll be given strength. Often times when life gets hard, I find myself relying on myself to have the strength to get through it. I used to think “God wouldn’t give me this if he didn’t think I was strong enough to handle it.” WRONG! Some of the things I’ve been through, I wouldn’t have made it through without the people that surround me.

Recently, I’ve been turning to people more. I’ve started making lunch dates and going to parties. I’ve also started turning to God more. I’ve found that a cemetery makes a really peaceful place to pray and brings some perceptive into life. While I set aside this time often, it’s not everyday. Also, once I leave the cemetery or church where I was praying, I plug my headphones in and turn on my music going back to my life as is. I’m only really “praying” during that small set aside time.

Now, yes, this is better than not praying at all, but does it really give me strength. It gives me some peace and calm right then, and for about an hour later; however, what about the rest of the time. I suffer from anxiety attacks. Little psychology lesson, panic attacks happen for no reason. Anxiety attacks are a reaction to a stressor, like running late, having a ton of homework, or, in my case, interacting in a social setting, i.e. people.

I know there’s nothing to be afraid of or worried about. It does’t matter what other people think about me, but that’s not enough to make the anxiety go away. When these attacks happen, I run away from them. I turn on Netflix or play a game. I run to a fantasy world where there is nobody who has a real opinion of me; however, that’s only a temporary fix. When I turn off the tv, the fear is still there.

When I finally go to face it, I turn to others, usually my boyfriend. He’s a great guy for putting up with this but having to calm down someone multiple times a day because they have to interact with people is tiring. Also, he lives an hour and a half away. The only comfort he can give is over the phone. It’s also usually temporary.

Some times, and no where near enough, I turn to God. I once was freaking about everything I had to do and, of course, having to be around people. I went into the chapel at my local church. Five minutes later, I walked out calm and confident. Now this did go away a couple hours later, but that was enough. 5 minutes! FIVE MINUTES!!!! That’s literally all the time it took. I was concerned that I was going to waste time I could have spent being productive by praying. Lesson learned, there is always time for God.

While this one time should have taught me that praying will make the anxiety go away, I often forget. I could say, it’s hard to remember to pray when I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack, but this would be a lie. I do remember to pray. I just think that I can be strong enough to handle it on my own even though I know differently. Praying is like body building for our soul, when we pray we get stronger. God gives us strength. He will put things in our lives that we can’t handle on our own, so when we realize that we need help, we turn to Him. Easier said then done, right?

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