Anxiety in College

“Cast your anxieties on God, and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous be shaken” Psalm 55:22.

Months ago, I went to the doctor describing some pretty weird symptoms. She was very concerned, and long-story-short, said I had some pretty bad anxiety. Without medication (but a lot of emotional support) I embarked on a 3-and-a-half-month journey halfway around the world. I had decided to study abroad long before I knew I had anxiety, and despite my nerves, I was still incredibly excited.

As an extrovert, anxiety is a strange phenomenon. I’m so excited to learn new things, go new places, and do my best to love on people. Sometimes, to simply put it, I just can’t do the things I want to. There’s no rhyme or reason; I know part of it stems from the fear of being rejected. A fear that is amplified because of my anxiety. Sometimes I’ll want to say something, and out of fear, I will quickly stop. My mind runs a million miles a minute and I want to speak out but I’m not able to. I lack the overwhelming sense of God’s peace and joy the way I used to.

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One day, we decided that we absolutely must hike up the Cliffs of Moher. We found a spot to watch the water hit the rocks and feel the wind blow up to us. I heard a voice within me say, “THIS is how much I love you…and this is only a fraction of it.” I can’t properly describe the immense power of the wind, or how hard the water pressed up against the sand, but in that moment, all I could feel was an overwhelming sense of peace.


About a week later, I sat up until 2am with two of my closest friends, talking and confessing about how I’ve been feeling, and trying my best to describe it. I realized, in a teary moment, that God so carefully placed these two girls in my life. Their patience, kindness, grace and love are daily reminders and a small manifestation of God’s love, patience, kindness and grace. I struggle with anxiety, but my God’s love and peace are much bigger than that. 

Dear God, thank you for your peace, and for sustaining me every day. Thank you for big and small reminders of how much you love me, and for the people you’ve put in my life. Thank you that they are also so beautifully and wonderfully made in your image.

WRITTEN BY JESSICA FERNANDEZ

Hard Times, HealthSarah Witmer