Christ has set me free from worry, fear and anxiety.

I’m a worrier. I’m probably one of the most worrying people I’ve ever known. Things stress me out daily, the unknown terrifies me, and I’m left crippled without a well thought-out plan. If I don’t know exactly what I’m walking into I’ll most likely step back and run to my comfort zone. I used to skip social events because I wasn’t sure if I would have someone to talk to and hang out with the whole time. I would dread going to school when I had a presentation or speech scheduled. I would get stomach aches almost every day and have to deal with clammy palms from nervousness. I was comfortable around the few people I knew most, but as soon as I stepped out of that bubble, my heartrate sped up and fear gripped me.

This was no way to live. This IS no way to live.

Lauren Messmer is a freshman at Corban.

Lauren Messmer is a freshman at Corban.

For months in high school anxiety had a tight hold on my heart, causing me to miss big opportunities and block God out of my daily life. I figured I was the only one who could control the rushing waters around me, and since it was all still so crazy, I must have not been trying hard enough.

I didn’t feel like I would be accepted by those around me, and because I wasn’t 100% of what would happen if I did put myself out there, I just didn’t. My ever-changing circumstances scared me so much that I only found comfort in staying exactly where I was—which stunted not only my growth personally and emotionally, but also spiritually.

I’m not sure there was a specific day that I would call a “turning point,” because the whole thing was such a process. I started to dig into the word daily and pray that God would take this anxiety and fear away from me. I recognized it as a problem, and realized that I definitely could not defeat it alone.

I had been told since I was a little girl that God was bigger than any fear I could face, stronger than anything that could hurt me, and unwavering and unchanging like the situations in my world. I knew all this to be true, but I didn’t feel it. And I yearned to feel it.

God moved, and I started to feel it. Every day when I would start to fear or feel anxious about a class at school, a certain person I was bound to run into, or a social situation I didn’t want any part of, I would think to myself, “You’re okay. God’s got this, God is bigger. God is leading you. God is loving you. God is growing you.” After days and days of repeating that, I didn’t have to anymore, because God would speak through others around me and through His Word.

In the middle of what I believed to be the chaos and the storm, I would hear Him whisper, “You are beloved. You are treasured. I am much bigger than this. I have a plan. I am leading you. I am guiding you. You are exactly where you are meant to be.”

So, when I graduated from the only school I attended my whole life, I wasn’t anxious. When I left my home church of 18 years, I wasn’t terrified. When I moved out of the house and away from my family and friends to Corban, I wasn’t fearful. There were definitely bits and pieces of the remains of those feelings, and I still face them every day. Every day I battle through worry and anxiety and the remains of my old self. But these feelings are now easily combatted. They are easily defeated. They are easily silenced.

Though my situations are always changing and new fears are always arising, God does not.

God does not change.

God does not ignore.

God does not abandon.

Rather, God is solid. God is unwavering. God loves me enough to have a unique plan for my life as a whole, and for every single day I will walk on this earth until I meet Him one day in glory. How amazing is that? I no longer have to worry about my daily situations because God has already planned them all out, and given me the resources to combat that fear and anxiety that tries to creep back in again. Though things may continue to change, it is well with my soul.