This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel.
For Shaelin, anxiety is fear of everything – getting up in the morning and fearing what the day holds. It’s a daily struggle for her and many other people who struggle with anxiety.
- Shaelin feared what other people thought of her, including strangers as well as family or friends. She assumed people thought she was rude and distant by not talking to others.
- Shaelin’s father always spoke for her in public settings, and this made it difficult as she grew older to engage with people herself.
- Shaelin tried different things to overcome anxiety, like dying her hair, piercing her nose, and joining a band. This didn’t help, though, and she ended up partying a lot and accepting abuse from a bad boss. It led her into a downward spiral of coping mechanisms.
- When you’re in your head all the time with anxiety, you become inwardly focused. Shaelin didn’t even know much of what was going on in her own family because she was so inwardly focused.
- Shaelin’s boyfriend and his family encouraged her to begin attending church and looking into Christianity. This led Shaelin to seek God through prayer. She began to see that what she was reading, hearing, and experiencing were telling her a unified message.
- Shaelin’s message for listeners is to open their heart and listen to God. Stop listening to yourself, listen to people who care for you, and seek God.
God has a message and plan for all of us just like he did for Shaelin – but we’ve got to be willing to listen. While coming to God does not mean all of life’s problems will disappear, it is an important step in the direction of healing and wholeness.
Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Have you ever known someone who struggled with anxiety or depression? What are some examples of that person’s behavior, or what are some words you’d use to describe that person?
- Shaelin tried to fill the void in her heart by getting piercings, hair coloring, and changing her lifestyle. Have you seen this pattern in other people who struggled like Shaelin? What things did they do?
- Shaelin says that anxiety caused her to be inwardly focused. If you have struggled similarly or known someone who has, would you agree with her? Explain.
- What are some ways you can help people struggling with anxiety, depression, or similar disorders?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.