Life is filled with uncertainty, which for many, including myself, produces anxiety. My faith has been integral in reducing my anxiety and basically keeps me from throwing my hands in the air and declaring, “I can’t do this anymore! I give up!”
Research has shown that spirituality has physical and mental health benefits. It can foster connection by bringing people together, bring peace in hard times, and aid in the development of your purpose and identity.
Faith has done all of these things for me at different times, but in recent months, I’ve relied on my faith to reduce growing anxiety related to my career. While not some magical cure, my faith has made the uncertainty much more manageable.
Here are 3 ways faith has reduced my anxiety.
I believe God has a plan for me.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
One of my struggles this summer has been figuring out employment as a psychotherapist. I completed my Master’s degree in May and am now looking for work to complete my hours toward getting licensed.
Until I’m licensed, I can’t have my own practice. Though I’ve accepted this and believe there’s value in learning from others, I’m also eager to set up my own shop and be my own boss.
I have my style as a therapist, and it’s been a challenge to find the right fit. I met with a therapist recently who seemed like a great match – we are both entrepreneurial minded, are of the same faith, and have similar philosophies about therapy – but we’ve had logistical issues with finding a space to rent. Today I learned that it’s not going to work out with her.
Right away, I applied to another practice, but of course I don’t know how it will turn out. Only God knows. It’s hard to deal with the uncertainty that lies ahead, but I believe God has a wonderful place planned for me. I just have to be patient and wait for His timing.
I don’t have to hold the burden of my problems alone.
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” – Psalm 55:22
When I learned that this private practice opportunity wasn’t going to pan out, immediately I called my parents. They empathized with me and told me that hardship is part of life and to forge ahead.
I found comfort in their empathy and validation in their acknowledgement that life is hard for everyone. I’m grateful to have Logan, my parents, and friends to unload my worries and frustrations on. Without them, life would be a lot tougher.
Still, as wonderful as empathy and validation feel, they don’t take away my anxiety or create certainty from the uncertainty. Aside from providing encouragement, which I greatly appreciated, they can’t do anything to change my situation.
When I hung up, I prayed and asked God for guidance. Believing that there is someone more powerful than I am who’s looking out for me provides immense comfort.
I don’t think my anxiety, frustration, and stress will fully disappear until God reveals His plan to me, but I do feel comforted knowing that the burden isn’t solely on my shoulders. Yes, I have to put in the work to find a new private practice, but my faith tells me that God is orchestrating things behind the scenes to help me find my professional home.
My problems are only temporary
“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” – 2 Corinthians 5:1
As a Christian who believes heaven will be my permanent home, my life here on earth is only temporary, which means that my problems, too, are temporary. While my struggles right now are very real, I know that they will all be erased the moment I hit heaven’s gates.
While I’m here on earth, I’m doing my best to live what I believe is God’s purpose for me. I’ve thought a lot about what that is for me and believe it’s somehow related to helping others. I ditched working as an attorney and got an MFT degree because I felt called to do so. I don’t know exactly how this career is going to develop, but I believe that it’s what God has planned for me here on earth.
Believing that this life on earth isn’t the be-all-end-all for eternity puts my problems into perspective. Life on earth is filled with challenges, but compared to forever, my time here will over very quickly.
Has your faith, whatever that looks like, provided comfort for you? How have you leveraged faith to reduce anxiety or suffering in your life? Contribute to the dialogue below!