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How I Overcame Anxiety and Worry in My Life

By: Kristen Clark

When I was single, I spent a lot of time wondering if I would ever get married. I thought about the future a lot. Sometimes my thoughts were filled with anxiety and worry, and other times they were resting peacefully in God’s sovereignty.

My questions about marriage were eventually answered in 2011 when I walked down the aisle and married Zack Clark.

Now that I was married, I didn’t have to wonder about that anymore. I remember going on my honeymoon and feeling blissfully free of all worries about the future. Life was great. Life was simple.

There was nothing to be anxious about. At least not yet.  

Then my marriage hit the two-year mark. Without warning, I experienced two unexpected miscarriages back-to-back. I was shocked and devastated, to say the least. I was trying desperately to keep my heart anchored in God’s truth. But as the third year rolled around, thoughts and worries about the future crashed into my mind again. What if I have another miscarriage? What if I don’t ever get pregnant again? What if something is seriously wrong with my health? What if…

Fear. Worry. Anxiety.

My old companions were back. The future was uncertain again and I felt a sense of panic in my chest. As year four rolled around, I knew I had a serious choice to make. I could live the rest of my life in a state anxious uncertainty, or I could choose to place my trust, hope, and future in the Lord’s hands. My circumstances were out of my control, but the God I served was in control of my circumstances. I knew this in my head. But it hadn’t fully penetrated my heart yet.

As I wrestled with this inner battle, a friend asked me a simple question one day that completely rocked my world.

She gently asked me, “If you were to never get pregnant again, do you think you could still live a life of total satisfaction and contentment in Christ?”

I stared at her in surprise. What? I thought to myself. Out of habit, I nodded my head quickly to say “yes.” But deep in my heart, I wasn’t sure. Could I be truly content? Could I find total satisfaction in Christ in the midst of my unfulfilled desires? It was through that simple question that God led me on a journey to discover the truth about my heart. Getting pregnant and having biological children had become the greatest focus in my life. I wanted something more than I wanted Christ (Luke 10:27). My good desires had become idols in my life.

My anxiety about the future was rooted in the fear of me not getting what I wanted.

This realization was a huge revelation for me and a major turning point in my life. My anxiety about the future was just a symptom of a deeper heart issue. If I wanted to live a life of joy and peace in Christ, then I needed to love Christ more fully. I needed to desire Him more than anything else. He needed to come first in my heart.

Luke 10:27 pierced me with conviction: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…”

I took some time to pray a prayer of repentance before God. I confessed my sin of idolatry to Him and asked for His strength to love Him more fully. I cried out to God and surrendered my future to Him. I surrendered my longings to Him. I poured out my dreams, desires, hopes to Him in prayer, and laid them at His feet.

Over the next few days, I felt a heavy weight lift from my shoulders.

I felt an incredible sense of peace come into my heart. I was no longer “in charge” of the future, God was. And I was resting in His good plan. The anxiety and fear no longer plagued my days.

Isaiah 26:3 really came alive to me during this time. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

Through His Word, God showed me that trust and peace go hand in hand. The more I trusted Christ with my future, the more His peace filled my heart. The less I trusted in Christ, the more anxiety and fear filled my heart. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Is. 26:3). This verse became the new meditation of my heart.

I will be celebrating eight years of marriage this summer, and you know what? My circumstances haven’t changed much, and my desire for children hasn’t been fulfilled as of today…but you know what has changed? My heart. My heart is in a very different place than it used to be. My hope is the Lord. My trust is in the Lord. My peace comes from the Lord.

Now, when I feel tempted toward fear, worry, anxiety (which still creeps up), I have to intentionally realign my heart with these powerful truths:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).

“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22).

Anxiety and worry do not have to be a theme in my life and they don’t have to be the theme in yours either. Christ died so we could be freed from the chains of bondage and fear. Even if we don’t have the answers, we can trust in the God who does. If you’re in a season of unfulfilled longings, I encourage you to take steps toward surrender. Examine your heart and ask God to show you if you’re loving other things more than Him.

I want to end by asking you the same question my friend asked me several years ago: “If you were to never get _____________, do you think you could still live a life of total satisfaction and contentment in Christ?”

I’d love to hear from you below.

  • In what ways do wrestle with fear and anxiety in your life right now?
  • What would it look like for you to surrender your idols and love God more fully?

Kristen Clark

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21 Responses to How I Overcame Anxiety and Worry in My Life

  1. clickhorse z. says:

    Oh, I am so sorry about your two losses! My mom miscarried one before me too, and I have always missed having an older sibling. But I am so glad that you found surrender in Christ. I hope I can find and keep that same peace and joy you have!

  2. Nelli Savchenko says:

    Thank you for this. I personally have been struggling with assurance of salvation, and that makes me anxious and worried, but God has been putting people in my life that are encouraging me and God is assuring me!!

  3. Rosalyn says:

    Wow! This was such an answer to prayer! And Amen to asking the last question, that question has really helped me and challenged me as well in my walk with the Lord~

  4. Suzie says:

    Wow! This was like perfect timing! I have really been struggling with the fear of never getting married and never being able to experience the beautiful things that come with marriage. And I am struggling in other areas too that I am not going to share just cause there personal but this article was so timely. I have been praying that God would help me to trust Him in the midst of all my worries, questions, and doubts. I have also been asking that He would give me His peace and help me to surrender and know He has it all under control and that He doesn’t need my help. It is such a hard place to be when your desires and everything you long for are nowhere to be found at this point in life. But resting in the Lord is what I am trying to do.

  5. Hilde says:

    Thank you for your honest story! I think it is so nice that the two of you are so open about your own struggles and share very personal things with us. I have been struggling with worry and anxiety a lot. It was most present in choosing my major, I was so scared to choose something which was against God’s plan and worried about that during my study as well. So, one day, I realised I was worrying about whether or not God was able to show me His plan and then I realized I had lost my senses. Of course He can. And if all goes wrong, God is not dependent of my study to do His will in me. After this, it went better, though I’m still struggling. But I have learned to not fix all of my attention on my worries, because I can otherwise not see how I can serve in my community. However, this is a struggle whenever worry comes along and I try to give every little sorrow to God by praying immediately when I start freaking out.

  6. Hannah Orth says:

    I struggle with anxiety everyday. The problem is I don’t know what causes it because unlike normal anxiety there aren’t any triggers that i’ve been able to find. If I knew what it was and could give it up to God I would, Ive given up my everyday to him and the time when I get anxious. I can relate though to giving God everything in your mind but having to feel it in you’re heart. That stuck out to me because I find that no matter what i commit to in my mind or how I feel, Until I feel different in my heart, I don’t see a change which is hard because you know you haven’t completely given everything up to God yet. Thank you for sharing you’re story!

    • Co says:

      I totally relate to you there, Hannah! I find the biggest struggle to be that even sometimes when I am actively quoting Scripture, even when I am focused on the Lord my body is still tense and anxious, even to the point of panic attacks. And yes, the mindset being key is huge! 🙂

  7. Cristiane Pinheiro says:

    Estas palavras falaram fortemente ao meu coração. Preciso, urgentemente, realinhar o meu coração com a poderosa verdade e, perfeita, vontade de Deus.

  8. ican'tsleep says:

    1 Timothy 2:9
    Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

    what is so bad about braided hair!?! oh and check this out too:

    Colossians 3:18
    Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

    Ephesians 5:22-33
    Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, …

    Now can someone explain this please. I mean i like how it says “Husbands, love your wives” but the rest about wives having to submit to their husbands is terrible! i don’t understand the bible. i hope this comment doesn’t get pushed aside and someone replies to me and gives me an answer because these verses in the bible give me a headache. oh and fyi im not a feminist. i mean i believe men and women and all people are equal but i wouldn’t call myself a feminist, ya’know? also i know this comment is very unrelated to anxiety and worry and all that but this was one of the more recent blog posts and i didnt know where else to comment this so yeah

    • Cetera says:

      I understand where you’re coming from with 1 Timothy 2:9, I’ve looked into that before. I found out that braided hair, gold, and pearls were known to be worn by adulterous women and women that didn’t love the Lord. Times are different now and those things do not send out a bad message. I interpret that as meaning we shouldn’t associate ourselves with things that might give the impression that we aren’t followers of Jesus. Also, looking nice and caring about how you look is perfectly fine as long as we don’t put it before God, just like what Kristen said about Luke 10:27. I hope offering my two cents could help!

      • Shanae B says:

        The woman mentioned in Song of Solomon 4:9 is described as wearing jewelry! Also Esther had a Years langth of beauty treatments done and wasn’t ever condemned for it. The proverbs 31 woman in verse 22 is stated as having very nice clothes as well!

        • ican'tsleep says:

          yes! there are always things that contradict themselves in the bible and that i don’t think i’ll ever really understand but humans put pen to paper (god only told them what to write about) and humas are flawed so i guess it makes sense for there to be some messed up things in all literature. still though, in a book that supposedly has no mistakes the things you pointed out seem fishy

          • Shanae B says:

            You shouldn’t pretend that
            you know things you don’t. If something in
            the Bible “contradicts” itself it’s usually because either that particularly thing was changed after the cross and resurrection, or it’s something that people interpret differently based on personal bias and feelings. You seem to be a person who goes by feelings instead of thought.

      • ican'tsleep says:

        thanks

    • Hannah says:

      I believe what Paul meant in Colossians and Ephesians is that it can’t be a one-sided marriage. When a man and a woman get married, God expects both people to pitch in to keep the relationship strong. In Genesis 3:16, it says that the husband rules over the wife. That means it’s the husband’s responsibility to lead the wife. It’s a part of God’s design for marriage. (Also, I would recommend checking out the book Girl Defined, it has an entire chapter devoted to your first question, and they explain it better than I can) Hope this helped 🙂

    • Krystel Lumacad says:

      Hi! I want to share to you my answer for your first question. Hope this helps. For your question about braided hair, I believe that we should read the bible not just verse per verse but also the whole context of the Word. Though the bible mentions about “braided hair, pearls golds and costly attires” the whole point is not about that what our hairstyle should not look like etc, but rather about what’s more important compared to these things. And as mentioned by 1 Timothy 2:9, it’s modesty and self-control. And if you’ll read the next verse the bible also includes “doing good deeds.” ( 1 Timothy 2:10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.) God wants our hearts to be more adorned more than anything else, more than our physical appearance. God bless!

  9. Daniela C. says:

    I needed this. I feel worried all the time.. God is showing me that I need to win anxiety..

  10. Joiningin says:

    Kristen, i think you should adopt. Many people get pregnant soon after adoption, because you are lese stressed. And: for a christian couple, adoption should also be considered, because children need that. Whatever holds you back from adopting, i would pray about that topic and about my heart… If you really want to be a mom… It may also help to remember that you had miscarriages, which means finally in heaven there will be biological children calling you Mom. But i would want that experience already in this Life, so i would adopt in your situation… You won’t get younger and time is a t
    hing to consider If you ask me. And: Adoption doesn’t mean that you can’t get pregnant again.

  11. Stephanie Boyes says:

    Journey of lifetime begin with single step but we should be satisfied and content as long as we stay on the right path.

  12. Madi says:

    I grew up in an abusive(sexually, physically, emotionally) household and have developed PTSD from it. And yes, PTSD is in fact an anxiety disorder. The medications made available to me help out with the symptoms, but I will still have a panic attack or go into an episode at any given time regardless of a presence of a trigger. While i feel like it is important for you to speak about these issues, you have to remember that worry and everyday anxiety is healthy for you. For people like me that suffer from such anxiety disorders, this is very triggering. My feelings over meeting a new friend/prospective partner is marred in pain and suffering that I can’t ignore because of past trauma. While your anxiety is rooted in your inability to get pregnant, what you describe is closer to depression more so anything else. It’s okay to be worried about becoming pregnant/miscarrying, but please do research on the topic before posting because this seems insensitive to people who truly suffer from anxiety disorders.


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