Joshua 1:9

Madison Basco, Writer

Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” I look at this verse over and over again, and each time, I become more reassured. It has always been comforting to me as someone who struggles with anxiety to know that I do not ever have to go through anything alone. God is with me every step I take, even when it does not seem like it.

Anxiety is something that I have always had to deal with, constantly stressing about ridiculous things, avoiding certain situations and overthinking every little thing. It has been attached to me ever since I was little, and for the longest time, I never thought I could escape it.

The funny thing about anxiety is that most of the time there is no real problem. There is nothing to actually be worried about. It is just a long and daunting list of what ifs and worst case scenarios. However, it was enough to control me, and it only created setbacks. I never wanted to go to school, and the thought of going to church was terrifying to me. What people thought of me was my main focus for the longest time. I never wanted to go to youth groups at church, because I figured that there was no way people would accept me. I have always been very shy and introverted, and I assumed that I would be judged for it. I now know that I am not alone in my struggles, but in an extroverted world, it very much feels like it.

Being a Christian is what truly helped me cope with my anxiety. I struggled, like a lot of teens, with the idea of not being good enough. When I scroll through social media and even when I am walking down the hallways, thoughts of self doubt never fail to enter my mind; however, it took me a long time to realize the most significant thing in my life. I know for sure that I am good enough for God. I have and will always be accepted by Him no matter what. I know that God truly loves me despite all my flaws.

My main problem was that I was constantly seeking approval from so many different things. I wasted all my time looking to fulfill my need to be accepted when God was the only one who could accept me. The only opinion that really mattered was God’s.

At the beginning of my freshman year, it took all the courage I had to simply go to a youth group at church, but I kept Joshua 1:9 in the back of my mind at all times. God is going to be with me, and I know I am going to be okay. To my surprise, I truly did feel accepted, and I felt God working in my life. It was so impactful to finally be surrounded by people who would lift me up and help me with my walk with Christ. I did not feel lost like I had before, and my life was working out like I wanted it to.

Letting God handle everything shifted all aspects of my life. I decided to apply for my school’s newspaper, which is something that my anxiety would have told me not to do. I truly felt led to it, and I knew that if I did not try it, I would be left with regret and guilt. I am so glad that I did not let fear guide that decision, because it has been one of my greatest experiences. I can honestly say that it has become something very special to me, and I am so glad that fear did not take that away from me. I have come so far and done so many things that are extremely out of my comfort zone.

Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” I look at this verse every time anxiety creeps up on me. I can do it, and I am good enough, because I am good enough for God. That is the only thing that truly matters.