Have you ever been asked to attend a social event at church and genuinely wanted to attend, but before the event date arrives you become swallowed up by nervousness, unease, or worry?
Not only can anxiety create barriers in our faith and stunt our spiritual growth, it can also deeply affect our ability to create relationships with others.
For years, I allowed my fear and anxiety of what others might think of me prevent me from building strong fellowship with others. I would sit at Bible study eager to connect and contribute but once I arrived, the same fears would creep into my head: will I fit in, will they like me, do I have too much ugliness in my past? I would replay everything I said and stress over it. Over time, I found myself contributing less and sinking further into those fears. Eventually, I stopped attending.
After I was first diagnosed with postpartum anxiety, I was overrun with fear and began to truly seek scripture to combat my anxiety related fears. Here is what I found:
Romans 8:39 (ESV)
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 56:3 (ESV)
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely, I will help you, Surely, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
When dealing with what ifs or worries about how others perceive you, remember who God says you are and remember His promise of love and grace and then extend that to yourself.
Mika Roberts is mom to a seven-year-old and two-year-old twin daughters. When she's not working, wrangling children, or shooting photography sessions, she can be found reading a good book. Her current favorite verse is Colossians 4:6 (ESV):
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
This is the 2nd post in Shoulder to Shoulder's INSPIRE series, Fear, Anxiety, and Worry. Join us March 19th, 6:30 pm, at our Merrimon campus to hear more on this topic, engage with others, and participate in prayer and worship. Register at: