Written By: Marisa Dech
Not many people know about my struggle with anxiety. However, when I was asked to write a piece to empower women, I knew I had to be real and tackle this topic that I know so many people battle.
“The struggle [was] real.”
Literally. In high school I would struggle. Not for a day, a week, or even a year, but for all four never ending years. I struggled with immense feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. I was very insecure in who I was and high school just made it all feel like I was on a big stage and everyone was staring at me. I did not like attention, in fact I never have being the quiet, introverted person I am.
On top of that, I struggled with chronic pain and sickness to which no doctor could really give me an answer and caused me to miss A LOT of school.
I began to have problems with teachers. Although most seemed to somehow understand my situation, there were the odd few that just seemed to have no sympathy or understanding for what I was going through. This led to some of my grades being…not so excellent.
This would be the least of my worries, except that my parents have really high standards (they always have). They tried to understand but eventually seemed to give up on me. This hurt more than anything in the world. I turned to my friends who thankfully took me in. This emotional pain became very real and I was now completely overwhelmed at school and struggled on a regular basis not to break down crying in class.
What I didn’t fully understand at the time was that my parents had a lot of problems of their own; which was evident in all the arguments and awkward silence.
I struggled daily, but I can honestly say that God was there more than ever during those hard times. He was there with me when I soaked my pillow with tears, He was holding my hand through all the physical and emotional pain. He hugged me as I considered taking the precious life He had given me. He was also there with me as I worshipped my heart out, despite it all.
I found God in the very beginning of my high school years and I can without a doubt say, I wouldn’t have made it through without Him. He was my friend when I felt I had none, He was a parent when mine grew weary, He was a healer when no doctor could fix me!
God calls us to trust Him completely, to “find rest in Him alone, for He is our refuge, our rock, He will not be shaken!” (Psalm 62)
He says that He is here to help, He will not let us down!
“We have this amazing hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)
He invites us to “cast all [our] anxiety on Him because he cares for [us].” (1 Peter 5:7)
He reassures us that the struggle will “certainly come to an end and will not delay!” (Habakkuk 2:3)
I am overjoyed to say that I have greatly overcome my anxiety and panic attacks. While I do still fight this battle I know that I am not alone in it. I am able to find rest in the King of Kings who steadies my heart.
Marisa is 21 years old. She is the first born of two children; who grew up in the house her family built in Essex, Ontario. Although Marisa has always felt a strong connection to God, her relationship with Him truly began when she was 14. She enjoys children of all ages and personalities but she has a particular interest in individuals with autism. She currently works as an early childhood educator assistant, a respite worker, and a direct care worker in a group home. Currently she is taking courses online to achieve her E.C.E. diploma. Some of her passions include teaching, learning to cook, figure skating, baking, event planning, reading, and languages. She looks forward to the future with her significant other, Jonathan, who loves her unconditionally in the way God made her.