I’ve been brought up in a Christian family, and God blessed me so abundantly with them. My parents have each taught me so many valuable life lessons. From my dad: that, besides Jesus, he is the main man in my life. From my mum: it’s totally okay to wear the same outfit on Sunday and Monday because you don’t see the same people.
My Christian journey was so easy to pursue at church and at home. School, however, was a different story. In years 9-11 (third-fifth year) I found myself in an identity crisis. I’d worship on a Sunday night, and then find myself in a mirage of blasphemy, lies and gossip. I didn’t know who I was. I had church friends, and school friends, and kept these groups very separate. People in school and church would ask “if you’re a Christian, why do you drink a lot? Why do you swear? Why do you lie? Gossip?”. The list goes on. I kept trying to defend myself, and justify these questions, but it got to a point where I didn’t care anymore. And when you stop caring, it gets dangerous.
This season, however, was also around the time my anxiety got worse. There was a clear uprising correlation between my identity loss and the amount of anxiety attacks I suffered a day. But, I carried on playing the part. I’d go to school, survive the day, come home, have an anxiety attack at the thought of school the next day x 5, it’d be Saturday, relax, then Sunday, fake smile, half-hearted worship, Monday, repeat. That was my life for a long time. I either didn’t care at all, or cared too much. You’re probably thinking, ‘I want to leave this pity party she’s thrown for herself’ but hang on, Jesus saves the day soon.
One night, in the midst of an anxiety attack, I was so depressed; all these thoughts spiralled in my head of ‘Will this ever end?’ Honestly I thought that was it, and my anxiety would define the rest of my life. You’re probably wondering where God is in all this. Answer: He was waiting for me to stop being angry at Him, so He could break the concrete wall I’d firmly placed around my own heart so He could let me love again. On this night I cried out whilst I couldn’t stop shaking “Lord, what has happened to me? Will I always be ill?” Never would I have usually have turned to my bible, so that was miracle number one. Second miracle; the Lord gave me a bible passage that would change my life forever.
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure.
Psalm 16: 7-9:
In an instant, a wave of peace came over me. I was instantly healed; the shaking stopped, I wasn’t sick anymore, and I managed to get up off the bathroom floor and I never looked back. All I can say is, if it wasn’t for Jesus saving me at that very moment, I’m not sure where I’d be right now.
After that, my recovery began. I left friends behind, cut off a bad relationship, started to be a new woman. My parents got their daughter back, my true friends pulled me through and I managed to bag some pretty good grades.
I have a new life, but most importantly, I am myself. I’m Lauren Holmes; strong, fearless, and probably drink more cups of tea a day than there are Psalms in the bible. Our God is the same God yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever more. He is the same God that heals the blind and raises the dead. Your situation is never too big or small for our God. He is my best friend, and my saviour.
So ladies, if you feel like right now you’re going through your own crisis, whether it be quarter-life, mid-life, or even a quick mid-week crisis, I promise you now that with God you’ll always come out stronger.