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  • Katie Smith

Antidote to Anxiety

I never knew what I wanted to "be" or "do" when I "grew up" because I wanted to be and do a lot of things. But I always thought I'd like to write a book one day, and I always wanted to "help" people along the way. I've recently felt the strong conviction that those two desires are intermingling. Perhaps my story can be written down in part, and if it helps one person, it will be purposeful, even if I never know that person. I've found myself putting together a little book. It may take ten years, and it may never be published, but I am writing the words as they come (as time permits), and I am hopeful God can use it for His great purposes....

Prologue... maybe...

Antoinette Portis' children's book, Not a Box, is a fan favorite in our home. My four boys love the box design story, but all kids love the concept of pretend no matter the medium. Sadly imaginations are quickly fossilizing in our screen-filled, voice-activated, instantaneously-answered world.

Curiosity once killed the cat, but now, anxiety is her silent threat. Without an outlet for creativity or critical thinking, imaginations quickly turn to fearful frets and anxious worry. It is no secret that an increasing number of our population (both youth and mature) is clinically or self-diagnosed with anxiety disorders. I believe we all possess an innate desire to create, and our imaginations don't cease to exist when we enter adulthood. We have just made it increasingly difficult to think on what is true, noble, and lovely because there's a plethora of already created material right at our finger tips.

As someone who suffered from severe anxiety as a child and into young adolescence when my imagination should have been ripe and reachable, I know the pitfalls and panic that surround palatable fear. It is real, but there is also a real path towards fearlessness.

One of the key components of increased anxiety is too much time to think, or using what little time we have to think on the wrong things. Our modern advances coupled with social “scrolling” give us too much time to think on things that add unwarranted worry to our already jam-packed lives. When we stop learning, playing, and serving, our imaginations turn to darker things. Yet, there is light and hope to be shared. I hope to share some of those good words.

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad (Proverbs 12:25).

There is plenty to pack panic into our hearts these days amidst a pandemic and partitions, but there is also peace in putting purpose to our plights. Instead of creating more fretful worries, the constancy of little boys (especially medically fragile ones) keeps me from overthinking life. To them it will be dedicated.

I am thankful our youngest made it another year around the sun! He is our most hearty, happy, and harmonious! Happy 2nd b-day Luca B! We love you to the moon and back!

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