Overcoming Anxiety

Teena Myers

By Teena Myers

Myrinda grew up on the plains of Kansas at an Angus cattle ranch. She loved staying up all night baling hay with her father. Myrinda drove a little Massey-Ferguson Tractor, and her father a John Deere. Her father’s stash of Mountain Dew kept them awake when their eyes grew heavy with sleep. 

Life on the ranch kept her busy, making her church attendance sporadic. “I always felt like I was looking for something,” said Myrinda. “I didn’t know what and went through a season of questioning God’s existence.” Myrinda’s mother prayed for her daughter, but for many years it appeared as if God had turned a deaf ear.  

During her first two years at a community college, Myrinda battled an overwhelming anxiety. She consulted a psychologist and had a physical examination. Nothing the doctors recommended helped. By her third year at college, her anxiety was so severe that she could not eat, often felt sick, and at times thought she would have to leave in the middle of class. Desperate for help, she accepted an invitation to attend a Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship meeting. She concluded that the people at the fellowship only wanted to convert her and didn’t return. 

Myrinda returned home for Christmas vacation but could not forget the things she learned at the Chi Alpha meeting. When she found one of her mother’s gospel tracts lying on a table, she decided to pray the Sinner’s Prayer printed on the last page. “I asked God to do something in my life if he really existed,” said Myrinda, “and then made a commitment to read the Bible and see if anything would happen.” 

When Myrinda returned for the spring semester, she moved in with the friend who had invited her to the Chi Alpha meeting. She did not plan to participate in the larger Chi Alpha meetings but was comfortable attending the smaller Bible study that her roommate had started in their dorm room. “I found the people who attended the Bible study to be the most genuine people I had ever met,” said Myrinda. “When they prayed, they believed Jesus was alive and listening.” Myrinda realized how much she had changed when she attended a prayer meeting alone. Normally, her anxiety would have prevented her from going. “I asked them to pray for me but didn’t tell them why. The elderly man who prayed for me said, ‘God, help her not to be anxious about social interactions.’” His prayer comforted Myrinda and gave her the assurance God knew about her struggle. 

One day Myrinda realized she no longer feared social gatherings and making new friends came easily. The change amazed her and destroyed her doubts that God existed. She abandoned her plans to become a teacher and became a missionary. 

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