Casually browsing through the women section of Lifeway (my new favorite pastime) I came across a book titled, You’re Going to Be Okay, by Holley Gerth. Jokingly, I snapped a pic of the front cover and sent it to my boyfriend, captioned “If I were a book, this is probably what I’d be. Haha!” making a light hearted joke about my extreme anxiety, and stress.
However, anxiety is never light hearted- and stress is not humorous.
I circled around the store, making my rounds, and kept coming back with curiosity, to this specific book. It’s as if it was drawing me in just to preview one little page, one little sentence, anything.
So I did.
Not only has this book been the perfect paperback guide to my future battles with anxiety, it has also been a big help rationalizing my fears, calming my worry, reiterating how much faith I should have in Christ, and that maybe…just maybe…I should worry a little less. Ok maybe a LOT less.
Here’s a lesson I learned that I felt was worth sharing.
“Stressed” “anxious” “over-worked” “depressed” “worried”; these are the labels we so readily give ourselves. Dangerous labels- labels that stick with you and cover up your identity until you can no longer describe yourself in any other way. We think that these labels define us, and become apart of who we are. Our struggles that we face daily, our circumstances that we are living with, our battles we are currently fighting, all delude our perception of truth and so easily become the definition of us.
Holley writes that these labels are “just descriptions, not determinations.”
So what does that mean?
It means that whether we are stressed, on edge, or anxious, it only describes WHERE we are in life, not WHO we are in life.
Holley illustrates this idea by using an example of a visitor vs a citizen. We are only visitors here on earth. Our stress and anxiety due to the problems we face in our earthly life are only temporary, and like Paul declares in Philippians 3:20: But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
You are a daughter of Christ, who is loved beyond all measure, no matter what. Our life obstacles are only a temporary state of being, but who we are is eternal. Our identities are secure in Christ, meaning that our circumstances may change as time goes on, but who we are remains the same forever.
Sometimes, it’s nice to have a little reassurance that God has got our back. Our end goal is to live eternally in Heaven with Him, which is definitely worth the stress, the worry, the sadness, the anger, and all the negative we battle here on earth. We are not our labels, we are God’s children forever!