because of Christ - SPOTLIGHT

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 about the spotlight writer

Hannah Watson

Hey y’all, Han here. My husband & I live in Dallas and we’re both Baylor alumni. I love English Breakfast Tea, dogs & The Office.

I’m an amateur blogger, aspiring world traveler & history enthusiast.

You can find me & my blog on Instagram at instagram.com/hanwatson17 and instagram.com/thewifeychroniclesblog

Be sure to check out the link in my Insta bio to find my blog & Etsy shop!

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Have you ever shared your testimony before and have been surprised to learn something new about yourself?

I have.

I shared my story with the other 2nd & 3rd grade children’s ministry leaders recently, and finally made a connection between two very significant pieces of my story. I seriously had an aha! moment in the middle of sharing my own testimony.

See, I had always known that these two events in my life were turning points, and that they have both shaped me into the person I am today, but I had never before made the connection between the two.

The first was four and a half years ago, during my sophomore year of college, when I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

The second is when I accepted Christ as my Lord & Savior.

The connection between the two is that I became a believer about six months after my diagnosis.

I had always attributed my change of heart, in wanting a relationship with Him, to attending church, studying God's Word, joining a connection group, and praying heavily. However, I now see that God was hard at work in my life, in my brokenness, leading me to Him.

Of course, Bible studies, biblical community, and an active prayer life contributed to my growing relationship with Christ, but I truly believe that it was my struggle with anxiety that pushed me even closer to Him.

I was confused, and I was hardly sleeping due to unbearable nightmares. I was constantly battling crippling panic attacks, and I had no where else to turn.

All of these awful things led me to pursue a more serious relationship with Jesus, almost involuntarily.

I just wanted relief.

I first turned to the Health Clinic on Baylor’s campus when I didn’t know what else to do. (Baylor is great about giving 10 free counseling sessions to every full-time student.) Because this is where I sought help, I was diagnosed and counseled in a Christian environment.

My counselor pushed me to pursue prayer and studying God's Word as my initial methods of "treatment," and miraculously, this worked for me.

In the middle of the night, when I was awaken by my own tears and convulsions of absolute terror, the only way I could find peace was through talking to God and reading His Word.

My life verse back then was 1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all of your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."

I can vividly remember reciting those words over and over again in my head during countless panic attacks.

It became the first Bible verse I ever memorized.

But if I’m being completely honest, my faith hasn't always been rock solid. Especially when it comes to my anxiety.

I don't always remember to turn to God or the Bible when I'm struggling through my panic attacks.

I can be obsessive, to a level that's debilitating.

I have damaged relationships because I can't get past the "what if's" in my head.

There have been times when I have blamed God for my anxiety and all of its corresponding difficulties. I've found myself wondering where God is in the midst of my sleepless nights and unproductive days…

That's where I can still tangibly feel that the enemy has a grip on me.

But that’s also what drives me to keep working at my relationship with God.

I love these lyrics from one of Ellie Holcomb's songs…

I will never be the same

When You rolled the stone away

I was lifted from the grave

And now I'm standing in the light of day

Everything's changed

I don't have to be afraid

'Cause You're with me in the pain

You free me from all my shame

Everything's changed,

everything's changed

I was in the darkest part of my life at the time of my diagnosis, and God came to me, comforted me, and lifted me up into His light. I had tangibly felt the enemy's presence in my life before, but nothing will ever compare to the tangible presence of my Savior.

Our God is always with us, even before we accept Him into our hearts, even before we know how much we need him, and even in our deepest valleys.

And yes, sometimes I still struggle, but now I'm equipped with the Holy Spirit to fight back against the enemy and my anxiety. And the good news is, you are, too.

Because of Christ, we are free.

Because of Christ, I will never be the same.