Maria Montemayor

Leaving my fears to God

By  Maria Montemayor, Youth Speak News
  • April 1, 2016

For many, anxiety and stress can be debilitating. It can lead to a number of physical symptoms that prevent you from being fully present in the moment.

I had always thought of myself as a relaxed person until one day an incident brought my anxiety levels to the highest they had ever been. It was a feeling worse than what I felt when I was bullied in the past and I wanted to be free from it.

Even though the anxiety only lasted a few days, it led me to various workshops and programs to better myself in terms of my career and health.

One of the workshops was a general anxiety workshop at a women’s centre. I thought it would be a good way for me to learn preventative measures to avoid future anxiety problems.

Throughout the workshop several things became clear. The first thing was these women had all experienced lows in their lives. They worried about employment, their health, their kids and their future. They all wanted to feel better and move forward in their lives.

The second thing was they supported each other. They shared their trials and insecurities and, in turn, found understanding and support among friends in a safe space.

Hearing their stories and seeing how far they had come, I could not help but be moved. My worries were minimal in comparison and I was humbled by their tenacity and perseverance.

At the same time, being around them made me do an assessment of my own life. I had wonderful and supportive friends and family. I was healthy, educated, intelligent and social.

Attending the workshop was therapeutic. Prior to it, I had wondered why I experienced those difficult feelings. I was a good Catholic, I did good deeds and I went to church. Why did I need to face a problem that I didn’t have the emotional means of coping with?

Now, looking back, I understand why I experienced difficulties and I know what to do if another problem comes my way. I feel blessed to learn from my mistakes and not let doubt, fear or anxiety consume me. Most important, I have learned to trust more in God and His divine providence.

I parallel my negative experience to the hopelessness Jesus felt when carrying the cross. Moving past that stage, I am currently in the waiting period. I am preparing myself for the resurrection, the time when I fully experience the joy, peace and redemption that I know God will bring to me.  

A Bible passage I hold close to my heart is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

(Montemayor, 23, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from the University of Toronto.)

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