The Anxious Christian is written to assist readers in dealing with their anxious instead of hiding it and suppressing it. Rhett Smith begins the book on a personal note about the tragic events in his childhood that he encountered. When he was six years old, his mother felt a lump on her breast and it turned out to be breast cancer. The doctors said, “If she lives more than six more weeks, it would be a miracle”. She ended up living until Rhett was eleven years old. She fought long and hard for five years in trying to beat breast cancer. After she died, Rhett constantly lived with anxiety and panic and he desperately tried to remain in control. He struggled from compulsive habits and he was convinced that he had to touch door handles a number of times and count the number of tiles in a room. He also lost a grandmother and an aunt to breast cancer. He felt abandoned as a child and he began to withdraw and shut down where he could cope with his emotions and the pain he endure. He went to the extreme in order to manage his stress levels and he believed that if he did this no one else would die in his life. Before his mother died, he had no trouble in reading aloud in class. But after he lost his mother, he became fearful that when he was called upon he refused to read and his name was written down on the board for punishment. He also admitted that he had trouble with stuttering and he didn’t want others to see him as weak, inadequacy, and not good enough. These feelings continued to be an enormous deciding factor in his life.
Rhett Smith revealed his fears about public speaking and his stuttering. He prayed to God for guidance and courage and an opportunity to speak. God heard his prayers and God initiated and opened doors where he could move forward. He was tempted to run back and hide but his anxiety became the catalyst for change. God has used his anxiety to remind Rhett to remain connected and depend on Christ for strength. We can’t always stay comfortable and play safe and stuck in life, many times we have to take a risk and move where God is leading us.
This book has immensely helped me realize and exposed the fears and anxiety that I struggle with in my own life. Some of my fears and concerns are: What will I major in college? What state do I want to live in? Will I ever maintain a long term relationship? Will I get married? Will I have children? What if I don’t get married and I still want kids? Can I overcome the odds and adopt as a single man? What if I’m not a virtuous husband and father? What if we can’t conceive a child? What if I lose my wife or we lose a child? What if my wife cheats on me and becomes pregnant by another man? Will our marriage make it through the storms of life? What if I compromise on my morals and core values and I marry the wrong person? What if I fall into temptation and I don’t continue to save myself for marriage? What if I’m clueless and nervous the first time together on our wedding night? As, we can all see with my extensive list this book was written for people like me!
One of my favorite chapters was, “Getting Intentional”. This chapter taught me a lot about how married couples tend to blame each other for their own problems instead of working with God to change them and taking responsibility for their own actions. The chapter main verse was, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27). He breaks down the meaning of heart, soul, strength, mind, and loving yourself where you can love others. This conveyed to me the area where I have been struggling with the hardest in my many fears. I haven’t been loving myself the way Christ has intended me to. You can’t give away love to others if you don’t love yourself completely like Christ does.
I would recommend this magnificent book on handling your anxiety to anyone who has countless things they worry about and the fear is hindering them from becoming the man or woman God has designed them to be. This book is prodigious for teenagers, young college students, and adults and it will help them in whatever transition they are in. I especially loved how vulnerable Rhett Smith was in revealing his own personal fears. He feared public speaking, stuttering, being a good father, what jobs positions to take, and some other fears. This is a superb resource to help readers during their numerous transitions throughout their life stages. I wish this book would have been released when I struggled with sleeping when I first began college. It would have dramatically benefited me during my biggest anxiety. The book was still a gigantic blessing in my current fears and worries. It has many practical questions and activities to be completed at the end of each chapter and it has a very obliging prayer to pray to our loving Creator. It has personally imparted me with the wisdom to overcome my what if questions and my several worries and concerns. I must depend on God fully and completely whenever I struggle with having anxiety. If you’re longing to get unstuck in your fears and worries, and wanting freedom that is found in Christ, then this book will vastly benefit you in your journey!
"I received this book free from the publisher through the Moody Publishers book review bloggers program."
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