'As a teen with anxiety, I really resonated with that'
Alex’s story | Desperately seeking peace
“As a teenager, I was often crippled with anxiety over exams. It was like I was cutting through a piece of timber with a bad saw … and the teeth of the saw were always getting dangerously close to the wrong side of the pencil line. I never felt like I could achieve what I wanted to achieve. Then after I finished my HSC, my parents separated, and that affected all of us.”
“Some of my family started doing meditation and other cognitive behavioural techniques to help them cope. We all wanted peace.
“For me, though, there was one Bible passage that really stirred my heart. It’s in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. He said, ‘Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?’ (Matthew 6:25). Jesus told the crowds that God cares for the birds and the flowers. He feeds them and dresses them. How much more does he care for us?
“As a teenager I really resonated with that. I started to come to Jesus with my fears and worries. And then I saw that, at the heart of his message, Jesus told the crowds to ‘seek first his kingdom and his righteousness’. I started to reprioritise my life as a Christian (to seek after him more than I sought after peace or happiness).
“I realised that up until then, peace had always been my goal, but it was like chasing my own tail. What I hadn’t really tasted was the goodness of being in a relationship with Jesus. And God always sees the finished product. There’s nothing he can’t do with a block of wood.”