Lately, I have been extremely stressed about school. For the first time in two years, I will be returning to college as a full-time student. Last time I embarked on this challenge, I ended up deathly ill with my eating disorder. Although I love school and learning, I fear what will happen as do my parents and medical team. This semester could either strengthen the hope of living a “normal” life in me or cause me to collapse under all of the stress.
Thus this week I began turning more regularly to prayer as my mother often suggests. Now, faith is a very important part of my life although I often feel guilty and unworthy of it. However, the point of this post (and my entire blog) is not to evangelize or instruct. There are many other wonderful bloggers who devote their writing to religious topics. To tell the truth, I have such a great fear of offending people or being hated that I almost did not write this post. However, I believe that prayer can be a powerful coping skill.
Turning to one’s religion or faith to deal with sorrow, anger, pain, and other struggles can be done in numerous ways. Some people find it through in a church filled with people while others enjoy walking alone in nature. My mother prays over people in deep misery and helps them find some peace. Preferring to see the impact of my work, one of my sisters thrives serving disadvantaged youth. Dad also loves working with and building up teenagers but also needs quiet time by himself. Likewise, I crave the time alone and also gain comfort and wisdom from reading religious books or theologians. Yet all of my family enjoys singing praise and worship along with attending structured church regularly.
So simply in my family, there are many different ways to connect with God. Discovering what way fits best for you can seem stressful but actually can be very healing as you grow to know yourself better. Instead of berating yourself if you feel nothing when meditating or singing hymns, try another way of expressing your faith. I mentioned many different methods above but there are certainly even more than that.
Some people need structure and order while others want camaraderie. Trying different styles of prayers, attending different churches, researching your beliefs, and/or joining religious groups might all help you to find what brings you closest to your faith. This can be a wonderful adventure of discovering yourself and the world around you. However it can also be unsettling, anxiety-provoking, and even seemingly hopeless. Despite these challenges, I encourage you to keep looking.
Now, I am still in part of the searching stage but I have begun to discover how to live out my faith daily and how to use it to combat my depression, anxiety, eating disorder, self-loathing, and negativity. Life is still not easy but at least I believe that I am not alone. When I feel down, I draw upon strength beyond me. Even if you do not identify with a particular religion, I encourage you to try using some type of prayer as a coping skill. You never know how helpful and healing something can be until you try it.
Morning Prayer by Let God Be God
Prayer Time in Dubai by katrinacurtiss
The Worry Wash Line by Tea with Lizzie
The Silent Prayer by Intercessory Ministry Net
Early Morning Motivations by Love. Life. Writer
Prayer of Desperation for Yahweh by Pure Glory
ELUL 5 – Keep on Meditating by La Vida Frida
Jewish Prayer Books 1: Forms of Prayer – the British Reform siddur by Company of Voices
Muslim Time Prayer by Learning about Islam