Z: Zen. What calms you down?
Fear is one of my biggest struggles. I've dealt with anxiety my entire life, as you can read in my testimony. The Lord has helped me overcome so much, but at times, I still struggle. I am frequently tempted to doubt and turn to fear rather than to peace and joy.
The last few months, my anxiety has increased quite a bit. I think it's because I know I'm about to leave home and live ten hours away from my friends and family. I know I'll be on my own. I'm going to have to make an entirely new group of friends. It's a scary thought. I don't like change at all, and moving away is going to be a huge change all at once.
While I've been preparing to move away, I've been very focused on creating an environment in my future dorm room that will be very peaceful and calming. A sanctuary of sorts that will be a place to go and be alone with the Lord when I'm feeling overwhelmed.
Some things calm me more than others. For some reason, stones are a symbol of peace to me. Ever since I got my laptop in December, I've refused to change the background. If you have a Mac, then you perhaps can think of which background it is: round, smooth stones. I have a "peace" playlist that I listen to when I'm having trouble at night. One of the first songs on the list is "Stones Under Rushing Water" by NeedtoBreathe. For some reason, it always gives me a sense of peace and security when I hear that song.
Crosses and pearls always give me a sense of peace. For graduation, a friend of mine gave me a BEAUTIFUL cross that he made himslef. It'll be placed on my dorm room wall, first thing. It's stunning. Certain colors calm me more than others. Gentle shades of blue. Some purples. Black and white. My dorm room colors are the same colors of my room back at home; since I don't like change, I think having similar bedrooms will ease the adjustment.
I put calendars everywhere, on nearly every wall. For some reason, knowing the day always gives me a sense of security. Right now I have five calendars sitting out in my bedroom.
A friend gave me a book called "Jesus Calling." It's a devotional filled with an uplifting message from the Lord for each day of the year. The devotions often focus on overcoming fear, peace, and transformation in Jesus Christ. Little else gives me more peace than a chapter or two of the Bible, a few moments of prayer, and an entry from "Jesus Calling."
Writing will always calm me. Sometimes I'll stay up all night scribbling into a journal or typing on my computer. Occasionally if I write fiction, I'll become so worked up and involved in the experiences of my characters that I'll be wired and shaken for days... but even then, I feel a sense of peace in life. When I'm writing for this blog, I almost always feel a sense of peace and calm.
The transition to college will probably be hard on me at first. I have trouble with change and new things. However, I am cradled in the Lord's arms. I know He will not let me go. I must constantly remind myself that I am not alone. I have Him. He will always protect me. There is no need to be afraid.
Peace is such a beautiful gift from the Lord.