Reflecting on the passage of time, it’s evident that my identity has undergone profound transformation since I had my eldest daughter 6 years ago. This evolution, while natural, has brought with it an unexpected companion – heightened anxiety. Through my own experiences, I’ve come to realise that this journey of change not only impacts my role and capabilities but also necessitates a revaluation of my expectations and the support I offer to others navigating similar paths.

As I’ve grown, anxiety has become a constant companion, shaping the way I approach my roles at home, work, and in relationships. This transformation often left me feeling overwhelmed and unsure of myself. However, through the lens of my Christian faith, I’ve learned to embrace these changes. The practice of faith has been an unwavering source of strength and comfort, providing me with a sanctuary to turn to in times of uncertainty. It has equipped me with the resilience to face my anxieties and find solace in moments of doubt.

I’ve found that my faith has been pivotal in helping me acknowledge and accept my evolving needs and vulnerabilities. It has allowed me to realise that it’s okay not to be the same person I was before. Through my faith, I’ve been empowered to seek the support I need and make necessary adjustments to navigate this new terrain, anchoring me in a sense of hope and purpose.

In the context of my faith, I’ve come to recognise the importance of open communication and empathy as essential virtues. Guided by the teachings of Jesus, I have found the courage to openly discuss my evolving needs and challenges with those around me. This has allowed for transparent and compassionate communication, fostering understanding and support in a spirit of shared humanity, reflecting the foundational values of my Christian beliefs.

Notably, my evolving self has brought about new strengths as well as limitations. It is through the teachings of my faith that I have found the resilience and grace to navigate these changes. Celebrating my achievements and acknowledging my courage in navigating unfamiliar territories has been a liberating experience, reinforced by the enduring principles of gratitude, compassion, and the unwavering knowledge that my faith journey offers a source of strength and comfort through life’s challenges.

In my interactions with others undergoing similar changes, I’ve realised the transformative impact of empathy and support, virtues deeply rooted in the teachings of my Christian faith. By offering compassionate listening and understanding, I’ve been able to foster a sense of belonging and validation, embracing the shared journey of faith, resilience, and compassion.

In conclusion, my Christian faith has been the guiding light that has infused this journey of change and anxiety with hope, strength, and purpose. Through this experience, I’ve learned the importance of patience, self-compassion, and open communication, profoundly influenced by the enduring teachings of my faith. This journey of evolution, though accompanied by anxiety, has opened the door to my spiritual growth, fostering deeper connections with myself and others, and reaffirming the enduring power of faith in navigating life’s uncertainties.

 Clare Milrine, Project Officer – Faith Action

Treatment and support for anxiety – Mind

National charity helping people with Anxiety – Anxiety UK

Book Review – Non-Anxious Presence