The Young of the Kingdom: Eleanor

God is on the move and we feel called to keep an account of how He is touching lives in this place, at this time. We hope these stories of what God has been doing will inspire you to draw near to Him in faith, enjoying the full and abundant life Jesus promised.

Eleanor tells how she has been set free from a life of anxiety which she has had since early childhood

Growing up, I knew I was safe. I felt lucky that my family, although not perfect, loved me and I knew it.

Nevertheless, for as long as I can remember, I suffered from anxiety; from as young as two, my parents noticed that I was an especially nervous child. I came to believe that I was born with anxiety – it was my normal – something that I must push through and deal with.

Throughout school, I was never quite fully happy, so I was particularly nervous about starting sixth-form. However, instead, I met the loveliest people who have become my closest friends.

I quickly picked up on their optimistic perspective and caring nature. I admired how they loved everyone irrespective of whether they knew them or not. They were also entirely at peace, content with who they were – which was something quite foreign to me. I began asking them about this, discovering that God was the root and source of all their joy and peace. Until then, I had never been even curious about Christianity, but hearing my peers talk about it – I understood it.

I decided it was worth trying out for myself. So I went home one day and asked God for something small – it was a tiny request, but my prayer was answered. From that moment on it was undeniable to me that God is alive!

I began attending church, meeting more people my age who were passionate and on fire for Jesus; and I was comfortable in myself.

In early 2019, I went through a challenging time with my family, in which I struggled to figure out how to navigate myself through. One evening while talking with my mum, I felt God – ever so clearly say, “tell her everything”, so I did. I told her everything that I had experienced, being too anxious to share before; even things that I hadn’t realised still affected me. It was in that moment, prompted and encouraged by God – sharing with my mum that I had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and haven’t felt a pang of anxiety since!

God has continued to teach me that challenges are not the end, but there is joy to be found in everything because God’s love as a Heavenly Father is the most precious thing I will ever encounter.