We live in a broken, sad, scary place. We don’t need to watch the natural disasters and political unrest in the news to know what our bodies already know. Our bodies get sick. Our minds are fragile. The mortality rate for humans is astonishingly high. There’s plenty to worry about, and the world is full of faulty solutions for our anxieties.
But true peace comes when we learn to hold God’s Word up to what worries us. There, we learn we can’t fix ourselves; we can’t protect ourselves. Instead, the Bible tells us we can rest, knowing that Jesus walked into the broken, sad, scary places to rescue us and love us. He is the One who fixes. His is the only protection that matters.
Join Scarlet Hiltibidal in this 8-session study to learn how we can practically take hold of the perfect peace that is only available through God as we dive deeply into His Word, embrace the practice of prayer, and live authentically in the support of our communities of faith.
You can find the Anxious Bible Study book and videos at Lifeway.com/anxious.
Scarlet Hiltibidal is a new author for Lifeway Girls, but she is a total GEM that you and your teen girls are going to love. We asked Scarlet a few, fun questions to help you get to know her. Check them out and let us know in the comments if there are any other questions you want to ask her! She is taking over our Instagram stories this Wednesday (Aug. 4) and it’s going to be a blast!
Tell us a little about yourself! What’s your family like? What do you do for fun?
We just moved to beautiful SoCal in May and we’re loving it! Let’s see…I enjoy studying and smelling and eating Mexican food of all kinds — particularly tostadas and guac, these days. And queso, of course. That goes without saying. I’ve got three really wonderful, funny daughters who love playing at the ocean and performing impromptu shows. As a fam, we love laughing and playing Uno and more recently styrofoam sword fighting outside? I don’t know, man. 🙂
Why a Bible study on anxiety? What led you to writing this?
I’ve been battling my own anxiety since 1986 (wow, am I old? That’s when I was born. :)) When I was younger, I would read the Bible and feel pressure to excel at rules. But, as I’ve grown, I’ve learned that the Bible is a gift — it’s our chance to experience God in His living Word. It’s our opportunity to reflect on and remember that we WON’T get all the rules right, so thank Jesus we’re forgiven! I love the Bible. And it’s changed my life and helped me remember why I really have nothing to fear. I want my daughters and my friends and their daughters to experience the freedom of walking with Jesus, and remembering He has already defeated the broken, sad, scary things.
Did you ever experience anxiety as a teen girl? How might you relate to girls who pick up this study?
One million percent, yes. I don’t know that I would have called it “anxiety” back then. But, I sure lived with a lot of panic. I was so so so nervous about failing. I wanted teachers to love me. I wanted my parents to be proud of me. I wanted all the football players to want to date me. 🙂 It was exhausting and impossible and I always felt like a failure. I pray this study helps teen girls learn to experience the rest of walking with Jesus way sooner than I did. 🙂
Can you share some encouragement to leaders or parents who might do this with their teen girl(s)?
One of my daughters struggles with anxiety big time. I used to feel so bad about that and I would blame myself for her struggle. But, a dear friend encouraged me by telling me God could use my struggle to help me empathize and encourage my daughter. I have this beautiful opportunity to help her the way I’ve been helped through the questions and the tears and the fears. I know God can use all of us to help younger hearts see that they are safe in the ways that matter most, even though this world we live in feels anything but safe. And maybe you don’t struggle with anxiety much, but you love someone who does. I think it’s so incredible when the Lord gives us compassion and understanding for people who don’t struggle in the same ways we do. I think whether or not you feel like you “get” the struggles of the teens you’re leading through this, the Lord can use you to be a comfort and a help in this.
What’s your favorite Bible verse to fight off anxiety?
That’s a hard question. One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 43:1: “Now this is what the LORD says—the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name. You are mine.” Any verse that reminds me that God is huge—and I am tiny and He has redeemed me—helps me rest. But, really, what has helped me most has been reading the Bible slowly and straight through, taking my time, and asking God to help me experience Jesus in what I’m reading. I love memorizing Scripture and specific verses, but what has has been life-changing for me has been engaging in Scripture consistently and completely — not just skipping around and not in an effort to prove anything or check a box, but to simply be with God. The Bible is so amazing.