Welcome to Fresno/Madera Youth For Christ


College.  The application process is ramping up.

"Did I do enough?"

"Am I good enough?"

Enough.  It all creates an anxiety in young people as they are fast-approaching adulthood.  Read further about the anxiety/faith relationship.  This article will resonate with our teens; it might hit a chord for the pre-teens and post-college crowds, too.

Main Idea:  What My Anxiety Taught Me About God
3 lessons about faith I learned through living with anxiety.
By Rachael Dymski / relevantmagazine.com

How do you live as a Christian when you struggle with anxiety?" She asked me, looking hesitant, embarrassed even, of her question; like she was waiting for me to pacify her with mantras of "Just have faith" or "You don't believe enough."


I sighed, unsure of what to say.


It's a question I ask myself too.


All my living memory, I have struggled with this "sin." And I know many think it's a sin; I've heard that whispered throughout church halls and declared from the pulpit while I shrink back into my corner, trying to hide the tears that well up in stress and anger. I hear those voices in my head, reminding me that real Christians don't struggle with anxiety.


Anxiety is a fierce, often irrational pest. Its origins, I think, are in what we don't know. When I was little, I was afraid of the dark. In my teens, that fear stretched to cancer, illness, the future and death.


To some extent, we all worry about those things, a little fear tucked in the back of our minds into the Someday section. But those who struggle deeply with anxiety find that the Someday section has grown too big-the unanswerable fears and questions are let loose, gripping their hands around our necks in a way that paralyzes us with fear. Questions about faith, about God, about suffering can plague the anxious soul, until it is difficult to think about anything else.


But it is not in the Lord's nature to send us through trials in vain. He can use our struggles to draw us closer to Him. Such is the case with my anxiety. In its ugly depths, I am finding treasures of hope that I will one day lay before the throne in the presence of all His angels, because I will know something of suffering, and something of His love, that even angels do not. Here are a few of the things anxiety has taught me about faith:


We Are Not Meant to Face Anxiety Alone.

It is easy, in America especially, to think the Christian walk must be journeyed in solitude. We are individualists who keep our prayers and cries private. We find the long-term issues of our neighbors messy, and are hesitant to get involved.


When I first tried to talk with other Christians about my anxiety, I was met with very caring, but also dismissive, responses that I just needed to have more faith.


Anxiety is not a glamorous problem. It's not one that we like to address, because it brings up all that we don't and can't ever know. And so anxiety has become a "quiet" issue, one that sinks its roots in our hearts and heads but rarely makes it to our lips. We're afraid to talk about it because we don't want to look like "bad" Christians, so we let it grow, untamed, in the dark folds of the night.



EDFrom the Executive Director's desk...
School can be anxiety-producing.   Remember when YOU were a kid?  All the homework, peer pressure, growing pains... I believe that today the pressures are greatly increased over those we faced 40, 30, even 20 years ago.  While the miracle of modern technology has given us tools we never dreamed of, at the same time the cell phones, tablets, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram cause teens to THINK they are in real relationships when really they are NOT.  Loneliness and isolation are dangerous partners to anxiety.  Be sure to be intentional with your kids and grand kids.  Have your teens power down their technology and enjoy a real hug, a real conversation, a real interaction with you!  Laugh out loud - for REAL, not just digitally!


For our teens,

Ed signature 
Ed Kaczmarek  

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FOOD for thought...

Psalm 94:18-19
"When I said, 'My foot is slipping,
your love, O LORD, supported me. 
When my anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul"

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