Anxious but All Right
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    “Anxious but All Right,” Friend, February 2020

    Anxious but All Right

    The author lives in Utah, USA.

    Not all unhappy feelings are because of bad choices.

    “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

    Friend Magazine, 2020/02 Feb

    Illustrations by Mina Price

    As soon as the bell rang, Lincoln started walking to the parking lot as fast as he could. He couldn’t wait to get home from school!

    He stood on his tiptoes, looking at all the buses and cars in the pickup lane. Classmates rushed by him, laughing and talking. But Lincoln didn’t feel like joining them. He prayed that his mom would get there soon. Finally he saw their blue minivan.

    “Hi, buddy,” Mom said as the van door slid open. Lincoln climbed in and pulled the door shut. All the noise went quiet. It was like he had clicked the mute button on the TV remote.

    Lincoln sighed with relief. The quiet felt so good.

    “How was your day?” Mom asked.

    Instead of answering, Lincoln started to cry.

    Mom looked at him in the rearview mirror.

    “Uh oh, what happened?” she asked. “Are you OK? Did you get hurt?”

    Lincoln wanted to answer, but his throat felt tight. Even if he could talk, he didn’t know what to say.

    “I don’t know,” he finally mumbled.

    “You don’t know why you’re crying?” Mom asked.

    Lincoln shrugged. “I feel worried and nervous and scared, and I don’t even know why!” He cried harder, glad that he didn’t have to hold it in anymore.

    “It sounds like you are feeling anxious,” Mom said. “Sometimes I feel like that too. I actually feel that way a lot.”

    “You do?” Lincoln asked, wiping his cheeks with his sleeve.

    “Yep. For me, it happens when I’m tired or I’ve been around a lot of people without a break.”

    Lincoln nodded. That sounded like his day today! He was glad he wasn’t the only one who felt this way sometimes.

    But there was still something he didn’t understand.

    “At church I learned that when we choose the right, we feel good inside,” Lincoln said. “I don’t think I did anything bad today, but I still feel terrible!”

    Mom looked at him with a smile. “Our feelings can be funny like that. Not all unhappy feelings are because of bad choices. There are lots of reasons we can feel unhappy or anxious. Sometimes we don’t even know why we feel the way we do.”

    Lincoln thought about that during the rest of the drive. He was glad his anxious feelings weren’t because of something he did wrong. When they got home, they said a prayer together and asked Heavenly Father for help. Then Mom helped him figure out some things he could try to feel better.

    First Lincoln got a snack. Then he played with his toys for a while. After that, he read a few chapters of a book he had gotten for his birthday.

    Pretty soon, his body felt more relaxed. The nervous thoughts weren’t racing through his brain anymore.

    Lincoln thanked Heavenly Father for helping him feel better and learn more about his feelings. He could use the ideas he’d learned next time he felt anxious too. Things were going to be OK!