This is an excellent little book. Helen Thorne writes that it was ‘designed to have words of encouragement for everyone who struggles with anxiety’ (p. 9). I believe she has achieved her purpose. This book approaches anxiety at a level that can speak to those who have little grasp on theology, or even do not yet trust in God as their saviour. However, despite being written to reach this group, many of her words will ring true for those who, like me, have extensive theological education and also struggle with the anxieties of life.
The book is split into two major parts. The first part is made up of four chapters which speak of the different types of anxiety we may feel in this ‘anxious world’ we live in. The second part outlines six lies we are prone to telling ourselves in the midst of our anxieties. In each of these chapters, she responds by offering biblical truth to combat these lies, thus providing the ‘six truths for when things feel overwhelming’.
Being a short book, each chapter is easily read in a single sitting. Not only this, for the person in the midst of anxiety, Thorne’s short, succinct, and pastoral approach to writing will be a blessing. When you have little energy to spend, you may still find energy to work through this book.
Not only is Thorne encouraging and pastoral, she also presents a realistic picture. In a postscript she writes ‘As we put our faith in him and continue to grow in that faith, our struggles with anxiety will change. For some of us, that will mean conquering anxiety completely… Others of us will see our anxiety decrease substantially… For a few, anxiety will remain a significant struggle… but there is hope here too. The anxiety may still persist but there’s no walking the path of an anxious life alone. Both God and his people will be around you’ (p. 98).
Phil Foster, Buccleuch Free Church