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      Hello, and welcome to the Leaving the Pit Behind Anxiety Forum! My hope and prayer is that this forum can be a place of comfort, encouragement, and growth for Christians who are dealing with anxiety in their lives. To be honest, it is highly likely that ALL of us deal with anxiety in some way in our lives on a regular basis – whether it be our own or that of someone we come in contact with. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that about 19% of US adults have had an anxiety disorder in the past year and that just over 31% have had one in their lifetime. The lifetime prevalence number rises to almost 32% for adolescents. (Source: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/any-anxiety-disorder.shtml)

      With prevalence rates like those, it is likely that every congregation has at least one member who has, or maybe currently is, struggling with anxiety. Maybe you are an elder, wanting to know how to better shepherd one of your sheep. Maybe you are a preacher or teacher, looking for some insight to aide you reach those anxious hearts better. Maybe you are a friend or family member, hoping to find something that will help you help that one you love dearly with a problem you struggle to understand. Or maybe you are that person yourself, who is trying to figure out what it means for you to be a Christian who struggles with anxiety. All of you are welcome here, and I pray that all of you can find some help and hope in this forum.

      I will be posting content that I think might be helpful on here, but I hope that anybody who has a question or something they would like to discuss will feel free to get a new thread going at any time. If you have any trouble doing so or have any other questions about the technical side of things on here, please post them in the comment section here or fill out the form here: http://leavingthepitbehind.com/contact/.

      One more thing…
      You may have noticed during your registration the instructions not to use your actual name for your user name. The reason for this is to protect everyone’s privacy as much as possible. Leaving the Pit Behind wants these forums to be a safe space for Christians to come and find support and encouragement, even if they are not ready or able to seek such help openly. I ask that everyone who posts here hold to that same level of privacy regarding people and situations you may be posting about. That means no identifiable information – names, locations, or even descriptions that would clearly identify a specific person or congregation. If you have any questions about this or need some more explanation, please let me know.

      I look forward to talking with all of you who join me here, and I pray that we are all able to find strength, joy, and peace in the word and will of our precious and loving God.

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