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We’re All Freaking Out (and Why We Don’t Need To) Reader’s Guide

By David Marvin

We're All Freaking Out (and Why We Don't Need To) by David Marvin

READERS GUIDE

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Chapter 1: The Fog of Fear
1. If you were to list the most common moments, ideas, and things that cause you anxious feelings, what would they be? 
2. Do you find yourself tempted to deny or dismiss your anxiety rather than embrace it? Why do you think that is the case? 
3. What fears lie behind some of the anxiety you most consistently feel? In order to fight anxiety, you have to chase down what you are actually afraid of. Fill in the following to determine what you are anxious about. 
a. I am anxious about ______ because _______. 
b. I am anxious about ______ because _______. 
c. I am anxious about ______ because _______. 

Chapter 2: “Check Engine” Lights

1. Using the following prompts, fill out the TRUTH acronym regarding the last time you felt anxious or overwhelmed. 
T Trigger: What was it that triggered your anxiety? 
R Root Beliefs and Values: What root beliefs and values about God, others, or life in general do you think informed your anxiety? 
U Unpleasant Emotion (anxiety, fear, worry): Write down exactly how you felt physically and emotionally. 
T Truth from God’s Word: What would Scripture say about the root beliefs and values that informed your anxious feelings? 
H Helpful Future Response: What would be an alternative action to take, scripture to meditate on, or thing to pray for the next time you have anxious feelings caused by the trigger you listed? 

Chapter 3: Dog Moms

1. Reread Matthew 6:25–32. Do you actually believe that God will provide for your needs? If not, why not? 
2. What are you afraid God will not provide for you? 
3. Do you struggle to see God as a loving and perfect heavenly Father? If so, describe how you actually think of him and what you think he thinks of you. 
4. Spend time praying and asking your heavenly Father to correct any ways you fail to see him as who he says he is in Scripture or don’t live resting in his promise to provide. 

Chapter 4: One Percent Chance

1. What hopes, desires, and dreams do you find most difficult to trust God with? 
2. If you were to be brutally honest with God in prayer regarding what you fear happening or not happening in your life, what would you say? 
3. Have you ever expressed the previous question to yourself or to God in prayer? Why or why not? 
4. Spend time asking God to help you trust him with the hopes, desires, and dreams listed in question 1. 

Chapter 5: Gift Registries

1. If a stranger were able to hear all the ways you talk to your heavenly Father in prayer, how often you talk to him, and the things you talk to him about, how would he or she describe your relationship (for example, sporadic, genuine, grateful, seldom)? 
2. How many times today did you talk to God through prayer? 
3. Do you find it difficult to talk to God about everything in your life, big or small? Why or why not? 
4. When you are anxious, is talking to God about your fears and worries a regular response? What fears do you find most difficult to bring to him in prayer rather than ruminate over? 

Chapter 6: Subway to Somewhere

1. For each of the following questions, circle the answer that best describes the thoughts you’ve had over the past twenty-four hours. 
a. Positive or Negative 
b. Eternal or Temporary 
c. Grateful or Discontent 
d. Full of Fear or Full of Confidence in God 
e. Self-Focused or Others-Focused 
2. What anxious “trains of thought” do you most often find yourself traveling on in your mind? 
3. What relationships or sources of information, entertainment, or social media fuel toxic thinking in your life? 
4. What half truths would you say make up your negative self-talk or fuel feelings of anxiousness in your life? 
5. Do you find it difficult to remember and embrace the truth that you don’t struggle with control but rather with not having control? 

Chapter 7: It’s About Perspective

1. Would you describe yourself as a “glass is half-empty” or a “glass is half-full” person? What past experiences, personality traits, family history, and factors do you think have influenced how you see the world? 
2. Do you regularly practice gratitude? 
3. Do you find it difficult to believe that you can choose to find joy, no matter the circumstances, through your relationship with Christ? How would practicing this on a daily basis change the way you think and feel? 
4. What are five things that you are thankful for in your life? 
5. If you were able to view your problems, circumstances, fears, and worries through an “eternal filter,” how would they seem different? 
6. Is trusting that God is in control and using every hardship and trial you experience something you find difficult to believe? 

Chapter 8: Hide and Fear

1. Do you find it difficult to open up to other believers about decisions in your past or struggles with sin in your present? 
2. Has your experience with church made you feel more or less likely to open up to other Christians in your life? Why or why not? 
3. Is there anything you are afraid to reveal to another person—an area where healing may still not fully have happened? 

Chapter 9: Cleaning Out the Closet

1. Reflecting on your past, what are the most painful relationships or experiences that affected who you are and how you see life? 
2. Do you find it difficult to trust others, believe the best in other people, or be at peace with yourself because of hurts from your past? How so? 
3. Have you allowed the “root of bitterness” (Hebrews 12:15, esv) to begin to grow for anyone in your life? For example: 
a. Is there anyone part of you hopes will fail in some way or you would like to see suffer? 
b. Is there anyone whose name, when it’s brought up, makes you angry or resentful? 
c. Is there anyone you’d avoid in public because of something that happened between you? 
d. Is there anyone you are unwilling to let back into your life until he or she apologizes? 
e. Is there anyone you haven’t forgiven? 

Chapter 10: The Obstacle Course

1. How would you describe the amount of stress you feel right now? What are the areas you are (or are most tempted to be) stretched too thin (for example, work, school, church, friendships, romantic relationships, emotional needs of others)? 
2. Do you see your relationship with Christ as another thing to get done, or as rejuvenating to your life? 
3. Would those closest to you describe you more as a Martha or a Mary in how you approach life? 

Chapter 11: Flipping Golf Carts

1. What are your fears about your future or current romantic relationship? 
2. Do you believe what God says about the characteristics to look for in a spouse? If you were to be honest, are there additional criteria on your list? What are those? 
3. If you are in a dating relationship, what are the fears you have about your future together? 
4. If you are not in a dating relationship but hope to be someday, is the idea of never getting married a fear? If so, describe specifically what anxious feelings the idea brings up. 

Chapter 12: The Royal Family

1. What fears or anxious feelings do you have about your current job or career path? 
2. Do you find it difficult to separate your identity (who you are) from your career (what you do)? For example, do you think that if you fail at work, then you have failed? 
3. What do you believe is the purpose of work? 
4. What are the factors that you think should inform a decision to change your career? 

Chapter 13: The Secret About Santa

1. Does your relationship with money cause you anxiety? If so, in what ways? 
2. What fears about your finances do you most often feel (for example, getting out of debt, not being able to afford rising costs of living, not making enough to support a family)? 
3. What financial myths are you most tempted to believe? 

Chapter 14: Little Kids

1. What things about you, your life, or your personality do you feel insecure about? 
2. What are the areas of your life where you are most tempted to find your self-worth and value (for example, dating relationships, job, family, looks)? 
3. What aspect of “Know who you are, be who you are, and like who you are” do you find most difficult to practice? 
 
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