Liberty graduate publishes her latest book
Students face pressure every day to make good grades, take part in extracurricular activities, work a job and keep up with their friend groups.
Balancing all these endeavors can be overwhelming, and as a result, students find themselves feeling anxious. Having dealt with anxiety herself, Taylor Murray, a 2021 graduate of Liberty University with a degree in Christian leadership and church ministries (and currently pursuing her master’s in clinical mental health counseling), tells her personal story about battling anxiety in her book titled “Stop Saying I’m Fine.”
For Murray, writing has always been a creative outlet. When she was 13, she poured out her heart in written prayers and letters to God, which she published in 2013 in a book called “Hidden in my Heart: a TCK’s Journal Through Cultural Transition.” It was the culmination of her thoughts and emotions as a missionary kid living in Japan.
In high school, Murray began to suffer from anxiety, and she carried that into college. Murray took on hall leadership roles while at Liberty, first as a community group leader and later as a resident shepherd. During that time, she saw how deeply anxiety affected many of her peers.
When COVID-19 struck in 2020, Murray experienced the sudden turbulence of being uprooted from school and sent home. She began writing in earnest from that point until the end of the summer. Her goal as she wrote was to make sense of her feelings and overcome the thoughts that told her she wasn’t living well as a Christ follower because of anxiety.
Murray ultimately realized that God invites people in no matter their emotions.
Murray encouraged those who felt weighed down by anxiety to stay connected with their community. The biggest lie people can believe is that they are alone in the battles they face.
“Healing always has to happen in the context of community,” Murray said. “I think all struggles thrive in isolation and being able to step outside of isolation and to reach for connection is when we know that we’re not alone, and people can come alongside of us as we walk into healing.”
Murray hopes that students will better understand their psyche after reading her book and that they will be able to identify the root of their anxiety so that they can surrender their fears to God, move forward and find healing.
“Taylor offers a glimpse of glorious hope to those stuck in the darkest places of their own experiences,” Luke Zirkle, a Liberty graduate in the 2021 class, said.
Her next book “Stop Saying I’m Fine: Finding Stillness when Anxiety Screams” officially releases Nov. 8. Murray currently has one other book published and several articles posted on her blog. You can read more from Murray on her website at https://www.taylorjoymurray.co.
Greene is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion