Archive for the ‘Anxiety’ Category

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Does it ever seem that the circumstances you face are so complicated that there is no way out? No matter which way you turn, you only see trouble.  In those moments, we have a tendency to focus on the problem rather than God and His power to conquer any obstacle.  When problems arise, we begin to question.  What are we going to do?  How are we going to overcome this?  In Exodus 14 while escaping the oppression of the Egyptians, the Israelites began to question why they were brought to the desert, what Moses had done by leading them out of Egypt, and why they even agreed to follow him.

Exodus 14:13-14 says, Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.  The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.   They were focused on the obstacles, and their thoughts and actions were controlled by fear.  How often do we find ourselves in that same situation?  Instead of focusing on the problem, who to blame, and how we can fix it, we must turn our focus to God.

As stated above in Exodus 14, sometimes we must calm our fears, be still, pray, and trust God to make a way in His perfect time.  Other times though He may tell us to “get moving”.  Exodus 14:15 says, then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.  In other words, “I’m opening the door, now you need to follow my instructions and just move on through it”.

Psalm 77:16 says, When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled!  The sea trembled at the power of God; there is no obstacle which is greater than His power!  Psalm 77:19 goes on to say, “Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters – a pathway no one knew was there!”  God was able to part the Red Sea leaving a dry path for the Israelites to cross escaping from the Egyptians, and He still has the power today to open doors for us that we may not even know are an option.

I’m sure it was terrifying for the Israelites to step out onto that ocean floor with an enormous wall of water on either side!  The door that God opens for us may be scary, but if we’ll just trust Him and move on through it, we will see the power of His deliverance.

When it seems as though the enemy is winning, God is still in control and knows exactly what to do. So instead of focusing on the problem and how we can fix it, we must not let fear control our actions.  We must choose to trust God and wait patiently for Him to make a way.  We must obey and move on through when He says it’s time.  Even when our problem seems as big as the Red Sea with no apparent solution, God has the power to make a way!

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I am with You

Two years ago my daughter and I flew for the first time. We were both a little anxious about the entire process from security to landing and even how to make our way out of the airport. Since we were alone, we had no choice but to be strong, push forward, and walk through this journey together.

I had prayed many times for God to give us courage and for protection, and thankfully the entire trip was very smooth compared to all the concerns which had rushed through my mind in the days leading up to our flight.

My daughter, Lindsey, was anxious but also excited for her first flight. I, on the other hand, am afraid of heights, terrified on roller coasters, want to feel in control, and had the intentions of never, ever flying!

She immediately opened the window to see everything going on. I sat afraid to even look until the plane seemed to have leveled off and was no longer ascending higher into the air. When I finally did look out that tiny window, I was amazed at the beauty and comforted by the peace that I felt.

After landing and meeting my husband and son-in-law, we began to look through the pictures Lindsey had taken from the air.

When I saw this photo, I was immediately drawn to something that we had not seen as we were flying . I quickly zoomed in and very clearly saw an image which to me represented Jesus.

I was moved to tears. It seemed as though God was showing us that He had been with us throughout the trip. Although we did not see this image in the clouds when the photo was taken, He was there! It reminds me of the disciples in a boat as a storm raged all around them. They were so fearful, but Jesus was right there with them in that boat!

This zoomed-in photo has been the screen saver on my phone since that moment. It is a constant reminder of God’s presence through this earthly journey.

Two weeks after that flight, our family faced a raging storm when my husband was struck by a fire truck. It was a difficult time and still is sometimes, but I know without any doubt that God is with us!

Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Regardless of what you’re going through or what emotions you are struggling with, God can give you peace in the storm. You can face anything with confidence that God is with you. Whether it’s an exciting moment that causes just a little anxiety or something that causes great fear and a loss of control, He is there!

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She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

A kind hearted woman gains honor. Proverbs 11:16

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26

Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14

God is with her, she will not fall. Psalm 46:5

Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her. Luke 1:45

The Lord is my strength and my shield. Psalm 28:7

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you where you go. Joshua 1:9

Under His wings you will find refuge. Psalm 9:1

Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Philippians 4:6-8

By the grace of God, I am what I am. 1 Corinthians 15:10

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

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It is easy to get discouraged during difficult times and allow fear to control our thoughts and actions. It helps to remember that no matter what I’m going through, I can trust that God is there leading the way and will be with me each step of the journey.

Noah and his family were in the ark for a very long time as they waited for the rain to stop, waters to recede, and the ground to dry.  According to Genesis 8, it was about 370 days. That’s a long time to be stuck on a boat with wild animals, livestock, and a handful of family members. No matter how large that ark was, you know it was not quite big enough to escape the smell of so many animals or to find a moment of peace and quiet!  As they waited for the ark to stop drifting, they may have wondered if the huge sea of water would ever disappear or would they be stuck in the ark forever. Once the boat settled on the earth and they still had to wait for God to open the huge door, I’m sure they must have wondered if He had completely forgotten them.

There had to be many days of fear, discouragement, doubts, questions, or just being frustrated with the situation on that ark and even the changes waiting outside.  As the only survivors after the flood, they may have also felt very alone.  Don’t we all experience similar feelings while waiting to see God at work in our situation?

But God remembered Noah – Genesis 8:1.  God did not forget about them or leave them to their own devices to figure out what to do. In the Old Testament,  remember  means to pay attention to. In other words, God took action. He never forgot them! He had a plan all along and what seemed like a lack of action was more about His timing.

When your situation has you beat down with worry and fear, know that God has not forgotten you. He is right there with you! He won’t leave you sitting in a stinking ark wondering what to do. When the timing is right, He will open the door, and you can plant your feet on solid ground as the sun shines brightly on your face. You are always remembered by God!

Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” God promises to be with us every step of our journey. In fact, He is not just with us but is leading the way.  He is always one step ahead of us, and nothing will happen that is out of His control.

Which of God’s promises helps you to remember that God is faithful to remember you today just as He remembered Noah so many years ago?

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 It is Well

Many times during the past year I have said, “Everything is going to be alright.”  Sometimes I believed it, and other times I said it to encourage my husband and family.  But one thing I always knew was that God was with us in those times of uncertainty.  

2 Kings 4 tells about the Shunamite woman who had waited a long time for a child and then watched him grow ill and die. Elisha had told her years ago that God would give her a child because of her faith and service. She knew that God had given her this child, and she believed that through Elisha, God would revive him. So she promptly decided to go to Elisha for help. 

Her faith was so strong that she didn’t even tell her husband the boy had died. When questioned, she stated that everything was all right. She did this not once, but twice. This woman’s child had just died, yet she was able to tell others that everything was fine and trust that God was in control of the situation!  

We all face times of uncertainty at some point. Moments of fear, anxety, depression, pain, weakness, discouragement, and even doubt can quickly begin to control our thoughts and actions. When there are questions about the future, questions about your health, insecurities, fear, and so many unknowns, don’t give up. Instead you can run directly to God with confidence that He remains in control regardless of the storm going on around you. Like the Shunamite woman, you can know that everything is all right 

The song “It is Well With My Soul” was written after several tragedies suffered by businessman Horatio Spafford and his family.  In 1871,  Their young son died with pneumonia and much of their business was destroyed by the Chicago fire. Two years later, the ship carrying his wife and four daughters collided with another vessel and resulted in the death of all four of their children. As Spafford traveled across the ocean to join his grieving wife, he wrote the words to “It is Well With My Soul”.

When peace like a river attendeth my way, 

When sorrows like sea billows roll, 

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, 

It is well, it is well with my soul. 

When your world seems to be crashing down around you, true peace can only be found with God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.  The son she had waited so long for had just died in her arms, but the Shunamite woman had a peace that could only come from God. 

Do you trust God so much that even in the darkest moments you can say “Everything is all right”?  Philippians 4:6 says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,  with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. If your answer was “No, I don’t trust God enough to know that everything will be all right”, the answer is in prayer.  Follow the Shunamite woman’s example and go to another Christian who will walk beside you and pray with you. Pray for God to give you that peace that passes all understanding. Keep praying until you can say, “Everything is all right”.


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“Don’t give up on me”… those are the words my husband used as he struggled with the recent changes in his life following an accident. I quickly responded with, “How could I ever give up on you? I love you too much to give up!” When we are struggling with life, temptation, and sin,  Satan will try to convince us that God has or will give up on us and that we aren’t worthy of His love. But we must focus on the knowledge that God won’t give up on us. Instead He’s saying, “Child, I love you too much to give up on you!”

The Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues. Psalms 100:5

God our Savior showed his kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:4-5

Dear Father, I ask that you reassure all who are struggling today. Remind them of your precious love and faithfulness. Carry them through and place people in their path to reaffirm your love and encourage them through the difficulties. 

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when i am afraid

What scares you?  I mean really scares you…to the point of being physically ill and unable to think of anything else.  How do you deal with fear that grips your body, mind, and spirit?  Do you curl up in a ball and just give up or do you dig down deep and find the courage to face that fear head on?

I am facing one of my greatest fears…flying.  I’ve never flown and never planned to fly because the thought of it terrifies me.  I fully comprehend the fact that it’s safer than my daily drive to work.  I am not afraid of dying.  I know that if I die I am going to my heavenly home because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior.

So why am I so frightened by something that people do every day?  I really don’t know.  Maybe it’s that sense of having no control or simply getting out of my comfort zone.  I can’t nudge the pilot to get his/her attention about something ahead.  I can’t cry out for him/her to slow down or watch out!  I won’t have any idea of what is normal and what is truly something to be alarmed about.  I just have so many questions and there are so many unknowns.  I have searched the internet to gain as much knowledge as possible, but I still worry that my fear will take over what my heart knows:  God is in control, and He will be with me every step of the way.

We all experience times in our lives in which we face great fear and uncertainty.  Moments when we feel we have absolutely no control.  Moments when we aren’t sure what the future holds.  And moments when there are many unanswered questions.  It doesn’t matter if you are facing something as insignificant as doing something for the first time or if you are facing something life changing.  The same fear can creep in and make you miserable.  Faith can help us learn to face these fears with a peace that only God can provide.

If you are living in fear and uncertainty today, I’m going to offer you the same advice I’ve been giving myself over the last few days.

  • Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7  Keep praying!
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13  With His strength, I can do this!
  • She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25 NLT  I want to be so prepared spiritually that I can laugh and enjoy every moment with no fear!

Remembering that God is control will help you to face your fears.  There is nothing that will happen that you can’t handle with His help.  Also trust that He will be with you every step of the way sitting beside you, holding your hand, and even carrying you through when necessary.  You may not always feel His presence but know trust that He is there.  Finally, pray.  Be honest with God about your anxiety and share your deepest fears and concern with Him.  So put your trust in Him and face your fear with the strength only He can provide!

 

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This is something that has been on my mind lately, so I thought I would share it again.

Yesterday I hesitantly went with my daughter for her first visit to the chiropractor due to back pain.  I sat in the corner of the room preferring to be in the waiting room or shopping, but because she wanted me there, I went.  I recoiled as I watched him apply pressure, twist, and jerk her body.  Joints popped and her body twisted abnormally as the chiropractor made adjustments.  He assured me it looked much worse than it felt, but I don’t think he will ever be seeing me again!  My daughter however was astonished at the difference it made in the way she felt.  The adjustment appeared to be uncomfortable to say the least, but the results were worth it to her.

Often we must go through uncomfortable adjustments in life to get everything lined up just as God desires it to be. Those adjustments often come in the form of change.    I don’t like change, so when it is forced upon me, my life feels twisted and uncomfortable.  Changes in job duties, expectations, schedules, health issues, finances, leadership, and on and on but there is one thing we can count on that never changes.  In Malachi 3:6 God says, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” (KJV)  Regardless of the changes making our lives uncomfortable, we can be comforted in know that God is the one thing that will never change.

Change is inevitable, so it is beneficial for us to have a godly approach.  Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV)   When change is causing knots of frustration, we may need a spiritual adjustment.  We must simply go to him and receive the rest that only He can provide.

When life adjustments happen we can trust that God is the same today as He was yesterday, and He will remain the same tomorrow and forever.  Pressures of life may cause us to recoil and wonder how we will survive. It may be tempting to run away from the change, but doing so does not allow God to get things in proper alignment.  Instead we should go to Him for rest and trust Him as he gives us a spiritual adjustment.  The blessings will be worth it all!

Inspirational Bible Verses

Inspirational Bible Verses (Photo credit: Isolino)

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Overwhelmed?

Do you ever have moments when it seems as if your whole life has been turned upside down and you just don’t know if you can handle any more?  Sometimes life is overwhelming.

I recently found a garden snake in our elementary building. Considering that our students would be returning on Monday, I knew the snake had to be expelled from our school.  What seemed to be a fairly simple task became overwhelming when this harmless snake began trying to defend himself.  Although he was not venomous, he did a good job of convincing me that he wasn’t leaving without a fight.   I became overwhelmed by this aggressive little critter that repeatedly sprang at me the full length of his body.  I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, yet I just wasn’t sure I could even try anymore, so I finally called for help.  My husband came, made a quick capture, and calmed my racing heart.

Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the simple things in life which can be resolved easily, but often we are faced with moments which turn into days, months, or even years of being overwhelmed. Job demands, health issues, rebellious children, strained relationships, addictions, financial restraints, and so many other circumstances that may leave us feeling defeated.  Big or small, short-term or long-term, life is full of situations that stretch us emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

There are many examples in the Bible of people who were overwhelmed with their circumstances, from Martha who fretted over preparing a meal for Jesus to King David who feared for his life. So what can we do when life seems turned upside down for the moment, days, weeks, or even months and it feels like we just can’t handle any more?

Talk – We weren’t made to survive life alone.  After all, God made Eve because He saw that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone.  Find someone who you trust that has been through a similar experience.  Sometimes just talking helps us feel better.  Most importantly, talk to God.  James 5:13 says, “Is anyone among you suffering?  Then let him pray.”  In Psalms 61:2 David said, “I will cry to you when my heart is overwhelmed.”  God hears when we cry out to Him.  He can provide shelter, peace, and comfort.

Trust – Abraham was surely overwhelmed in Genesis 22:1-14 when his faith was tested, yet he trusted God.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who give me strength.” We may not understand why situations happen in our life, but we can trust God to give us strength to endure.

Tackle It – In Genesis 6:13-22, God called Noah to build an ark so large that God had to close the door.  What an overwhelming job he had!  He didn’t just sit back and hope God would take care of it for him.  Noah jumped in and tackled the task as God led.  Ephesians 6:10 reminds us to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”  You can’t do it on your own, but He will give you the power to get through those overwhelming situations.

Time – Joseph struggled for thirteen years before seeing God’s plan fulfilled.  As a child Joseph had a dream that he would become a ruler.  His brothers sold him into slavery, then he went to prison for a crime he did not commit.  Eventually, he became the most influential person in the world. (Genesis 37-41)  It took a lot of time, but Joseph did not give up and continued to be faithful.  We only see the current circumstances, but God sees our future.  Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  Regardless of how long we are overwhelmed God will be there with us.

When life is overwhelming, and you feel like you just can’t take any more, remember to TALK to Him, TRUST Him, TACKLE IT with His strength, and allow TIME for God to work.  He loves you, and will see you through those moments when life seems turned upside down whether for the moment, days, weeks, months, or even years.

Related Articles:  Its OK Not to be OK (Encouragement for Everyday)

 

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Yesterday I hesitantly went with my daughter for her first visit to the chiropractor due to back pain.  I sat in the corner of the room preferring to be in the waiting room or shopping, but because she wanted me there, I went.  I recoiled as I watched him apply pressure, twist, and jerk her body.  Joints popped and her body twisted abnormally as the chiropractor made adjustments.  He assured me it looked much worse than it felt, but I don’t think he will ever be seeing me again!  My daughter however was astonished at the difference it made in the way she felt.  The adjustment appeared to be uncomfortable to say the least, but the results were worth it to her.

Often we must go through uncomfortable adjustments in life to get everything lined up just as God desires it to be. Those adjustments often come in the form of change.    I don’t like change, so when it is forced upon me, my life feels twisted and uncomfortable.  Changes in job duties, expectations, schedules, health issues, finances, leadership, and on and on but there is one thing we can count on that never changes.  In Malachi 3:6 God says, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” (KJV)  Regardless of the changes making our lives uncomfortable, we can be comforted in know that God is the one thing that will never change.

Change is inevitable, so it is beneficial for us to have a godly approach.  Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV)   When change is causing knots of frustration, we may need a spiritual adjustment.  We must simply go to him and receive the rest that only He can provide.

When life adjustments happen we can trust that God is the same today as He was yesterday, and He will remain the same tomorrow and forever.  Pressures of life may cause us to recoil and wonder how we will survive. It may be tempting to run away from the change, but doing so does not allow God to get things in proper alignment.  Instead we should go to Him for rest and trust Him as he gives us a spiritual adjustment.  The blessings will be worth it all!

Inspirational Bible Verses

Inspirational Bible Verses (Photo credit: Isolino)

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