A Stirring

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve been here. Sorry! Sometimes I just hit dry spells and don’t know what to write about. Other times there are so many thoughts I’m not sure which direction to go. This time around it’s been vacillating between both!

Part of me thinks, well, life is just life right now. Plugging away at school, work, activities. Waiting, somewhat impatiently, for a sweet baby to arrive. Nothing overly exciting, you know. So then I think, there’s nothing people would want to hear about. Sometimes, just for fun, I browse YouTube vloggers to see what they are sharing and some of it is just so weird and silly. “Spend the day cleaning with me”, or “Here’s what we eat in a day”. Who wants to spend their time watching that? It seems so silly to me.

The other part of me thinks about all that’s going on in our world, our nation, our streets, our relationships and it’s so overwhelming I don’t know what to address. And, honestly, I don’t want to share my opinions on it all. Why? I just don’t think it’ll help. A friend recently told me that Facebook is like an echochamber. People throw their opinions out there or repost someone else’s opinion that they agree with and it just goes round and round. No one is changing anyone’s mind and no one is really listening to anyone else, just their own echo. And, they feel justified in sharing those posts because, really, people need to know the ‘truth’. If I’m completely honest, I just scroll past those opinions. You aren’t changing my mind via Facebook and I don’t bother posting what I believe to be true because I already know you’re scrolling past them too.

But, something that has been stirring in my heart in the midst of this all is this: there is absolute truth. There is something out there that we can stand on, no matter what’s happening around us. And, if you are feeling anxious, tired, worried, scared, depressed, angry because of what is happening in our world, then I need to ask you a question.

Are you standing firm on absolute truth or are you being tossed about by the waves?

It’s not an easy question to answer. Because often, we don’t even want to give up our anxiety and worries. For some reason, it feels good to hang on to those.

But, I want to challenge you to lay it down. Stop the anxiety. Stop the worry. I’m not saying it’s easy. I am saying it’s possible.

The Lord tells us repeatedly in His Word “Do not be afraid” “Don’t worry” “Be strong and courageous”. Why does he tell us over 300 times? Because He knows we need to hear it over and over and over. Everyday. Sometimes every minute.

In Joshua 1, God tells Joshua three times “Be strong and courageous”. But one of those times He says, “Be strong and VERY courageous” (emphasis mine). I just love that. God keeps saying it and then emphasizes it. Don’t just be strong and courageous, but be very courageous. He doesn’t want His people to be cowardly, to huddle away from the conflict or the trouble. God wants us to be courageous.

Very courageous.

Are you living in fear and anxiety and letting it rule you?

I’m not pointing fingers. I’m asking myself this question too.

If the answer is yes, what do we do? Again, God’s firm foundation, His Word answers for us.

2 Corinthians 10:5 – We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Have you ever really pondered this verse? Do you realize this means you can actually take control of your thoughts? Do you realize you have control over your anxious and fearful thoughts? Again, I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is possible.

Years ago, when I suffered depression and severe anxiety, I learned how to do this. It’s takes diligence, perseverance, hard work, and patience. It was horribly difficult at first and felt like an exhausting battle in my mind. Day by day, though, it got easier and easier. And I didn’t have to fight as often or as hard the better I got at it.

You can choose what you think about. You can control what enters your mind. You can fight those thoughts of anxiety and fear. Doesn’t it feel good to know that through Christ you have this power? I know it gives me a sense of freedom from the troubles of this world.

The next step of taking your thoughts captive is replacing them with different thoughts. You can’t just take those anxious thoughts captive and then expect them not to return. You have to fill your mind with something very specific.

Wouldn’t you know it? God’s Word shows up with the answer again.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters,

whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

If all the posts on FB are making you anxious, get rid of it and take that time to read God’s Word. If the news is making you afraid, turn it off and read God’s Word. If you’re worried about being sick, turn to God’s Word. It’s filled with promises, truth, hope – things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

I’m telling you from personal experience this works. Not only does it rid your mind of fear and anxiety, but it changes you. Deep within you are changed. That change comes out in ways you may not even expect. Others will notice you are more hope-filled, more content, more outward focused.

Fear can creep in at any time. Be prepared. This world is unsure and will continue to be so. Put your trust and hope where there is certainty – God’s Word.

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