Against the Flow

“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything else we see and a pride in our achievements and possessions.  These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” 1 John 2:16


My cravings lately haven’t been for more, it has been for less.  The world is going a little too fast for me and I want it to slow down.  It seems that many are feeling the same way. It is becoming a trend that I hope it catches on.


My church had a Spiritual Life Retreat on a Saturday morning.  I was pleasantly surprised and interested in going. For the last 5 years, I have begun a journey into Minimalism.  A friend posted an article on Facebook by a Minimalist writer, Joshua Becker in 2013 and I was hooked. I began to get rid of many possessions, scheduling less on my calendar and taking time to rest.  It has helped lessen the anxiety.


The church I attend is in Southern California, in a city located within Orange County.  This area loves busyness, materialism and success. Most people’s schedules are packed with long work hours and lots of activities, their homes are large with more items than necessary and they are glued to their smartphones so they don’t miss out.   Yet people are so disconnected and tired.


The retreat was led by a pastor named, Chuck Shumate.  He began the conversation that he wasn’t always like this.  But he knew God was calling him to slow down.  He said many valuable things, but one of them was, “out of our rest, comes strength and wisdom. Say no to that guilt of resting.”


His assistant, his adult daughter, mentioned a conversation she had with her nieces.  Her sister and family recently moved from Irvine to Fresno, California. She said her nieces, ages 10 and 12, told her how much they love living where there is no drama and how it is less stressful.  One of the nieces said something that broke my heart. She said, “in living here, I can be myself.” She understood that down here in South Orange County, you can’t be yourself, that you have to fit in or you are considered weird for just being you.


I already was on a path to slow down.  But now, I realize just because I live here, doesn’t mean I have to live and function according to the culture.  I am not looking to stand out and bring attention to myself. My goal is to not be in a hurry and appreciate all who and what God is in my life.  


In that retreat, Pastor Chuck mentioned having margins in our lives.  Margins of space. When he travels out-of-state, he gets to a speaking conference the night before, so he can rest.  If he is traveling locally, he allows a good cushion of time, so he isn’t in a hurry. One may think, but I don’t have time to have more time.  So, if you don’t get to everything in your day, will the world end? Guess what, unless you are performing life saving surgeries, it won’t end.


At one point in the retreat, he had all of the participants do nothing for 30 minutes.  Not to think or pray…nothing. After the exercise was over he asked for people to describe the exercise in one word.  You would have thought by people’s reactions that they endured torture. Some said, “Boring!”, “Painful!” and “Miserable!”  I said, “Refreshing!” I got some weird looks.


This culture promotes unnecessary competition.  It is a “dog-eat-dog-world” out there and people are suffering.  Suicides are many in this fast, competitive culture. Some of the recent teen suicides in the area, where the teens left suicide notes, mentioned they couldn’t handle the pace and competition.  We must do better for our children and ourselves.


Lesson Learned: I will allow margins and rest, so I can draw strength and learn wisdom.


Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, create in me a new heart.  May I honor the Sabbath. Show me areas that I need to change, so I can be less anxious.  Create a culture shift in this world to slow down and honor you, Father God. Forgive me for following the ways of the world.  Let me be content in what you provide. Thank you for supplying my needs. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

 

Never be in a Relationship that You Cannot Talk About

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

When I was in my early 20’s, I entered into a relationship that was toxic and unrighteous. He paid attention to me in a way no one had. I entered into the relationship because I did not see myself as able to be loved or valued. Every Sunday, I would go to church, torn by conviction and guilt. Yet the next day, I was emailing and talking to him. This carried on for many months. Then one Sunday, it all changed.

I was hanging out with a friend one Sunday after church. I was suffering from this relationship emotionally and physically. It was taking a toll on me. She noticed that I was distraught. The Holy Spirit prompted her to keep pursuing a conversation with me about it.

I drew in a big breath and confessed to what I was doing it. I bawled my eyes out, condemning myself and asking why would I let this happen. She listen to me and said the relationship ends today. We prayed and she would hold me accountable.

God gave me the strength to stop and end it. I told him to never contact me again and he actually did. He had too much to lose, so I think that is why he did. I spent the next 5 years of my life afterward, still living in guilt and condemnation. I wanted to be free and receive my forgiveness wholeheartedly. But I felt if I did, I would be condoning it. I felt I didn’t deserve to be happy.

The enemy still uses our past to slap us in the face and remind us how much we have sinned. I know the Lord forgave me the first time I asked and each time after that. But I just felt this torment, that I still deserved punishment. When I met my future husband, I knew I was going to marry him. I told him what I did because I felt I had to. He was so loving and understanding about it. God used him to show me what a true and pure love should be like.

This time in my life reminds me to continually pray for protection against temptation. This situation has given me mercy and grace over those who have made serious mistakes. I can see past the initial sin and look deeper to why they may have done something bad.

I felt genuine remorse and wish I could go back in time and stop it from happening. But I cannot. I am blessed by His love that He forgave me and restored my heart. If you find that you are in a situation that is causing you to sin, stop and get help. Live a life of purity and truth.  On this Valentine’s Day remember that you are valuable and lovable.

Lesson Learned: God wants us to not be a slave to our sinful nature. He wants us to be victorious and been in healthy, stable relationships.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for carrying me out of mistakes I have made. Thank you for giving me the strength to end mistakes before more damage is done. Please guard my eyes from being deceived by the enemy. Show me my worth and value. Give me discernment and conviction when I am doing sinful things. Thank you for restoring those deep hurts and filling them with your love. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Little Victories

“But thanks be to God!  He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15:57

 

Live one day at a time.  Anxiety doesn’t let you live one day at a time.  It has me thinking of days, months and even years in the past or in the future.  In 12 step recovery programs the advice of taking “one day at a time” is given.  I have never been a part of a 12 step recovery program, but I have learned how much value there is in being present with each day and living today for today.

 

My life overall, has been less anxious than it was a year ago.  But then there are some days where anxiety camped out in my mind.  My friend started a small support group for those dealing with anxiety.  I look forward to it, but ironically I get anxiety going to group.  The anxiety is from being vulnerable in front of others and for not overcoming anxiety once and for all.

 

Last week we met and I was having the hardest time settling in after we started.  The leader put on some worship music and wanted us to breathe slowly and think about a place in our body that felt calm.  But I couldn’t.  I did not like the song.  And I felt guilty for not liking a song about Jesus.  The song had a fast rhythmic beat which made me antsy.  I could feel a surge of panic because I knew I had to be still for the next 5 minutes until this song would be over.  There seemed to be no place in my body that was calm and settled.

 

For some reason, I looked at the palm of my right hand and noticed a vein that would pulse.  I began to focus on that and felt my breath slow and relax.  The following thought crossed my mind as I observed the pulse.  Even though I felt out of control, my body’s physiology was still working.  With anxiety, I feel like a floating head, a zero connection with my body.  But this time, my mind and body connected and I relaxed.

 

We went around and shared our experience with the song.  I shared my pulse story and the leader congratulated me.  It didn’t feel like a big deal to me.  But she explained how that was a victory for me and I found something to go to any time I felt anxious.  I finally found something to quell the anxious feelings.

 

Afterward this leader encouraged me to be thankful for the little victories I have won over these past years.  She reminded me how much I have improved on relaxing and have less anxiety.  I thought of those that deal with addiction to alcohol and drugs (or other things) and how each day is a victory when they don’t succumb to their former vices.  Praise the Lord for those good days and continued strength for the daily battle to live in victory and freedom!

 

Lesson Learned:  Little victories won every day, will beat the lifelong battle.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for equipping me with what I need to win the battle everyday.  Thank you for the strength you have given me Father God.  Remind me what you have carried me through.  I thank you for the little victories you have blessed me with in conquering these issues.  Praise you and thank you Lord Jesus for the ultimate victory you won when you died for us.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Mid-Life Transition

“The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.” Proverbs 20:29

It has been 6 months since I turned 40 years old. Some days, I can feel the pain of it, both physically and mentally. There is a growing level of disappointment about my life that feels suffocating and tiresome.  Honestly, it is a terrible way to live.

It was time for my yearly wedding ring inspection at the jeweler. They inspect and clean the ring back to its original luster. I love my ring, it isn’t too big or too small. It has a vintage look and I still receive compliments on it after 14+ years. Some of my husband’s family couldn’t believe he bought me that ring because it wasn’t on clearance somewhere. His sister saw the ring and said, “Hey, come look at what my cheap-skate brother bought his girlfriend! Welcome to the family!”

I gave the ring to the sales person and she went back to inspect and clean the ring.  She came back and said, “have you considered upgrading your ring?” I stood there with my mouth open in disbelief. She said, I deserved a bigger ring because we are nearing our 15 year anniversary. I told her, that I love my ring and it has true sentimental value, plus I wouldn’t want to have someone Kim Kardashian my finger to steal it. Now, she was in disbelief, as I thanked her and walked out of the store.

As ridiculous as that situation seemed, it planted a bad seed of discontent in my mind. While I didn’t want a new ring, I thought maybe my husband may want to upgrade and get a new wife. I felt this way because I know of two women that are separating from their husbands. One wanted to, because she felt she could do better while the other one was blind-sided by her husband’s decision to separate. Other people I know are discontent in careers they have been working hard in for 20+ years. They say, there just has to be something better but simpler.

One Sunday morning, I was driving my family to church. I felt this overwhelming sadness hit me. As the tears streamed down my face, I silently prayed, “Lord, what is going on with me?” The response I felt was, “I feel like I am having a mid-life crisis.” I giggled on the inside and thought, “am I going to buy a Ferrari next?” But I realized that I am feeling the same thing that many are feeling in their lives. The commonality of a lot of these struggling people are we are all in our 40’s, assessing our lives, wondering-what next?

Ironically, that same Sunday, our pastor began a series on the book of Daniel. He told a story about his own insecurities when he started off as a pastor. The pastor prayed about the insecurities and God told him, “just be you, be who I created you to be, no one else.” That sermon took a hold of my heart.

After the pity party at church, I gave my friend a call. She is able to listen and give a Godly assessment. I told her what I was experiencing, mentioning the mid-life crisis. She told me, “I don’t believe that this is a mid-life crisis, more like a mid-life transition.” My friend was right. God can create a change in our hearts to be who He intended us to be.

Living life in this world pulls us in many different directions. We believe we have to: make a certain amount of money, marry someone aesthetically pleasing, live in a nice zip code, own lots of things, give our children a life with endless activities. To attain these things, we believe we have to work overtime, supply our kids with material things, instead of attention. I admit, I was lured into thinking that I needed the $200 French face cream to combat the wrinkles that are forming. Yet, life can be much simpler. We can take a step back and communicate this to our loved ones. More than likely, they are feeling it too.

Lesson Learned: I won’t lament over the idea that life is over.  I will access them and ask God, what is it that you are trying to show me?

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for living my life in the world. Show me what you created me to be. Give me the confidence to pursue your will instead of mine. Thank you for supplying all of my needs. Create a grateful heart, not one of discontent. Convict me of those times, when I am envious of others. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Speaking Up

“Pay attention to yourselves!  If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,”  Luke 17:3

 

Confrontation…one of my least favorite things.  My usual mode of operation is to not say anything and ruminate over it for days, even months.  I feel like the character, George Costanza, from the television show “Seinfeld” who would have that zinger of a comeback,  two hours after the argument.

 

After seven years of saving, I decided to remodel our kitchen.  The idea of spending thousands of dollars, hurt my husband but he knew I was not happy with our 35-year-old kitchen that falling apart.  He told me I had free reign over the decisions of the remodel.  I hired a contractor and he began the work.  

 

There was a hiccup on the first day of the remodel.  The cabinet company delivered the wrong color painted cabinets.  But since it was pretty close to the color I picked out, I decided to deal with it.  I asked for them to refund me the price I paid for painting the cabinets and they did.  After that, the remodel was went well and even on time.

 

We were nearing the end of the remodel and the backsplash was going up on the wall.  I had spent a couple of weeks, looking at samples and deciding what I wanted.  The backsplash was going to be a stone material, which the contractor had never used.  

 

The day he was starting the installation of the backsplash, I was at a Girl Scouts event with my daughter on a Saturday.  For some reason, we never discussed the color of the grout.   Instead he asked my husband what color would he like for him to use.  My husband told him that he could decide and began working on the backsplash.

 

The contractor’s wife came by to check out the progress of the kitchen.  My daughter and I came home and we walked into the house.  His wife was saying how great things were looking and I told her how happy I was with everything so far.  I walked over to the kitchen and saw him putting a sand colored grout on the back splash.  My heart sank into my stomach.  I wanted a white colored grout.  There is a big difference in those colors.  

 

The anger and frustration welled up inside of me.  I walked out of the kitchen and went upstairs and screamed into a pillow.  My thoughts were, “great now I am stuck with this color forever, but wait…why should I have what I want?  I knew I would walk into that kitchen everyday and hate it if I didn’t say anything right then and there.”

 

After I calmed down, I walked downstairs and told him “we should have discussed the color before hand, but I am not happy with this color.  I will not be able to accept the color and I need something to be done.”   He looked over at the hours of work he completed and started getting mad.  His wife said, “she is paying for a new kitchen, it matters to her that she gets what she wants.”  He took a deep breath and said, I will scrub out as much as I can now and then think about how to fix it and come back on Monday.  

 

On Monday, he began using the white colored grout.  But the stone absorbs a lot of the sand color.  He decided to water down some white paint and roll it over the backsplash.  He fixed it and it ended up being better than I could have expected.  The funny thing is, when people see the new kitchen, the usual first comment is how nice the backsplash looks!

 

That situation seems like an easy one to speak up on, but how about those times when it isn’t easy?  Like when your child is making bad decisions.  Someone is being abused and they are continuing to live in that situation.  You hear gossip about a person that you know isn’t true.  There are times, when standing up for what you believe in is important and necessary, especially in today’s times.

 

Lesson Learned:  In truth and love, standing up for what we believe is necessary.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, give me courage and strength to speak the truth.  Show me how it to be done in love and grace instead of judgement and condemnation.   Forgive me of things I do that are wrong and things I am unaware.  Give me the right words to say and may your justice prevail.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Reset to Zero

“See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:19

 

A fresh start…this should seem and feel wonderful but it is scary.  For newborn babies, we relish at this beautiful start to a new life.  As adults, we feel good with doses of shame and fear.  The thought of starting over is a huge deal, but necessary for one’s life to get better.

 

A friend of mine was talking about the sale of her husband’s condominium.  He had that before they were married.  They currently rent a place closer to the school our kids attend.  She was hoping they could buy instead of rent, with the money they make from the sale of the old condominium.  But before, my friend and her husband were married, someone took advantage of his business and he lost it when the economy went bad.  He has been paying for it ever since.

 

The condominium just sold and any equity from the property would be going to pay off the loans and all the realtor fees.  There is nothing left over for them to put towards a new home.  Obviously, they were both sad about the news.  I said, “I understand that disappointment, but you have reset to zero.  You have no debt any more and he has a great job with benefits now.  Things will turn around from here.”  She agreed.  She said, “as scary as it is to start over now, we are in better shape than lots of people with so much debt.  We will be smart about every decision.”  That is a relief.

 

Today is Easter Sunday.  This is a perfect time, for those who do not know the majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ to have a chance to reset their lives. How great it would be to experience the Risen King and start their lives all over again by knowing the Lord.  Even knowing the Lord for over 30 years, I have had to reset my life over.  The Lord wants us to be forgiven and have a relationship with him.

 

May you encounter God’s love, forgiveness and presence.
Lesson Learned:  The best day is when Jesus gave me the chance to reset and start my relationship with Him.

Like a Boss

“In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23

There are days where I would like everything done for me. Someone to clean the house, fold the laundry, go to work, pick up the kid, walk the dog, fix broken things, cook the meals…everything. That would be fun for a couple of days because I would feel useless after a while.

Many moons ago, I worked for a dental office.  One of my jobs was to collect payments from the patients. Most people were on time and complaint free, but there was always a select few that got dental work done and decided not to pay.

We had a young woman patient that chose the latter option.  She came in for an exam, X-rays and cleaning.  The exam determined that she needed more dental work and gave her the estimate.  I asked for a payment for the services she incurred but told me she didn’t have any money with her.  The dentist, of course, was unhappy and said, she cannot book another appointment until she pays.  After numerous voice messages, we heard nothing for a few weeks.

The young woman came into the office unannounced and asked if she could be seen by the dentist because she was in pain.  I explained we were booked and she could be seen tomorrow but she would have to pay her bill today.  She gave me a nasty look and said, “my boyfriend pays for everything, so you need to deal with him.” Too many thoughts came to mind of what I wanted to say to her.  So I replied, “what is his phone number, let’s call him and he can pay your balance now.”  She said, “never mind” and ran out of the office.  Of course,  she never returned and was sent to collection.

Even if her story was true about her boyfriend paying for everything, I thought what must she do to keep up that charade?  She had cuteness and youth on her side, but after a while, that gets old.  But she will be dumped or live a life as a mooch.  That incident happened, about 15 years ago, when I was still young and cute. So, I knew I didn’t want to ever be like that to my parents or my husband.

I wanted to live a life, where I was financially responsible and able to figure things out on my own.  Yes, I am married and have my husband to take care of things that I am uncertain of being able to accomplish.  Yet, I see some wives trust their husbands to take care of everything.  And when their husbands either leaves or passes on, they find themselves lost.

Recently, God has impressed on my heart to have some courage and figure things out that I usually leave my husband to do. I always want things done yesterday, and my husband likes to let things collect dust before he finishes with it. One of those things is with the maintenance of my car.

I was getting an oil change at the dealer and the service writer told me that my cabin air filter needed to be replaced.  There happened to have that price listed on a board behind him. I saw they wanted $79 for this to be changed so I declined.  The service writer explained the importance of it but I told him I would take care of it myself.  He gave me that look of “you are a woman, so you can’t do it”.  So, that made me want to do it even more.

I drove to the nearest auto parts store and told them what I needed. I figured YouTube or Google would have instructions on what to do. The young man behind the counter asked me if I was doing this myself. I told him yes and this was his reply, “Well you are going to feel like a boss! Good for you! It always feels good to do things yourself.  Plus you are going to save yourself a lot of money.”

I went home and looked up the information on-line. This was the whole procedure: pulled out the glove box, take out the old filter, put in the new one and put the glove box back in. That was it.  Even though it wasn’t some big job like changing my flat tire or the oil, it was still an accomplishment for me since I saved $52.

God instructs us on the importance of work.  Take that step of courage and try to do something yourself. I was happy that I did.

Lesson Learned: You never know how much you have in you until you have to do something by yourself.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, give me the wisdom and tools to work hard. I rebuke laziness and fear that keep me from doing things that are or seem challenging. May I be a good steward of all that you have given me in my life. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, AMEN!”

Meditating on What The Lord has Already Done

Blog Post #91 Meditating on What the Lord Has Already Done

“Let your roots grow down into Him. And let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught. And you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7

There are many times the Lord has carried me through tough situations and brought me to the other side of it. In the throws of life’s battles, it is difficult to see any light at the end of the tunnel. I forget all the good He has done in my life. It seems that I have a “what have you done for me lately” attitude towards God.

My friend shared with us, some of the troubles she and her family have been dealing with in the last year. I had no idea this was happening. It was horrible and she is so anxious and stressed that she can barely move some days or want to get out of bed. She is a lovely woman who give a lot of herself to others but she is suffering in this trial.

We all wanted to encourage and pray over her. One friend looked at me and said,
“I believe the Lord, wants you to say something.”

“Uhhhh, get back to me,” was my nervous reply.

I began to ask the Holy Spirit, to please give me a word for this dear friend of mine. Thankfully within a couple of minutes, I had a word from the Lord, for her.

I told her,
“The Lord wants you to remember all times He brought you through the difficult and traumatic events. He wants you to remember these things, to comfort you while you go through this trial and that He will take care of you and your family.”

In the midst of hard times, I forget He has already conquered the world. Instead, I try to do things on my strength, not letting God do it for me. It is a burden hard to bare.

Sometimes when people have asked me for encouragement and comfort, I end up hearing a word from the Lord for them, it applies to me as well.  How efficient is the Lord?

Lesson Learned: Remember all He has done, especially in the difficult times.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all of the times you have carried me and brought me through to the other side. Help us remember all you have done. Protect us during these difficult times and give us wisdom. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Anxiety is like a Bad Boyfriend

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me great joy.”  Psalm 94:19

 

Recently, I made a decision in my life that was difficult.  I decided to break up a relationship that I was in for a very long time.  I broke up with anxiety because anxiety is like a bad boyfriend.

 

One morning, soon after waking up, I began to think over the things I needed to do for the day.  It was going to be a busy one.  Usually when it is busy, I begin to think up different scenarios and how I would plan for them.   It is exhausting and something that I know serves no good purpose.  As I was mulling over my thoughts, I said out loud, “I’m done with you anxiety, I’m breaking up with you because you are like a bad boyfriend.”  (I am so glad I was alone when I said that!)

 

Anxiety is like a bad boyfriend because:

  • it makes you feel horrible about yourself
  • it makes you afraid to do things-large or small
  • when you try to take a step of bravery-it makes you doubt yourself and brings you back to that dark place
  • Even though you feel bad, anxiety is somehow comfortable and you want to feel like something you know

 

For the longest time, I didn’t know any other way to cope with difficulties than to be anxious and worry.  So, through a lot of prayer, being prayed for, meditation, words of knowledge and different therapies-God has shown me, I don’t need to waste one more day being anxious because I have already lived that way for years and it has not given me any joy.

 

Days will come that are more stressful and harrowing than others.  But I know it is possible to respond to these situations without harming my body (by way of panic attacks or muscle spasms-soreness) or having bad thoughts that bring me no help.

 

People watch how self-proclaiming Christians act and talk.  I remember a coworker, who wanted to become an esthetician had asked me if she could practice by giving me a facial.  I gladly excepted.  She was a non-practicing Catholic siding more with the New Age philosophies.  We were talking and I was starting to get anxious about a situation.  She said, “I thought you were a Christian?  Aren’t you supposed to have faith and trust in Jesus?   You certainly don’t sound or act like one.”  OUCH…I hate to admit it, especially in her non-loving way, but she was right. I was not being a good example of being a follower of Jesus.  That was in 2003…better late than never.

 

My hope is that someday, anyone who has suffered from anxiety, will break up with it.  However you get there, just get there.  I do recommend Jesus though.

 

Lesson Learned:  I’m leaving room in my life for joy and hope.  There is no place for anxiety anymore.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for showing me how anxiety is a lie from the pit of hell.  I ask for protection from fear over my thoughts and my soul.  Renew my mind and give me strength to endure any trial.  Remind me, Father God how you have carried me through trials already in my life and you make good on all of your promises.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Camouflaged Problems

“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”  Proverbs 28:13

 

I am not one to hide my emotions.  It is usually written on my face.  Meanwhile, if you ask me “how are you?”  I respond with, “I’m fine, thank you.”  Understandably, you don’t want to tell the cashier at Target that you are anxious beyond belief or you are scared about the security of your husband’s job.   We feel we shouldn’t burden others with our problems.

 

But when we don’t seek help, it costs us.  Our physical and emotional health.  Sometimes our relationships with others.

 

I was reading an email ad from a very popular craft store.  There was a sale on plastic bins for organizing.  Their ad title was “Camouflage Clutter!”  The minimalist in me freaked out.  I thought, there is still clutter inside those bins, it just doesn’t look as bad.  You are just taking your problem and hiding it.

 

Many times, I don’t want to face my problems.  In dealing with crowds, I would leave an event early.  In order to fly on an airplane, I would take something to relax me.  Instead of dealing with a difficult person, I would avoid them entirely.  I would buy a bigger clothing size instead of taking care of myself.  Sometimes, I will not even try something because I was so afraid of failing.  Not a good way to live.

 

God wants us to be prosperous and well.  He wants us to rely on Him in life’s difficult situations, instead of on our own strength.  It was difficult, but I had to face my problems and take steps to overcome them, instead of succumbing to them.  First step was finding a good therapist.  I found not one, but two!  I also decided to try meditation.  I was so reluctant for years because I was fearful of worshipping something else other than God.  But I found a meditation app (called Headspace) that wasn’t like that and it has helped me greatly.  And lastly, I became more gentle with myself and my thoughts.  

 

At some point, I decided that I want to feel better in my daily living.  God equipped me when I was ready.  Everyone is difficult in their healing.  My hope is that one day soon, we all discover that way.

 

Lesson Learned: Don’t cover up problems, expose them for their lies and seek healing.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I am so thankful that you know me better than anyone.  Show me your ways Lord.  Heal my wounds and equip me with the strength I need to fix these areas.  Give me patience for the time it may take.  Guard my mind, heart and soul and restore every area in my life that needs it.  Help me to forgive and establish boundaries.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”