You’re finally in a place where you’re comfortable in your own skin. The bills are getting paid, your to-do list is dwindling (Okay, it may never actually dwindle but you know what I mean), and your self-confidence is beginning to shine, your relationship is rolling along nicely. Life is good, until…
…One person says something about your appearance. Oh, it was an innocent enough comment and it wasn’t bad, but…
…The car needs new tires and oh no, where are you going to get the money for that…
…The illnesses that have been running hodge-podge through work finally catch up with you and you can’t get anything done, you feel terrible as things stop getting done…
…You missed a deadline for that big project and your boss gives you what for…
…Things just haven’t been the same since that big fight with your spouse. There’s a canyon of space between the two of you…
This is Fear
This life can bury us in the never-ending cycle of bills, to-do lists, broken relationships, financial struggles, a job we hate, self-doubt, seeking and yet never seeming to find the balance we long for.
Oh, we have days where we feel like we’ve accomplished much when things are humming along nicely, but one small pebble in the road can send us careening into a never-ending tailspin of worry, fear, and anxiety.
My story looks much like that on any given day. We are the same because we are human. There are times when fear rules my mind. In those times, I need to reclaim my thoughts and know the truth.
Storms are a part of life both in the outdoor world and in the days and weeks of our lives. It’s during the storms that we must be more focused on where we are going and less on what we are experiencing.
Just as a thunderstorm passes, so to do the storms we experience in our lives. No storm lasts forever, but that’s easy to forget when we’re smack dab in the middle of one.
As I often do, I was scrolling and trolling through the internet visiting some of my favorite places…Pinterest and Facebook ( I know, you’re shocked right?)
As I scrolled around Pinterest, I happened upon a pin that spoke of a 30 Day Prayer Challenge that led me to a site called iBelieve.com. This prayer challenge got my attention because the topics were so relevant to things I was experiencing in my life right now.
So, I dove into day one.
When Fear Takes Hold
iBelieve contributor, Debbie McDaniel, says,
“When you feel like you’re in the storm – No matter what swirls around us, God promises to be our perfect peace. He assures us He is constantly with us, strengthening and supporting us. Pray that God will help you to keep your eyes and focus on Him, not on the circumstances surrounding you. Ask Him to help you grow in your trust, believing He is faithful to see us through.”
There it is, our circumstances can often take our eyes off God and can lead us to lose the perfect peace He offers us. I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty of focusing on the storm of my circumstances instead of remembering that I can trust Him in ALL things.
The storms of life can create a fear of the unknown, fear of the complete upside down life we’re living, fear of it never-ending.
Thank goodness, we have a God who is bigger than any storm we face. He’s so big in fact, he can calm the raging winds and make still the monstrous waves that threaten to consume us. (Mark 4:39-40)
This is Faith
WOW! That can be really difficult to wrap our minds around. We weren’t there when Jesus calmed the storm and let’s face it, we struggle to believe what we don’t see. I know I struggle with that sometimes. You would think I was from the show-me state in times when I don’t believe something simply because I didn’t see it. You’re going to have to prove it to me.
Faith is believing even when we can’t actually see. It’s believing in what we cannot see. The disciples were there for heaven sake and they still struggled to believe and have faith, so what makes us think we aren’t going to wrestle with this as well?
When we’re in the midst of pain, struggles, and strife it can be even more difficult to believe God’s promises. Promises that He is with us. That we shouldn’t be dismayed or be full of fear. It’s a struggle to feel the strength and help He offers us as He holds us in his right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
This is Peace
God isn’t human. He is not like the people we walk with every day. He isn’t fickle or deceitful. He isn’t inconsistent or dishonest. When we are in the midst of these things, this thing we call life, our fears can become so profound we actually start believing them.
People can leave us feeling alone and wounded and we fear those wounds may never heal. Circumstances can rob us of what we thought we knew about ourselves and others. The storms we face toss us around with no regard to where we’ll land.
We tell ourselves we will never be good enough, pretty enough, loved enough, rich enough, smart enough, we will never measure up in any way. Fear grips our hearts and takes us down. We’re lying on the floor bleeding out with no hope of ever being enough.
Thank God he knew all of these things were going to happen to us, around us, and in us. He knew we were going to be susceptible to fears and the storms of life.
How do I know he knew? I know because he told me so when he told me that in Him I could have peace. That this world was going to bring me trouble but that I could take heart because he overcame the world. (John 16:33)
Jesus walked this earth. He felt everything we have felt, will feel or are feeling now. He knows heartbreak, condemnation, anger, fear. He’s been there. He knows. Faith is knowing that what we cannot see is real (God and his promises). Peace is knowing no matter what we face, He has already conquered it and has offered us an unconditional love through the peace He gives us.
Peace in the storm isn’t about the storm (our circumstances) or having the storm taken away (never having troubles). Peace is knowing, deep in our souls that we are going to make it through the storm no matter what it looks like or how it feels. Peace is knowing God is bigger than our fears and the storms.We are going to make it because He promises to walk through every trial with us. (Isaiah 43:2)
This is You
Remember way back at the beginning I told you about the 30 Day Prayer Challenge? Well, the first day is about what you’re afraid of, 5 things you’re afraid actually.
The prompt says:
“Write: In your journal, think of the top 5 or so things in your life right now that are causing you worry, fear, or anxiety. Give those things over to God now in prayer. Ask him to relieve your fears and help you remember His truth. Invite the Holy Spirit to begin to calm your soul by replacing the fear with the words of truth you just read. Write down the promises from the passages in Mark, Isaiah, and John. When fear begins to creep in, reread these promises and thank God for His steadfast love.”
So, if you choose to come along on this journey, know that there are no wrong or rights; there’s just you and your journey. You can rest assured that as you enter each day’s entry, you’re going to grow a little, reflect a little, and move forward a little.
Go ahead, grab your journal, laptop, phone, a post-it pad, heck, the junk mail envelope laying on the kitchen counter and start this journey today. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain!
*Would love to hear if you’re jumping into this challenge. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think and how it’s going!!*