One Step Forward…

The Write 31 Days challenge of October has passed. I hope my reflections on gratitude have been encouraging. The truth is, I have needed those God given snapshots of Gratitude moments as reminders myself of Who is in control. It certainly is not me.

A few weeks ago, my friend asked me to walk a labyrinth with her. As I slowly walked the path, I found myself face to face with the need to slow down. As I walked, the phrase do the right  thing played over and over in my mind. Like a broken record, the words repeated and repeated. As I approached the center, two rocks stared back at me.

Create freedom

Create freedom? Freedom from what? 

I prayed, knowing God had a message for me in those words. I needed to wait and listen to understand.

Fast forward….the weekend ended and I went back to life. Life happened as it does. As life happened, I realized the control of anxiety and fear in my life. 
Anxiety can be consuming. It starts as a fear then it escalates into all kinds of thoughts. Worry spirals quickly. Your stomach clenches. Your head might hurt. You lay awake at night. It feels so alone.

Thankfully, I have an amazing friend who has been encouraging throughout my struggles. I realized that what I need freedom from is the gripping hold of fear and anxiety on my life. 

I attended a Casting Crowns concert this past weekend and the lead singer and youth pastor Mark Hall shared that following Jesus is simply doing the next thing He asks you to do. And then the next thing. And next thing.

I have been praying over these words, focusing on one thing at a time instead of being consumed by all the worries of everything that needs done. Instead of worrying about doing the right thing, I am choosing to focus on the next thing.

This is a journey. It is not an easy one, but I have support and encouragement. I have Bible verses taped to my desk at work. I read them often. I pray a lot. If a need a quiet moment, I sneak away to the bathroom for a moment of solitude to refocus.

If you are dealing with anxiety, know this…you are not crazy. You do not have to travel this journey alone. Hope exists. 

This verse has been a huge source of hope and grounding for me:

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Matthew 6:34 the Message 

Life is not always easy, but God always promises hope and peace so you can take one step forward. 

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