The Truth

Some days I have profound moments with God where I know He is speaking straight to me.  It’s not in a different voice, it’s my voice affirming a truth from His Word.

Seasons come and go and I’m in a hard one.  One that is requiring a lot of my time, energy, and attention.  Emotional growth is one of the hardest parts of my journey so far.  Connecting with my emotions, memories, hurts and pains.  I don’t like it.

What I am learning in this time is God’s Presence in my life is deeper than I ever have felt Him before.  Another layer, depth with my God, my Savior who promises to never leave me or forsake me.

I’d love to just have some comfort and an easy walk but to be honest I don’t really think about God being with me then.  I think about how I am crushing it and keeping myself together.

So today, I’m spending time journaling and putting pieces together that feel painful but I’m seeing fruit.  And the verse, John 8:32 comes to mind, “…then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”  I kind of brush it off, because I have read this verse a million times praying it over myself usually in the form of freedom from anxiety.  But today something new came and I want to share it with you.

Sometimes searching for the truth feels a little like detective work.  But in this case God clarified for me I want you to experience the truth.  Truth that is real no matter what’s going on.  See freedom from anxiety is circumstantial.  Stressors will come and I will deal with the anxiety again, and hopefully less overwhelming the next time.

But God says to me I want more:

I want you to experience my love.

I want you to experience my forgiveness.

I want you to experience my closeness.

I want you to experience my grace and compassion for you.

And experience comes from being with other people and allowing them to minister to you.  Allowing them to speak over your life the truth when you are having a hard time holding onto it. And in this God shows us Himself, through people.  And it can draw our eyes back to Him.

John 8:31 says, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciple…”  from this verse I’m reminded of James 1:25, “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”  I don’t know about you, but I need help remembering.

Freedom comes from sitting with Jesus over and over and over until we finally experience who He truly is to us.  And what I love is this is not an independent endeavor.  People are a part of this process.  Mine are a counselor, friends, mentors, and my husband.

Who are your people?  Who are helping you experience who God really is?  How are they teaching you?  What connections are you making from these experiences?

Lord help us to see you for who You are and how You see us in return. 

Calm

This past week my husband preached on the Armor of God out of Ephesians 6.

We were discussing the sermon and how to apply it in our small group. We got to the armor of “shoes readied with the gospel of peace.” We began discussing it and how we are supposed to apply this verse.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure.

Sometimes in this is the joy of discussing scripture, we get to put more pieces together that help it make sense, because we are talking it out loud, and the spirit is not only working in us, but the lives around us too.

I’ve struggled with anxiety; therefore, peace is a word in the Bible I’d run to in anxious times hoping it would come flying off the pages into my heart.

However, this night one of my fellow sisters said, “I’ve learned peace has nothing to do with calm.”

This rocked me to my core, to an untruth I’d believed for awhile. I looked at her and audibly spoke “yes.” Exactly. Clarity. Truth.

We spoke about what peace meant for our feet. I believe in this passage it’s meaning was to sturdy us. I suggested that maybe peace in the gospel is that the gospel has made us right in God’s eyes, giving us peace with ourselves. (Ephesians 2:14). Peace with the war that goes on within us. Like Paul talks about in Romans 7, he does what he doesn’t want to do then ends with but “thanks be to my Savior Jesus Christ.”

There is peace, and it’s not always the calm I once looked for. It’s peace with the fact that my God accepts me exactly as I am: wholly and freely His, because of my Savior Jesus Christ.

Control

I like control. There’s a safety there. Where you know what you’re capable of and how you will handle it all.

Where does that leave you?

Are you tired of trying to keep it all together?

Controlling your emotions.

Maybe controlling your response, not too angry so you don’t lose control but you still feel the need to express it.

Part of me has believed if I expressed an emotion then maybe it would go away.

So I’d confess away, trying to find relief especially from those intense emotions: anger, fear, depression.

Feeling like if I didn’t confess them the emotions would control me, take over. I’d condemn myself saying “I can’t believe you felt that way.”

Recently reading a book called “You are the one you’ve been waiting for.”

And it talks about how valid each of our emotions are, they are parts of us, is humans at least. And one emotion is not who we are, but a part. I have had depression and anxiety but those were expressions of deep hurt I was trying to control and mask so it would look prettier, more presentable. I’m learning there are parts of me that I have not taken care of.

Anxiety was a way I coped. It was the best I had at the time. So now, I’m relearning. And I’m really excited because God has a new way.

He came for all those parts I try to hide, the ones I push aside or lay a verse in it hoping it would consume it for me.

Stay posted, I’m walking this one out.

Grounded

Where to begin.  This topic is heavy and hard to articulate.  It’s something I’ve felt a thousand times, but still struggle with the right words for it.

Anxiety.   Defined as “…an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.”

I read an article yesterday about “Anxiety in children” from heysigmund.com.  I just can’t get over how powerful this article was.  When you struggle with anxiety, maybe you fear your kids will struggle with it too.  I don’t think anyone loves feeling anxious.  But it is a normal feeling.  It’s normal.  It’s normal. It’s normal. (I’m reminding myself.)  Because one of the biggest hiccups with anxiety is that it feels so lonely.

This article articulated what a strong mind looks like, and it is one that protects us.  I love this.  I believe the heart of anxiety is a sense of needing to protect ourselves.  “Hey Sigmund” calls an anxious mind strong, creative, and a little overprotective.

Have any of you been with a parent or maybe yourself, and you just feel the need to be overprotective, sit down Timmy, don’t climb on that, don’t jump too high, what’s in your mouth, oh nothing, just the food I gave you…  Anyone else?

Someone with anxiety is reacting the same way just in their mind.  It is irrational but it feels so real to that person.  And going back to the definition, I’m reminded of myself, anxiety for me is a fear of not having enough of myself to do what I need to do.

So I’m going to recap a piece of this article, because this stuff is good!  Go read this article even if you don’t struggle with anxiety, because I know you know someone who does.  Give yourself wisdom to understand someone else.  It is super science-y, which I love.

First it talks about our amygdala (where we feel all our emotions) and someone with anxiety, there’s works a little harder.

Grounding is one area I want to land with this topic.  Anxiety is like the mind getting hijacked by fear of the future.  And grounding is a way to bring it back to the present.

“Hey Sigmund” suggests a fun activity using your five sense.

When anxiety rolls for you or someone you love, here are the five suggestions: Have them say out loud: (Probably will only have to do a few)

5-what are five things you see

4-what are four things you hear

3-what are three things you feel

2-what are two things you can smell

1-what is one thing you can taste

This can help bring you to the present.  (Present; defined as existing or in progress right now. LOVE!)  We don’t have to be perfect or anxiety free, but we can stand in the present making progress over anxiety hauling off with our day.

I’m practicing this today.img_7242-1