You’re Not Alone

Ever feel like you’re all alone? Like no one understands and no one cares? Like you have to figure everything out yourself? Well, guess what? It just isn’t true!

Another step to facing my fears and anxieties is realizing I am NOT ALONE! When I pick up the phone to call a friend or loved one and share what is going on in my life, I am comforted (2 Cor 1:4) I receive advice and information. When I put aside my shame and guilt and get the courage to talk about my situation, light dispels the darkness and I can see more clearly what needs to be done.

It really is amazing. I recently had a health issue, yes, another one, (and I know I’m not alone in that either), that I was kind of embarrassed to talk about. But I knew I had to get over the fear of “What will people think?” As author Wayne Dyer puts it “Who cares what other people think?” By not speaking up and talking about the issue, I perpetuate the anxiety and fearful feelings and prevent myself from finding a solution to my problem.

It is important to get wise counsel and as much information as possible when facing issues. My decisions may have long term consequences and the longer I put off making a decision, I prolong the pain.

What is it you are facing today that you are afraid to talk about? A relationship issue? A health or job issue? Whatever it is, find a wise friend or just talk to God about it. He always listens and always has time for us. And he always has the right answer.

Facing my fears has enormous impact on how joyful I feel at any given moment. When the burden of my problem is lifted, joy can bubble up inside once again.

Until next time, remember you are not alone. Feel free to drop me a note any time as as always, keep looking up!

Be Courageous

What is it that you are facing today that is causing anxiety? A job issue? Health concern? Relationship troubles? Finances? Everyone is facing battles, but some people don’t seem to be as bothered by them. Why is that?

As author Joyce Meyer states, “The battlefield is the mind” and that is so true. Our thought life is where our battles actually begin. Fears and anxieties are stored deep in our subconscious minds.

I remember raising my two sons as a single parent and life was so overwhelming. I remember crying out to God in my moments of weakness and despair, pleading “I can’t handle this anymore.” We all have these moments but what is actually happening? In my case, I was reliving a chaotic and fearful childhood with an alcoholic father. The same feelings I felt as a child were resurfacing in the present.

Something happened in our past that we may or may not remember that caused a short-circuit shall we say. Whenever a situation occurs in the present that is similiar in some way, the wire is tripped and our unconscious mind triggers the fear response which in turn triggers some anxious behavior. It’s a cycle that must and can be broken. The wiring can be fixed. But it takes courage.

We are never really alone in our battles, because God is always with us and for us. No matter how alone, overwhelmed or helpless we may “feel”, the truth is that God promises to answer our cries (Isaiah 58:9).

Romans 8:31 says “If God is for us, who can stand against us?”. Isn’t that great news? God is on your side, dear one. You have the power of Almighty God fighting your battles with you. So when you are down and out, remember the words of the Apostle Paul: “for when I am weak then He is strong” (2 Cor 12:10) and also in the book of Joel 3 which says “let the weakling say I am strong”. By focusing on the truth in the word of God, we reprogram our minds. Instead of thinking, “This is overwhelming”, I can think “God is going to help me through this” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Slowly but surely the wiring will be repaired and situations that used to cause anxiety will no longer do so.

I encourage you to be courageous and stand up to your fears from the past. Do we want to live a life of fear and anxiety? The choice is up to us. When you have done all you know to do, then rest, pray, and trust. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Until next time, keep looking up!

Work In Progress

Just like the highways around here, I’m a work in progress. How about you? Seems like there is always something to repair, reconstruct, or rebuild. Every time I go through a tough phase, I learn there is something I need to change.

I was talking about our fears and anxieties last time. We all have them, right? But they affect us in different ways. Some of us overeat. Some drink, gamble, work to excess, are afraid to commit to a relationship, or have some addictive habit or behavior to name a few. Others of us are into pleasing, performing, and perfectionism. Many have a problem with responsibility and authority. Sound familiar at all?

Now, don’t get down on yourself. It’s a good thing when we become aware of the negative behaviors and thought patterns that control us. Awareness is the first step to change. When we shine the light of truth on ourselves, we are able to see ourselves and the problem more clearly.

The first thing we can do to break out of any bondage we may be in is to become aware. This involves slowing down enough to focus on my behavior patterns and the thoughts and feelings that accompany them.

Let’s look at over-eating for example. I know I still struggle with it at times. When do I over-eat? How do I feel? What are the thoughts in my mind? What is going on in my life at the time? What am I afraid of? All of these are indicators like warning signs along the road of spiritual and personal growth to guide me along my journey to healing, wholeness, and harmony.

What are you struggling with today, dear one? Fret not, and don’t think you have to lean on your own will-power. Instead, lean on God. It is by his grace and through his power that we are able to overcome the obstacles in our path. 2 Corinthians 12:19 says “My grace is sufficient for you”. Hang on to that promise and you will be victorious no matter what you are facing. God always keeps his promises.

Until next time, keep the faith and keep looking up!

Practicing the Presence of God – Part 3

Life is busy, isn’t it? We have a list of things to do a mile long and we go from one thing to the next trying to get it all done. Then there are those things on our minds that we are not even aware at times. Seems someone always wants our attention: our kids, our bosses, our spouse, our friends. All this busyness can lead to anxiety, stress, fatigue and a host of other symptoms.

The mind and the body were not built to handle so much on a daily basis without regular periods of rest, relaxation, and solitude.

People in Jesus’ time had stresses of their own. They had no modern medicine or conveniences such as we have today, and were, for the most part, poor and uneducated. Jesus himself experienced people wanting his time and attention quite regularly. So when things got hectic and the crowds clamored for his attention, what did he do? He went away to be quiet and spend time with the Father in solitude, prayer, and meditation.

As I talked about last time, prayer is an important component to maintaining my peace and connection to God. Being alone with God is the third way to practice the presence of God.

When I make time to be alone and meditate, I clear my mind of all the clutter that has accumulated. I make space to hear God’s voice because I have shut down all the other voices. I’ve been told I think too fast and too much so it is even more imperative for me to slow stop and clear my mind.

How often you do make time alone with the Lord? Do you make it a priority? How has it helped you maintain your connection to Him? Drop me a note and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you and in the meantime, keep looking up!

Do Not Be Anxious

How are things going with you these days? Great? Terrible? So so? Sometimes it takes putting things in perspective to make me appreciate all I have been blessed with.

When I start to think I have it rough, particularly as a single in today’s couples oriented society, I think about the Apostle Paul and everything he went through. Now that was rough! Yet he stayed hopeful and faithful and continued to do what God had called him to do.

There are many verses in the Bible that tells us not to be anxious, but to pray and surrender instead. Paul encourages us to not be anxious, but to pray about everything (Phil 4:6). James 5:16 says the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. There is power in prayer. He never intended for me to carry all these burdens. That’s why He said to come unto him, all who are weary and heavy laden. He does give us rest, but we have to slow down enough to come to him, don’t we? God can take care of all our problems. 1 Peter 5 instructs us to cast all our cares on Him, because He cares for us.

These are busy, hectic, stressful days indeed, especially for those who are single and do not have someone to help them. But there is an answer. And that answer is faith. Having faith in a loving God that cares for us and hears our cries. He promises to never leave us or forsake us and no matter what our status, remember if God is for us, who can be against us?

Do Not Be Anxious

How are things going with you these days? Great? Terrible? So so? Sometimes it takes putting things in perspective to make me appreciate all I have been blessed with.

When I start to think I have it rough, particularly as a single in today’s couples oriented society, I think about the Apostle Paul and everything he went through. Now that was rough! Yet he stayed hopeful and faithful and continued to do what God had called him to do.

There are many verses in the Bible that tells us not to be anxious, but to pray and surrender instead. Paul encourages us to not be anxious, but to pray about everything (Phil 4:6). James 5:16 says the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. There is power in prayer. He never intended for me to carry all these burdens. That’s why He said to come unto him, all who are weary and heavy laden. He does give us rest, but we have to slow down enough to come to him, don’t we? God can take care of all our problems. 1 Peter 5 instructs us to cast all our cares on Him, because He cares for us.

These are busy, hectic, stressful days indeed, especially for those who are single and do not have someone to help them. But there is an answer. And that answer is faith. Having faith in a loving God that cares for us and hears our cries. He promises to never leave us or forsake us and no matter what our status, remember if God is for us, who can be against us?