A Fork in the Road

I had a great day. I was happy, content, and loved my job. Unfortunately, my day did not end so well.

The previous day I had made a mistake, one that I immediately regretted. I had a brief moment of lack in judgement. I had the best intentions of trying to correct it, but in hindsight, I just made it worse. The consequence of my mistake was the loss of my job.

This was new territory for me. In all my years of working, I had never been let go. I was devastated. I sincerely loved my job and missed it. I went into a deep mental and emotional hole for a few days. The false rumors about why I was fired did not help, and I chose to remain silent and just let them talk. My own self talk had become very negative.

I had come to a fork in the road. I had choices to make. I could believe God’s truth about who I was and who He is, or I could believe the lies Satan was saying about me. I could choose to find comfort in the Lord or find it in worldly things. The biggest thing I knew I needed to do was trust in Him, and allow Him to turn this set back into something good.

How did I do that? Well, it wasn’t easy. I made the conscious choice to seek God. I dove into scripture. I chose study after study and read His word each morning. I would highlight scripture to refer back to when the lies would creep back in to my mind. I prayed. I prayed every time my anxiety peaked and the devil tried to steal my joy as I was choosing the path of Jesus in that fork in the road. I leaned on Christian friends who encouraged me and prayed for me.

I was able to find peace and help by spending time with the Lord. I learned an even bigger lesson in this part of my story. See, my plan was to work at this job for years, at least until my youngest graduated high school. I had it all planned out. How silly of me thinking I have all the control. It is God who has the plan for my life, and He decides what happens. He decided my place was not at that job. So now I am back as a housewife, and waiting to see where He leads me next. Maybe this is where I am supposed to be. My children are busier than ever before and it is nice to be able to focus on that and manage the household. Maybe God has something even better in store for me. I don’t know, but I will continue to trust in Him.

I leave you with this bit of advice. When trouble comes and you are at that fork in the road, choose the road that leads to Jesus. There you will find your peace and comfort to weather the storm.

Living by grace

Misty

Stepping Out Through Anxiety

I never knew why I would want to break plans last minute. I could have had these plans for a few days, weeks, or even months. It really didn’t matter. I would come up with a lame excuse or have a legitimate reason and feel relieved that I could cancel. It wasn’t because I was a recluse but it ran deeper than that. I have anxiety. So when I have plans with others, this is what my internal dialogue looks like:

I can’t go because they are prettier and in better shape than me. Everyone will look at me as the fat friend who let herself go.

I can’t go because they have their lives all together and mine has been a hot mess the last few years.

I can’t go because I’m the outsider and they are so much closer to one another.

I can’t go because they probably talk about me when I go to the restroom.

I can’t go because they are judging me, my choices, and they don’t trust me.

These are excuses that go on repeat leading up to the plans. The thing is, I doubt any of them are true, but I work myself up that my heart races, breathing quickens, and my stomach hurts. So..I cancel. I would rather stay home then put myself in that position..position being the made up lies I have been telling myself.

As a result, it actually makes it worse. I then start to think that they won’t want to be my friends because I always cancel or I’m not a good friend. In reality, I want nothing more than to have that connection, but the anxiety paralysis me, and I just can’t go. It is hard for those who don’t have anxiety to fully understand (or they do understand and my mind is trying to convince me they don’t. It’s a vicious cycle!).

This past week I was invited to go to dinner with some friends that I haven’t seen in awhile. I was thrilled that I got an invite because I had missed them. I was fine until the day of and the above dialogue started to torment me. By that afternoon, I was ready to cancel. I had a legitimate reason that I could, but I knew the real reason was because of my anxiety. I had a choice to make. Either I let my anxiety win or step out through my anxiety. I chose to step through.

I was no longer going to give my anxiety the power to prevent me from having connection with others. I desired to feel connected, and friendship provides a beautiful relationship that helps a person thrive.

Living By Grace

Stepping through my anxiety gave me a fun and entertaining night to say the least. Not once did those negative thoughts creep into my mind. I embraced the friendships I had with those ladies and allowed myself to have some fun and reconnect. Reconnect with those I love dearly and with myself. I was no longer going to give my anxiety the power to prevent me from having connection with others. I desired to feel connected, and friendship provides a beautiful relationship that helps a person thrive.

If you have anxiety and yearn to feel connected again, I encourage you to step out through that anxiety and seize the moment. You may not always be able to, but the moments you do will be incredibly worth it!

Misty

Chapter 5: I Am Okay..But Not Really

Lets start with a question: How many of you have things going well in your life but still feel empty?

I have many blessings in my life. I’m working hard on my health and losing weight and inches, planning my wedding, my children are healthy and doing well in school, there has been healing in family relationships, and so much more. Here I am though, despite all those blessings, feeling numb on the inside. I am tired and worn down. I am having trouble concentrating and when someone is talking to me, it sounds like the adult in Charlie Brown..just noise. I am distracted by my mind. It is on overdrive and is also affecting my sleep.

This isn’t new to me. I have been living with mental illness for some time, but this depression episode is really getting me low. I am taking a hit to my self-esteem and confidence. I am starting to question my health journey. Questions like, “Why am I not losing as quickly as her?”, “Can I really reach my goal weight?”, “Why am I not good enough and disciplined enough to stay on plan?”, “Don’t I want this?” .

Next is the self-criticism as a mother. My mind is in such a chaotic state, that I am having trouble listening to my children. I am thankful that they both share things with me, but right now I can honestly say that I couldn’t repeat what they have told me. I look them in the eyes, I stop what I’m doing to give them my full attention, and yet I can’t retain what they are saying.

I just want my mind to rest. I need some peace. I need to feel something again.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Matthew 11:28-30 (Msg)

I just recently started getting some form of exercise in by walking. It helps clear my head and gives me that feel good sensation, but it is short lived. Once I come down from that high, the numbness starts to creep back inside. I came upon the above verse today and was what I call, “God-smacked”. I hadn’t sought out God to be the one to give me rest. I didn’t hand over my burden to Him and allow Him to carry it.

We forget that don’t we? We forget that we have a Heavenly Father who is just waiting for us to come to Him and throw our worries, troubles, depression, and anxiety at His feet. “Come with me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.” How comforting that is to me right now.

Self-doubt can cripple us. It can shut down the momentum in our goals and we begin to believe the lie that our goals are unreachable.

Living by Grace

Self-doubt can cripple us. It can shut down the momentum in our goals and we begin to believe the lie that our goals are unreachable. But God, tells us how to combat this:

  • We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
  • “Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” Philippians 4:6-8
  • “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:22-24

So although it seems dark right now, I know that God will help me fight through the lows, strengthen me to reach my goals, and not allow me to fail.

God is within her, she will not fall.— Psalm 46:5

Misty