Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday April 7th, will start a 3 day devotional titled, Walking Through the Red Sea. Writing a devotional has been on my heart for sometime, and God’s timing was this week!! Please join me in this 3 day devotional and feel free to comment. We can have some community time in sharing our experiences, questions, or doubts. Also, I would love any suggestions for future devotions. God Bless!!
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.
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!
I published this post on November 13, 2016. At that time, our country was divided over the Presidential selections. Now, 4 years later, we are in the same condition. Divided.
Thank you for reading. – Misty
The last two days I have been glancing at my computer and trying to ignore the nudge of writing on my blog. I usually use this as an outlet for my feelings, circumstances, frustrations, basically a journal of my life. So, it is curious as to why I could not bring myself to the keyboard.
This week has been a rough one in my country. I have found it so incredibly difficult to put into words how I am feeling, my fears, and my hopes. It almost seems impossible to express anything on social media, despite the best intentions, without having the wolves come at you. Honestly, I’m typing this now without a clue as to the title and after sending up a prayer for the Lord’s guidance in what I type and that it may glorify Him.
The scripture read today at church came from Luke 6:35-38:
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”(emphasis added)
My pastor spoke about the current protests going on in our country, as well as, the fear among our fellow neighbors. How even, in the small farming community I live, there are families who have sought out our church to see if we could be a safe haven for them. They are scared.
The above scripture is a call to Christians; but it goes even beyond that. Although, I am a Christian and believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior, I know there are those out there who do not have my belief system. I know some of these people personally, they are my friends and family, and I love them very much. They also, are great, loving and compassionate people.
I believe it is a call to humanity to love your enemies, lend and give to them without expecting any thing in return. We all should be merciful. We should not judge or condemn and we all need to forgive.
The rhetoric between Americans, on both sides, is deplorable. The protests that are anything but peaceful, are wrong. The name calling of ‘cry babies’ and telling those who are legitimately hurting to ‘suck it up’, is wrong. The continued sharing of memes disrespecting our current president and our president-elect is wrong. The list can go on and on and on. Not one of these behaviors glorify our Lord. Not one of these behaviors show people God’s love.
It doesn’t matter who you supported and your reasons behind it. It doesn’t matter who won or who didn’t win. Why? Because NOONE can control how you respond to someone else, except you. Your behaviors, actions, words, and responses only speak to your own character and where your heart lies.
I pray for healing for our nation. I pray for the hateful words to cease and be replaced by words of encouragement and love. I pray that we stop pointing fingers and casting out judgments and instead start opening our minds, hearts, and arms to people in our communities.
I am going to end with extending the earlier scripture and using The Message version. This is Luke 6: 27-38:
“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing.
Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”