The truth is that a few days ago I woke up extremely heavy hearted due to ongoing difficulties. This year has been a hard year for different reasons: financial, death in the family, sickness, and disappointments…It seemed like a long, cold, rainy season.
This particular morning I felt extremely defeated, burdened deeply by anxiety and worry. My husband always reminds me that for me to worry all the time is like paying interest on a debt I never owed. It makes perfect sense in my head, but never in my heart. In any case, lets get back to my morning. I forced myself to go to the gym, but couldn’t bring myself to exercise. I walked into the bathroom to hide my tears that began to well up, and asked God to give me the strength not to succumb to my negative feelings and to give me the strength to choose to want to feel better by LETTING him to carry me through my day.
Help me do this, I asked… A few minutes later I ran into a friend, and she asked how I was, to which I sighed and said ” I’m OK, struggling a bit”. My big surprise, and the big shift in my day came, when she candidly responded : ” Do you ever answer that you are doing great, or that things will get better soon? You just seem sad every time I see you..”
Ouch! Double ouch, actually! My pride prompted me to defend myself, but I realized she was right. It was very hard to hear this friend literally NAME my emotional posture, my condition. Just then, it occurred to me that I simply have forgotten how to have joy. I felt, both, ashamed and liberated, and knew God was at work.
She quoted 2 Corinthians, chapter 10, verses 3 and 4: ” We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. We use God’s mighty weapons to knock down devil’s strongholds.” She advised me to consciously make the decision to fight my strongholds, by using God’s word, and not let myself fall into the trap of anxiety, worry and defeat.
Again, it made perfect sense in my head, the problem is I just need it explained to my heart. I didn’t grow up knowing the privilege and freedom of a personal relation with Christ. Our relationship started only a few years ago, so it’s hard to automatically have the emotional strength to choose and know how to feel better. I don’t know HOW to know…
Intellectually I understand that I have to read the Bible and yield my struggles to God by showing faith, but it’s still just a mental knowledge. I need it to permeate and saturate my worried heart. There has to be a conscious paradigm shift in the way I treat my everyday life. I really want to run the race, but I first need to retrain my mind, and force myself to choose to have faith, be positive and assured. For me it’s much easier and convenient to feel defeated. I know it sounds like a paradox, but it feels better to give into my discouragement, because that is familiar to me. Feeling defeated and hopeless I know how to do much better than feeling hopeful. Choosing to feel brave and full of faith is harder because it requires more of me, like flexing a muscle I’m not comfortable using. What I need to do is volitional surrender. My mind feels like a reservoir of useful information, but I am hoping to lift the dam of fearful resistance and let my head knowledge flow to my heart, filling it with God’s promises, grace and healing power.
This is the verse I will try to concentrate on and let it work in my life: ” Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.” Philippians, chapter 4, verses 6-7.
Word of the day: PERLOCUTION
By Roxana Phillip-Hackett
Roxana is a wife of one, mother of two, who loves to share her faith with sincerity and honesty from her home in Hendersonville Tennessee.