With the anxiety that I struggle through on a daily basis, in order to get through it, I have to force myself to look at the "bright" side of things, constantly. If not, then I just wallow in self pity and focus in on this "thorn" that the Lord has allowed me to have. He allows this thorn so that I will allow Him to be my strength.
God reminded me today while worshiping Him that He will never leave me nor forsake me.
The circumstances in life do not define my joy. His Spirit is what gives me joy, even when things are hard. Even when I don't understand life's circumstances.
I will praise Him no matter what.
He always knows what I need. He knows how much I can handle. He gives me His strength and power at the right moments.
He doesn't promise an easy life, but He promises that He will carry us through.
He puts people in my life to speak His truth to me at the right moments. I am blessed with amazing friends and family.
Some words that a friend spoke to me really made a difference in my perspective of things. Thank you, friend.
Here are some words that she said that really stand out to me:
"You don't need to worry about what others will think. You and Robert have made the decisions that are the best thing for your household; and that's all that matters. Period."
"I will be talking with my mom, I will tell her 'Well I think...' and she will stop me right there and say 'I don't care what you think... tell me what you KNOW.' "
"Tell me what you know... You know Robert loves you... you know you love your kids. You know life is difficult... You know God is in control."
"So when Satan pops up telling you these lies (as he is the Father of LIES) saying 'your house needs to be cleaner' You tell him 'I know that the world will not end if my bed is not made; I know its ok to have a messy house.' If Satan tries to attack your breastfeeding you tell him 'I know that my son is happy and has a full tummy and I know it does not matter by which means this occurs'."
I love the bluntness that she spoke to me. I needed that. It's not necessarily going to take the anxiety away, but all of these words remind me that ultimately Satan will try to make me believe these things, and it's up to me whether or not I allow it. I can sit here and focus on all the anxiety that I'm experiencing and why, or I can tell Satan that I know God is bigger and more powerful than he is, and that he's not going to win this battle.
That's what this is. A battle. A spiritual battle. And what do we do in a spiritual battle? We arm ourselves. Satan wants me to be too tired or too distracted in the mornings so that I don't spend time with Jesus. The only way to arm myself is to spend time with Him. Read His word. Pray to Him. Praise Him. Gain His strength through His Spirit. With His word, the sword, I can fight Satan and win.
Even though my anxiety makes some things more difficult, I have a choice in how I respond. I can let it run my life or I can let Jesus run my life.
I daily ask Jesus to carry this burden for me. I daily ask Him to take my anxiety from me today, so that I can serve Him better.
If I sit and focus on my weaknesses, Satan wins, and I make the choice to give in. If I focus on Jesus and what He has called me to do, then I make the choice to look at the amazing people that the Lord has placed in my life to love and serve.
At church this morning, my pastor reminded me that we have a choice whether or not we lose control in our anger. That's so true. Even though my anxiety makes me a little more irritable, therefore I get angry easier than I should, I have the choice in how I deal with that.
Even though my tendency is to yell because of the kids getting the house really messy, or because they're being loud (as kids tend to be), I can make the choice to yell, or I can make the choice to not allow something so silly get the best of me. I can laugh and remind myself that we can pick it up later, or let the kids be kids, or I can lose control. It's my choice.
I can make the choice to be anxious when the house isn't clean, or I can choose to just leave it and play or rest.
I can make the choice to eat too much because it comforts me for the moment, or I can choose to allow God and His word give me that comfort.
I can make the choice to go spend a lot of money on nothing, or I can choose to stay home and enjoy the amazing family, friends, and home that the Lord blessed me with.
I can make the choice to allow what others think run my life, or I can choose to know that we've made the best decisions for our household, period.
I could go on and on. You get the picture :). Today, I am choosing to look at things from a fresh perspective. I am choosing to allow God to work in me and be my strength.
Will I mess up? Absolutely. But, God's mercies are new every morning. When I mess up, I can wake up the next day knowing that He loves me the same, and His grace and power will carry me.