The weird reason why I’ve been choosing not to worry.

Here’s a weird feeling: choosing not to worry because you just don’t feel like it.

Not because I suddenly have a bunch more faith.

Not because I have nothing to worry about.

But because I just don’t feel like it! After days, weeks, months of worrying about little, tiny things, I’m just..done. I’m so over it. I just don’t feel like worrying today. It’s a weird feeling, especially for me, since I’m so used to worrying about today’s issues and tomorrow’s scenarios.

I felt myself starting to get anxious yesterday but instead of letting my heart beat wildly and getting upset, I just sat there and said to myself, “no, I don’t feel like going through this again. I don’t feel like worrying today”.

It’s pretty comical, really! I’m just like, “Nope. No thanks, fear. Anxiety can’t come to the door right now, please try again tomorrow.”

And just like that, I’m calm. It’s so weird!

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After the week I’ve had, with health issues and conflicts that needed to be resolved and financial stresses and moving to a new apartment, I just was too worn out and exhausted to worry. I literally couldn’t handle it anymore. It’s such a big to-do when I start worrying; my body becomes weak, my stomach gets upset, my mind races with irrational thoughts and I get separated from reality. It’s mentally and physically exhausting. After being so on-edge and anxious for the past couple weeks, I decided to just be done with worrying for a while.

This decision to stop worrying has been so revitalizing for me. My stomach is healing, my body is resting, my appetite has returned; I feel stronger physically and emotionally. Thank you, Jesus. Because I’ve been needing this.

So I made a realization today that might change how I look at fear and anxiety. It’s a choice. Satan can put horrible thoughts into my head. He can cause health issues to stir and and relational tensions to rise. He can tell me the future is bleak and my upcoming tasks/events will be hard. He can do all these things, but I can choose not to worry about it. He can’t make me worry. I choose that on my own. I, and only I, can choose to worry about the uncontrollable problems, the unforeseen future, and unfortunate circumstances.

When I choose to remember God’s promises; that He will fight on my behalf, stand by my side, and watch over me, then I can defeat my mind in the battle of anxiety.

There’s a reason God gives us 24 hours in a day. There’s a reason why we sleep for almost half of it. There’s a reason for this and that reason is we cannot handle more than the roughly 12 hours we spend awake in a day! We do not know or control the future, so to worry about it is meaningless and will not add an hour to your day or a day to your life.

What worrying does is cause ulcers in your stomach.

It causes emotional instability and irritability. It causes panic attacks and hot sweats. It causes turmoil in your mind and a striving for a unattainable peace through material things. It causes irrational decisions. It causes your bank account to be in the red. It causes your closet to fill up with clothes you’ll never wear. It causes you to live in a life of fear without joy or adventure.

Trust me, I know.

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So here’s what I do when I start to become afraid. When I become frightened by the future, I think about all the times God has come through for me and been real for me in a near-tangible way. If you’re anything like me, fear is a result of my doubts in God’s existence and reality in my life. I don’t know why I do that, but it seems like the stronger I get in my faith, the more Satan tries to tell me God isn’t real and/or doesn’t care about me like I think He does.

So when that happens, I start thinking about things like this:

  1. When I needed encouragement after going through a rough week of college my freshmen year, I got a text from my best friend who lived a state away saying “I don’t know where you’re at right now, if you’re struggling or doing awesome. But I just feel like God wants you to know that He loves you so much right now”.
  2. When I gave $40 to a lady who needed gas for her car, I got $40 more than expected after working at a camp a few weeks later.
  3. When I was told I needed to take out my colon, I was healed near completely and was told Crohn’s was no longer the issue.
  4. When I had no words to speak to a bunch of junior high kids who just heard their good friends died in a car crash, God spoke through me and I still have no idea what I said to this day.
  5. When fevers of 103 degrees and illnesses tied me down, God used the prayers of strong, godly people to completely take away the fevers and they never returned.
  6. When I asked God to do something big with UNI Dance Marathon, he enabled me to reach my fundraising goal in three hours, helped my team to raise a 6-digit total in our 2nd year, and brought us to a record-breaking total that put us in the top 20 Dance Marathon universities in the nation.
  7. When I cried in the hospital bathroom before a procedure, I felt God’s comforting hand on my shoulder and he gave to me Psalm 121 to set me at ease.
  8. When I thought my health issues would keep me from attending my 3 hour graduation ceremony, he completely took away all health scares I was having and I felt more healthy than I had in three months.
  9. When demon attacks kept me awake at night, He provided me with a friend who stayed up til 3 in the morning, praying over me and reading scripture to calm me down.
  10. When I didn’t know if I would ever get a full time job following graduation, he provided me with a job that could not be more perfect for me and he worked out all the little details that were stressing me out.

Need I go on? This is how I know God is with me and how I know he will take care of me. Because of this, I don’t need to worry about anything.

Love,

Lottie

What are your God-moments? What do you think about when fear starts to stir within your soul? I’d love to hear them. There’s something super encouraging and powerful about witnessing God-moments in the lives of others.  

*pictures found on pinterest

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LB is headed to ATL! Here’s to the conference I’m attending and the lesson in faith it took to get there

Hello lovely friends!

I have some pretty exciting news. (In my opinion, at least!)

After much debate (and financial scrutiny) I have officially registered for my first writer’s conference ever!

I’m so stoked to attend the Lipstick Gospel‘s writer’s weekend in Atlanta, GA!

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Ahh! I know, right? Exciting! And the crazy thing is, it’s coming up in less than two week. Two weeks!

Alright, I need to calm down. I’m getting to excited about this ;]

Sadly, I’ll be missing my beloved Tulip Time festival back at in Iowa (which is the best small town Dutch festival with some pretty amazing food, by the way) to attend this conference but it’ll be worth it. I suppose I can indulge in many plates of Poffertjes next year. Or maybe my friends can save some for me.. anywho..

I’m positive it’s going to be a great adventure. I have met some of the women who will be attending, and knowing that they all have a heart for God and a passion for telling their story makes me all the more excited. It’s going to be a weekend of networking, sharing blogging/writing techniques, building our platforms, and sharing stories with one another. I’m hoping I’ll be able to come away with a clearer vision for LB and a good start to propelling this blog into a new, fresh dynamic to impact others.

But I didn’t feel this way at first. In fact, it wasn’t until I finally clicked the “check out” button for my ticket that I felt at ease with my decision.

For me it was a huge leap of faith for two reasons:

  1. Lack of money
  2. Lack of trust

Lack of money

I really struggled with this because I have never made such an investment on something I consider to be a hobby. It felt weird to throw down some major bucks on something I thought I only did for fun. But here’s what I learned about that: If it’s something you’re passionate about, you can always afford it. You can make it work. You can cut back on non-necessities, you can drink less coffee, you can pay it off slowly, etc. It’s like they say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. If it’s something you love, then go for.

For me, this is more than just “blogging”. This is the only way I know that I can best speak truth about God to a wide variety of people. I seek to make this blog not about me, but about God and what he’s doing in my life and in this world. And if attending this conference will help me to be more successful in that, then why wouldn’t I invest in it?

Lack of trust

I sometimes (more often than not..) have difficulty trusting God with huge decisions in my life. Therefore, I become very indecisive. I questioned my own maturity first (am I really old enough to travel by myself to a place I’ve never been to attend a conference with people I don’t know without parental permission?!) I then questioned the safety and security of the conference (what if this is a scam?) Then I questioned if it would even be worth it (what am I going to get out of this? Is this worth spending my money on?) 

I was on a should-I-or-should-I-not boat for about a month-ish. Sometime’s I’d be super pumped and ready to sign up, then other times I’d get too scared of all the unknown factors and exit the registration screen. I kept asking God to write across the sky with a simple yes or no if I should go or not. But here’s what I learned about that: Sometimes you have to take the first step and just do something. 

You’re not always going to get a clear answer from God. I feel like we all sit around waiting for a yes or no when God is saying “you have a brain, so use it!” You’ll know if you should or should not do something (that’s the cool thing about the Holy Spirit) but sometimes I think He lets us choose. And in this case, He wasn’t giving me a definite yes or no. Whether I go or not will not effect his ultimate plan for my life. I could miss the mark and He’ll still somehow get me on the right track. But if I go in sincere faith, expecting God to show up in Atlanta to teach me new things, then how could He not want that, ya know?

So two weeks from now I’ll be off. And I hope you’ll join me on this adventure. Maybe even take an adventure in faith of your own.

I can’t wait to share with you guys all that I learn from this conference. I can’t wait to introduce you to some awesome writers and get you connected with their blogs. I also can’t wait to see what God does in and through me because of this.

It’s called a leap of faith for a reason. If it was a step, it wouldn’t be scary. But the leap is what forces us to trust Him all the more.

I’ll keep you posted, my friends! You better believe a whole bunch of Instagrams and FB pics will be coming your way ;] #LBinATL, baby!

SO PUMPED!

Love,

Lottie

*Picture property of the Lipstick Gospel :)