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

How Psalm 121 helped me face my fear

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. Psalm 121

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I was laying there, in my open-backed gown, waiting for the nurse to put the IV in my arm. I was so nervous that I felt a little dizzy. I could feel my heart beating so intensely, I was almost embarrassed by it. It was just a routine procedure. Nothing to be afraid of. But I was scared. I just was. I was afraid of the outcome; I was nervous about the anesthesia; I was nervous by how nervous I was…that’s how bad my anxiety can be at times!

I went to grab my phone from my purse to send out one last “wish me luck” text, and that’s when I saw it; the small, white, leather-bound bible I keep on me at all times. I opened it up to Psalm 121, a verse that was previously discussed during church that past Sunday. As I read it, I felt a sense of peace. I felt calm. Those words jumped off the page and sank right into my soul. I knew I was going to be fine. God gave me assurance that He was going to stay by my side through it all and handle everything. He promised me that everything was going to run smooth and be okay.

And it was. It was perfect.

In fact, it couldn’t have gone any better. Not only did God come through with the procedure, but the results came back better than ever. I have never had a more positive outcome after one of my many, many procedures.

What I’m constantly remind of now days is what my pastor said at church that Sunday when he preached about Psalm 121. I don’t have the complete transcript, but what he said went something like this: God never promised that this world would be easy and we would be free from troubles. But because he sent His son, and because Jesus died on the cross, we will never be completely overcome by the evil of this world.

Will we have troubles? Yes? But because of what Jesus did, no evil can ever overtake us. We belong to God. And nothing can take that away.

The reason I was so comforted by this verse was because the truth of God’s deliverance and protection rang true in my heart. His word says “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.” and “in this world we will have trouble, but take heart, for he has overcome the world”. Because of this, no evil can overtake me!

This world sucks. A lot. There is a lot of evil and injustice and pain and suffering. It’s not fair! Sometimes I feel like evil is going to swallow me whole. There are times where I feel like I going to die in my fears. Or sickness will take it’s toll. Or the corruption of this world will sink it’s teeth into my flesh.

But my help comes from the Lord.

Not from the “hills”. Not from temporary fixes and imaginary solutions. My help comes from God alone. Without Him, I wouldn’t make it out alive. Because of Him, we are overcomers and no evil can overtake us to the point of taking our souls out of His grasp.

Just remember this one thing, guys. No evil can overcome you. Ever. When your His, your His. And He won’t let you go.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91

All praise to God,
Lottie