Overwhelmed? Conquer it with God and His Word

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Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB)

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? I have had the pleasure of being there! I have lost count of the number of episodes. However, I can attest to the fact those zany feelings are genuine and definitely stop me in my tracks. It has taken me years to finally address it, call it out, and deal with it.

Two years ago, God was restoring me from an intense pit which lasted half a decade. As He began reconditioning my heart and repairing my life, the Lord had me face one of the largest elephants in the room. (Yes, there were more than one!) This creature had overpowered me several times and left me devastated in handling my very own existence. I even identified myself as one who was best at doing nothing when not knowing what to do. It was time to deal with the paralyzing effects of being overwhelmed.  

My dark valley was a discipline gorge delivering many unforgettable lessons. However, the most impactful discovery was the importance of staying in His Word and paying close attention to His directives. My desperation allowed me to cling to The Spirit of truth, God’s Holy Word, and find hope in His promises.

As I began digging deeper into Scripture, the Holy Spirit began prompting me to apply it to my circumstances. God was basically saying, “It is time to put skin on Scripture my daughter”. The Lord started with my feelings of being overwhelmed and spotlighted the root of the issue. ME! My out-of-control desperation episodes where nothing more than lacking the ability to let go and allow God to drive.

The fight is still real and can be powerful at times. However, I have learned to face the devasting lie from the enemy by humbly surrendering to the directives and promises of God’s sweet words- Scripture. I am getting better at calling out those overwhelming thoughts and placing them under God’s authority than I use to be. And somehow along the way, I found freedom by living life as a passenger and giving up control of the keys.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

Allow me to share three ways I learned to combat the struggle:

1. Surrendered to God: I had to accept the fact life is not about me. As I discovered my purpose through God, it became clear-I had been living according to my plans. I had created blueprints I could not humanly achieve because the truth is: I am a powerless being. God is in control and I am not.

So, as I began humbly surrendering my life to the Lord, those overwhelming moments arose less and less. It became easier to handle the pressures of daily living. Why? Because I was no longer the manager of my life, God was. It still amazes me how giving up the steering wheel allowed my life to be in better working order.     

2. Connected with God: Hindsight is definitely 20/20. My overwhelming episodes could have been lessened had I been in full relationship with the Almighty Lord. God showed me His desire-for me to participate in an environment focused upon Him 24/7.

After admitting to my lack of engagement with God and Scripture, I began making Him top priority. I ran to Him about everything in life-good or bad. He became a power source of strength above anything I had experienced. His connection seemed to block out the enemy’s ability to overwhelm my mind. God gave me peace, security, and satisfaction. I began following His discernment and letting Him lead.    

3. Submitted to the Lord’s text: Putting skin on Scripture started with drenching my life with God’s Holy Word. For years, I had viewed the Bible as talk uttered by God without acknowledging the supernatural force, potency, and capability it possessed. My viewpoint had to change.

God extended His invitation to infuse my life and He welcomed me to a completely different way of thinking and living through His Word. His empowerment lured me to seek Him on a more intimate level and to bring my life under His absolute authority. I began inserting my name in His Word and fighting off those fickle feelings through declaring Scripture.

Now when overwhelming emotions creep up, I go straight to those commanding verses and claim them. I submit to the power of the Father and ask for His help in fighting off the persuading lies. Slowly, I have learned to let Scripture conquer the battle of my mind. I have found the Lord’s text to be a true defensive sword worthy to be called highly effective.

So, now when I begin to experience the feelings of being overwhelmed, I am no longer paralyzed and do nothing. God has given me an action plan and a helpmate: His Holy Word. I am now able to keep moving forward thanks to God’s provision.    

My “Go To” Scriptures when feeling overwhelmed:

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30 (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

I, even I, am he who comforts you. Isaiah 51:12a (NIV)

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 119:114 (NIV)

How do you overcome paralyzing emotions? Share your suggestions and thoughts below. We would love to hear from you!

Stress: There is a Positive Pathway

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For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. Romans 8:14

Hey friends! Happy Friday to you. I am glad you stopped by today. Like many of you, I have returned to working from home. While doing an online trauma course, the Holy Spirit prompted me to reflect on how to positively respond to stress.

Our world has been crazy, unfamiliar, irritating, heartbreaking, and downright frustrating on so many levels. 2020 has presented challenges far from our imagination. So, let’s talk about it.

There is no doubt about the anxiety produced by the pandemic and worldly behaviors throughout this unforgettable year. However, our response generates a pathway to either a healthy or unhealthy recovery. It is important for us to analyze how to overcome everything we have experienced, are experiencing, and will continue to experience in the next few months.

First, I care about you. You are important and highly valued. So, just stop and take a deep breath. Go grab yourself some water and find a quiet spot to soak in what I have to share with you today. Get comfortable. If need be, come back and read this once you can mentally focus. Oh yeah, by the way exhale!

How to have a positive response to stress

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

We all know pain, distress, disturbances, upsets, suffering, and strain in life can cause major alterations to the body. Remember the physical ordeal you encountered the last time you received shocking news? The outside pressure and tension often affect how the body functions. But what about the brain?

Let me share one point made in the training I attended today. It is a scientific research fact that the brain renovates itself throughout a lifespan based on what we encounter and how we respond. The associated term for the brain’s ability to transform and adapt is known as neuroplasticity. Upon hearing this, I immediately reflected upon my life and thought about the effects toxic stress had on my own brain.

I must say it has been my experience that trauma and stress can have a long-term impact on the body as well as the brain. However, I feel we have some control over its effect to damage or to build resilience. It is all in how we choose to heal.

Regardless, we are ALL going to encounter stress, disappointments, and shock during our lifetime. These incidents and responses are what shapes our lives. Over a lifespan it can give us an appearance of wisdom (and maybe a few gray hairs!). Later in life, we become wise to what worked and what failed when we dealt with bumps in the road of life.

It all comes down to this. How do you want your brain to change? Our brain is going to rewire itself whether we want it to or not just like our body is going to transform as we grow older. The circumstances in our lives impact our thinking. We have a choice to embrace our mental maturity under the influence of God or apart from Him.

Where do you run when all of your “normals” are stripped away and you feel powerless? How do you respond when anger, irritation, and/or anxiety visit your mind? What steps do you have in place to have a healthy positive response to stress?    

The key to having a constructive response to trauma and stress was shared in the online training-having one healthy & protective relationship in your life. Yes, I know they were speaking more in terms of an earthly human who is a dynamic encourager, but I am going to take it to the HNL (hole nother level).

GOD! Our healing begins with Him. He is the ultimate source to deliver true security, shelter, and value. If there is one protective relationship we can rely upon, it is God Himself. He is our comfort and helpmate. In His arms is where we can run and find the safety we desire. When we are facing distress, it is our relationship with Him that allows us to return to calmness more efficiently. His great love assists us in facing trauma and stress. As our bond grows, so does the confidence we have in God to be a barrier for future disappointments and encounters.

The quantity and quality of time spent with God is controlled by each individual. We have the power to allow God to make a huge, long term impact on our lives. It all comes back to the major decision of how we want our brains to change. Do we want a worldly mindset or a promising eternal mindset?

In a deep relationship with the Lord we are assured warmth, compassion, and love. These things have the power to miraculously change our thinking and how we respond to life. Through Him and in Him we can find our need for acceptance and belonging regardless of what we face in our daily lives.

So, my friend, how can you better handle stress? Embrace sanctification. By definition this means “the state of proper functioning”. God tells us that He wants us set apart in order to be used as He envisioned. We must realize God planned for us to be on earth during this particular time (Yes, even during 2020). The Father wants to work in us and through us for the purpose He intended.

It is our choice is to live according to God’s plans and purpose. We must decide if submitting to His authority and building a relationship with Him daily is going to be our pathway to resilience. The brain and body will change and adapt, but what influences and changes our trajectory of life is up to us.

Living out life requires intentionality. Who do you want to walk alongside during your lifetime? What will you allow to change your thinking and alter your mind? Is it the way of the world or God?

Sweet friend, let Him transform your thinking. Change your response to stress by seeing your circumstances through God’s eyes. Come adopt the support of the One and Only Protective Relationship you need. God will ensure you a positive pathway and healing. I am praying for you and your daily encounters in 2020.  

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

How’s Your Heart?

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Are you troubled? Has anything recently stirred fear in your life? Does the unknown future often ignite anxious feelings? What about the presidential election? How are you handling the wait?

Life has been a little “out-of-control” for me lately. 2020 has continued to deliver chaos and the unexpected. The year has been filled with all types of emotions, experiences, and newness. Yet I have noticed a peace and flexibility which I can only account as God.

PEACE-what a beautiful word. Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14. Imagine our nation today if we each choose to have peace within our hearts? Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7. Oh, to have a heart filled with peace and an obedient spirit to bring everything to the throne room of God.

So, let me throw you a curveball today…How’s your heart? Do you have peace within? Could there be anything in life worth disturbing this? What about the sins of our nation?

God captured my attention this week as I began studying Micah chapter one. Micah is known as a minor prophet who was used by God to warn Israel and Judah (both the northern and southern Jewish nations) of the coming judgment of God. In this chapter, Micah’s heart is revealed. He is troubled immensely by the sins of his neighbors and mourns for their judgment and unremorseful spirits.

BAM! This pierced my soul. Why? Because how often am I concerned about the sins of my neighbors? My own wavering mess is usually all I can focus upon. But Micah loved his neighbor deeply. His heart broke for their choices to follow a sinful pathway and was bold enough to allow God to expand his heart beyond his own life.

I had to ask myself, “How’s your heart?” Unfortunately, I found it self-centered and limited to the box I put it in. I had to ask, “Why doesn’t my heart break for the choices of our nation? How deep is God’s love within me? Have I allowed Him to penetrate my love for others the way Micah displayed in Scripture?”

Father God, we are a nation desperate for You. Thank you, Lord for opening my eyes. It is devastating the unrest and sin plaguing our country. Help us be more concerned for those in our world. Let us be bold in Your love and reach out to those around us. Use us, Oh God, to be Your light in the darkness. May we be concerned about the peace within every heart.    

How’s your heart?

They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:11

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