Weathering the storm

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“I won’t let the storm weather my heart, won’t let the darkness beat me down….”

We have all been there, that place where it feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. Personally, I tend to put too much pressure on myself. While I am not a perfectionist, in the sense of tidiness, according to my little sister I am, “a level under [perfectionism].” She says that I “operate well amidst clutter, as long as [I] know where everything is.” Well it seems that one day, I found that I no longer knew where everything was, and I was a MESS!

Towards the end of last year, I was feeling overly stressed, due to a number of reasons and I was trying to stay afloat in the midst of all my emotions. Anxiety was kicking in and I woke up one morning having trouble breathing. Eventually, I went to the doctor and they recommended that I try to relax by going to a spa and/or exercising. While a spa day sounded nice, that wouldn’t heal me. I knew I had to do a little digging and get to the root of my problem.

One of my stressors was that I felt that I did not have enough time to get things done. When I woke, my first instinct was to scroll through twitter and look at my tasks for the day. The first thing I would do in the mornings was welcome stress!

Then, a friend mentioned to me that she wakes early in the morning because that is the only time her house is quiet and it allows her to do things for herself. While, my life is pretty quiet and most of my time is me time, I had never set aside time for spiritual and mental health. So, I made a commitment to waking up at 5AM –to read my Bible and then do my yoga. While it was NOT easy those first weeks, I made this my new morning routine. It the weeks that followed, I identified two habits that were causing me stress and contributing to my anxiety: Indecision and Impatience.

Indecision. January 28, 2018. That is the date that I heard the sermon that I am pretty sure changed everything. The message was titled “The Curse/Prison of Indecision.” It was so good! In fact, it was such a good message that I just had to hear it twice! It is funny how things happen, because I found myself at the first service that day, when I usually attend the second (last) service. This was perfect, becaue it allowed me to hear the message twice, and take really good notes.

If you find yourself struggling with indecision, I want to share with you some key points that I took with me from that day:

  • The prison of indecision is self-inflicted. You are holding your future in prison. It is robbing you from where you need to go.
  • We fear failure, because of our pride. There are many ways to get to the right decision, you may be rerouted but you’ll end up at the right decision.
  • The fear of taking risks. Don’t be afraid. God has control over tomorrow, He does not take you on a journey where he has not already preceded you.
  • If we don’t make a decision, eventually other people will choose the way your life plays out. We have the beauty to choose.

IMG_4330.jpgI’m not so afraid of taking risks, but I am afraid of failing. Moving to Rochester was a risk, but I didn’t fear it enough not to do it. However, staying in Rochester was one of those decisions that I struggled with. There were moments when I felt that I was failing and not doing enough. Those feelings made me want to return home before I could even fail. I keep writing about Rochester and home, because this was my prison of indecision. This decision was holding my future hostage. Eventually, I realized that I couldn’t make moves until I made a decision. Which brings me to my second bad habit.

Impatience. Ohhhhh… I am an imperfectly patient person with everyone and everything else but myself. I am trying to find a way to phrase what I mean by this…. I struggle with being content. I don’t know what I want, but I know I just want it to happen immediately! I have been trying to make my dreams and my goals come fruition on my time and in my way.

In one of my 5AM studies, I read this:

“Rest in the knowledge that he will bring about all things to happen in his perfect time…. But also wrestle with God for what he has said and promised. Be in a constant healthy dissatisfaction. Dare to ask for his rest!”

This message I reflect on daily, because letting go and letting God is something I have to consciously decide to do. It doesn’t come naturally. Naturally, I want to try and be in control.  Yes, I still struggle with indecision and impatience, but I am learning to lean less on my own understanding and trusting God. Trusting that he will not fail me nor will he abandon me, because he hasn’t yet. While my storm at the beginning of the year were tough and it definitely challenged me, it made me turn to God for comfort. Identifying the root of my problems freed me from my anxiousness and it freed my future.

“Even when the fight calls
Even when the war’s waged
I’ll take heart
I know You are greater”

— When the Fight Calls
by Hillsong Young & Free