Thursday, May 15, 2014

Finding Joy in the Present Moments

Dear Heavenly Father,

You know my heart and the struggles I've faced with anxiety. The anxiety has a root cause: my inability to wait. I have trouble waiting for life to be easier. I wait for the kid's eczema and food allergies to go away. I wait for difficult relationships to get better. I wait to hear where we will end up next. I wait for the next place to live. I wait for the days that are the hardest to get through to get easier.
Instead of waiting on life and everyday things to happen, I pray you give me the strength to wait on your timing. I need to remember that the time I wait isn't wasted time. Help me to know that the time I wait for you to help me with life's battles is the time that I should live in the moment. Don't let me stress about the past. Don't let me worry about the future. Just as you ask us to look at the birds of the air, help me to do the same and not worry about tomorrow.


Your Anxious Daughter

A few weeks ago, a Bible verse challenge popped up on Facebook. Several people were challenging others to post their favorite Bible verse. One thing that really stood out for me was that the main verse that I read that other's posted was one about being anxious.

Philippians 4:6-8 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. 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.

A thought crossed my mind as I noticed how many people wrote this as their favorite verse. So many of us suffer from anxiety. According to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), "Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population). ( I imagine that even more than that go undocumented. With all of the busyness and everyday life stresses, it's no wonder we spend so much time worrying and filling our hearts with anxiety.

But what does the Bible say about this issue of anxiety? And what can we do to overcome it? I'm no psychologist but I do believe in listening to what God has to say. Here are a few verses that I think can help:

Proverbs 12:25 An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

If you see someone going through a hard time, how about using kindness around them? I know when I'm going through rough patches, someone's kind words can truly lift me up. Imagine what that can do for that person. Kindness wins!!!

1 Peter 5:6-7  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Go straight to God, share all that is on your heart, and ask for His help. He really does care for each one of us and whatever we are facing in life. Perhaps, we have sin in our life that we are guilty of that we know we need to seek forgiveness, whether from someone or from God. Seeking that forgiveness can also help with the anxiety you are facing. Getting rid of the guilt from that sin will help with the anxiety.

Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God."

Sometimes, we just need to be still. We have so much going on that we need a time-out from all that we have going on around us to be still and spend time with God. We need to go to a quiet place with our Bibles and listen to what He wants to tell us.

Something else we can do is seek rest. I don't think we get enough rest sometimes. We go, go, go until we fall apart. I know I do. I am thankful I have a husband that can sense when I start to fall apart. He pretty much has to demand that I go somewhere to get a coffee or go lie down. I can be pretty stubborn sometimes about seeking rest. I don't want to take it until this or that is done. But I can't accomplish everything. It isn't possible... ever. There will always be something more to do. So why not stop and take time to rest? The rest that I get always helps.

Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

I think having someone who you can go to talk to about whatever is pressing on your heart helps tremendously. Find someone full of wisdom, whether it be a family member, pastor, neighbor, or friend. Share with them how you feel. Find the right person who is willing to just listen and carefully give you wisdom.

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Finally, instead of waiting with anxiousness, we need be strong. Waiting doesn't have to be a bad thing unless we spend time worrying about it. If it is not in God's timing, we must wait. God may not be ready yet to do whatever we are asking or hoping for Him to do. And as we wait, we need to focus on the time we are in now. If we focus too much on the future we will miss what is happening right in front of us. If we dwell on the past, we will just make things worse.

Once we get out of that state of anxiousness, we can find that joy that we need again. And what a great feeling that is to have that joy! Blessings to you and yours, sweet friends!


  1. Thanks Carrie! I needed this!!! I know that I've suffered from anxiety, but just recently am seeing the signs of occasional depression. Yesterday was one of them. So today, this speaks volumes to me. When I'm on the mountain, it seems foolish to talk to people. Silly. But when I'm in the valley, these words are what I need. Thankfully I don't stay in the valley long, which is probably why I haven't pin pointed this as depression until recently. Thank you for being a hand to lift me up and encourage me. Perseverance...staying in the fight.

    1. I'm sorry you are having a rough time with depression! I've been there and it's not easy. I think when you have little ones like we do, it's hard to stay afloat with all that is going on. We really need to get together this summer. You all should come over here with the kids. They can play and we can hang out (and drink coffee). I'll find a date and see if you are available! :)

  2. "Waiting doesn't have to be a bad thing unless we spend time worrying about it." Love it! I am realizing my anxiousness is being reflected back to me sometimes because of my own impatience. Time to make an active change to NOT worrying about the wait!! Thanks for this, Carrie!!

    1. I totally struggle with being impatient, especially when I'm tired! You are an amazing mom, Erika!

  3. Visiting from SRT this morning...this was so encouraging! I have been playing Kari Jobe's "Be Still My Soul" every single morning for weeks during prayer time. Trying to make myself wait on the Lord and have courage!! Blessings.
    nannette a.k.a Candacejo

  4. God really does know what is best for you. I'm also guilty of wanting to get everything done and never stopping for a rest. But God has blessed with a husband that just like yours reminds me that I need to stop and take a break. He is the person which I can go to and vent, he is such an amazing husband and I thank God for him everyday. Today I'm reminding myself to focus on God and to cast all my anxiety on him, for without him I'm not strong enough. Thank you for sharing sister.