I haven't written since Monday. It's been an interesting week to say the least. James 1:2-4 has
definitely been the theme of my week. Tests and challenges from every side you can possibly imagine. Opposition in full force. This is when we have to be so careful. For me, this is when I have to focus on being close to God and close to people who cover me in prayer and remind me who I am in Him and remind me that I have the strength to fight the battle.
We've all heard the saying "when it rains, it pours." That's how it is with challenging times - they come in waves and sometimes the waves seem like a tsunami! That was my week - tsunami of struggle. When the struggles come at us it's easy to get pulled under by the current and get washed over and swept up in negativity. And that is absolutely the worst thing that can possibly happen to us. And we have a choice - we can let it happen and we can get pulled under or we can do battle and fight back.
How do you fight back? Well, I'll share with you what I have learned works for me. As a person who has struggled with depression and has a long road in a very exhausting legal battle, I have to be very careful with my response to negative forces and have strategies to fight back when the challenges come my way...which for most of us is on the daily.
First of all, I get close to God by immersing myself in the Word. I am still a "baby Christian", so I will usually seek counsel from one of my mentors to direct me to scripture that will help with what I'm dealing with or I will keyword search a general topic in one of the Bible apps. There is a ton of information available, so if you don't have mentors or ministers you can tap into, there's a lot available online...even Google seems to know the Word pretty well.
Second, I pray. I pray a lot. I pray about everything. I pray the easy prayer...Lord, help me! I think that's probably my favorite prayer..."Jesus, HELP ME!" All day long, "Jesus, help me!" Acknowledging I cannot do this on my own and that I have absolutely no control and that I need to surrender all of it to Him is the best thing to combat worry and anxiety.
I bless others. I don't sit around focusing on my problems. That is the quickest way for me to drown in negativity. I seek out friends and other people that I know need my support in some way. Helping them get to a better place is a win-win because it helps me get to a better place too.
I remind myself of everything that God has already blessed me with. Some days I might be having a hard time and I'm grasping for things..."thank you that I have coffee." But I do get purposeful and look for things in my life to grateful for and as soon as I do that I realize I am blessed beyond measure. And I remind myself that when God gives us big challenges it is because He's got BIG blessings coming our way.
Most of all, I pray for endurance. It's been a long road for me and I don't know how much longer this particular battle will last. I know that when it's done there will be something else. (hopefully NOT of this magnitude, please God!!!!) I know that I must finish this fight and there is no giving up. I get tired, but I know if I let God lead me in the battle, I have the strength to keep going and to finish it.