What we focus on will change what we observe around us. We will notice more and more of what we focus on or, conversely, less and less of what we don’t want to see.
— Shaunti Feldhahn, Find Joy
Today we are sharing a guest blog post from Julie Gorman while Shaunti is in this season of cancer treatments. Julie’s wisdom in this devotional (which includes one of Shaunti’s favorite scriptures) is a much-needed reminder for today. We hope that you are inspired and find the peace that comes with rising above anxious thoughts. Because worry really is like a rocking chair.
Rising Above Anxious Thoughts
by Julie Gorman
Are the circumstances of this world weighing you down? Feeling a little anxious? Here are some tips on Rising Above Anxious Thoughts.
REMEMBER: YOU FIND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
We understand the importance of staying informed regarding the COVID-19 virus, but we also understand that the media frenzy breeds anxiety. We encourage you to know your limits, know when to turn off the T.V. and turn on worship music. Although the news informs us of the facts, it doesn’t inform us of the FULL truth. The full truth would also include God’s power, God’s purpose, and God’s provision. Sarah Young says, “Anxiety is a result of imagining a future without God.” Let’s not take God out of the equation.
We will find what we’re looking for … hope or hopelessness. Let’s choose hope!
Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
In times of uncertainty like the one we are in, we easily forget to replenish, especially when it comes to ourselves and our relationship. Our fear tells us that sitting in the worry seat is somehow more productive. The truth is, worry is like a rocking chair, you’re constantly moving but going nowhere. Instead of worry, we need to replenish; physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. A few ideas to re-connect and replenish as a couple: try out a silly work-out from home together, read a book together, take advantage of our Conversation Starters for Couples, and pray together. This helps us embrace a higher way of thinking instead of letting worry drag us down.
John Ortberg says, “If your soul is healthy, no external circumstances can destroy your life. If your soul is unhealthy, no external circumstances can redeem your life.”
CHANGE YOUR HOW TO WHO
If you’re anything like my husband and me, it’s easy to get stuck in the HOW loop! Especially during seasons of uncertainty. How will we ever get from here to there? How can we make that happen? You see … when we concentrate on our circumstances, we tend to get stuck. Why? Because, we see all our problems. We focus on all the impossibilities. We live limited to what WE can accomplish. But when we change the positioning of those three small letters (from) H … O … W (to) W … H … O … it changes everything!
When we make the switch to remember WHO, we begin to ask different questions, like: WHO gave us this promise? WHO is HE? And what is HE capable of? The answers to those questions cause faith to rise, empowering us to believe HIM for all He promised.
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Father, we know how easy it is to become anxious and to worry. We surrender all thoughts of anxiousness and uncertainty to you. We thank you that you are bigger than our circumstances, and you are always working behind the scenes. We thank you that you work all things together for good. We ask that you would elevate our perspective. Help our thoughts to align with yours, thoughts of hope, faith, and power. We pray that we would lead the way for our families and those around us. Help us to be pillars of your strength during this time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
— Julie Gorman
Julie Gorman is a John Maxwell Certified Coach, Trainer, and Speaker, and the founder of His Love Extended Ministries. Her books include What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me about Marriage and Married for a Purpose (co-authored with husband, Greg). For more information, check out marriedforapurpose.com.
Find Christ-focused wonder in the midst of everyday life no matter what your situation might be. Pick up a copy of Shaunti’s latest devotional, Find Joy, available in major bookstores.
And check out her latest book (co-authored with her husband, Jeff), Thriving in Love and Money. Because you need a better relationship, not just a better budget.
This article was first published at Patheos.
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More from Shaunti’s Blog:
- Four Phrases Your Wife Would Love To Hear From You
- I Am Relearning How To Find Rest—And I Need Your Story
- Make Your Marriage Happier By Keeping Score And Giving Back
- Finding Joy in the Most Unlikely Places
- How to Raise a Resilient Child and Why It Matters