fear, faith, trust, anxiety, fear not, hope, overwhelmed, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Fear Not: God’s Power and Love Frees Us to Lament

Fixating on heartache invites anxiety. But God commands us to fear not. Understanding His power and love frees us to lament in hope.



Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4, ESV

A great deal of life seems to play out in the valley of the shadow of death. As a matter of fact, I am currently in a season of darkness. Why not throw in the towel? How can I continue to take joy in the God of my salvation, when following Him places me on the front lines of battle?

Hope, for one; but not as an afterthought. Because flippantly telling someone to have hope in the midst of a trial is like telling an exasperated man “patience is a virtue.” Yes, thank you; I am aware…

Fixating on heartache invites anxiety. But God commands us to fear not. Understanding His power and love frees us to lament in hope. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #faith #trust #overwhelmed #FearNot #hope #anxiety

Fear not…

It would be easy to fixate on my current heartache, but that gives birth to anxiety. However, God’s word has a lot to say in response to fear. Over and over in Scripture, we are told to fear not. But it isn’t dismissive in nature like, why can’t you keep it together? I’m God, remember? No; He commands: fear not, and then tells us why we don’t have to be afraid.

FEAR NOT:

  • I am with you
  • I am the One who helps you
  • I have redeemed you
  • I am your shield
  • I hear you
  • I am working righteousness in you
  • I fight for you
  • I go with you into battle to give you victory
  • I am with you wherever you go
  • I give victory
  • Stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord

Lament…

Notwithstanding, neither can I ignore or control the incapacitating sorrow weighing down my soul. I must lament. Because the act of lamenting faces me toward God. While in His presence I am able to share honestly all that grieves and worries me.

Within His capable arms, I can say: This is too much! I feel overwhelmed! Remind me of your faithfulness. Open my eyes to see where You are working this for Your glory and our good. Fight for us! Protect us. Help me to stand firm on Your promises.

When we act like we can handle our suffering on our own, we commit idolatry — acting like we are God, capable in ourselves. Lamenting is relearning our humanity. Lamenting is admitting that we can’t handle it, knowing we need God’s power, mercy, and grace. If we could handle our sufferings, we wouldn’t need Jesus, his cross, his power, and his resurrection. Lamenting is how we grieve as those who have hope.

J.A. Medders, Redeemer Church Tomball, TX
Neither can I ignore or control the incapacitating sorrow weighing down my soul. I must lament. Because the act of lamenting faces me toward God. Click To Tweet

Limitless…

Relearning my humanity leads to understanding my limits. Finally, it is there I remember I belong to a limitless God. Furthermore, I can only dream of what God has prepared for the future. But even now, in His mercy, I am seeing collateral blessings rise up out of this dark valley. So I find as I rely on our limitless God, hope is catching like wildfire…

Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort…For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.

2 Corinthians 1:7-10, ESV

Fixating on heartache invites anxiety. But God commands us to fear not. Understanding His power and love frees us to lament in hope. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #faith #trust #overwhelmed #FearNot #hope #anxiety

unsplash-logoAdrien Olichon
depression, anxiety, love, healing, faith, mental illness, patience, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Survival: Loving Someone with Severe Depression and Anxiety- A Guide

Living with a loved one who has severe depression and anxiety can be disorienting. The key to survival and a strengthening love can be found in our Creator. God holds us all through the peaks and valleys of depression.



Survival Guide Resume

Before I launch into this guide I first want to give you a glimpse at my resume, so you know that I know a little about what I’m talking about. For ten of the last twelve years of my marriage, I have been the husband of a wonderful woman who has had severe depression and anxiety. It started as postpartum depression after our second child was born and it has never gone away.

I will not go into the symptoms because chances are, if you clicked on the link to this article, you are very familiar with them. Instead, I am going to direct my comments to the depression newbie. The poor soul who has recently woken up to find their spouse (or someone they love) is no longer the happy, fun-loving person they married (or used to be). Who has found that their love has been brought low by some unseen, unimaginable malevolent force for which there seems to be no defense. This is your survival guide from a veteran of this fight. I hope to be able to save you some of the stumblings around in the dark that I have had to do.

Also, to make it fun, I have decided to put it in the form of a list! Because the internet loves lists right? Of course you do.

Living with a loved one who has severe depression and anxiety can be disorienting. The key to survival and a strengthening love can be found in our Creator. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #depression #anxiety #love #healing

1.

It’s not about you.

Drop your ego. It’s not about you. Really. It’s not about you. Your spouse has a disease. Unless you are just being horrible to them, his or her depressive episodes are not the result of something you did or did not do. Along those same lines, there is nothing you can do to “fix” them or make the symptoms “go away.” Your spouse is on a rollercoaster.

It is a rollercoaster through a hell so terrifying that neither they nor you would ever have the words to adequately describe it. The only thing you can do during these moments is to honor your vows, board that roller coaster with them, hold their hand and ride that ride. Is it scary? You bet. Does your presence help? Sometimes. Sometimes not. But ride it anyway. It builds empathy in you and, when it is over, gratitude and trust for you in your spouse.

2.

Don’t hide. Be open about it.

Ok, listen. Unless the people in your lives are told what is going on, they can only speculate, and they can’t help. Depression is a terrible and lonely disease. Being married to a depressed person is equally lonely. There is a stigma to depression. Don’t pay attention to it. Your spouse has a disease. If they had cancer, you would tell people, and those people would gather around in a loving and supportive group to help your spouse through the difficult and painful process of treating their cancer.

So, pretend it is cancer. Be open with your friends and family about what is going on. Your spouse needs that extended support group, but almost as important, YOU need that extended support group. YOU CAN’T DO THIS ON YOUR OWN. Don’t try. Also, if you have children, be open with them about it. Explain the illness to them. Obviously, consider their ability to understand based on their age, but don’t exclude them. If they know WHY your spouse is behaving in this way, they will be less likely to blame the behavior on themselves. You need to include them. They have a right to know and to understand.

3.

Treat it.

I am going to keep saying it until you will never forget it. Your spouse has a disease. A disease that could kill them. A disease that continues to kill more and more people every year. Diseases are treated by doctors, specialists, and medicine. Don’t let your spouse tell you they can handle it on their own. They can’t. Get them a doctor or a counselor. The good news is, there are medicines that can help manage the symptoms. The bad news is: scientists know more about the surface of Mars than they do about how the brain actually functions.

So, there is no magic pill that will cure this disease, and treating the symptoms is more akin to throwing paint at the wall and seeing what sticks. You will likely try three or more medicines before finding one that works well for your spouse and manages the symptoms without unacceptable side-effects. After many years, we finally landed on one that gives my wife a semblance of normalcy in her life. There are those that will tell you to not ever use medicine. I disagree. From my experience, it helps immensely.

4.

You are not alone.

Again, being the spouse of someone with depression can be a terribly lonely experience. There will be times where you feel like you are the only one in the world going through this. Times when you feel like you can’t talk to a soul about what you are going through. There will be times when it gets so hard, so dark, so hellishly frustrating that you want to throw your hands up, walk away, and leave them to their own devices.

These are the moments that separate the wheat from the chaff. Stay. Fight. Dig deep. Find that reserve of strength inside of you and keep going. Your love is your spouses best hope of navigating the depths of the darkness inside of themselves and finding their way to the light of joy and happiness on the other side. For better or for worse. Well, this is one of those “worse” times. Ponder the following words:

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? […]Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you…

Matthew 6:26-30, KJV

In more ways than one, you are never alone. Bring God along with you on this journey. Let Him give you comfort, let Him heal you. Surely the Author of all creation can and will soothe the open wounds of your despair with the healing balm of His majesty and love. Let Him. You are never alone. Believe it. Because after all the experiences I have had, I know it.

5.

This journey, if you let it, will strengthen you personally, and teach you what love really means.

When I married my wife, I thought I loved her. Of course, I did. But through this journey, I have learned the breadth and depth of what love really is. Is love, buying flowers for your wife on your anniversary? Yes. But more so, love is holding your trembling spouse as they sob and shake uncontrollably at 3 am due to some unseen and unassailable despair that gripped them suddenly and is making them say things as they would rather be dead than feel this way.

Love is canceling a trip you have been planning and looking forward to for months because your spouse is having a panic attack at the prospect of your absence. Love is enduring the verbal attacks of a spouse who is lashing out at you, not from any fault of your own, but because they are under an unbearable weight and have to let it out somewhere. Love is then forgiving them for that same act. 

A Gift

If you let it, this journey will teach you a lot about YOU. Is it scary? At times, it’s terrifying. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I now have an indescribably deep and abiding love for my spouse. It is so much more than fondness, friendship or physical desire. It is a love that binds our souls together and continually makes me more and more grateful for the gift of each day we get to spend with one another.

Through peaks and valleys, through better or worse, for now and extending into eternity with God, we walk together. And so can you. You can do it. Have patience, have faith, and never give up on them.

Let God give you comfort, let Him heal you. Surely the Author of all creation can and will soothe the open wounds of your despair with the healing balm of His majesty and love. Click To Tweet

Living with a loved one who has severe depression and anxiety can be disorienting. The key to survival and a strengthening love can be found in our Creator. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #depression #anxiety #love #healing

Living with a loved one who has severe depression and anxiety can be disorienting. The key to survival and a strengthening love can be found in our Creator. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #depression #anxiety #love #healing

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt
Anxious, anxiety, stress, joy, kindness, hope, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Anxious: Casting Our Worries on God to Allow His Kind Consolation

Anxiety is something many people deal with. When we are anxious it is important to bring it to God, and when those around us are struggling we need to come alongside them with kindness. 



I have dealt with anxiety for much of my life. It has been one of those issues that seems to ebb and flow. The past several months have been among the most anxiety-ridden of my life. I have been allowing the weight of stress, busyness, and fear to take over. It’s made me forget who I am and Whose I am. However, I am finally learning that I need to get in front of my anxiety and not allow it to rule over my life.

Many people deal with anxiety. When we are anxious it is important to allow God and others to come along side us in kindness. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #anxiety #joy #stress #kindness #hope

Cast It Away

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7, NIV

I heard a small portion of a talk that Christine Caine did on Anxiety. She spoke of this verse in 1 Peter and the meaning of the word cast. I looked it up for myself and this is what I found…

To throw something forcefully in a specific direction.

To cast means to not only throw but to throw forcefully. This is what scripture tells us to do. To throw our anxiety forcefully in the specific direction that is Jesus. Throw it on Him. Why should we do this? BECAUSE HE CARES FOR US.

This struck a chord in me. Jesus cares so much about us that He is not only willing to take on our anxiety, He is commanding us to cast it on Him.

Consolation from the Lord

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Psalm 94:19, NIV

When we are anxious we can expect the Lord to console us to the point of overwhelming joy. In order to receive this joy and consolation, we have to surrender our anxiety and rest in Him. This is not in part but in whole.

We can’t just give God pieces of our anxiety that are convenient to part with. We have to give Him all of it. When we do this He WILL console us so that we can have joy. We were not meant to deal with our anxiety within our own power but within God’s.

When we are anxious we can expect the Lord to console us. We were not meant to deal with our anxiety within our own power but within God's. Click To Tweet

Helping Our Anxious Loved Ones

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

Proverbs 12:25, NIV

When someone we know is going through a time of trial and anxiety is present in their life, we need to step up. We need to be there to offer a kind word. Whether this is encouragement, advice, or simple validation of their feelings. Our kindness can make a huge impact on their lives. During times of personal anxiety, I had people speaking truth and kindness to me. Anxiety weighs us down, but kindness has the opportunity to lift us up.

So I challenge you, don’t be complacent. Check on people. Especially if you know they struggle with anxiety. I know first hand that sometimes I am so anxious and worn down that I don’t have the capacity to grocery shop, or even pour myself a bowl of cereal. We are so quick to offer meals, words, and kindness when people have physical ailments. Imagine what would happen if we did it for the people who deal with mental health issues.

Simple acts of kindness can go a long way. So check on people, offer them a kind word, maybe even meet a need in their life. You have no idea what a difference you can make when you offer kindness to cheer up the anxiety in someone’s heart.

Many people deal with anxiety. When we are anxious it is important to allow God and others to come along side us in kindness. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #anxiety #joy #stress #kindness #hope

Tina Dawson

Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Plateaus: Trusting that God is Always at Work in Us

We often look at plateaus with a negative connotation, but all they are is room for growth. Why are they room for growth? Because they represent an opportunity to change. 



We all hit plateaus. We all have days, weeks, even years of no movement. Are you standing still right now? I am. In several aspects. Spiritually. Relationally. Mentally.

Plateaus

I recently wrote a memoir about my struggle with anxiety for an English assignment. I used an analogy that these challenges we face are like injuries. The healing process builds thicker skin. In our case, stronger faith. It is another disguised challenge put in place to strengthen us.

How, then, do we make it easier to face? How do we look beyond the disguise and see what God is revealing and showing? That’s a tough one. I think in the simplest terms we must trust. Trust that God’s not done with us. Trust that when God says He doesn’t leave us where He finds us, He means it.

How do we remain hopeful that there will be another uphill? To be truthful, I have no idea. But, I would love to journey through it with you. Let’s find the answer together, as I march through my own personal plateau…

We often look at plateaus with a negative connotation. But all they are is room for growth because they represent an opportunity to change. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #anxiety #community #personalgrowth #growth

True Confessions

For about a month now I’ve been having a constant “off day” if you know what I mean. I’ve had a couple of rough panic attacks and long-lasting moments of anxiety. Smelly teenage boys have somehow wiggled into my priority list and I cannot focus for the life of me! For example, in the midst of that last sentence, I looked up for really no reason at all and got completely distracted by a cloud floating by through the window.

Where is the self-awareness and realization that something outside has crept inside?

I still experience anxiety to an extent, but this elongated unassuredness has certainly shown to be more than an episode of my chemical brain structure. I’ve also begun to show unhealthy eating habits, and I can’t seem to stay awake for a whole day despite the 8+ hours of sleep I get every night. What the heck?! It’s quite frustrating. Compared to who and where I was seven months ago, I was in tip-top shape. So why the change?

Always Moving

I took for granted the high ground I’d worked so hard to reach. I lost focus on God’s role and I lost sight of the bottom I’d once stood on. And I only allowed myself to see that I was going nowhere. Something I need to remind myself of, and that I’d implore everyone to remember is, when you hit these seasons of flat ground, you’re still moving forward. You’re still going.

What’s going on in your life that you’ve unintentionally neglected? Or deemed not as important? For me, I need to take care of myself more (in light of how God sees me). I need to allow myself room to feel things I think I should or shouldn’t feel. I’m trying to suppress feelings I don’t want to feel. Then they pile up waiting to be felt. If I were on the flip side and someone came to me with this challenge, how would I respond? Would I offer grace? Of course! Then why is it so hard for me to accept?

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

1 Thessalonians 5:14, NIV

All the Feels

I’m piling things up instead of dealing with them. Instead of appreciating the place I’m in, I’ve taken it for granted and now I seem to be in another valley. Ladies, feelings are a piece of work. But what does God have to say about all these feelings? Let’s look back at the Bible.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9, NIV

Well, that’s a bit intense. The verse is intense, but what is the context? Where do I find myself in the midst of God’s promises and Christ’s hope for me? Not the whole world, but me. Is what I’m going through just a couple bad pieces of fruit or is the root system bad? How do I reach out to ask for help? God understands my heart. He understands my need for crying out and people to cry out to.

Reach Out

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:5-6, ESV

In harmony. I love that. Different notes working together to make one beautiful sound. Millions of image bearers working together for one glorious King. How then do we hold back our struggles? We serve a loving, caring God who has given us loving, caring people with which to share our struggles. When you hit these plateaus, because you will, and when you walk through these valleys, because you will, who are you reaching out to? Are you surrendering to your pride to receive help? Please, reach. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the community God’s placed me in. Reach out.

We serve a loving, caring God who has given us loving, caring people with which to share our struggles with. In harmony. When we hit plateaus, all we need to do is reach out! Click To Tweet

We often look at plateaus with a negative connotation. But all they are is room for growth because they represent an opportunity to change. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #anxiety #community #personalgrowth #growth
Ronald Baars

anxiety, fear, faithful, nourishment, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Nourishment: Allowing the Psalms to Penetrate and Feed Our Souls

Food is one of the greatest joys and necessities of life. Yet, it isn’t our bodies alone that need nourishment. We must feed our souls with God’s truth. 



We all need food. Food nourishes us, sustains us. Without food, we cannot live. Food is one of the greatest joys and necessities of life. Yet, it isn’t our bodies alone that need nourishment. We must feed our souls with God’s truth. When my soul is hungry or wanting, I often look to the Psalms.

My emotions may be all over the place, but His Word is true. My life may be ever-changing, but He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Even if my faith fails, He remains faithful, because He cannot deny Himself.

Below are several of my favorite Psalms. As you slowly read each one, close your eyes, think about the meaning of the words, and let God’s truth be nourishment for you today.

Let the Truth of God’s Word sink deep into your heart, renew your mind and fill your soul…

It isn't our bodies alone that need nourishment. We must feed our souls with God's truth. Click To Tweet

Food is one of the greatest joys and necessities of life. Yet, it isn't our bodies alone that need nourishment. We must feed our souls with God's truth. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

 

God’s Faithfulness

Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, truly you shall be fed. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.

Psalm 37:3-5, AMPC

» «

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

Psalm 27:14, AMPC

» «

But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children’s children.

Psalm 103:17, AMPC

» «

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits— Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!

Psalm 103:3-5, AMPC

Food for the Afraid

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.

Psalm 4:8, AMPC

» «

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1, AMPC

» «

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Psalm 91:4, NIV

Nourishment for the Wrecked

They looked to Him and were radiant; their faces shall never blush for shame or be confused. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

Psalm 34:5-6, AMPC

» «

[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!

Psalm 27:13, AMPC

» «

My heart throbs, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes, it also is gone from me. For in You, O Lord, do I hope; You will answer, O Lord my God.

Psalm 38:10, 15, AMPC

Food for the Wanting

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand [anywhere else]; I would rather be a doorkeeper and stand at the threshold in the house of my God than to dwell [at ease] in the tents of wickedness.

Psalm 84:10, AMPC

» «

Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.

Psalm 2:8, NIV

» «

The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning.

Psalm 25:14, AMPC

Jesus, thank you for this sweet reader. I pray these words will fill her to the full. Let your truth dive deep into her soul and set her free from fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, and confusion. Fill her with the foods of peace, love, patience, and grace. Let your love dwell in her richly and may she always know she is precious! In Jesus’ Sweet Name, Amen.

Food is one of the greatest joys and necessities of life. Yet, it isn't our bodies alone that need nourishment. We must feed our souls with God's truth. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

anxiety, purpose, unique, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Significant: Overcoming Anxiety and Embracing Our Unique Gifts

We are all uniquely created and hold significant roles in the Kingdom of God. We often play down our gifts and feed anxiety’s lies. It’s time to overcome…



The number one lie in which I have believed in my life is the same lie that millions of others have believed, maybe even you… Because I am an introvert, because I struggle with anxiety, I have believed for many years that I do not have what it takes to successfully spread the gospel…

We are all uniquely created and hold significant roles in the Kingdom of God. We often play down our gifts and feed anxiety's lies. It's time to overcome... Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Anxiety Lies

What is anxiety if not blindness to the truth? Anxiety distorts reality. It whispers, “You are not good enough.” It makes you feel less than. It is the lie that makes you believe all other lies.

Anxiety is something I have struggled with my whole life, and it is just now, in my late 30’s, that I am learning to feel comfortable in my own skin. It is just now that I am starting to see myself as a creation of God. I have a significant and unique purpose to which He has called me. I may not be able to minister like everyone else, but I am able to minister in the way that God created me to, and with the spiritual gifts He has provided me with.

My church is dear to me, but even in the church, this lie is inadvertently propagated. We are told that as Christians, God expects us to do things that make us uncomfortable. While this is true to a certain degree, I also believe that God uses different people in different ways. Some people may feel comfortable turning to a perfect stranger and talking to them about how to become a Christian. Others may feel more comfortable giving a snack and a scrawled Bible verse to the homeless man on the corner.

Haven’t both instances spread the message of God? Didn’t we both spread His hope? Didn’t we both spread His love?

Freedom in Truth

In the Bible, there is one undeniable theme that is seen time and time again: God uses ordinary people to do significant, extraordinary things. When He sent His Son to save the world, He didn’t send Him as a powerful king; He sent Him as a helpless baby. Jesus didn’t make His triumphal entry into Jerusalem in an adorned chariot. He rode in on a humble donkey. There is one thing for sure, God is not only a fan of the underdog; He is a fan of the introvert.

While being an introvert certainly has its drawbacks, many of the most creative, influential minds have been introverts. Albert Einstein. Abraham Lincoln. Mahatma Gandhi. Rosa Parks. My heightened sensitivity allows me to be more attuned to the emotions of those around me. I can hear the words that aren’t being said. I can help soothe the hurts that go otherwise unseen. Since I know how life-crushing it can be in the midst of the darkness, I am at a vantage point to be a light where others cannot. I can point people to my lighthouse, to my life raft, to the One who speaks truth, to my Lord and Savior.

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32, NIV

And isn’t it about time that we start to trust Jesus to free us from the chains of anxiety, from the bondage of our own minds…

The Whispers

Anxiety says… You can’t do anything right.

but God saysYou can do all things because I give you strength (Philippians 4:13).

Anxiety says… You just don’t know what to do anymore.

but God says… I will show you the way, listen for my voice (Isaiah 30:21)

Anxiety says… You are all alone.

but God says… I go before you and I will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Anxiety says… You are weak.

but God says… I am your safety and strength (Psalm 46:1-3).

Anxiety says… You should be scared.

but God says… Don’t let your heart be troubled or be afraid. I am not of this world (John 14:27).

Anxiety says…You are too tired to keep on fighting.

but God says… I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30).

Anxiety says… You will never find peace.

but God saysI will fill you with peace and hope (Romans 15:13).

Anxiety says… You are worthless. You are not significant to the Kingdom of God.

but God saysI have given you unique gifts to use for the good of My Kingdom…

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. Different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Where We Are

Booker T. Washington once stated, “Cast down your bucket where you are.” Stop comparing yourself to other Christians around you—who they are, what they are doing. Love where you are. Start where you are able. Each person has different needs that can be met best in their own unique way. Some people may respond to a more outgoing individual, while others may appreciate a more quiet, unassuming approach.

I have found for me personally, that I am much better at writing about personal matters; about spiritual matters. I will write posts on social media, text messages to a friend, write stories on my blog that I would never feel comfortable sharing with someone face-to-face. Physical distance, for me, sometimes leads to more emotional intimacy. All the fears and lack of confidence seems to disappear with the miles.

But the more I share with my writing, the easier it becomes for me to be more vulnerable and have those conversations with people. However, I will never feel at ease getting up on stage and giving a sermon. I am much more comfortable letting my life speak for me. And while there will always be times when God takes us beyond our comfort zone, we should not be terrified when serving Him.

If we are uncomfortable in our ministry, how are we ever going to make others feel comfortable? We are all different, but we are all significant and necessary to the Kingdom of God. Click To Tweet

Significant Gifts

I am not good at talking to other people about my emotions. I have a hard time knocking on doors and telling strangers how God has changed my life. But, what I have found is that there is strength in silence. There is courage in waking up every day and continuing on life’s path even though you are paralyzed by fear. There is faith in trusting God to lead you through what He has called you to do. Not all sermons are preached, some are merely lived. Not all testimonies are spoken, some are shared by acts of love…

If we are uncomfortable in our ministry, how are we ever going to make others feel comfortable? We are all different, but we are all significant and necessary to the Kingdom of God. You have to understand your spiritual gifts before you can use them. You have to appreciate who you are and Whose you are before those gifts can benefit you or anyone else.

I know that my gift is not speaking, and I have learned to be okay with that. You know who else wasn’t good with his words? Moses. The same Moses who led the Israelites out of slavery and brought them to the Promised Land.

God has a plan for each of our lives. He has a significant purpose for our pain. Maybe the very thing we are going through right now is what God wants us to use to lead others out of slavery and into their “promised land”. So, you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children (Romans 8:15).



Misty Johnson is a teacher and former psychiatric nurse, who strives to be the change she wishes to see in the world. She spends her days seeking God’s peace by meditating on His word, hiking among His splendid creations, and reading thought-provoking stories. Her goal is to encourage and educate others on ways to improve their spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being. If you would like to join others on this journey of holistic healing, you can visit her website at https://spiritbodymindrenewal.wordpress.com/. You can also connect with Misty on Twitter  and Instagram.

We are all uniquely created and hold significant roles in the Kingdom of God. We often play down our gifts and feed anxiety's lies. It's time to overcome... Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

All scripture referenced from the NIV Bible.