Thursday, May 19, 2016

Living a Life for God with Anxiety

Many of you know if you read my last blog post, the journey that I am currently on. The magazine and all its excitement and struggles! I love it! Now I can't say I feel this way every day because I will tell you there have been days of this journey where I have been ready to throw in the towel. I see myself getting distracted to the point where I'm not focusing on my family, I see the struggle in my teammates, I wonder if God is really in this as much as we thought....all these struggles and doubts have crept into my mind more than once. However the biggest struggle of all for me is dealing with my anxiety. Now anxiety is a term many people don't take seriously if you've never experienced it full force. However anxiety for me means headaches, stomach aches, muscle soreness and complete and utter exhaustion at the end of everyday but a difficulty sleeping through the night.

So how do I deal with this physical reality while living full out for God?

 Let me tell you it's not easy and I'm far from good at it! As I write this I can feel the knot in my stomach from a build up of stress. I wonder if all my efforts on the Kickstarter campaign will pay off. I seek the Lord for answers about how we are going to make it moving forward. But the honest truth is that I know I can't do this without God. I can't deal with all the anxiety and stress involved with this magazine without God. We can't overcome our battles without God. The magazine can't survive without the financial blessing only God can provide. We can't get passionate people behind it without God. And yes I am using the word can't and I wouldn't have it any other way. Sure we might be able to try to do some of these things in our own strength but let's be honest I would end up in a bad situation and state of mind. I need God. My anxiety isn't going to go away and so for me God is my only safe haven. The only path I know I can confidently walk. Yes there will be struggles maybe even more so but I'm protected. God has already won. He's already seen the outcome of these two weeks, of this year, of my existence on this earth. He's not bound by our time. He completes what He promises! And this is how I follow God with the sometimes crippling effects of anxiety! He is my hope and my strength to walk every single day!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Following God's Call...

Do you ever wonder what it would have really been like to be Jesus' disciples in Acts? All of that persecution as they are walking in the ways of God. Do you ever try to put yourself in their shoes? Being absolutely honest for me, I don't want to. The thought of being physically, mentally and emotionally beat up sounds horrible. But yet how do we still follow in the will of God knowing that this is a very real possibility for our lives? Their is a real devil that doesn't want us living for God. How do we handle that? 

Well for me I've seen and experienced bits and pieces of this struggle throughout my life but nothing like what I've experience recently. Some of you may know that my mom and I have decided to start a magazine for tweens in Mid Missouri! This idea, the process, and the people involved are only explainable by God. I can honestly say he orchestrated everything! And we have had our fair share of bumps in the road but up until recently everything has gone fairly smoothly with lots of excitement from almost everyone we talk to! 

Now we have a core team of three. Myself, my mom and a very dear friend of ours. All of us see the mission and know this is Gods plan! What we didn't expect was the extent of the struggle to get there. Now I understand starting a magazine is HUGE! It is stressful, exhausting, overwhelming, time consuming...all of which would wear anyone down in itself and it definitely has but the passion lives and breathes much greater! However the struggle doesn't stop there for our team...we are less than a month away from our deadline of getting all content and ads submitted to get the first issue out in August! We are working in overdrive to get this baby rolling, but not without some personal struggles...our dear friend is fighting some very real and very ugly personal situations. It breaks my heart to see the tears of pain in the midst of this deadline, while she is struggling to still give all she has to seeing this magazine come to life.

Then just two days ago at the end of a photo shoot for the magazine, my mom falls ill. She's in pain, light headed, shaky, the works. Eventually it becomes so bad that she does to the ER. Come to find out she has a large gall stone and will need surgery. 

Now I'm not sure if I've expressed accurately the pressure we are under for this magazine but it doesn't leave much time if any for downtime in May. We need to utilize the whole month to pull this magazine together. However the adversary is at work. This could be the end of the story and we may or may not in human strength get everything completed but thank God it's not just us!

Around 2am when I got the texts about moms condition and I remembered the disciples journey in Acts. Everything that they had to endure on their journey and quite honestly my first reaction was fear! Questions raced through my mind...what's next? Who's next? What if something bad happens to me or somebody I love? How much of this can I take? And then I remember that this battle has already been won. Yes it may be excruciatingly difficult to walk in the call of God but we have to remember who has already won! 

1 John 4:4 says, "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."

I can't promise that I will always be this mentally strong but I just hope when I do start to falter some one will come up beside me and lift me up with these words. We are battling each and everyday. Sometimes each and every minute of the day to overcome and keep moving but hallelujah we have the King of Kings on our side!

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am you God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

May will be crazy and there are still many more battles to come but seeing the end result, seeing the excitement on the kids faces and bringing the community together to help these kids is what matters most! We are here to live for God and help expand His kingdom through genuine love, compassion and support for his children in a tough portion of their lives! We want them to see and know their worth! That beauty isn't measured on the outside and that whatever they do is awesome! We want to show them that we care!

Also, if you want even more encouragement in this area check out the First 5 App this weekend and watch their video on "The Holy Spirit's Power in Persecution."