You have a message to share.
A radio client recently told me that he preached a sermon about his life message—the one piece of wisdom he would choose to leave behind. He cautioned the congregation, “Don’t get ahead of yourself.” Enamored by the future, he’d learned to wait on the Lord.
Your message might change, depending on your current phase of life, but consider your personal legacy for a moment. Suppose you had one hour left to live, a chisel in your hand, and a blank piece of stone before you. What words would you choose to etch?
Consider your personal legacy.
You may not feel a strong, specific call on your life; you may not sense any particular passion burning in your bosom right now; but God has undoubtedly taught you something worth sharing with others. Thanks to this blog, I know my own message:
Fear won’t win.
I want my life to prove that I have chosen to rise above my anxieties and embrace courage–and that you can do the same. Every accomplishment, large and small, represents a triumph of spirit, His Spirit living in me and you. Never give in to fear.
God has taught you something worth sharing.
Here’s how we can conquer anxiety together in the week ahead:
1. Adjust your focus.
You determine how much space fear holds in your head. I recently stepped outside of my comfort zone by signing up for an exercise class, and some of the postures hurt my lower back. Even a day or two after a class, I would still experience stiffness and discomfort.
Concerned about my newfound back pain, I stopped enjoying the workouts altogether. During entire classes, I would fixate on whether or not I felt tension or pressure in my lower back. I asked multiple different instructors for tips on how to modify the postures.
Finally, I turned to an online forum to ask for help, and I found this magazine article. The author suggested that conquering back pain involved letting go of fear. In other words, stop focusing so much on your pain. Let yourself enjoy the moment without worrying!
You determine how much space fear holds in your head.
2. Recognize the lie.
Your own logic tells you that, in order to solve a problem, you must try harder. You must become obsessive in your pursuit of a solution. In reality, the opposite often holds true. Sometimes, in order to experience victory, you must turn your mind to other matters.
Honestly, I love my workout classes. They make me feel beautiful. I feel calmer and happier after class, and my husband has even noticed a little more muscle definition, much to my delight. Because of some slight back pain, however, I considered quitting.
I shouldn’t ignore my body, and I will continue to find modifications and take breaks. Hopefully, as the muscles in my core strengthen, I will be able to better support my spine. For now, though, I feel great freedom in the knowledge that I can choose to reject fear.
Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change. – Kobe Bryant
3. Reject the fear.
You don’t get to control how loudly fear shouts, but you do decide whether or not to listen. Tonight, during my workout class, I allowed myself to let go of worry. I practiced my modifications and took breaks, but when I felt my lower back tighten, I didn’t fret.
I walked out of the class feeling exultant. Instead of frustrated, I felt powerful. Fear doesn’t get to dictate my actions. I won’t let worry make me quit something I love. Every time you feel anxious, you face the same choice. You may listen to your fear–or not.
In the moment, turning aside from your worry may feel foolish. You need to anticipate potential scenarios in order to avoid them, right? You need to figure this out, right? You’re supposed to listen to your own emotions, your own intuition, right? Wrong.
Your anxiety lies to you.
Tonight, choose to believe what God says instead of what your emotions may be telling you. As a wise Christian counselor once told me, feelings aren’t facts. You have the power within you to reject fear in favor of a courageous life. That’s my personal message to you.
The Reluctant Bride