Monday, November 07, 2005

Anxiety, Tears, and Rejoicing

The anxiety started yesterday...Sunday evening. I can almost tell you the exact moment it started. I was a little more than a mile from home. I didn't like the familiar feeling and thankfully, I recognized it pretty quickly as being warfare of the non-earthly type.

Things had gone well at church Sunday night. I was heading up a new season of the "dramatic movement" ministry and our first practice was REALLY awesome. I am confident God has very big plans for this group and the work they will do.

I was also mentally working through the events of Friday and Saturday. I had gone to "Mockingbirdville" Alabama to work a Mannatech table and there were many, many things there that God was doing and asking me to do. I knew He was moving and I knew good things were coming.

So the anxiety was pretty painful. I can't say I quite "meditated" on the following scripture while I was driving, but I certainly recalled it during my prayers...

"For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12 NLT

I knew God was using me and I knew Satan had plans to try diverting me.

This morning, the anxiety reached an all-time high. Tears, stress, nausea. I was working through it while trying to remain calm, peaceful, and even joyful with the boys. I was able to hide my tears and fears enough that they didn't ask questions. I wonder if they noticed...

Donnie certainly did. There was one phone call where I could hardly speak. My voice cracked through the tears. His first phone call to me after that was a voice message on my cell that said, "I'm worried about y'all."

But things turned around QUICKLY.

In my anxiety, I knew I had to pray. There really is no power in ANYTHING else. That was my only hope for strength. And during that prayer, words from bible study rang loud and clear.

An abundant life is not dependent on circumstances. It is a bi-product of dependence and focus on Christ. I prayed and asked God to please help me focus on Christ. I took efforts to focus on what Christ has done for me. I thought about the cross. I thought about Christ's undue suffering. I remembered and looked forward to His return and the permanent extinction of anxiety and fear.

I focused as hard as I could. It was imperfect but I was trying. I begged God for His help. I have no power to do these things on my own.

Minutes later, anxiety released. That physical part of it was erased.

Soon after, a difficult load was lightened. Not removed but lightened.

Next, that lightened load was made to look bad again and more efforts had to be put forth to change my focus. Satan wanted my focus on my former pity party. I had to allow the Holy Spirit to move me past it.

Minutes later, that load was totally removed.

Hours later, the biggest mercy was poured out through a phone call from Donnie. Answers to prayers were coming through the cell like crazy. Wow.

A few hours later, I was able to do something that God evidentally had planned to use to bless someone else. I called with some news and was told that this news was a perfect answer to a very detailed prayer concerning this exact situation. I was then able to hear of other answered prayers that had happened for this family earlier in the day. We were able to praise our Lord together! Awesome!

God truly is amazing, y'all. I'm so thankful for days like today. It started out SO bad. And tonight I am here to tell you that His mercy is unending. His grace is unwavering. Regardless of circumstances, abundant life is possible.

"And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." Phillippians 4:19 NLT

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