Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday. It's a beautiful day here in Northwest Arkansas! I'm headed to Cancun, Mexico for the week for work (yes work! and a little play). As I prepare for travel and a week away from my family, I can't help but start to feel anxious! I'm going to get REAL with you on today's blog post with something that is always constantly stirring in my heart.
I think I may have always struggled with this, but it really became an issue when I moved to college 7 years ago (let me let that soak in a minute... 7 years ago - wow time flies!). Maybe it was the realization that I was on my own in some aspects of life then, or the fears and stresses of starting something new and unknown - who knows! But I am constantly struggling with fear. MY phobia is FEAR LOL. It sounds funny to me when I type it out... but it's true.
I would (and still) always think, "oh that fear will fall away when I get past this point, or when I do this". But when one fear or worry would fall off, another one would take it's place. I can be a very calculated person at times, and for me, clear and proven facts seem to numb some of my worries and fears, but that's all they do.....just numb it. I constantly struggle with the thought process of "Oh if I do this then I will fell better or if I do that I can rest easy" .... nope, never works. Yet I STILL do it! Why??
I have trusted in the wrong sources. I've trusted in worldly facts, I've trusted in others' words for comfort. When I should have been using my FAITH all along. It wasn't until this past year where I really hit a low point with controlling my fear. Collin and I have been through a world of changes all in a very short period of time. The six months before our marriage and the first three months of our marriage were some of the hardest and happiest times for me. Please don't get me wrong when I tell you they were some of the hardest, but I'm also not going to put on a mask and tell you that it was all rainbows and butterflies!
OF COURSE they were happy times, we were planning a wedding, preparing to spend the rest of our lives together, it has been a blast! But behind all the happy was fear and anxiety. Collin has just been transferred to a Dallas Goodyear location the January before our June wedding, and were were poised with a VERY hard decision to make. After weeks and months of fear and anxiety and weighing the options, we really felt that this was God's plan for us to go, and so we did. I failed to use my faith to battle fear during the transition. I failed MISERABLY. I worried about the move, about jobs, about money, about finding a home, the list went on. I worried and worried myself into a hole I couldn't climb out of, and I was doing it alone. I'll never forget the times I cried and cried and stressed about things I had ZERO control over. I tried to use my faith and reach for God, but I would quickly turn away. Why? He had it all along and I worried for nothing! Had I just trusted him fully and prayed more about our circumstances I would have been at ease.
So I learned from my mistakes. The first few months after our wedding we spent settling into our new home in Texas and adjusting to so much NEW in our lives. Collin and I started praying together more. We prayed for peace and guidance as we started this new life together. I prayed for patience as I continued the journey of finding a new job in a new city. God provided for Collin and I in more ways that I can imagine and he is still providing for us!
When Collin and I found ourselves in another season of change this past January, I was ready this time. We had even more unknowns in our future than I felt like we did the last time around and I just gave it to God every single time I felt myself start to get anxious and worry about things that I couldn't even control if I tried. I felt so much better knowing that when I put my trust in God and his plan that my worries and fears were contained.
I still struggle with fear and anxiety, I think it's just a part of who I am and it will be something that I will always need to battle. So as I continue to fight fear, I find comfort in these verses and I wanted to share them with y'all. I like to write them out and read and re-read them when I am anxious about anything and plan to make this a practice for myself.
"Have I not commanded you? Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isaiah 41:10
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God, And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them." - Daniel 10:12
"My grace is sufficient for you. For MY power is made perfect in weakness." - 2 Corinthians 12:9
"I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." - Psalm 34:4-5
I hope you find comfort in these verses as I do! They sure do help me when I feel myself slipping back into that fear and anxiety that my mind so badly wants to go to. At the end of the day, I just have to give it all to God and let him handle it and know that it's out of my control.
I can't wait to share my trip to Mexico with you all when I get back! Hope y'all have a great week!
Stephanie Grace Benton