Sometimes You Just Need a Break
There are times in our lives when we just feel like we can't catch a break. Around every corner there is something new waiting and just when you think things are getting better it jumps out to get you. It's easy to get down when it seems like nothing is really going right. Even when things just seem stagnate, it's easy to fall into self doubt and negativity. Stress is one of my biggest enemies in times like this. When things seem to be going south, I start to stress, thinking that there is no way they are going to get better. I always overreact in that way. Obviously things will get better, but in the thick of it it's hard to see past the present.
Going over and over your situation in your head until you're sick doesn't do you any good. Worrying doesn't do you any good. Why do we worry so much about things we can't control? If we do everything we can to point the situation in the direction we want, sometimes we just have to sit back and wait. Typically when we sit back and relax things finally start to go right. It's like God's way of saying "I told you so." We also must remember that what we want may not be what He has planned for us. There are countless times in the Bible where God tells us to be patient, to trust Him and not to worry. All worrying does for us is take away from the positive things we have going on. When we have our blinders on only focusing on the negative we tend to ignore our peripheral vision, where the positive things are. Typically, even when one really big, really awful thing is happening, there are hundreds of small things that would make up for it of we would just acknowledge them. When this negativity overtakes us, we are essentially telling God that we do not trust His plan for us. We are looking Him in the eye and telling Him that He does not know what He is doing with our lives and we know better. How crazy is it that we actually think we know better than our creator?
When we are all consumed with negativity, it is so important to take a break. I have battled a lot of stress lately surrounding various things and I have found myself falling deep into negativity, deep into distrust in God's plan for me. Why do we do this? We have the ultimate promise laid out before us that God will take care of us, that He has a plan for our lives, yet we still doubt Him.
This past week I was able to spend some time stress free. I focused on Him, focused on not worrying and clearing my head of negativity. I was able to marvel in the beauty of God's creation and practice the thankfulness I had been neglecting. He has given us a multitude of things to be thankful for. It's truly incredible. I was able to get into the Word a bit more and read his promises. Looking back at this week I have to ask myself, why did it take a trip to the beach to make me think this way? I should be able to have this more positive mindset all of the time. I think this week was God's way of looking me in the eye and telling me to trust Him.
It's so interesting to me when I compare myself this past week to the week before that. This past week I was so much more calm, so much more relaxed. I wasn't worrying about this or that, I wasn't comparing myself to others, I wasn't unhappy. Granted, I was at the beach, but It's the simple changes in my mindset while I was there that made all the difference. I made an effort to look at things more positively, and to disconnect from the things that were making me unhappy.
As I return from this trip, it's easy to let stress and worry consume me again. I'm human, I'm going to still struggle, even after a stress free week. I just have to remind myself that what is happening now is part of His plan. Every step of this journey is part of that plan and it all happens for a reason. Even when something seems like an unnecessary obstacle, it's not. It's a stepping stone toward His greater purpose for us. We have to remember and trust that.
"Cast all you anxiety on Him because he cares for you. Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil proles around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever Amen." -2 Peter 5:7-11 NIV
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" -Luke 12:25 NIV
"Now to Him who is able to immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. -Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV