“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)
As suspected, I’ve hit that point of dreaded writers block. I sat down to write this post and I had nothing. Almost like being pee-shy, but instead word-shy. Although I really don’t have an audience other than God and myself, I suddenly felt like I was under a spotlight and I had to perform. But for who? From the beginning I made a point not to promise to write every day. Would the world fall apart if I didn’t, no. Do I feel like I would be letting somebody down, yes. But again, who? Me? God? That stranger I’ve never met? Its like I said before, if I do something “wrong” or I don’t live up to the expectations I’ve laid out for myself, I don’t just scoff it off and keep moving forward. Oh no, instead I bombard myself with negative thoughts. See Kirsten, I knew you couldn’t even last a week. You’ll never make it a whole year sober, let alone the rest of your life, and you definitely won’t write in this journal everyday. You can’t stick to anything you start! You’re a failure! How will you ever write a book if you can’t even write a blog post.
And then I stopped myself. I closed my laptop, plugged in my headphones, and laid on the couch and listened to my calming Christian playlist. See, this blog is not a performance. It isn’t supposed to have an agenda. I can write anything I want, anything I feel. It is an opportunity to connect and communicate with God. Last night I felt called just to sit with him in peace.
The last thing I want is for this devotional journal to be another thing to worry about. God discourages his children from worrying. To him its as if we’re saying, Sorry God, I just don’t trust you enough to take care of this. Or, I just don’t think you have the power to change my circumstances.
So I decided to write down all of the things I’ve been worrying about lately, all of life’s difficulties that draw me into worrying. I wanted to collectively organized my concerns and doubts so that I could consciously release them to God.
I’m worried that I won’t finish the first draft of my research paper by tomorrow night, which will drop my grade down from an A to a C. This thought triggers the next thought of, Oh no, I can’t possibly get anything less than an A, it will ruin my GPA. I’m worried about not having enough English classes to teach at the moment, which triggers the thought of not having enough money. I’m worried that I’ll fall off the wagon and start drinking again. I’m worried that I’ll stop following my workout and nutrition plan and then I won’t have the body I want. I’m worried about my Mom and brother Perry back home. Worried my brother will eventually give up and kill himself and that my Mom will completely lose it. I’m worried they’ll never find you, God. I worry about my future with Tommi. Is he the right man for me, God? Will we ever get married and have children? But most of all, I worry that I’ll never find my purpose in life. One worry triggers another worry, which triggers another worry. Perhaps its in part due to my feminine nature, but regardless, its a reflection of my lack of faith in God’s immeasurable power.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever, Amen!” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
I have this vision. This vision that I wad up all of my worries into a little ball: my grades, finances, family, relationship, my future. All of it. Then I toss the ball up to God, and say, Here ya go, God! I’m so sick and tired of worrying about all of these things that I can’t control. Show me what you got! And then I wait patiently and I pray. I let his Spirit guide my thoughts. For the mind cannot govern itself, it must be governed by a greater power from within, the Spirit. Without God, the Spirit, we are subjected to our own sinful nature. We want to do right, but we just can’t. At least not all the time. The only way to avoid sin is through God’s assistance.
Three years ago I was so sure that I had left all of my old habits behind. I never realized how hard it would be to overcome my demons. Through my walk with God, I’ve realized that overcoming my sinful nature is a never-ending, ongoing process. It involves consciously and consistently depending on God. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, inviting Jesus into my life was the easy part, actually picking up my cross everyday and following him is proving to be the ultimate challenge.
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31)
God is truly amazing. When I look back on how many times I thought my life was over, all the times the physical and emotional pain was so great it was paralyzing, even the times I wanted to die; I’m overwhelmed by God’s ability to renew my strength. Like a flower in the frozen snow. Just when we are ready to give up, just when we think we’ll never see the light, we bloom again.
God, I release all of my worries to you. I trust you completely. I pray for an open heart and an open mind. With eyes to see and ears to listen, so that I may sense all the things you’re doing in my life. How could I ever doubt you? Look what you have already done! You have bestowed upon me so many wonderful blessings. Thank you. I come to you with a grateful and eager heart. Show me your way. In Jesus name, Amen.