A lot of times over the span of life we unknowingly accommodate our lives for others. Before you say "nope, not me" just think back on the many times where you have altered what you really want out of life and even who you are to make those around you or better yet those you love feel comfortable. It happens so often and then we find ourselves stressed out or overwhelmed due to people pleasing. I know for me I stepped into a lot of new seasons this year and let me tell you it's been a huge adjustment for me so far, honestly something that I'm still adjusting to. I found myself in a place where I felt like I couldn't be myself. This tends to happen when you're trying to find your place in a new setting in life. I found myself so bound up that it took my joy away from many of the things I'm most passionate about. Now I know you're thinking "how could you let anything steal your joy from something you're passionate about?..." See for me it wasn't that I was allowing my joy to be stolen. It was more so that I wasn't renewing my mind enough.
Renewing your mind sounds easier said than done. Most people think that if they say a few affirmations everyday then they're good but what about if/when you're constantly under attack? I realized that I wasn't doing enough for myself. I recently began feeling symptoms of anxiety which is something I've never experienced before. I was unknowingly allowing people to put their anxious thoughts on me. How many of us know that when you're already nervous about something you don't need 100 more people adding their fears on to that? That was my issue, I began feeling anxious about something I wanted to be excited about. The minute I tried to become excited BOOM my joy about this particular part of my life was being stolen by the thoughts and opinions of others. I had to really sit down and tell myself that if God allowed me to be in this place who am I to worry? Who am I to fear? Who am I to allow the thoughts and opinions of others to dictate my thoughts and opinions of my future?
Honestly I was very disappointed in myself for allowing my mind to be so easily attacked but I'm glad that I've experienced these test and trials because it has showed me what area in my life I need to focus more on. It has also reminded me that I am exactly where God wants me to be. If I've learned anything over the course of this year, its that walking in your purpose comes with a spiritual and mental battle and if you're not strong enough you can find yourself ready to throw in the towel. The enemy hates when we are walking in God's plan and purpose for our lives. He hates when we're obedient and following God, so of course he's going to make attacks on our lives to try and knock us off. I just want to encourage someone today; especially those who frequently experience or live with anxiety. You control your thoughts and you control what you allow and accept into your mind and heart. Don't let peoples words thoughts and opinions cause you to be anxious. The bible talks about guarding your heart. (Proverbs 4:23) In the same way that you guard your heart guard your ears and mind as well. Your thoughts plant themselves in your heart and eventually what is in your heart will come out. So we must guard what we let in, and when we do goodness will come out.
God's word says for us to be anxious for nothing and to pray about EVERYTHING. (Philippians 4:6) His word also says that the peace of God will surpass all understanding. (Philippians 4:7) We are to cast all of our cares and worries on God and allow Him to handle all things above us. (1Peter 5:7) My favorite reminder is that God didn't give me a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. (2Timothy 1:7) I thank God for His word, a word that I can stand firm on to fight the next time I'm attacked, because I know there will be a next time.
My prayer today is that we will take time to renew our minds daily and that we will not be in bondage to people. I pray that we all will find freedom from people and boldly be who God created and called us to be. I pray for those who experience anxiety on a daily. I pray for stronger minds of those who are feeling weak. I pray for peace and joy to be placed in the hearts of those who are uneasy.
-Yours Truly, Eb