Saturday, February 22, 2014

T W E N T Y - T W O || An Uphill Battle

When I look back at the list of prompts I put together, sometimes I just have to laugh. They are so timely! In the past month I have dealt with more stress and anxiety than I have in a year. Graduation came and went, I moved across the country with ease, and I settled in to a new city and community in the blink of an eye. But 2014? Man oh man, has it been a trial and a test. And it's only February! 

Last year, I would have said that I function well --even at my best!-- under stress. I typically do not know how to handle free time and I pack my schedule to the brim to feel most productive. But this year I have seen a major change. I need sleep, rest, and time alone to thrive, but there is a delicate balance to be had. I can easily become a recluse, hiding out in my room almost afraid of the effort it takes to pull myself out and into community. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy going to Lifegroup and to church, and even out with friends, but when my stress level has risen I hide. I duck and cover and close the door to my hobbit hole, retreating to the safety of social media. I feel connected but content in my little corner.

One thing I am learning is that while I cannot control what happens, I CAN control how I respond.

I can choose to hide.
I can choose to remain inactive.
I can choose to see only the negative.
I can choose to ignore the Lord's presence.

Unfortunately, I often choose the above list. 
Fortunately, there is grace and a God who pursues me.

I can also choose joy.
I can also choose positivity.
I can also choose to worship.
I can also choose to trust Him daily.
I can also choose to activate my faith. 
I can also choose to make the most of my situation.

Instead of complaining, I can grab my 1000 Gifts journal and list my blessings.
Instead of diving into sweets, I can grab a water bottle and take a prayer jog around the lake.
Instead of retreating into my hideaway, I can call up a friend and Skype or grab coffee.
Instead of indulging in the lie that I am alone, I can seek out a mentor or gal pal to encourage.
Instead of remaining discouraged and feeling un-pursued, I can pursue Jesus.

There is always an alternative to resigning myself to anxiety. I just have to choose it. Just as I have to choose to believe Scripture when it says that He is always with me and that He is already victorious.

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