Choices. We all have them and have to make them. Some choices are easy, and others more difficult. Some choices are quick decisions; others require prayer, facts and thought.
I have been looking at choices in my life. I haven’t been studying the choices in my past; although there are things, good and bad, that I can learn from them. I have been looking at choices that are before me in my life right now as I seek to be more and more the woman God has called me to be where I am.
This verse came to mind, “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 30:21.
I have heard that voice behind me speaking regarding involvement in One Voice this Fall, and I am clearly not supposed to be a part of that ministry this time. God has something else in mind; pieces of what that is are beginning to fall in place (that voice again).
I know that many times in my life I have left choices take control and I have become overwhelmed and extremely stressed. Maybe you have done this same thing. Many times the choices were good things, but were to the detriment of my self and my family. Being under that type of stress is not healthy physically, emotionally or spiritually.
A few weeks ago I was reading an RSS Feed I get from Simple Mom (http://www.simplemom.net). The article was about Stress being a CHOICE. As I thought through the times I have been most stressed, most of it would have been the result of choices. Although there were times it was not my choices, but my reaction to what was happening around me.
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“Stress is a choice. Do you buy that? Some people have a hard time with the idea. …Yes, bad things happen: The economy sours, our business struggles, the stock market tumbles, jobs are lost, people around us don’t follow through, deadlines are missed, projects fail, good people leave. Life is full of these. But still, stress is a choice because whatever the ‘trigger event,’ we always choose our own response. We choose to react angrily. We choose to stuff our emotions and keep quiet. We choose to worry. …Stress is a choice.”
–John Miller QBQ, The Question Behind the Question
“Stress isn’t happening to me, it’s a reaction to a situation I’m allowing. Stress might still be a logical reaction to a situation, but it’s usually not helpful. Or at least, it’s not usually necessary to feel quite so stressed.
It helps to take a deep breath and remember that you don’t have to choose stress. You can choose level-headedness. You can choose to be calm. Stress doesn’t make the situation any better, worse, or different. It’s simply a reaction, one you can change.”
–Tsh Oxenreider, Simple Mom
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These are some of the Scriptures that came to my mind regarding handling stress and stressful situations.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?…No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35, 37-39
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing, Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:6-8
I don’t want my life, or that of any family member or friend, to be ruled by stress. I want my life, and theirs, to be ruled by Jesus Christ. I know this will be a journey for me, but I am trusting the One who loves me more than anyone else to take me one step at a time. Do you want to join me? Praying for you today.