Monday, May 21, 2012

my unwanted acquaintance, final chapter

I have been running the college group at my church for the past seven years. It's not a job I ever saw myself doing. And yet, I cannot think of another job that I would love as much as I do this one.

In closing this chapter of my blog, I would like to share some things I learned from this experience.

* When it comes to anxiety, I have to look at him as an unwanted acquaintance. Mr. Anxiety still visits me from time to time. When he knocks on my door, I can't be scared of him. That gives him the power. Instead I have to bravely open the door and actually invite him in. "Oh, you again? Well, you're going to come in anyway so I might as well invite you in. Pull up a chair, Mr. A. I just made some cookies. Have one, if you want. Don't plan on staying too long." He's an acquaintance. Not a friend, not an enemy. Just someone I have to deal with. But I cannot allow him to have control over me.

* Breathe. Just breathe. Every time you breathe out, imagine yourself releasing some of the anxiety and worry.

* When things are hard, keep telling yourself, "This too shall pass. This will not kill me. It makes me feel horrible right now, but this too shall pass."

* When I freak out, all I am focused on is how I FEEL. It is during those times that I must remember what I know to be TRUE. Feelings vs. the TRUTH. Who ultimately wins? Truth. Always.

* We were made to live in community. Jesus had his 12. And within those 12, he had his close 3: Peter, James, and John.

I never wanted to be alone when I was depressed or anxious. If I was left alone, my mind would race and it would make things worse. I reached out to others and others reached out to me and helped me during my dark times. When Jesus went to the Garden the night before he died, he brought his closest 3 for comfort. That's how it should be.

* GOD WILL USE IT. I never wanted to hear that when I was in the middle of it. But looking back, I see how God has used it (and continues to use it). I have found Jesus to be my strength when I am weak. I am closer to God than ever before. God has used me the past 7 years to be there for my college students, friends, and family who struggle and hurt and feel like they'll never get through their darkness. God has given me a deeper compassion for those who suffer.

* My faith is unwavering. If Satan wanted to use this as a way to make me doubt God or turn away and curse God...HE FAILED. He will always fail. My faith is going nowhere. My life belongs to Jesus and always will.

And thus finishes this chapter of my blog. Thank you for going on this reading journey with me, friends.


Emily said...

I love you Sarah! Thanks for sharing this journey. Yes, God uses ALL THINGS. Nothing is so hard that He can't redeem it. I praise Him for the testimony He has given you, and how your unwanted acquaintance has given you the tools you need to help others. My unwanted acquaintances are multiple miscarriages and cancer. God has used those, too. Hard? YES! But even good when used by our mighty amazing God. Hugs to you today, dear friend.

Smarshie said...

Thank you, Em!