Encouragement · Faith, Life, and Marriage · In the Bible

Beyond Circumstances

Change makes me nervous.
And boy’o’boy my husband & I have had SOO many changes this past year, but in so many good ways.
In less than 24 months we received an infertility diagnosis, went through IVF, got pregnant, had a baby, sold our business’s commercial building, & transitioned from being third-party employed to self-employed so I can work from home & spend more time with my family.

In all of those life changes, our lives became a lot more comfortable & full of joy. We were no longer childless. Our schedules became less hectic, exhausting, & demanding. Our finances have settled a little more. We’re both getting to pursue careers we’re passionate about. God has allowed these changes & through it we have seen so much stress, anxiety, grief, longing. & fear exit our lives.

And I’ll be honest…it’s been really really nice.
After 11 years of what felt like constant stress & chaos, for the first time I’ve felt like I can take a breath.

But in these comfortable moments, I’ve also caught myself feeling a little nervous…nervous that things will go back to being stressful like they were before, nervous that the feelings of stress & chaos will return. There have even been times I’ve caught myself hesitating in prayer or in my quiet times- hesitating to ask God for His will out of fear for what that will looks like. In those moments of hesitation I’ve felt my heart tighten its grip on the feelings of comfort, relief, & joy God has allowed us to have lately.

And I’ll be honest…I don’t like those feelings of nervousness & hesitation.
I want to always be ready to live out God’s will for my life, without hesitation. I want my source of joy, comfort, & gratitude to extend beyond my circumstances. I want them to be rooted in Christ- even if…no…even when life is hard. I also don’t want to ruin this season of goodness we’re in out of fear of when the next “shoe will drop”. That makes me feel so silly- we finally get to a good place after all these years & my knee-jerk reaction is to expect a crisis. It has felt a little like trying to live on a balance- trying not ruin the good times by worrying over something that may not ever happen while also not depending on these good times as my source of comfort & joy.

As I have felt these emotions & thoughts creeping in I’ve taken them to my church family, my husband, my counselor, & most importantly I’ve taken them to the Lord.
God’s Word calls us to lay everything down before Him- not just tangible things- but our honest thoughts & emotions, too. He’s not afraid of them. His Word also calls us to be in regular community with fellow Christians, & this season with these concerns are a perfect example of why they are so important.

God’s Word calls us to lay everything down before Him- not just tangible things- but our honest thoughts & emotions, too. He’s not afraid of them.

I encourage you, today, if you’re in a season of worry or anxiety- whether it’s caused by something you’re already going through or something you’re afraid will come- dig into God’s Word, dig into prayer, open up to a counselor, accountability partner, & your church family. Concerns can’t be dealt with if they remain in the dark. Bad things grow in the dark, so don’t let these fears grow. Don’t let reliance on your circumstances grow, but foster a heart that lets reliance on the Lord grow. Foster a heart that is willing to cling to Christ, not your circumstances, in the good times but also in the middle of the hard, tear-filled, gut-wrenching times.

I’ll leave you with scripture that is helping me through my current worries, scriptures that point me beyond circumstances & point me to the Foundation, the Rock that cannot be moved, the Creator & Controller of it all:

“Then He [Jesus] withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, & began to pray, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me- nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.'”

– Luke 22:41-42, CSB.

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers & sisters.”

– Romans 8:28-29, CSB

“Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘because of you we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

– Romans 8:35-39, CSB

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy & find grace to help us in time of need.”

– Hebrews 4:15-16, CSB

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything through prayer & petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts & minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers & sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable- if there is any moral excellence & if there is anything praiseworthy- dwell on these things.”

– Philippians 4:4-8, CSB

“Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food & the body more than clothing? Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying?”

– Matthew 6:25-27, CSB

Let your life be filled with joy that is rooted beyond circumstances, friends.
Be blessed.

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