God, Do you still love me?

There is a large, flat, field opening we come across during our trail rides. It is about an hour into the trail before we come to this point. Prior to the opening is a narrow, winding path with giant dips, holes, and roots covering it. As you look up, you see that the trees from either side have grown up to meet each other in the middle, completely covering and shading this part of the trail. We slow down at this point, loosen our reigns allowing our horses to pay closer attention to each step they take as they maneuver through this section of the Trinity Trails. As we carefully walk through, rays of light penetrate through some of the covering blinding you for a second while your horse continues. It doesn’t last for long and once you get to the end, the trail opens up to this vast field. Depending on the time of year, it is either mowed down to old stalks laying limp across each row or it has overgrown and comes close to your horse’s knees not allowing for clear visibility of where the trail leads. This day it is clear and mowed down stretching far across to the other side of the trail.

Whoever is leading the group on the trail usually yells out, “Who wants to lope?” and the rest respond, “Let’s go!” Within seconds we go from our reserved careful positions to leaning forward, heels down in our stirrups, hair flying while loping across the open field. The back leg of the horse pushes off and goes first followed by the simultaneous motion of the front and another back leg; lastly, the front opposite hits the ground. This is the beat of pounding hooves hitting the ground. 

Bert loves to go fast and takes any opportunity to open his engine and fly. As we are halfway through the field, another horse is gaining speed and is coming closer – pounding hooves to my right – as Bert slightly looks in that direction and sees his competition, turns his butt towards them blocking from passing, he kicks into his next gear till he finishes. We finish and I look back and through the dust I hear – pounding hooves hitting the ground reaching closer and closer to where we stand. You feel each beat vibrate as the hooves move forward into their positions hitting the ground with force.  

Recently, I have felt that same pounding but it is not through the beat of horse’s hooves loping and galloping through a field. It is a pounding that is in my chest. This overwhelming feeling is new to me – hard to place my finger on it. The beating gets stronger and stronger. I not only feel it in my chest but it’s ringing in my ears. I take several deep breaths trying to slow it down. It continues. My mind races with thoughts of what this could be – “Could I be sick? Is my heart okay? What is going on?”

Since the beginning of this year, my family has been through so many stressful, difficult situations. The types of situations that make you want to question everything that you know to be true:

Does God still love me?

Has God forsaken me?

What have I done wrong?

One of the bigger ticket items we are overcoming, the theft of a large amount of money. November of last year, my husband and I hired a general contractor to do some work on our house. On Christmas Eve we realized that the contractor had disappeared and with him the deposit. Here we are almost 8 months later and still dealing with repercussions of his actions.

I realize the pounding in my chest is a word I have not had any encounters with until now –anxiety. It’s an overwhelming feeling of drowning in emotions, stress, and current situations, a sense you are surrounded with more bad than good trying to keep your head above the water but still sinking further and further down. That’s what I was feeling – anxiety.

In the midst of this attack, I grab my phone and see my inbox has an email from a daily devotion I subscribe to. There, sitting in my inbox was the perfect devotional to bring peace to my heart. As I open, the words immediately start to bring relief.

“Don’t let your heart be troubled (distressed, agitated). Trust in God.” – John 14:1 (AMP)

It doesn’t get more direct! Troubled heart – yep that was me. Trust God – not doing so well at the moment. There was my prescription for a healthy heart right in front me.

Trust in God.

I wish it was as easy as “1, 2, 3” and anxiety was gone. It was not that simple for me and guessing not that simple for others as well. I was under the impression I just needed additional tools and resources that would help me manage my anxiety more productively. Surely with more resources and scriptures to quote, my anxiety would be “managed”, but I wasn’t having any luck with that as well. The problem was not that I didn’t have the tools to manage anxiety but that I was trying to manage it! Anxiety is not to be managed or simply dealt with; it is to be DESTROYED!

I shifted my focus from managing and living with anxiety to not allowing it into my life. I shifted my focus from expecting failure and bad things to happen to expecting victory and good things all the days of my life. I shifted my focus from pounding fists for justice to open arms for extending grace. I wanted to be mad – didn’t I have a right to be mad? So many bad things happened back to back. I just wanted to be mad! Mad at God for letting it happen. Mad at Satan. Can a girl just get a break? Shifting my focus was the only way to not let the darkness overcome me. As a great man once said to me, “Darkness is not managed by light – it destroys it!” It was time to shine some light and truth on our situations and believe God’s promises are more powerful than the lies of Satan!

When the world, problems, stresses of the day seem to be closing in around us, be encouraged we are already victorious and were never meant to live with anxiety. 

“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.” – Philippians 4:6 (AMP) 

It says “in everything” – not just the little things but in EVERYTHING do not worry or be anxious. Expect victory – not failure. See it – believe it! Visualize your healing instead of sickness. See your debt being paid and canceled instead of foreclosure and unpaid bills. Believe your marriage to be restored versus divorce. Destroy the lies with His truth and know you are free from anxiety – you were never meant to live with it!

 

Gather Her || 11.17.16

 

Fashion + Faith + Friends

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion
11.17.16
6:30 – 8:30 pm

SpaSocial
720 O’Connor Dr., Round Rock, TX 78689
FREE for all women!
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If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through our monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun, and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

November Guest Speaker:

CW’s own, Crystal Breaux, Life Purpose Coach.

Crystal will share her story of how the Created Woman pillars was the process she walked through to discover her own life’s purpose. It’s real #GirlTalk

 

November Fashion Partner:

Kristen Ellis – Independent Stylist, Stella & Dot & SpaSocial/Holiday makeup

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth + Real Girl Talk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder