How We’re Learning
by Kori Yates
Anxiety. Fear. They’re feelings we battle whether we like it or not.
New places and faces. Sending children off to school. New jobs. New bosses. Unknown futures. Boards, battles, and buddies. Fear and anxiety can come with them all if we let them.
Living OCONUS these past couple of years, I have seen it first-hand a bit more often. We live a bit closer to each other as neigbors and there aren’t quite as many of us, so these stairwells can truly show our true colors. Add that to living in a foreign country, still sending folks on deployments, watching children head off to other continents on their own, watching family members struggle with things we are too far away to help, and you have some anxious and fearful moments that could easily turn to days, weeks, or months if we let them.
Those words start everything in a new direction. They give hope in the darkest of places and joy in the strangest of times.
God has a better plan than us living in fear or overwhelmed with anxiety. That life has nothing to do with the life He tells us about in John 10:10.
Here’s the verse as a reminder: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
How do we leave the fear and anxiety behind and step into the abundance and joy of Christ? It’s a day by day and sometimes moment by moment effort. BUT GOD.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:5-8).
Today, I want to encourage you to feel free to breathe.
I know you breathe involuntarily every day, but I want you to breathe on purpose today. To fill your lungs with the hope and the peace that comes from God alone and expel all that is not of Him. Intentional, purposeful breathing.
A friend of mine used to do this exercise frequently at PWOC. As the large group started, she would lead us to breathe in the things of God and breathe out the rest. I know it’s just a breathing exercise, but it was amazing to me how taking the time to stop and breathe made a difference in my whole morning.
Y’all know all about PWOC or women’s Bible study. As much as I desire to learn and grow in Jesus there, sometimes Jesus isn’t really evident in the process of getting there. Do you know what I mean? That moment to stop, refocus, and breathe made a world of difference.
So today, in the mess, anxiousness, fear, crazy of this moment, I want to challenge you to do the same. Feel FREE to BREATHE, my friends.
How to Breathe:
- STOP: Take a timeout. Stop what you’re doing for just a moment.
- CHANGE: Change environments, whether that means stepping outside, to another room, or driving in the car.
- FOCUS: Not on circumstance or situations, but on Jesus. Saying Scripture in your head or out loud is a great way to do this.
- BREATHE: Breathe deep. Slow your heart rate down a bit and focus on filling your lungs as you breathe in the hope, joy and peace of God.
Today I challenge you to take at least one moment in your day to breathe, to step away from the messy and mundane and breathe the things of God again. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
Lord, help us to breathe today, to find moments to step away from circumstances for just a second and breathe in You again.