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Esther – A woman of humility, courage and obedience

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as you do the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church, his body of which he is the Saviour’ – Ephesians 5:22-33

Who was Esther?

Esther was a Jew, without parents. She was raised by her uncle, Mordecai. Growing up, Mordecai had taught Esther to conceal her identity and nationality as a Jew because at that time, Jews were looked down upon in society. As a young lady, Esther was introduced to King Xerxex who was ruler at the time. The king decided to hold a banquet over a number of days for everyone who resided in his kingdom. It was at this extravagant banquet where he invited a number of young women to stay in his palace over months or years. It was God’s intervention that allowed Esther, a mere Jew to be introduced to the King who upon meeting her instantly took a special interest in her.

A woman of Courage, humility and obedience

Unlike Queen Vashti who was removed from her position by the same king for her disobedience, Esther was humble in nature, obedient and an incredibly courageous woman. She lived at a time where women were expected to be respectful and obedient of their male counterparts. Esther displayed remarkable characteristics which would draw the king’ attention towards her and set her apart from all the other young women. As I read the book of Esther over and over again, I begin to admire her characteristics rather than feel sorry for her as I first did when I started to read about her. I have become drawn to Esther’s characteristics in such a way that I have been asking God to help me become more like her.

Using Esther as an example within my marriage

God wants me to be more like Esther in my own marriage. I initially didn’t quite agree with the way in which women were treated in those days. I have to remember the times in which the people in the citadel of Susa were living in all those years ago. The way in which women are still treated today sometimes feels unfair. The Bible however says that King Xerxes treated all the women he had extended an invitation to with respect and dignity. He gave them special treatments and even assigned eunichs and servants to each woman. Of all the women in the palace Esther stood out the most to the king. He would walk up and down the halls close to her suite each day to ask about her wellbeing. This means if I become more like Esther, my husband’s soft heart towards me will begin to soften even more.

If I am humble, respectful and obedient towards my husband, God will honour my obedience towards Him and make me fruitful in everything I do. I grew up watching women be subservient towards their husbands and I never fully agreed with the way in which it was done. When I initially read about Esther it reminded me about the subservience culture I grew up with but God reminded me that He doesn’t expect me to be subservient in the same way I have been taught culturally. He wants me to have an attitude of servitude towards my husband. When I finally understood this, it shifted my attitude towards Esther. Her obedience and humility was certainly not a display of weakness on her part, instead it helped her to become fruitful and God honoured her. She worked alongside God by respecting, obeying and showing humility towards her husband and by doing so, God was able to accomplished his mission to save the Jews. She is now a is a well known female figure in the Bible.

I wonder how the story would have turned out if Esther has been stubborn, prideful and arrogant? In my own life, I know that when God wants us to change our ways, He is asking us to obey him for a greater purpose.

What lessons can I take from Esther?

I sometimes I struggle to show the same obedience and humility as Esther. Society often tells us that women should aim to become “better” than men. This sometimes means that we are less likely to serve our husbands. A good part of me wants it to be all about me but it is important to be an equal partner rather than a competitive one, or even one that makes comparisons which ultimately leads to competition rather than partnership. An attitude of servitude for me means helping my husband in any way that I can and taking the toll of any stresses he might have. I might not be able to make everything right but I can do the very small things that make his life a little easier. These ‘small things’ that could ultimately make a world of difference!

How can I honour my husband?

I can honour my husband by cooking his favourite meals every now and again, praying for him on a daily basis and asking God to help him fulfill all his potentials and being thankful that God has put us together on this earth. Each day we are together is a blessing and a gift that I should not take for granted. Indeed it brought Esther joy to serve the king and in the same way it should bring me joy to serve my husband.

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“I am enough”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:14

How does God see me?

If I were to ask God this particular question – “God how do you see me?” I believe his answer would be this: “I delight in you, you are precious in my sight, you are loved and forgiven, your are beautiful, you have peace, joy and inner strength”. I. truly believe He would say all this along with with a lengthy list of beautiful words He would utter that would make me feel like I was his special and only child.

I don’t believe I have always seen myself the way that God sees me. I’ve certainly allowed others to dictate who I was and how I should see myself. It’s taken me right up until adulthood to start to slowly believe I am who God says I am. That I am strong, I have hidden talents, I have inner peace…I could write a list however I think God’s list is much bigger!

Not feeling “good enough”

I often wondered why I never felt good enough..right from my childhood I felt I wasn’t good enough. I believe it all came about when I first started school. I never felt I was achieving academically like some of the other kids in my class. I honestly started to believe I wasn’t very bright. I know now that it was simply because I never believed in myself. Our minds are such powerful tools that we underestimate. If we consistently tell ourselves that we can achieve something that is difficult, our minds start to believe that this is true. The same goes if we consistently tell ourselves that we cannot do something. God knows were are limitless beings. If this is the case then surely it means we can do anything and we can achieve anything? Truthfully, the power is in the mind. God has given us all that we need to make a success of whatever we lay our hands on, but so often it’s easier to be filled with doubt.

Sometimes the world tries to dictate who we are. It dictates what we can do, and what we cannot do and this in turn affects confidence. For me, being constantly put down by my peers very nearly stripped me of my confidence. Over the years and months as God began to heal me from my emotional scars, he taught me that my identity begins with Him. If my identity is in Christ that is the ultimate foundation for whose I am. The devil tries to de-value us and attempts to take away our identity in Christ because he knows if he succeeds, we are left not knowing whose we belong to. If we do not know to whom we belong, we do not have the affirmations and the power he has given us in order to succeed in life. We put ourselves down and like I did, we start to believe the lies – one of them being that we are powerless. When we know who we are, we have an inner strength that exists within us.

God is building a new foundation

I remember not so long ago when I lacked hope. I wanted to achieve so much and never thought I would achieve anything, never thinking that I would be happy and that I would ever be a success. Sure, I don’t have buckets full of money, however, but I’m living a life which I love which is worth more than money. I strive to be better each day. God is building new foundations in terms of how I think of myself and what I believe I am capable of. My inner-confidence is being restored and I am starting to believe that indeed I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

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Surrendering control

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“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” – Matthew 11:28

When God wants us to surrender control

I often feel it’s my duty to be responsible for absolutely everything in my home. I feel like the main character from the movie “Bad Moms“…running around on a daily basis attempting to organise my kid’s lives, taking the kids to after school clubs and extra curricular activities, making sure homework is done, ensuring sure there is some sort of order at home to prevent absolute chaos, and keeping up with work and my career. Unfortunately, I don’t do very well at attempting to manage everyone’s life let alone my own. Most of the time to be truly honest I’m hanging on by a thread.

Raising little people feels like a permanent full time job. My goals at attempting to be organised, efficient and tidy over time started to get a little out of control. I thought creating order would help ease my anxiety and reduce my stress levels. That if I walked into a neat tidy house after work everyday somehow it would help to declutter my mind. God revealed to me that this was one of the coping mechanisms I was using to help me deal with the anxiety that I suffered on a constant basis.

“For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future...Jeremiah 29:11

God’s will for us is to live everyday in abundance. That means pure joy, peace, anxiety free and present, living in the now.

I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Attempting to do things all on my own resulted in anxiety, stress and mental exhaustion. For years I struggled to understand the concept of allowing God to take control or to even surrender control over to him. I knew I wanted to do so I simply just didn’t know how. I was drained almost all the time. The stress of dealing with work, and the pressure to keep up with so much in this modern world and still trying to take care of myself was seemingly impossible. How could I take care of myself when so many things demanded my attention? Trying to explain exactly what I was so stressed about to my husband made things even worse because of the guilt and fear of sounding as if I was complaining. The truth is, some of us are better able to deal and cope with the everyday stresses that come with life and for some of us it’s a bit more of a struggle. The Bible says that He shows his strength in our weaknesses and we all have we weaknesses.

I’m growing in my walk with God and slowly beginning to understand what it means when God asks us to surrender control over to him. He is calling us to lay our burdens at his feet. For me, this means waking up each morning asking God to help me to let go of what I cannot manage on that day. I’ve learned the importance of having a quiet hour to myself everyday. Sometimes it means going for a run/walk or having a quiet coffee in the early morning. When I do this I can step back and I’m not longer overwhelmed by the minute details that attempt to strip the joy out of my life. I can step back and enjoy my family and appreciate the good that God has provided for me and enjoy the abundance that he continues to shower me with every day.

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Safe in the arms of God..

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary; they will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

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I often wrestle and struggle with doings things my own way. I wouldn’t describe myself as one who likes to be in control but these days it feels as though God showing me otherwise. I’m the sort of person who if things aren’t done in a particular way at a particular time, I start to feel a little anxious… take this for example – I might ask my husband to hang out the washing. He’ll agree at the moment and in his relaxed state complete the task I’ve asked him to do around 2 hours later! If he decides he’s not going to do it in the next 5 minutes then I can’t help but do it myself because I start to think he won’t do it or he’ll be too busy to do it later. Well if that doesn’t scream control…

Feeling safe in the arms of God means trusting God to do what I cannot do. Allowing him to take control of the things I wrestle with- for me that is mostly control. It means resting on him when my resources have diminished. I have struggled with control for a few years now. My struggle reminds of Elijah who once ran from all the enemies who after him. At some point Elijah came to rest under a tree having completely given up hope. He had no strength left in him and simply wanted to die. There are times in when my resources have depleted and my cup needs to be filled. I take so much on – family and household responsibilities, work responsibilities etc. I’m extremely good and make every little thing a big thing. Life doesn’t always have to be as hard as I make it- this I know but I just can’t seem to help myself! My burnout threshold is pretty low because I keep trying to make things perfect. This in turn results in burnout and anxiety.

Leaning on God for Strength

The last few weeks I have battled with anxiety and exhaustion. Because of this I have indeed struggled to hear God’s voice. A few nights ago as I lay awake beginning my usual routine at 3am of things I needed to worry about, In that moment I felt a nudge to write a blog on ‘Feeling safe in His arms’. This title is such a strong reminder that God is always there in the midst of what sometimes might feel like hopelessness. When times feel a little dark and anxiety tries to pull a blanket over what is real, God is absolutley there! He whispering words of encouragement and cheering us on to finish not only what we have started but what He has started in us.

Be strong and courageous. “Do not be terrified of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

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He Makes All Things New

But when you ask you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” James1:6

So much has happened in the world this year and yet we’re only half way through. It’s so easy to believe and expect the worst in the midst of all the negativity. I began this entire blog as a part of my healing journey from the trauma I have experienced in my life. This season I feel that God is making all things new.

I have quite a few disappointments in my life. We all go through disappointments. It used to feel as though failure and disappointment was my second name. I made the mistake of choosing to allow all these disappointments to define who I was. With the series of disappointments and setbacks that I experienced for most of my twenties, eventually I stopped dreaming. I had big dreams in my younger years however, reality came down on me like a tonne of bricks.

My first Disappointment

When I was around 6 years old I lost my very first tooth. I remember my excitement at the potential visit from the tooth fairy! Without telling anyone I took my tooth and placed it under my bed in a shoe excitedly awaiting the tooth fairy. My hopes were dashed however when I woke up the next morning to find that my bloodied tooth was still sitting in my shoe under my bed. At that moment I realised that the idea of the tooth fairy was a fabricate lie told to me by my teachers at school. You see my parents never bought into the ideas of the tooth fairy and Father Christmas but they also never told me that it wasn’t true. I feel this might be true for some African families. I have always still struggled with telling my kids the tooth fairy folklore because I dread they will feel lied to the way I felt all those years ago!

As I grew up I began to experience real-life disappointments- teenage heartbreak, career disappointments, etc. Throughout all of these setbacks I learned to stop dreaming about all the things I had planned to achieve in life. Since I was a little girl I wanted to become a writer. Writing was something I wanted to do all the time. It was one of those things that fit quite naturally with me. I loved books and reading although at school, writing as a career was never something that teachers nor our parents presented as an option so as a naive child, I grew up not ever believing that I could become whatever I wanted to be in life. I try to teach my kids to wake up to a job that they truly enjoy because in my time, career paths seemed to always point academics – engineering, law, finance. Although these are great careers with lucrative money these choices either didn’t interest me at all or simply just didn’t fit my character or enjoyment. I struggled with maths and science and quite honestly, my brain uses its creative side quite a bit more than my academic side so therefore a career in law just wasn’t on the cards for me. I eventually became a mum during my mid-20’s and life got busy. I had to take care of 2 small children while my husband worked long hours. There wasn’t a lot of ‘me-time‘ in those early days and eventually I forgot about the goals and dreams God had planted in me as a child.

Learning to Dream Again

I went back to school in my early 30’s and pursued my current career. Even though I was able to start a career in HR, God began to remind me about my real passions and dreams and He began to encourage me to go after them. Dreams that I left behind years ago – dreams of travelling and seeing the world, experiencing new cultures, meeting new people and exploring different types of food, and most of all my childhood dream to write. All of these which eventually at some point in life would bring me a sense of freedom which I consistently crave. You see, I am a free spirit and I struggle with the 9-5. It makes anxious and I feel constricted. The idea of freedom fills me with joy. At least then, I can use my time in this world in a way that brings me joy and fulfillment.

Jerememiah 29:11 – For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to give you a future and a hope.

Unlike before, life is full of hopes and dreams and it’s time I that I started to dream again. In the last few years life I have had a new lease on life. Life is exciting and I have so many things I want to achieve that I believe God will make happen. I am constantly reminded that “He makes all things new” and He is re-writing my story . Whatever disappointments I’ve had in the past are in the past. Even in the times where it seems I may be experiencing setback, I am no longer defined by the world’s expectations because I am a new creature in Him and He makes a way where there is no way.

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Why should I pray?

13 July, 2020

Acts 1: 10-14

The Bible tells us about the importance of prayer. I used to think praying meant having access to a quiet place, a church perhaps where I would be able to communicate with God- in an old fashioned kind of way! As a child, I attended a convent school and traditional prayer was so very popular. We prayed before breakfast, after breakfast, before school at our desks, when the lunch bell rang, after lunch etc etc etc – we prayers about 10 times a day! Prayer was just a routine for my 10-year old self however it did set a good foundation in my school years- a foundation that constantly reminded me of God’s existence although I may not have fully understood who God was. Once I became an adult and had children, our household grew to be chaotic and busy in the best of ways! I soon learned through friends that prayer can literally be done on the go! I slowly began to discover the real meaning of prayer and over the years, my approach to prayer has become like a daily walk with God. It has evolved into conversations with God while I wash the dishes, while I hang the clothes on the line and usually while I have my morning coffee. I no longer think about prayer as a chore the way I used to. His wisdom often brings light to a particular issue that I might have spent too much time trying to fix on my own.

Prayer is Worship

I love to listen to worship music particularly if I’m having a tough day. It seems to instantly calm me down and whatever might have been heavy on my shoulders suddenly disappears. Ultimately, however we choose to communicate with our Father, I believe He sees it as a form of prayer.

I may not see what happens in the spirit when we pray but I am beginning to understand that when we do pray, Good moves mountains! I have also seen the result of consistency in prayer. Remember Matthew 7 – Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. When I think of the times I have asked, knocked and sought God, He answered every single time.

Ephesions 3:20-21

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!

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A teachable soul

My reading this morning focuses on how God can help us and guide us even if the smallest things if we agree to yield to him. He wants to direct and instruct us because He knows that with direction we can grow spiritually. He can correct our mistakes and we in turn can learn from these mistakes and we gain wisdom.

In the same way we guide and direct children, God wants to do the same for us, His children. We are not born perfect, we are not born with wisdom and knowledge which is why we need God. Correction is not always pleasant at the time. I cringe when I think of the times I have to be corrected and directed because it reminds me that I don’t know everything even though I might think I do. Over time, his correction will not feel like a harsh punishment because it is done out of love. His love for me means I will not fail in my ways. He will be like a light that directs me when I do not know the way in which I should go. His voice will be gentle and not harsh.

“If you are not disciplined – and everyone undergoes discipline, then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all” Hebrews 12:8.

What do I need to do to have a teachable soul?

This is a question I keep asking myself. I want to have a teachable soul, I need guidance and instruction because I really don’t know much about a lot of things and nine times out of ten I turn to God to ask him what I should do in various situations. When my children are not listening what should I do? When I’m feeling exhausted and overwhelmed even by normal daily household chores, then what should I do? He always has an answer I’m not prepared for and this is why I need his direction and guidance. He may whisper that I need to take time out for myself and tackle one small household task today and take time time off for myself to recharge my batteries or he may whisper that one of the children might be acting up because he or she needs reassurance or extra attention at that particular moment. This in turn means I waste less time focusing my energies on trying to figure out how to fix the problem and more time focusing my energies on being spiritually filled and living life to the full each day. He requires an honest and open heart. A heart that lets its guard down so that He can teach that heart how to love when it’s hard to love, how to react in unpleasant situations and how to speak words of hope in situations that seem hopeless.

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Fearlessness

I feel as though I’ve been going through a phase of attempting to silence the fears of my children. There seems to be quite a bit of anxiety going on in our house at the moment. The truth is it’s easier to reassure them that they are safe and sound but just how much of these re-assuring words do I manage to put into practice on a daily basis? Probably not a huge chunk to be quite honest.

“I lie down and sleep. I wake again because the Lord sustains me” Psalm 3:5. This verse holds more than one meaning for me. Each and everyday day becomes a fresh start and a new beginning. I have to use every new day and live it the best way I know how with a new grace. Also, I can wake up in the morning and know that I am sustained by his mercy.

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I developed some nasty fears over the 36 years of my life. I constantly feared death, sickness, a car accident that would leave me either paralysed or worse, even dead. An inherent fear that something awful would happen to my family, oh the list goes on! This type of fear and panic would grip me each and every single day. It took the joy out of my life and eventually I learnt to always expect the worst from life.

We are not born with fear. Fear is learned through our experiences as children and we grow up and become adults. It somehow spreads quietly like a virus where you don’t realise its there or that there is even a problem. Eventually it begins to show up everyday and affects our inner beings and our relationships. It’s likely that we can miss this somehow, we miss this and continue on with our lives until something major happens and we’re suddenly forced to confront our childhood traumas. For me, growing up in South Africa, fear was an everyday feeling. Without realising it, fear became ingrained in my psychology from a very young age. I remember how I would suddenly wake up in the middle of the night and watch my dad peek through the curtains of the bedroom my sister and I shared. He was like a policeman marching through every room in the house peering through those curtains possibly looking for any kind of unusual movement in the garden making sure we had no unwelcome intruders. I remember the machete that stayed under his side of the bed ‘just in case’ he needed to make use of it. Even at the age of 6 or so I understood that we were not always completely safe in our home and like a virus, fear made itself at home.

God knew what my biggest struggles and insecurities would be even before I was born. He had a plan already in place to help me get through them all. He always has a plan. He knew his plan would mean my fears would work not only for my good but for His greater good. I’ve started to embrace the ‘bad’ experiences I go through because I can always be assured that he will always turn that whatever negative experiences I have into something good. I will have good seasons and bad seasons and maybe the bad makes me more resilient over time, perhaps the bad seasons mean one day I can help someone else? I have no idea but what I do know is that know that in God’s eyes NOTHING is ever wasted. No sadness or tears, no joy and no humiliation I go through experience will be wasted. I may have developed an unspeakable fear as a child but He has a plan. One which doesn’t include fear or timidity. He has called me to be a fearless warrior! Fearless in the decisions I make in my personal life, fearless in the way I parent my children, in my career, in my abilities as woman and an individual and most of all complete fearlessness and confidence in what the future holds. He knows the desires of my heart and He will not allow fear to dictate or rule out the wonderful plans He has laid out for me in this life.

Whenever I feel fear tries to grab hold of me I remember these words: “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

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How to start setting Goals

Proverbs 31:27 – “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”

When I was younger I seemingly lacked motivation in a quite a few areas of my life. I just wasn’t as disciplined person I am today. Quite honestly I don’t really remember having much ambition or drive for just about anything on a whole. I somehow just existed and seemingly, I was okay with that. I remember how I used to struggle to start or complete small and simple tasks. I had a big problem with motivation. A small mundane task such as calling up the electricity company to sort out a small issue was a struggle. Getting daily jobs around the house was an issue and it all boiled down to a lack of motivation. I don’t exactly know why I struggled so much. It could have been down to a bout of depression at one point in my life and perhaps a host of other reasons which I will probably never know or understand.

Over the years I have grown to become quite the opposite. I am the ultimate writer of lists, I set goals – daily goals, weekly goals, short term goals, long-term goals, the list goes on. My children have in fact come to loathe my ‘lists’ simply because I have lists for everything! When its nearly half term I write a list of places we will visit while the kids are off school – the beach, museums, etc. I have shopping lists, meal plan lists, lists of what the children need for school and so forth. I try to enforce this habit on my family just because it helps me so much but I think my obsession may have put everyone off the idea!

I haven’t come to be the person I am all on my own. With the help of God, my mum-in-law, and a can-do attitude, the person I was just a few years ago has somehow grown into an organized, efficient, goal-driven individual. Setting small goals every day has shaped me over the years. Life is less chaotic and I have found my stress and anxiety levels are not half as bad as they used to be. I would become easily anxious at the overwhelming amount of ‘stuff’ that needed my attention at home and at work. Looking at a pile of ironing for example would set me off on a trail of anxiety.

Making a to-do-list de-clutters my mind. Instead of keeping everything I have to do in my head, I prioritize what need to get done and well, the rest waits until I eventually am able to get to it.

Lock-down has motivated me even more to set daily tasks for myself so that I have some kind of purpose to my day. I suppose I feel a sense of accomplishment when things get done. Once it’s done I don’t feel so guilty about sitting down all afternoon – gin and tonic in hand indulging in some of my favourite television shows.

A typical example of my set goals for the day (during quarantine) looks a bit like the this…

-Wake up and grab my book on mey bedside table next to me. I ask God what he thinks I need to get done for the day and jot it down in my book. It usually looks something like this:

  • Write a meal plan for upcoming week
  • Write the shopping list
  • Hoover downstairs
  • Bake with the kids
  • Clean toilets (uuugh!..it’s become a daily task with this quarantine)
  • Go for a run/do a workout

Now on some days nothing on the list gets done. On other other days I’m able to cross off a few tasks I’ve managed to complete but nonetheless the simple act of writing it all down means I’m more likely to get it done than not.

I’ve noticed the difference when I set goals and the days I can’t be bothered. There seems to be more structure in my home. I know what needs to be done on that particular day and in some ways it means the children have some idea of what’s happening each day especially while we are not on regular work/school schedule. I place the list on my fridge door just so that I can see it throughout my day and have the satisfaction of being being able to cross the tasks I’ve managed to do in-between the demands of family life.

I feel God seems to be growing me into the person He wants me to become and I take notice in those few times where I step at look at what I’ve become- almost a shadow of who I used to be. I’m slowly becoming a confident individual, who is more than capable. I remember how I used to not believe how much I was capable of however my mindset is changing and I am on a journey of discovering not only who God is but who I am within Him. ‘His mercies are new every morning’…I try to think of this every morning when I start my day. It’s always a new day, a day where I can start afresh and forget about the failures of yesterday.

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The burden of Anxiety…


On a bad day, my anxiety would manifest my biggest fears, it would make me feel alone, scared and somewhat irritable for lack of a better word. That irritable feeling I would feel was more of an intense feeling that wouldn’t allow me to focus on anything. It could last for a day at the least or a couple of days at the most. I’m not sure how my anxiety started manifesting itself but when I look back I remember it probably started when I became a mother for the first time. Before motherhood, I was carefree and relaxed. Not having too many worries in my younger years was indeed a gift. A precious momentary gift until the burdens of life began to take their toll on me.

When my daughter was first born she had colic. Many newborns have battle with colic which usually disappears within a few weeks or months. I was an anxious new mother without a clue. When my daughter was diagnosed colic I immediately blamed myself. Babies are born with colic, they get colds, fevers, the list goes on. This is all part and parcel of their growth and development. The initial ‘innocent’ feelings of blame and guilt eventually grew to years of irrational fear and panic that something ‘bad’ and awful would happen to my kids or my family. As a second-time mum my anxieties only grew as I became anxious about going to sleep at night because I dreaded the interrupted sleep each night which comes with having newborn. Over an extended period, my anxieties about the little things began to grow, constant anxiety that one day my husband would leave the house and never return because something horrible would happen to him, anxiety that my daughter would drown in our pool, and so on and so forth the list was endless. It became a festering wound that would get bigger and slowly sift its way into various other areas of my life unbeknownst to me. Anxiety stopped me from experiencing true joy and caused a constant panic and fear in me that I came to believe was normal mostly because I never spoke them out loud-to anyone.

What does God says about anxiety?

The Bible mentions anxiety and thankfully we have a God who already knew all the answers to life’s problems. “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you”. ( 1 Peter 5:7) God is interested in the smallest things in our lives and especially every worry and fear that keeps us awake at night. Luke 12:7 says “He knows the very hairs on your head are numbered so do not be afraid, you are worth than many sparrows”. These precious words of comfort are a source of healing. We may not see immediate changes to our everyday fears or struggles. Over time, God opened my eyes and I slowly began to realise that what I was feeling had a name – ANXIETY and it most certainly was not a normal feeling. The devil wants us to believe that what we are feeling is completely normal and by doing so we continue along a negative spiral. One that causes us to miss out on what God has planned for us. I was able to start dealing with the root of those feelings and eventually over time the feelings of worry, panic, fear and anxiety became less intense and infrequent. At times I may feel like anxiety is right at my door but the difference is that I know now that God has me in the palm of His hand.

God wants us all to live a life an abundant life. His plan for me doesn’t involve feelings of anxiety, panic or fear. He sees me as a courageous, fearless and powerful woman. Sometimes I need a reminder of who I am because on some days I may I forget or I allow the worries of life to overwhelm me. On the days where I feel anxiety trying to re-establish itself back into my life I turn to God for assurance because He has the last say. I don’t need to be anxious over the future, over the well-being of my family or anything else that might want to steal my focus or distract me from looking up to the one who has the final say.

For help managing anxiety please visit…

http://www.acc-uk.org