Anxiety (My Struggle and Freedom)

IMG_0077 - Copy copyI can’t. I can’t. I can’t. 

What if…? What if…? What if…?

Am I wrong? Am I wrong? Am I wrong? 

One of these three things would repeat in my head over and over as I held my head, alone in my room, barley breathing. Sometimes I would cry. Other times I would throw up. I was having a anxiety attack.

Anything would set me off. An upcoming test. An argument with my fiance. Failure at making friends in school. Lack of money. Drama from home. It was getting close to every other day when I realized (a little late) that anxiety was controlling my life. One day I came across a verse which says not to let the devil have a foothold in your life (Ephesians 4:27). It was then I felt God reveal to me that I was being oppressed by the spirit of anxiety.

Now please, do not hear what I am not saying. I fully believe anxiety can be a medical condition that we need to treat until God will heal. But I also believe that the devil or demons can bring anxiety on us to keep us from God’s calling on our lives. The later was my case, and I know plenty of girls who have the prior. However, I know it was not a medical condition for me because I never had a problem with anxiety in the slightest before I came to Bible college.

So after God revealed it to me that the enemy was gaining a foothold, I started to pray for freedom. I needed to cast all my anxiety on Him (1 Peter 5:7), so much so that He takes my spirit of worry and fear completely off me. I knew I had the power to free myself from the enemy’s schemes because of Christ, but I also knew like any healing, its a process. So after a few days of prayer, fasting a few meals here and there, I came to the alter in chapel after a sermon about worry. A fellow student prayed over me, one who had not known my struggle, and casting the enemy off of me, and I felt that I was free!

It has been confirmed to me that I am free several times. I’ve gone through situations (including finals) very calmly that would have sent me into an attack before. I’ve been told that I walk differently now. I praise God for this freedom and I don’t blog this to brag, but to extend an invite for freedom if you suffer like I suffered.

If you have anxiety or anything not of God that is controlling you (addiction, anger, forgiveness, etc), pray to God and seek freedom in Him (I recommend the Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson). If you do not receive freedom after a season of prayer, do not be afraid to seek medical help, but always after seeking the Lord’s healing first.

This is my testimony. God has set me free! And He will set you free too! Amen.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

~2 Corinthians 3:17

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For the Days You Feel Overwhelmed

overwhelmedFeeling overwhelmed is a pretty common thing for us young adults. Trying to learn how to live out new “adult” lives, being swamped with college work, money being low, anxiety being high, living away from home for the first time- sometimes we just feel surrounded by worry or even failure.

But Christ doesn’t want us to live like that. God gave us the power to live above worry and troubles; to be in the world but not of it (Col. 3:2). Jesus came and provided a better life for us, one free from the bondage of being overwhelmed.

Now, please do not hear what I am not saying. I am not saying as Christians we should be unrealistically happy all hours of the day. I am not saying that if you feel overwhelmed you are not “Christian” enough. I am not saying nothing should bother you. What I am saying is that we don’t have to let things rule us. We may still feel overwhelmed, but we don’t have to be overwhelmed (read more on that here). Life is still the same but we are not. Through Christ we are free.

Now that we know that we don’t have to live like this, let us learn how we can live differently. The secret to rising above the overwhelming feelings we experience is summed up in three words: Focus on God. 

How did Peter walk on the water? He focused on God. The Bible says Peter walked on the water easily until “he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matt. 14:30). When believers in Israel were being forced to chose between Judaism and Christ, the writer of Hebrews told them, “We must focus our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:2). We have to take our eyes off of things of this world, and set our vision on God. (For more on this, see Colossians 3).

Start off with simply diving into your time with God. Pray, read the Bible, and spend time listening to God. Go to a secret place with Him, where there is no distractions. As you focus on Him, He will help you when you feel overwhelmed. He will give you a state of peace beyond what you can understand (Phil 4:7). He will help you prioritize, guiding you to what you can let go of and what you can pursue (Psalms 25:4-5). Put God first in all you do, and the rest will fall into place. (Matt 6:33)

Bible Verses for Finishing the Semester Strong

Keeping your motivation up towards the end of your semester can be hard. Really hard. But I find comfort knowing that God will reward us for our struggle and hard work!Know that God has you where you are for a reason and wants you to try your best at your academics. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will be rewarded.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

~Colossians 3:23-24

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

~Galatians 6:9

And one of my favorites:

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

~1 Corinthians 15:8

Until next time, God bless!

Lillian ❤

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Learning to Listen (Elijah~ 1 Kings 19:9b-13)

listening_eOne of the things I often forget is to just sit still and listen to God. As humans, we often forget that God, who can feel so mysterious and distant, speaks back to us. It’s important that we stop and listen to God when we pray. If you were talking to a friend and never stopped talking to listen to them, do you think they would feel like you even care? Just like we listen to friends, we should listen to God.

A lot of things can get in the way of us listening to God. One I am guilty of constantly, as you dear readers know, is being too busy. In this western world where time is everything, we often have schedules that are filled to the brim. My generation especially is the culprit of busyness. From early on, we were encouraged to do everything we can to create the best application for college- doing school work, sports, extracurriculars, family duties, community service, etc… the list goes on and on. We can all be guilty of not leaving any room for God. Even if we do schedule in time with God, our brains can be so wired and scattered that God’s voice isn’t heard. Elijah heard a still small voice on the mount in Horeb, after all commotion ceased:

And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”    ~1 Kings 19:9b-13 NIV

Elijah was feeling the stress of ministry and persecution, and needed some encouragement. So God told him to enter His presence. When we hit hard times, we need to go into His presence and know that He will reveal Himself to us just like He did for Elijah. I love having chapel everyday here at Bible college. I might be having the worst morning, but I rarely go through worship without feeling refreshed and encouraged by His presence.

Next we see God is approaching the mountain. There was a giant commotion with wind, an earthquake, and a great fire. But God wasn’t in the commotion. He came afterward. Sometimes we are surrounded by hardships, but we can know that God’s on His way. God is our deliverer, and He promises that He will come through. We need to have faith that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if we can’t see it yet.

If that wasn’t hard enough, we also have to step back and separate ourselves from the commotion to hear God. Sometimes I wish I could shut off my brain so I no longer have to hear it worry so much. But even when the world is falling around us, we need to stop and give the worry to God, who will take care of it for us. From there, we can breathe, stop worrying, and hear God speak to us. 

I will be posting more thoughts soon. What are some of your thoughts on listening to God? Leave ’em in the comments and let’s chat!

Till next time,

Lillian ❤

And Back to Work!

Today is the day I head back to campus. I’ve recharged my battery and I’m ready to get back to business! There’s three weeks left of the semester then I’m done until Mid-January.

I’ve been told that these next three weeks are going to rush by. Im a little nervous for what finals will be like. I pray that I’ll be able to get all my work done.

I know that balancing work and rest will be a struggle. Whenever I’m not doing my work, all I can think about is the work that needs to be done. Sometimes I just wish there was an off switch to my brain!

So keep me in your prayers, I’ll try to put up a few more short posts here and there.

God bless

~Lillian

Blogging Challenge- Day 1: My Blog’s Name

Blogging Challenge- Day 1: My Blog's Name

 

The name of my blog came from the moment when I realized the struggle I was having in the beginning of my Senior year. I was growing up fast, transitioning from teen to adult, and it can be scary somedays and exciting during others. I wanted to start my blog to share my experience as I moved from teen to adult and all this different struggles that came along with it.

The God part of my blog is a given. I am a Christian. And I knew that I wasn’t on fire for God as I once was, and I wanted and still do want to get back to that. I need to depend on God in this time and spend more time with Him, finding time in my busy schedule.

And being busy is really what my life has become and probably will stay this way. I am always running from place to place, always have something to do. But I know that this is God preparing me for the life ahead and the busy job that is to come. Learning to cope when busy and stressed, and finding time for what’s truly important, like God and family, is what God’s trying to show me.

I know that my blog is and will help me with all these things. These three focuses of my life right now are why I titled my blog “Growing Up, God, and Being Busy”. Thank you for reading!

Why did you choose the title of your blog?

Time is ticking…

Recently, every time I look to the date I gulp or gasp inside a little.

You see, next month is my birthday. And as January comes to a close, I am getting more and more anxious. I simply I don’t want to grow up. But it’s inevitable. Aging feels like I’m going 50 mph towards a moose and my brakes just gave out. (Side note: you know you live in New England when you have nightmares of getting into accidents with moose and deer, no joke, I had one on the way home yesterday).

Every day that has passed since I started this blog has shown me that “making an adventure of it” is easier said than done. It’s like no matter what I do, I can’t find appeal to growing up like I used to. I’m not looking forward to bills and being in debt. I don’t want to find out what struggles I will find in college and beyond. And most of all, I don’t want to give up being lazy! Seniorites is kicking my be-hind more than ever, but the “I’m a teenager, leave me be” excuse is getting old. Oh wait, no that’s me!

I don’t want grey hair or monthly bills. I don’t want responsibility or duty. I’m even getting nervous over getting married and having a family far down the road!

Alas, I know that if I continue to dwell on my worries I will just become more sour. I need to sit up, suck it up, and go forward. I need to trust God and deal with my issues.No more wining, just do. That’s all part of growing up, right?

Thanks for dropping by for a little tid-bit of my thoughts! God bless!

Who Holds My Future?

I’ve been stressed lately. I’ve been feeling scared and have been avoiding the topic of my future. However, aren’t I suppose to be making an adventure of what’s ahead?

I have been haunted by the things to come: college loans and scholarships, college, graduating, jobs, living on my own, all of it. I’ve been scared to imagine my future because I usually jump to the worst-case scenario. But I have been forgetting something important Do I not know who holds my future?

I need to focus less on the possibilities ahead and focus more on the One who has already chosen them. God knows what is in store for me, so why should I worry? God said He shall make my paths straight, that His plans are to make me grow and not to harm me. God’s will is good and perfect, therefore everything will turn out good and perfect even if it doesn’t seem like it from my perspective.

God, please help me not to get overwhelmed by my future. After all, there are so many things to discover and learn ahead! Remind me that You have it all under control, and I can just focus on You and everything will be alright. Amen. ❤

Tips For Getting More Done

With so many things on my plate, I’m starting to form a system to get things done without overwhelming myself. I think this is just another purpose for my busy season, to teach me time and project management. So far, here are some things I do to get things going once I get home.

  1. No excuses!

When I get home from my intership or practice, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to go on my phone or the computer for the rest of the afternoon or evening. I often say I need a mental break so I can get things done, and hours later I find myself still gaming and no work getting done. So, I have to force myself straight to my room, and immediatly unpack my bag to have my work out and ready to me conquered.

I also have to make sure I have no excuse to leave my room and get side tracked. I usually grab a snack and warm up some tea or coffee and keep it on my desk as I start to work. Plus, I keep my distractions far from me- aka my phone. I keep my phone across the room so that when if goes off I’ll be to lazy to get it unless I know it’s ugant.

2. Organize the swirl of thoughts in my head.

This is how I keep from overwhelming myself. I have to sit down and put my thoughts down or else it will seem bigger than it is. I use this amazing To Do list app called Any.do. It’s absolutly amazing and includes many useful features. So when I’m all set up in my room, I’ll pull out the app before I place my phone across the room. I’ll write down what I need to do and small steps. I love making lists, I just like the felling of crossing things off and saying “yay! I did it!”.

3. Space it out

I have the makings of a reward system for myself as well. If I get all the big homework assignments out of the way, I’ll give myself I a little social media break before I continue. It works as long as I time myself and make sure I don’t stay on my phone for too long. It’s very easy for me to loose track of time. So I’ll have to set a timer on my phone for 15 minutes or I’ll be on it all night.

4. Prioritize, prioritize!

It’s important to get the most important and largest things done first. I was taught by my favorite teacher from 4th grade that you have to do what requires the best effort first. For example, I do my biggest histroy work first, keeping in mind that daughting AP test in may. I can leave the pointless pre-calculous worksheet for later.

5. Pray!

When I get stressed or ovewhelmed anyways, I have to remind myself to pray. God is my strength and refuge, and He will help me accomplish the work I need to do. And what a help He always is!

Any tips you have to get things done? Please comment below!

God bless!

~Lillian

My Top 10 Ways to De-stress

One of the reasons I started this blog was because of the stress and busyness of my life. I know that stress and being busy will follow me for the rest of life and into the ministry, however. I believe God has given me this time to figure out now how to get organized and deal with my stress. And so far, these are my top ten ways:

10. Candles, classical music and tea

This combination comes in handy when I finally get a few moments to myself in my room. After lighting the candles and laying in bed, I let myself get absorbed by the classical music, everything from the trans-Siberian orchestra to the Baroque age. Tea helps me calm down and makes me feel refreshed with out the caffeine kick from my coffee, which tends to make me jittery if I’m not getting things done. Tea is perfect for relaxing because it helps me calm down and refreshes me without the energy kick. I also have a candle from Yankee Candle that as aromatherapy to calm me down, and I swear I thought it had drugs in it when I first lit it (It put me in a “coma” in minutes).

9. A nice long shower

This might be awkward, but the shower is probably the one place I can go without being followed or interrupted by my family members. I live in a busy house of four kids (me being the eldest) and two adults (being my parents). I will admit things have calmed down here over the years- we have had family members live with us until they can get on their feet, and I one time we have 12 people in my house, my uncle and aunt who loved in with their four younger kids. But still, it can get a little crazy here, and my room is not a private place, no matter how much I tell people to leave me alone. I got another aromatherapy thing from my friend, a body soap that is for de-stressing, and it helps a lot.

8. Exercise

This method requires a little more motivation for me, but I never regret it. When we exercise, the body releases a hormone called endorphins that make us “feel great!”. Also, I can get out a lot of my frustrations this way too. My favorite way to exercise is to pull out my flag or color guard rifle and experiment, or if I have a lot of energy, do my winter routine a few times, which also makes me want to sleep afterwards.

7. A day with my friends

God has blessed me with a group of amazing friends. And when I get the chance, I just love to go do something with them, like shopping or visiting a coffee shop. I am a very social person, and I find a lot of joy from socializing and having fun with my friends.

6. Music or Reading

I love playing on my keyboard after a long day, it relaxes me and makes me forget all my troubles. I also like to put in the headphones and block out the world. Christian music helps the most, because it is encouraging and powerful and there’s always a song for what I am going through. Sometimes, however, I have a headache and can’t stand noise. So I try to find sometime or some place that’s quiet so I can read. I have always been a bookworm, and a good novel never seems to fail me when I want to get away from the world.

5. Take a walk or go somewhere

Sometimes, you just need to get out of the house. And for me and my wild household, that happens to be often. I usually try to find some reason to go somewhere, now that I have a car. However, when I don’t want to waste gas and the temperature isn’t awful (and the temperature will by awful until May/April) I’ll take a walk down the street or to the school. It helps to get away from the commotion and get a break from it all.

4. Talk it out

     Sometimes, I get really frustrated and fed up with it all. This is when I have to vent my frustration to my friend or boyfriend to get it all off my chest. I sometimes use The Thoughts Room from The Quiet Place Project to express what I need to say instead of making the mistake of using social media to vent and just causing more trouble. However, I need to be careful with it, I can’t dwell on my problems- I have to face them and move on!

3. Close my eyes, and breathe deeply. Just not think anything for 90 seconds.

A lot of the time I have to stop and breathe. I’ll get so caught up in all the things going on and that I have to do that I turn into an over-heated computer. This is why I have to make myself stop, breathe in, breathe out, and give my mind a break. Sometimes if I’m near the computer, I use The Quiet Place Project to give me that 90 seconds of rest. This gives me the refreshment I need to get through my day.

2. Sleep

A rare activity, but it usually one of the best ways to de-stress.

1. Praying and Reading God’s Word

This is defiantly something I need to do more often, but it’s the best thing to do when life gets hectic. I forget that God cares about the little things of my life as well as the big things, and He wants to help me with them. Nothing is to big or small to bring to God. He wants to take on all my burdens and help me, and I need to remember to go to God first and rely on Him.

 

Well there you have it! Let me know if this blog was helpful for you, or at least if you liked it.

How do you de-stress?

God bless!

~Lillian ❤