Uju, What fills you?
We had a sermon by Pastor Anthony Fleming about this topic on the first Sunday of 2019… It made me take a good long look at the things in my life that I am most “stressed out” about… Feeling misunderstood or unheard by family and friends, feeling like I don’t have a clear sense of direction about my career, feeling anxious about what the future holds, feeling frustrated about continually finding comfort in food… just to name a few.
Indeed these things were bringing me anxiety and constant worry. In fact, I felt physically ill at times. I have even felt like… I wished I could disappear just to avoid having to deal with any of them.
But that day God’s word for me was very clear… “Whatever fills you, leads you…what leads you controls you… what controls you basically becomes your idol” … I had spent the last few years trying to break the mold of my past self, but there I was still being held back by the fact that I continued holding on tightly to things that were outside of my control.
Talking at family and friends who were “closed off” and/or not receptive to my words was not helping. Getting frustrated, disappointed, angry and sad was only making me sink deeper into feelings of depression and anxiety.
In reality I can only change myself and my responses to the things that happen around me …
As far as my career is concerned, I was on track. I am 32 and I know that as long as I stay focused and disciplined with regards to meeting my short term goals, my long term goals are within reach. But my impatience was bringing me anxiety and throwing me off… And food only gives me temporary satisfaction….
So I decided that this month, this year, I am recommitting myself to focusing on God wholly. I want to go back to the connection I used to have with Him as a young adult. I had faith. I felt certain that no matter what I would always be fine. I am not sure how I lost track of that, but I will return to that unwavering faith.
Instead of getting consumed with things outside my control, I want to focus instead on serving others… Praying for wisdom and understanding. Praying for the strength to share God’s love. Even when I am expected to react in the opposite way…
I will rather allow my mind and thoughts to be consumed by loving and serving God instead of being filled with worry and anxiety. I will work to stop seeking validation from others. It’s been almost a week since I made this decision to reignite my walk with the Holy Spirit… I feel lighter and less burdened already… Don’t get me wrong, I have struggled some…but I am moving forward. More hopeful. More positive. More content. More grateful. This is truly going to be an amazing year for me. I can feel it.
I will forgive myself for all past mistakes.
I will forgive everyone who ever hurt and disappointed me.
I will work to let go of pain, anger, resentment, frustrations, uncertainty, anxiety, worry
I will instead become filled with love, patience, peace, kindness, understanding, compassion, which I can then pour out unto others
And importantly, I will remember that I serve a faithful God, so even if I were to struggle or stumble, I know that He is patiently waiting with open arms.