This post was originally published on firstname.lastname@example.org on January 7, 2017.
“Lord, I am so tired of being afraid of the future. I know that I’m not walking in the truth, and my anxiety is holding me back from experiencing full joy and pursuit of my dreams. . .Please, I just need you to bring me security and then some joy and a little excitement in my life. . .I don’t know…I just want to feel more at peace and secure. Please help me, God. Amen.”
– A prayer written by me, January 2016
I found the above prayer in my prayer journal. Evidently, I was having a hard time and feeling devoid of security, joy, and peace. The month previous was when I was so terrified for my health that I got onto anxiety medication.
The beginning of 2016 was simply the middle of a difficult transition, and I was feeling a lack of direction for my life. I pictured another 12 months just as hard as 2015.
But, little did I know, I was about to have the most transformational and rewarding year ever! 2016 ended up being the year that I learned the most about myself and became determined to fight harder than ever!
Now, let me be clear that without my faith in him, I would have only sunk deeper into the pits of fear, disordered eating, insecurity, selfishness, apathy, and isolation. I know this because my belief in God was my main motivator in any and all efforts to get better.
My motivation is the fact that I believe He created me for a purpose and has greater plans for my future. And those plans do not include bondage to self-destructive behaviors and thoughts.
Through my consistent asking of God for help and a perfectly orchestrated set of events, God did more than I could have ever imagined.
He nudged me; He made me feel strong moments of conviction that broke me down when I needed to make a change; And He used specific people to say the exact words I needed to hear. And I believe that he even lead me to the scriptures that I needed to read, when I asked him to. There are some events that I give God all the credit for, because the timing was just too perfect. There is no way I could have planned each little (or big) moment of impact so divinely. It was purely the Lord’s doing.
Because of this, I’ve really been loving this scripture in Ephesians that says:
“How long and wide and deep and high is the love of Christ. . .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 all the glory. . .for ever and ever! Amen.” – 3:20-21
Seriously, I’m blown away at his work in my life!
I compiled a list of positive events and significant changes that all happened within 2016:
- I started this blog!
- I went 10 whole moths without any major panic attacks. (WOO!)
- I visited Biola University, and realized that I actually DO want to go to college!
- I got accepted to Biola!
- I shared my testimony with my entire highschool youth group (scary, but worth it!)
- My anxiety gradually decreased, and I learned how to handle it better.
- I reached two major clinical health goals!
- I turned 18, graduated high school, and started my summer job all in the same month!
- I worked as a middle school leader and went to summer camp with the youth group.
- I shared the gospel with 3 people and helped lead 2 to Christ. (YAY)
- My relationship with exercise turned healthy.
- I started college.
- I went on real dates with real boys 😉 (I don’t think I could have healthily done this last year.)
- I found direction for life, felt new passions, and felt joyful.
- I got asked to be a bridesmaid! AND
- I made a scary but life-changing decision for my overall health that has been TOTALLY worth it! (I’ll share more about this one later).
It doesn’t hurt that I also made it to Disneyland twice, saw a couple celebrities, and made some friends 🙂
These blessings came at a price though. I had to fight hard. I had to wait patiently, keep going to church, seek the Lord for strength, cry, endure a lot of discomfort, ask people for help, and always ask God for direction. But now I can see that it was all worth it. I can see now that he did hear my prayer in January; and he had good things in store.
Yes, fighting was worth it; and God ended up doing “immeasurably more than I asked or imagined.” And this is my hope for 2017! I’m expecting Him to continually show up and to be on my team. He has never left my side, and He’s not going to now.
God can move mountains in your life as well! He will bless you in incredible ways if you have an active relationship with Him, ask Him for help, and have a willing heart. Then wait expectantly with faith.