Wiregrass Hope Group's Christian counselors have written these posts on anxiety based on their own experiences and the book Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. Our hope is for you to live free from anxiety.
Recently I had one of those days with just one too many things on my mind. My plan for the day was to help one of my children pack to leave for college. I was going to start some laundry, do some work on my computer, and then we would get to packing. I grabbed the laundry and headed for the laundry room. There was clean laundry on the counters and there was dirty laundry on the floor. I started a load and saw a dress that needed to be hand washed. I used the stopper to allow the water to fill the sink, threw the dress in with a little detergent, turned on the water, and left the room. I went straight to my computer and got to work. Then I heard it. Water. It sounded like the rushing sound of water, even though I was on the other side of the house from my laundry room. Yep. You knew this was going to happen. How come I didn’t?
I hopped up and ran around a corner and saw the river runs through it. Water was coming out of the laundry room down my hall and into my bedroom. I totally panicked.
Some of you never do things like this. Most of you do. We get too many things going, and we can’t stay adequately focused on what is right in front of us. Most of us want to know what God’s will is for our lives. We want to do His agenda, but how often do we stop to find out what it is.We all struggle at times with keeping our focus. Life seems to be happening to us rather than being purposeful with our lives. We seem to live wishing for something about our lives to change: the weather, the age of our children, our spouses, our friendships, or our jobs. What we desire to change becomes our focus rather than what our purpose is in this life.
Linda Dillow writes, “We must live as women who know the meaning and purpose of life…We must correct our faulty focus and become women of purpose. A good way to begin is with a purpose statement that defines what we believe and where we want to be.”
Here are some possible steps in this process:
- Recognize that your life is the Lord’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” We have been purchased through the work of Jesus Christ. We belong to Him.
- There is a season for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” You cannot do everything in every season. Seasons of life change and some doors may need to close while some need to be opened.
- Determine the Lord’s purpose for your season in life. Right where you are, right now. Ephesians 5:15-17 warns us, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” I try to pray at least once a year and consider everything I am involved in. I try to ask the Lord, “What organizations, jobs, or church responsibilities do you want on my plate in the coming year?” I try not to leave something in my life just because it has been on my plate in the past or because it will be hard to walk away from. It can be clarifying to consider what you think your life purpose is and then look at all the responsibilities in your life. Do they line up with who you think God made you to be in your season of life?
I discussed this idea with my friend and mentor, Betsy Morris. She is a woman I have long wanted to emulate. Betsy said she knew as a young woman she wanted her purpose to include being a godly woman, a godly mother, and to be a world changer. However, Betsy found herself with a potty training two-year-old and a set of twin babies who struggled with being sick. She decided in her season of life, where she could rarely leave home, she would invest in her relationship with God and her growth as a godly woman. She said she made herself commit to spending fifteen minutes a day either praying or reading her Bible. This was a precious fifteen minutes where she could have taken a nap. Betsy also placed Bible verses in her kitchen window and around the house so that when she was washing dishes or caring for her home she could put Scripture in her heart. I can tell you that I count Betsy one of the godliest people I know. She now lives out her “change the world” purpose by being the Director of Wiregrass Hope Group.
Back to me and my water problem, I am not the best multi-tasker around. I burn food, and I flood houses. I resolved my water issue through the help of many beach towels and a precious friend who helped dry my house and took my soaking wet laundry to her house. I walked around for two days after my “flood” calling myself a failure. I tell you this to remind you (and myself) not to compare yourself to anyone else. Some people are wired to do a million things and some of us are better focusing on fewer things. Pray and seek God about what this season of life is supposed to include for you. Create a life purpose statement for you and not for anyone else. And Betsy would tell you “Do what you can in the season you are in.” Take a step to accomplish your purpose even if it feels small.
Prayer: Dear Father, You created me with a purpose in mind. Would you help me create a purpose statement or find a life verse that helps direct my life?
Further Study: Read Chapter 7 of Calm My Anxious Heart.
Small Group Discussion: Questions 2, 3, and 5 of Week 7 in the back of Calm My Anxious Heart.
Comment: If you create a purpose statement or have done this in the past, please share with us in the comments.
Please share your answer either in the comments section below or join the conversation with our Facebook Community Group. #undividedwomen.