Friday, August 30, 2019

When In Doubt

What defines a new chapter in your life? Is it after a breakup or a divorce? Is it meeting the love of your life? Is it finding a new home? Or can it be as simple as a shift in your mindset? The mind is one of the most difficult thing to change. That's why the phrase, "battlefield of the mind" is so common. There's this constant tug between our inner pessimist and inner optimist. We can toss around thoughts about a new place: "Well, what if the boiler goes? What if I don't like the neighborhood? What if I have buyer's remorse?" And then the optimist comes in and says, "Wow, I sleep so well here. The neighborhood is awesome! I love how convenient everything is." There can be so many mixed feelings when it comes to these big life events. What if he's not the right guy? What if he turns out to be a complete jerk? But then you see the good in him and think, "Wow, he's gonna make a great father!" When you approach a complete life change---"a new chapter"---you'll start to notice your mind playing tug-o-war with the 'what ifs' and the positive aspects of it all.

Ten years ago we came back to our ancestral home to take care of my parents. Dad came down with cancer first, then passed. Then mom was grieving, then came down with cancer and eventually passed away too. Of course, after a couple of years, we left our cherished ancestral home which was another heartbreak in itself. I kept asking myself 'why' all the time. Why so much in such a short span of time? Why so much change? Why did God have to take away both my parents? Each 'event' was a learning curb for me---to strengthen my character, perhaps for bigger things down the road. I'm not sure. So I delved into my faith and stood on the Word for comfort. It was the only thing that saved me through this horrific and tragic time in my life. My parents were my world! They were my best friends. I couldn't ever imagine a world without them. But here I am.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectations of salvation. --Romans 5:3-4

When you think you mastered one challenge, another one is right behind it. It's like having a personal trainer at the gym. "So you can do 20 pushups? Ok, let's try 40 now." This is how I imagine God to be. He's not doing it to punish us--He's doing this to strengthen us.

Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future. --1 Timothy 4:8

Many think that God is just punishing us for whatever reason. He isn't. He may test you, or make your path a little rocky so you'll come out stronger on the other end. And God will never give you anything you can't handle. It may feel overwhelming, but if he brought you to it, He'll get you through it.

When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. --James 1:3-4

Whatever it is you are going through, cast your cares to God. See it as an opportunity to push through it. I had to do that recently. Learning to trust God is hard for all of us since we always try to fix things ourselves, when it's really a matter of faith and trust. Sometimes, it'll push you out of your comfort zone, and once you push through that, it'll be like old hat soon enough. What helps me is knowing that I am never alone and that God is always with me.

Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. --Isaiah 41:10

When in doubt, pray.
When in doubt, trust.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com
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