Sep 28, 2010

Walking with Confidence, Part II: Emotions

A personal struggle of mine at times is worry, especially during this new stint in adulthood.  These worries usually come up when life isn't going according to my plan.  I worry if I will have enough money to support myself, I worry about my little brother, I worry about my parents' health; if I hurt someone, if maybe I didn't try hard enough, if I didn't show someone I care; worry, worry, worry.  However, when I was younger, it was much different.  I was very confidently Kirbie.  While a lot of kids and teens struggled to fit in and make everyone like them, I was the opposite.  I really didn't care if people didn't like me.  I spoke my mind, I did what I did, and my true friends would stick around (well, at least that's what I figured -- and they did).  But as I got older, for whatever reason, my emotions started to overcome me. 

I didn't like this.  I didn't like feeling like I was guilty, like I always had something to prove.  Nobody does.  But I found reprieve in this struggle when I realized that I can't think about me, I have to think about He, as in Christ.  

It's not as easy as it sounds.  If everyone in the world could put aside their anxieties easily, we probably wouldn't understand how important faith really is.  It's easy to think about your weaknesses, what you might not accomplish, and focus on your fears, the "what ifs" in life.  But the more you live in fear, the more you tend to play it safe.  Being safe is necessary sometimes, but to quote Joyce Meyer, most of the time safety is a manifestation of fear.  You don't want to venture into the unknown, so you miss out on your full potential because you'd rather not worry about things you can't control.   

I sought the Lord, and he answered me, 
and delivered me from all my fears. 
Psalm 34:4

You have to work on your emotions; this is one vital key to growing confident in yourself through the Lord.

Notice I say "work."  It's not going to happen by osmosis, people.  We all have emotions that influence our actions and our thoughts, that overcome us and spin through our head.  We analyze.  We wonder.  We ask "why?" when we want answers to things we don't know the reason for, for things that make us feel a certain way.   However, we do have control of these emotions.  We just have to choose not to feel them -- walk by faith, not by sight; walk in He, not in me.  By accepting God's plan, not resisting change, and accepting that we are humbled by God's grace, we can't feel anything that we don't want to feel!  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 
Proverbs 3:5-6

I know some of you are probably thinking, "Honestly, Kirbie?  Stop shoving sunshine up my anus.  This isn't realistic."  But it is.  You can't expect to live your best life at it's most fulfilling potential when you're busy going through an emotional frenzy.  

I was talking to my mom the other night and I mentioned to her how I was feeling at the time.  I explained that I was looking for comfort and stability.  I was upset that maybe my faith in God wasn't as strong as I had thought because I was feeling certain emotions. 

Trust me: just because we are scared, have fear, are nervous, grieving, anxious, what-have-you doesn't mean that your faith is in turbulance mode.  Being a Christian doesn't keep you exempt from grief or bad situations; it provides you the tools to overcome them.  Everyone is allowed to feel bad emotions, however, it's most important how you react to them.  You have to stand tall knowing that yes, you may feel unconfident, but guess what?  It doesn't matter how you feel!  God created you to live an extraordinary life, to be rewarded with explosive blessings, and to persevere.  Knowing God gives you confidence, and you have to make a conscious decision to believe in yourself and God's will.
There are plenty of things in the world that are going to try to put your faith to the test.  There are many things that can cause distress, fear, and anger; envy, jealously, insecurity.  But being confident in God allows you to be confident in yourself.  Know that if God has willed something in your life, there is nothing that can come between you and that destiny.
Be confident in your abilities.  Know that you are capable and stop focusing on failing and the unknown.  Then you will be truly able to succeed in God's light. 

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 
Hebrews 10:36

Don't live your life scared of the outcome.  Not to go all Hannah Montana on you guys, but seriously, it's the climb, not the end result.  Think about it: once you get to the end, what's left?  Enjoy the journey and all you have to look forward to.

Lastly, don't live your life in comparison!  Stop looking at what other people have and what you don't.  You could want something for 15 years and because you harp on what you don't have, he could easily give it to someone else who had only wanted it for a day, just to show you to not let envy overtake your life.  You can't live in comparison to anyone, because God created a unique and special plan for you and only you.  

For example: I'm 23.  I'm pursuing a broadcast journalism career.  I'm blonde.  There are about 500,000 (probably more) females out there who are my age, pursuing the same dream with my same hair color.  Say me and my physical clone go into the same correspondent audition and she lands the gig, I don't.  If I constantly compared myself to her, wondering why I didn't get the job when we're both one in the same, I'd never reach my full potential, even though God might have something better in store.  What if instead of giving me the correspondent job that I wanted, he wants to bless me with my own show?  And yet I'm too busy harping on the fact that some other chick got the job I thought I should have had?  Sounds like a waste of a great plan.

Ladies, it's far too easy to compare ourselves to other women.  Admit it, there has been a girl or two in your life, regardless of the circumstance, that makes you wonder what she has that you don't.  I know sisters, their own blood, who compare themselves to each other.  But what everyone needs to get a firm grasp on is that sometimes you might not understand why things happen in life and it's God's way of intervening.  You are not meant to have your sister's life.  You are not meant to have anyone else's life for that matter.  So stop worrying about why things happen and just let them be.

There's a reason things do and don't happen people.  It's up to us to realize that it's all a part of the divine plan... which I'll speak more about in Part III.

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