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Posts tagged ‘worry’

Finding My Joy Again

My joy was gone for about two to three weeks. Not on a vacation. It has been completely non-existent. I didn’t check my personal emails. I went to bed with a heaviness that often resulted in me being woken up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep because of a pounding heart beat.

That feeling of dread often carried over into the morning. I had things I needed to be working on, but I had ZERO desire to do anything.

How did this happen? I’ll tell you. It resulted from me carrying things I had no business carrying. Matthew 6:25-27 reminds us not to worry saying, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

I knew my joy was gone. I hated the way I felt. If my mind and emotions were not in turmoil, I was just in limbo. I wasn’t doing anything to move forward. I KNEW I needed to pray, but I couldn’t. I would read a few Scriptures in the Bible just to get some peace…for the moment. Sometimes I would start quoting the Word with power and authority, but end up in tears.

I KNEW I needed to confess the Word over myself. I knew it, but the circumstances and overwhelming feelings were just too much. I would try to work on things and I would just go in circles, never really accomplishing anything.

I’d had people pray for me. The feelings would lift. Then, my mouth would get me into trouble. It’s like I had an overwhelming urge to say the wrong thing whenever something happened. I am usually never continually negative, but it seemed like nothing was right. I couldn’t write because I didn’t have anything to say. The words weren’t hanging out in my mind. They simply weren’t there.

Finally, I called a friend. I talked to her for five minutes, only sharing a little of what I was feeling. She started praying for me and God showed her almost everything…even things I had thought!

I slept better that night, but the next day was a struggle. Finally, my mom said, “Something’s got to give.” “I know,” I said. “You won’t pray. You used to listen to the Word. I don’t know what you do now.”

“It’s not that I quit listening all together. The sound of anything irritated me. I irritated myself.

Mama and I committed to start praying in tongues thirty minutes every morning. If I couldn’t do it all right then, I took Mama’s advice and prayed when I could, even if that meant just a few minutes at a time.

After a few days, weightiness and heaviness that had been so prevalent lifted. I felt lighter. I wasn’t as irritated. Before I got the breakthrough, each day I had to look for something to be happy about.

When my nephew and cousin came over, I made myself get excited and do silly faces. I told Mama I felt fake doing that, but she said, “Sometimes, you have to fake it until you make it.”

If things seem bad right now, they won’t stay that way. LIFT UP YOUR HEAD! Turn your eyes to Jesus! I promise you He’s there. The enemy wants to convince you that he’s won this round. He wants you to stay down. I am encouraging you to GET UP! With God, all things are possible! All you have to do is make a choice to let God be God! He’s got this!

~ Madison Sanders

Image Credit: Happy Buttercups Lesley Cutts via


What Voice are You Listening To?

When the trials of life come, voices are there. Questions come. “What if this happens? Do you know God is faithful?”

The next voice might be a factual voice. “You are in pain. This hurts. That hurts.”

Then, the voice of fear comes. “This is bad. Don’t you see that this is a bad situation?”

The only thing you can do is answer with the Word. God is greater than anything I face, but I can’t stay silent when the enemy bombards my mind. As believers, the Bible is our sword. Find a Scripture that applies to your situation and stand on it. Let God’s Word be in front of you always. It has to be embedded in your heart before you can effectively wage an attack against the enemy.

Ephesians 6:13-18 says, “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare.”

I am thankful for the confidence I have in God. In times of trouble, I can’t rely on myself and what I think I know. If I want to win, I have no choice but to lean on God and trust in Him.

To trust means to have a firm belief in the ability or strength of someone. Even when it looks like all of the circumstances are stacked against me, it’s a great feeling to know someone who is far more capable than me.

If I have spent time with God, I will be able to hear His voice loud and clear above any confusion from other voices. His Word will guide me through the storm if I will heed His instructions.

I refuse to give into fear, worry, or anxiety over any situation. Sure, I have to battle those voices, but I am learning to be quick to say, “No, I know what God’s Word says! He has never left me or forsaken me. I don’t care how long it takes for my miracle because I KNOW that God watches over His Word to perform it!”

That is how my faith is stirred up. If you are in a battle and weighed down by the cares of this life, give it God. He’s got you! Stop listening to negative people. Take authority over those bad thoughts. It is possible to live a life of victory IF you will tune your ear to His voice!

~ Madison Sanders

Image Credit: Listen to the music 1 © Bartek Ambrozik via

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Trade ya!

“Trade ya!” shouts one boy, holding out his cup of carrots, hungrily eyeing his neighbor’s fudge brownie. Remarkably, the swap is made… one boy with two brownies, the other munching away on an extra handful of carrots. Doesn’t really seem like an even trade, but it happens every single day at the lunch table of schools everywhere!bartering-1

As an elementary teacher, I’ve noticed that some kids are better at trading than others. There are certain kids who manage to trade the dirtiest, worn out Matchbox car for the newer remote controlled one…or the plastic watch from a cereal box for a real metal one. And there’s always one kid at the table with five or six pieces of cake piled high, while his neighbors’ plates hold his rejected pieces of meatloaf. I’ve often asked the child who I felt got the raw end of the deal, “Why did you trade for that?” The response is usually always the same; “”Cause he wanted mine, so I just took his.”

Hardly seems fair, right?

Imagine us, going through life laden with fear, worry, depression, financial problems, health problems, sin problems….We’re walking along, dirty and down, when we run up on Jesus. He has it all! Life, peace, love, joy, health, prosperity, wisdom, the favor of God, righteousness… What we wouldn’t give to have what He has!!!

“Trade ya!” we say, holding out our heavy load, hopefully reaching for his light one. And remarkably, the swap is made:  His health for all our disease, His peace for our worry, His faith for our doubt, His spotlessness for our sin, His life for all our death.

Hardly seems fair, right? To have all the promises of God piled on us like extra helpings of cake when we didn’t deserve them at all? Jesus didn’t have to make this exchange. Yet, if His Father asks Him, “Why did You trade for that?” Jesus’ response will always be, “Because they wanted what was mine, so I took what was theirs.”

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

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