What’s Your Dial Turned to?

We all have modes or dials we turn to or habitually run too. Some natural, some sinful and wrong, some deliberate with purpose.

Which mode do you find yourself in?

  • Are you one consumed with “I’m never good enough” or “if only I…”
  • Or, could it be that you are one that seeks surrender; seeking to living in obedience and peace with God?

I love that God gives us that choice.

  • Surrender isn’t a bad word.
  • Surrender doesn’t mean failure.

Surrendering to God brings freedom, it brings godly success, it brings security and peace. Live in Christ.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

You’re Not Crazy

You will never win.

You are in this alone.

You are going crazy.

The Enemy wants you to believe these lies. He wants you to feel like you are the only person who is in this bubble of darkness. He wants you to believe there’s no way out…no end to this misery. He’s trying to convince you right now that you will never be normal again. That you are in fact crazy.

A big breakthrough in my journey to freedom from anxiety was when I learned I was not alone. A friend told me about a pastor I very much respected who had shared a message about his battle with depression. At the time, I had never heard of anyone who was dealing with a situation like mine. When I realized this other pastor had similar initial symptoms to mine (“crazy” physical symptoms), a layer of hope was deposited into my heart. Though things didn’t change instantly, I was comforted by knowing someone had survived to tell about it.

I didn’t have an instant turn-around. But I did come out of the night and into the light of day. My bout was incapacitating for months and afterwards my anxiety didn’t permanently go away. In fact, to be transparent, some days that lingering sense of anxiety still lurks over my left shoulder about sixty miles behind me. The difference now is I know what it is and I know it’s not going to take me out.

And I believe, by the power of Jesus’ name, it’s not going to take you out either. The Devil may be prowling around, seeking someone to devour. But Jesus is a roaring lion King, and He is with you in the valley called the shadow of death.

  • Call out to Jesus even now.
  • Call on His mighty name.
  • Thank Him that He is with you.
  • Tell Him you believe He can lead you to the light again.

If you would allow me, I’d like to speak that over your life today through this prayer:

“Father, I lift up my friend who is reading this right now, especially the one who feels like there is nowhere else to turn. I speak the powerful name of Jesus of Nazareth over their situation. Please shine truth into the cobwebs of despair and allow them to see You right there with them in the midst of the darkness. I thank You that You promise to lead them to the other side if they will put their trust in You. Jesus, You are greater than whatever is trying to take them out. Preserve. Protect. Awaken. Restore. For Your Great Glory, Amen.”


⬆️ The above devotional is called: Putting an X Through Anxiety: a seven day journey w/ Louie Giglio. ⬆️


In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

My Giant Slayer


Say Hello to My Giant Slayer

Each person’s anxiety is complex and unique. But all of us have the same hope today—God is fighting for us.

Walking free from panic attacks, depression, fear, and worry is a process, one with many steps and turns. But the key to living untangled from anxiety is not a plan, but a person.

Your hope is in Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep. He is the way, the truth, and the life. And he is inviting you to allow Him to lead you through whatever you are facing in this world.

God understands that we get stressed in life. Dozens of places in Scripture speak directly to anxiety, and hundreds more to fear and worry. Why? Because people have always been anxious.

Arguably the best-known text in the Bible is Psalm 23. At the core of this Psalm is an extraordinary offer from God—that He will lead and guide us through every season. Specifically, God promises to lead us through the valley of the shadow of death, that dark place where we doubt everything good and fear every possible negative outcome.

As David writes Psalm 23, he is facing life-threatening danger, but he is confident in his Shepherd. He describes it like this, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (v.4 ESV)

  • Do you know a valley like that?
  • Do you feel isolated and alone, as if no one understands the crushing load you are under, nor the enemy you fear?
  • Or is your valley less defined—a hard to describe cloud of doom that descends on your best thoughts, turning life into a shadowy mist of confusion?

If so, God is offering to walk with you through this valley. He does not lead you to the valley, but He promises to lead you THROUGH it. This current place of struggle will not be the end of you. Your hope is in Jesus.

This may sound simplistic or elementary. But, in a world that has quick-fixes at every turn, we have the God of Heaven standing in front of us, offering to be our shepherd in whatever valley we find ourselves in.

Jesus is offering to lead, provide, protect, and preserve you through the darkest valleys and most imposing nights. I invite you to call on Him right now, out loud.

You may feel like God is a billion miles away. You may believe your voice won’t even get past the walls of the room you are in if you were to call on Him. But, the name of Jesus is power. Call on Him now. Tell Him you can’t see Him, but you have heard He is near. Ask Him to stop and consider the pit of depression you are in. Tell Him you want Him to lead you through the valley of anxiety. Be honest with Him and ask Him to shine light into your darkness.

You may not know how He’s going to do it, but in faith tell Him you know He can.

⬆️ Above devotional called: Putting an X Through Anxiety: a seven day journey with Louie Giglio.⬆️


Remembering our key to living untangled in this life is not our plan, a plan, or someone else’s plan, but in the loving power of Jesus Christ. He only gives us the victory.

In Christ I am SHE (Saved. Hopeful. Empowered)

About Face

It has been hard to get in the Word.

Yep. I said it…out load! These past several weeks I have struggle to sit, to think, to blog, to write, to listen, to even journal. It is just not there.

I have counseled enough people, read enough books, and have been challenged myself over the years to know what the root problem is, my flesh.

But I gotta tell you, the noise within me has been louder than the peace of God lately.

This world is screaming with all kinds of noises. Scenes across our globe are disturbing even enraging that lead to more thoughts that create more noise. 

We are at war – we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces: darkness, wickedness (Ephesians 6:12).

Even though “noise” is seen, heard or felt, it does not excuse my responsibility before an Almighty God; to walk humbly before Him. To allow “noise” to separate me from the God is sin.

I have tried if you wondered. I have wanted to sit, to read, to sup long, but the struggle has been real and few are far in between as of late.

  • How does one remove external or internal noise?
  • How does one sit at the feet of Jesus while the storm around them rages in both action and word?
  • How does one hear the voice of God while their flesh is disoriented, confused, and distracted?

God.

I know. I can hear you say, “…but Colleen, you just said the struggle been real; to step into that quietness of soul before the Lord has been a struggle of the flesh…and here you answer, God.” Yes! The very thing my flesh has been warring against is the very thing my soul needs the most — God; that is why there is a war going on within.

I need an “about face” — an active choice of turning from to turning to; turning to the only One who can.

You heard right, but hear me out…

I am preaching to myself here…

I know it sounds too simple, but God is unable to violate Himself. He cannot lie, therefore, what He says He will do He does. What He promises He gives or takes away. When God speaks — it is.

Warning alert: it is harder for us to act upon (to live) than say, but there is hope.

  • Only God can remove my distractions.
  • Only God can replace the noise with peace.
  • Only God can still my soul and fill it with focus and clarity. Only God can renew, energize, or strengthen me.
  • Only God can take a storm and calm the sea, but I have, you have, a responsibility (your part) to step out of the way, walk by faith, trusting in His perfect work in you. I need to trust Him through releasing my grip on those “things” which I hold dearer than Him.

You see, my flesh has been trying hard; I have been losing. God has been waiting for me to see that my effects will never win…but with Him they do.

It makes no difference who you are, what your place in life is, what you do or how old you are…human flesh is just that, flesh. God is not a respecter of persons. God sees souls (Acts 10:34).

We had a family stay with us last weekend. God has called them to Columbia to be missionaries. If you know anything about Columbia, your heart just skipped a beat or two.

A couple of words display who this young family is: God-focused. Christ-centered. Godly marriage. Living our Deuteronomy 6 with their children. Integrity. Surrender. Faith and trust. Plus, they have a great sense of humor. They are gems!

It was a sweet couple of days with them. What strikes me most is their knowledge of the danger before them (and yes, they have had conversation with the Lord about this) but they choose to walk in simplified trust in God’s calling. This calling compels them and grows in longing; they see God and souls.

This is actually what God sees…souls. God sees no color, there are just souls. Souls that He created in the image of Himself that He longs to be reunited with.

When you stop to think about what you think about and how far off it is from the vision of God…you begin to see your flesh at its best…most miserable.

  • I began to ask myself, what am I looking at?
  • What have I been focusing on?
  • What have I allowed in my life to cause distraction?
    • What do your eyes see?

God is not distracted by our noise.

God is not distracted by the world’s noise.

God is not distracted or surprised by our lack or inability, but it doesn’t stop Him from accomplishing His great commission… souls!

God is in the business of redemption – restoring what once was – an intimate relationship with His creation, mankind.

God sees souls. God sees your soul. God sees my soul.

Here I am – struggling to just sit, listen and be still – while God only sees me, longing for me to come. Does God care about our externals, sure, but He cares more about what lies within our hearts than what lies without. His focal point is eternal. Is mine?

I am at fault for allowing such distractions to plagued me for weeks, not God. I have allow “it” to scream louder than the loving voice of God calling me to come, to sit, to sup, and be still with Him while He loves me and directs me.

Does today’s events concern me, yes. Do I wonder about the future of our children or grandchildren, if the Lord tarries, yes. BUT…there is a fine line between temporal and eternal. We cannot allow distractions or the noise of this life to stop us, to prevent us from doing the will of the Father. We must not give way to the storm(s) within that cause destruction. We are more than conquerors. The devil would love us to think we lost; isn’t that just what the he wants.

The best Christian is a defeated Christian in the eyes of the devil.

  • I am convicted.
  • I have repented.
  • That is why I write.
  • I am thankful.
  • I am restored.
  • That is why I write.
  • I know I am not the only one to find this battle.
  • That is why I write…to share, to encourage you…YOU CAN IN CHRIST!
  • We would be consumed if it wasn’t for the grace of God who loves us and gave himself for us (Lamentations 3:22-23).
  • How can we not give Him our personhood?  

How are you doing, friend?

  • Is your soul struggling and flesh winning out?
  • Have you stopped spending time with God?
  • Have your eyes, soul, and heart become distracted?
    • Remember…only God can remove your distractions.
    • Only God can replace your noise with peace.
    • Only God can still your soul and fill it with focus and clarity.
    • Only God can renew, energize, or strengthen you.
    • Only God can take your storm and calm your sea.

Yesterday, was my “about face.” How about you? Make today your “about face” and leave whatever it is that has you anchored down and turn from it and run to God. Come home.

We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10). Humbly His servant and your friend,

Colleen Woodruff: In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}     

Set Your Gaze

Anxiety. This looming giant in a deep valley threatens, taunts, intimidates, incapacitates, and paralyzes. This giant is real. And it can be deadly.

Anxiety and its cousins—panic, worry, fear and dread—is complex. There are spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, genetic, and circumstantial factors that can cause us to fall into the grip of depression, pulling us away from those we love and shuttering our ability to deal with everyday life. To underestimate the problem, or blow it off with a, hey, shrug it off and bounce back mentality, is a mistake.

I know this because I have suffered defeat in this valley in years past. Yet, I also know there is a way to overcome anxiety. I know first hand that you can emerge on the other side of depression and dread, and live to tell about someone who is more powerful than whatever has a grip on you. I am not offering a quick fix, nor a promise that you will escape the fight. But I’d like to tell you about a champion, a giant-slayer, who is on your side in the battle.

I have heard stories of others struggling with anxiety that sound similar to mine, yet every person’s battle is different and every experience is unique. A “one-size-fits-all” approach isn’t going to be helpful here.

But coming to terms with the formidable size of this giant in no way diminishes the promise of God—you can live free from the demoralizing grip of anxiety.

It’s imperative for you to know that you are not standing helplessly alone in your valley. God Almighty is with you and he is fighting for you. In fact, he’s already taken on every “Goliath” and won!


⬆️ Above devotional called: Putting an X Through Anxiety: a seven day journey with Louie Giglio.⬆️


Friend,

the world around us seems to grow crazier by the hour. I don’t know what your future holds, what struggles weigh your soul or if the storm of depression, anxiety or even thoughts of contemplating suicide rage within. But this I do know, I know who holds your future.

Let’s choose today, right now, together to set our gaze on HIM: not ourselves, not the circumstance, not this world…but Him.

We will not ignore the behemoth beast called fear, worry, panic, or anxiety that has gripped our soul, but we will choose to lift our eyes and see someone bigger and more powerful—someone who loves us unconditionally and has plans to lead us in this life…God.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

I am praying for you,

Colleen
In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}