Have you ever deep down inside known that GOD was telling you to do something? We often refer to those as "gut feelings." We as humans do a fantastic job of not listening to our "gut feelings." It's often because we are afraid, prideful, scared, and unwilling to give up control. Those "gut feeling" are often uncomfortable because God may be asking you to do something that you don't want to do. In my case, God had been asking me to give up control for almost 10 months, but I was not ready to do that just yet. One of the many awesome things about God is...he is patient.
In February of 2011 I had a severe nervous breakdown which included several weeks of back to back panic attacks. It was the most difficult time of my life. It was THAT storm of interior chaos that brought me to my knees asking, "God, why is this happening to me?" What I have learned about storms in our lives is that God leads us to them and through them, using them to mold us to become stronger, healthier, and more Christ-like people… IF we allow him. Up until that point in my life, I led myself. I believed in Jesus but I did not let him lead my life. I led my own life and consulted him every now and then. There is a HUGE difference. There are wonderful Christians who will absolutely make it to Heaven but are missing out on "Heaven on Earth" because they are not letting Jesus lead them. In the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:10) it states we are to ask: "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” How cool is that? You can have heaven on earth! God truly wants us to experience that. We all know that this life is tough, but God wants you to prosper and He wants to fulfill you in ways you have never even imagined! (Jer 29:11). But in order to achieve this...you must give up control. Surrender your life to him and let HIM lead and you follow.
After my breakdown, I returned back to work. I did a lot of soul searching and hours reading and learning about God's word on stress and anxiety. In everything I read, I found that being anxious and stressed out is exactly opposite of what God wants for your life. So, I learned about setting boundaries and staying within them. However, my biggest lesson of surrendering control still was not accomplished. I heard very clearly from God after returning back to work that I needed to let go of my sales management role, but I just pushed aside that feeling and tried to merge it with my own interpretation of what I thought I needed. I thought: God don't you just mean that I need help with my job duties? If I just get some help, I won’t be as stressed and my life will be so much better, right?
So, what did I do? I asked for an administrative assistant. All the while, I knew deep down that I was not obeying God. Why did I do that? Because I thought I knew better than God? No, it was because I was scared, and too prideful. I did not know what would happen if I gave up my position as sales manager. It was the fear of the unknown. Fear is paralyzing and will often lead you into a decision that is NOT from God. Fear comes from the enemy, filling your mind with lies. Fear is not from God. God will leave you with peace and not fear. (John 14:27)
Many months passed but one week in particular the feeling of stepping down from my sales manager role weighed heavier and heavier on my heart. One night during a workout, I stopped in the middle to pray, this is what I prayed, "God I’m feeling that it’s time for me to give up my management position, will you please give me some clarity to make this decision? I’m feeling God that you will put someone in my life or take someone out of my life in order to help make this decision easier, Amen." The very next day my administrative assistant of 9 months resigned. That was the confirmation of he part of my prayer where I asked: "take someone out of my life in order to help make this decision easier." That day at lunch she looked me in the face and tearfully said she had to move on, and in that moment, I knew I did too! I excused myself from the lunch and went to the car to cry. I turned on Joy FM and the lyrics I heard were "I wave my white flag, I surrender, I surrender ALL to you, ALL to you!” God gave me a second chance to get it right and this time I decided to be obedient and give up control fully and surrender it all to him.
To date, the decision to step down from my sales manager position in a company I adored has been one of the hardest things I have ever done.
What has happened since then? Well, God definitely had bigger plans for me than being a sales manager. Today I am a co-owner at Glory Photography. Glory fulfills a passion have for photography, gives me reason to keep flexing my business brain, and allows me time to work on the ministry I co-founded and am the director of, Fearless Women. Fearless Women started because of the breakdown experience I had. Its mission is to set women free from fear and anxiety. Al this never would have happened had I clung to what was familiar, known, and even what I used to think of as safe.
Here is a question for you? What is on the other side of your obedience? We should never fear what our obedience will cause, we should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss out on.
My prayer is that you find the strength to dig deep and to be obedient to what God is asking of you. After all, Daddy knows best. :)
In 2011, Christy suffered a severe nervous breakdown. She battled many months of intense anxiety and depression. On Mother’s Day of 2012, she felt God push her to share her story of overcoming anxiety. Shortly after that, she attended a women’s conference where they asked, “What do you dare to be?” She wrote, “Speak to women about stress and anxiety." God is fulfilling this call and purpose on her life by co-leading Fearless Women.
She is happily married to the love of her life. They have three beautiful children together and she is am grateful to God for all of which He has blessed her.
You can connect with Christy here:
Website: www.fearlesswomenstl.com (Meetings are the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Check the website for times and locations.)