A Heart Guarded From Worry

In a lifetime of exciting moments, one highlight was when we bought our first house.  After 20 years of marriage, Shelly & I purchased a home in Hot Springs, AR, and for the first time we were owners instead of renters.  We liked the house, and loved the moments we experienced their.

Fast forward to recent times: at the end of June 2016, we moved into our new home in Natchitoches, LA, thus beginning a brand new season of adventure for our family.  We put our first house on the market... and we purchased our second house.  Our prayer, fasting and counsel led us to this decision.  And for 7 months we made two mortgage payments.  No, we could not afford two mortgage payments and stay within our budget.  But we also could not afford to deliberate at length on what we knew was a calling, and direction, from God. 

Over the past 7 months, Shelly & I experienced some level of concern as the sale of our first house topped my daily prayers.  But we never shifted into "panic mode," and in all honesty, never had our hearts and minds filled with worry.  We simply made it a matter of prayer, and tried to keep focus on the new calling we've been walking in - to plant a new church, Awaken Church, in Natchitoches, LA.

Most folks just kind of nod and smile when I answer their questions about how we're doing, with "truthfully, we're not stressed out with worry at all... but we DO need to sell that house."

Then a funny thing happened.  Yes, we sold the house, signed the papers, and the deal is done!  As soon as Shelly & I got into the car after signing the closing papers, I felt a literal release in my chest and shoulders.  It was as if a huge weight, that I had been carrying for too long, had been lifted.  My lungs felt opened fully as I breathed in so deeply that it felt like my body was free of chains.  It was like the stress and worry that I never felt over the past 7 months was released, and I was able to experience the feeling of the release without the pain and anxiety of carrying it around.

And I couldn't really explain the experience until I was reading my Bible this morning, and this passage was in my reading plan for today: Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

May you, when life comes at you like a double mortgage season, pray.  May you tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  And may you  experience the peace of a heart and mind guarded from worry and anxiety as you live in Christ Jesus.


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