Stephanie

John 16:33 – “I have told you these things so that you may know peace. In this world you will have trouble; but take heart! I have overcome the world."

Purpose: Picture the most positive person you’ve ever met. Got it? Ok… Guess what. Even they have days where their anxiety gets the best of them. If we’re all honest and not trying to pretend that we have it all together for all of our fake friends on social media, we can start to pinpoint some of our (millennial buzz-word alert) triggers, and maybe then we can help avoid what I like to call a “total freak out.” My stress comes out in pretty much all the forms you can think of... From panic attacks, to lashing out on the people I love most, to over eating, excessively working out, literal loss of my hair, picking apart my cuticles, and the ever-so-lovely “pity party.” I can drown myself in my vices, which just leads to a downward spiral. I can dig myself so far deep that getting out of the hole I’ve dug myself into is just too much to handle… so I stay there. And that’s what I did for a long time, but now… I have God… I finally took His hand that was tirelessly reaching out and saying “if you just stop trying to do it all by yourself, I can free you from this.” So finally, I took the God bait… and I’m able to experience joy in the midst of everything life throws my way... Life is hard, and honestly, I still react to stress poorly because I’m human and we’re naturally flawed, which is why we all need Jesus in the first place. So, the point of this journal is to purposefully focus on the joys throughout my day, rather than dwell in the stress of the unknown. Through this “joy journey,” I’m hoping to pursue the purpose God has intended for me all along, while I wasted time in my “total freak outs.” So now, I will be more intentional with my thoughts instead of reactive and eventually, with God’s guiding hand and grace, joy will be my habit.