Journey Update: Stress and Prayer

What a wild season it has been so far. I’ve started doing these journey updates, a kind of informal blog about what has been happening in my life with a mixture of what God has been speaking during my changing seasons. My current season has been wild. I got engaged, and that has been just a powerful blessing. We are not only engaged, but we wanted a quick engagement, and we are getting married in September! We are so excited, and things are coming together. Sometimes it can be hard to enjoy this season fully because we are so busy. Not so much with wedding planning, but with life. Life has a way of going all wild and crazy, it becomes difficult to keep my head above it all. This season has been filled with a lot of stressors. Many things keep flying at me and it’s hard to block all of it. I feel like Batman running through a gauntlet of rogues, just trying to make it through to be the hero a city desperately needs. Stress has become a norm in my life, and I’m not a huge fan of that. Sure, one could say that it “builds character” or “just hold on,” but it doesn’t lessen the frustration. I’ve been struggling with it a lot, but this season has also taught me to have trust. A deep, meaningful trust in my savior.

My life has been so busy. I currently work two part-time jobs, one of which being a ministry job (which, let’s be honest, is a full-time calling), trying to enter into a full-time ministry position (cause ya know, I’m getting married and would like some security), planning a wedding, and being intentional with my future wife. It’s pretty daunting. It’s big. It’s got facets that are more complicated than I thought. And it causes a ton of stress, because I know I can’t do it all. The truth is, I will never be able to do it. Time and time again I just want what God has for me, and forget to trust God in the midst of the stress. We all need to remember that we are incapable of moving the way God can. When we try, we crumble under the weight of the world. What I’ve learned is that trust is so valuable, because trust shows that we are humble enough to realize that it isn’t about us, it’s about a God that wants to nurture us.

Seek his presence.

There will always be things standing in the way as we go throughout life. Good, bad, and ugly. The thing is, in every season we need to stay connected to the source of true life in our lives. Our church has entered into a season of prayer and fasting, my goal during this time is to re-center my prayer time. It can be easy in the midst of stress to be focused on the stress and lose sight of what God might be trying to show me. Things I don’t think should be happening become things I can be wary of in the future as I lead others. Opportunities that pass might not have been the best opportunity to truly help me. People that seem to frustrate me, might need to be let go of to help my heart have healthy boundaries. In this season, I want to prepare in his presence. I don’t want to lose sight of what God has done in my life, the future Danielle and I will step into together. In the midst of the unknowns, we all must seek the presence of God to find peace and have the hope of him alone.

Celebrate.

I’m sure in the past few months, I may have had moments where I sounded angsty. I have been. There have been disappointments in my ministry pursuit, moments where I have been passed over and felt unnoticed when I have much to give. It’s hard when these things happen, to not get down and in a mellow funk. These are lies. Moments in my life that is just God saying that this is not the place for me and that he has a future for Danielle and I that is so much better. I need to check myself, I need to follow my own advice and stop listening to garbage and start a party (Check out that post here!). I need to celebrate what God is doing. I am gaining wisdom for my future when I plant a church with Danielle. I am entering a season where Danielle and I become one, and get to encourage and partner together for our passions and callings. I’m tired of letting Satan have air-time in my thoughts, it’s time to cut him off and celebrate God’s unfailing love. We all need to cut out the noise and remain in our trust of a sovereign God.

Journey Update copy

As I have been writing this post, I’ve been listening to a song called “Trust” from Jonathan Ogden. Yes, this is some indie Christian music you’ve probably never heard of, but it is such a powerful song. The end of the song has some powerful lyrics, ones that speak to me in this season of prayer and my continuing journey.

“And every time I fall, I lean into Your love. With open arms You call me Your beloved son”

When I trust in God, the stress of finding a full-time position isn’t so massive, my two jobs are an opportunity to speak life into others, planning a wedding is fun because it’s a massive party and a kick-start to a crazy awesome new chapter, and in these moments of unknowns Danielle and I are able to connect and fight for each other in more intentional ways. My prayers are for increased trust. God has done so much in my life, he is written all over my story, and I am excited for what the future will hold.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy my other posts with a more teaching theme to them on this blog! Check it out and continue to follow me on this journey. If you’d like to support your friendly neighborhood blogger and his ministry adventure, become a sponsor on Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/JoshuaDThomas

 

Thanks for reading,

Joshua Thomas

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