Hello, my name is Keviyona and I have a confession; stress almost had me! I have been stress-free for about two weeks and I feel rejuvenated. Let me explain how it all began. Every year around this time, I am reflecting and looking at my life to try to figure out “what next.”
First, I decided that maybe I should settle on where I see my career headed. I worked on my resume and began contacting people to get advice. The advice turned in to pressure. I understand they were trying to motivate and encourage me but it felt like pressure. I heard comments like “you should get on the principals list, you deserve better, you need to become a coach, you need to network and show what you know, you have been doing this for 10 years, move on, what are you waiting on, start interviewing, leave now and I can hook you up.” My thoughts exactly were “AHHHHHHHHH!”
Next matter was my weight. Last year I was on the move with my weight loss. I was working toward my goal. Now I have gained some of the weight back and although I do not look bad it is my goal to stay on track. Again I began thinking about “what next” and once again people gave me their input. People advised me to “join this gym, join that gym, walk with me, swim with me, run with me, meet this trainer, go to boot camp, work out at home, do this program, go on this diet, take this shot, take this pill and drink this shake.” Again my thoughts were “AHHHHHHHHH!”
Then, I reflected on my finances. I do not know why I began stressing over this because I started the year better than I have in years. I began worrying about having adequate savings for the summer. I began worrying about if I was balancing my money well. I was worried about money and I began to look at my accounts, look at my checks and write down everything that was going out and coming in. My thoughts exactly – “AHHHHHHHHH!”
I know you are reading this EmpowerMoment and wondering what is next. I began thinking about my house. I began to wonder if I was keeping the house clean enough. Was I cooking enough? Was my husband happy? Was I raising a happy child? Was I being the best wife and mother that I can be? I began wondering if I was grocery shopping enough? Anything I could think to stress about, I did.
All of these things resulted in severe neck and shoulder pains. I looked on the internet and thought I was having an attack. I looked up my symptoms and everything from sleeping the wrong way to signs of a stroke or heart attack popped up. I still did not know what was happening.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ (Matthew 6: 25-32, ESV)
One Friday night I was sitting in my car in front of my house and I began to pour out my heart to the Lord and I told Him that stress is not an option. I told God that I know His word and I believe that stress is not part of my DNA. I began commanding the devil to flee. I began telling the devil that he thought he had me. He thought he was going to make me lose my mind, but stress will not take me out. I realized that I could not enjoy the good things if I continued to let the clouds and stress the devil was placing before me distract and worry me. I began telling God that I am sorry, and for Him I live and for Him I die. I believed that the pains were stress. As I continued to seek God’s face, my pain lightened up. I began to worship and thank Him for reminding me that stress is not an option. Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7, ESV).
Thank You for helping me realize that stress is not an option. God, give me the courage to kick the back out of the wall when obstacles come my way and it feels like the walls are closing in on me. God, thank You for protecting my mind when the devil thought he was winning. Continue to teach me to look to You for every part of my life. God, I love You, and I thank You for being a God who knows how much I can bare and knows when to step in. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to speak to your situations and command them to move. Resist the devil and he will flee. Do not let life get the best of you. Every day that you open your eyes to is another day to get it right. Ladies, do not let stress make your mind play tricks on you. Remember you have control of what you think. If the devil or if stress begins to cloud your thoughts, remove it. I dare you to not let stress take you out. Stress is not an option!
What situations or worries are you commanding to move today?
Mrs. Keviyona Ray is an ordained minister and co-pastor in training of The Christ For All People International Church. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with everyone she encounters. As a professional, Keviyona is a teacher for Chicago Public Schools. She loves her ministry of teaching and changing children’s lives. She is a devoted wife and mother of a wonderful daughter. Two of her favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 1: 5: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” and Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.