Be Still

Either I’m going to trust you or I may as well walk away
‘Cause stressing… don’t make it better, no way.”

Lyrics from Yesterday by Erica Atkins-Campbell

Be still

I didn’t write the lyrics to Erica Campbell’s hit song “Yesterday,” but I (a) could have because last month I was overwhelmed and unsettled in every phase and place (b) should have since I had poignant illustrations that would have made a perfect country song, (3) didn’t need to write a song because I was over half finished eating an elephant* for lunch (with mustard, pickles and onions) yesterday when I finally realized why I had a stomachache the size of Texas! I had bitten off a lot more than I could chew and there was nowhere to spit it out!

Here are two things I had to learn the HAAAAAARD way :

(1) When you’re trying to run your own life, no matter how big or old you are, you are in over your head! Ask for help—again and again, if needed, and understand that God’s timing is perfect. Yours isn’t.  I was praying and asking God to help me handle things I wouldn’t let go of.  God wants our adoration and obedience, not our excuses and explanations.

(2) There is value in the valley and blessings come from the lessons. According to relationships guru Iyanla Van Zant, if you find yourself in a difficult place—a valley-kinda place, she says be still because sometimes we are so busy trying to get out of our dark places we often miss the lessons and the blessings.

I hate it when she talks directly to me but as usual, she was right. Moving my household this year has been a valley for me. By its very nature, moving is stressful but I underestimated what it takes to sell a house—packing, staging, decluttering, cleaning, etc., finding and buying a house, and moving while working full time and commuting three and a half hours on the weekend.  In the past when we’ve moved, we knew when and where we were going, and how long our usual stuff would need to be packed up—all things I could control. This time we’re dependent on variables out of my control. Nevertheless, I know now that this unsettling feeling is God’s gentle reminder that there was very little I was controlling or in charge of anyway! Like the song says “Without God, I could do nothing.” It’s true. Everywhere I’ve been, God has been there when I arrived, opening doors and putting out the welcome mat.  God has always provided so why am I fretting? Why am I stressing? The lesson for today is simple: God knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and give me a future with hope—words you and I can trust completely.

Your dark place, your valley, your unsettled place, today may be totally different. It may be opioid addiction, uncertainty, abuse, homelessness, hopelessness, job loss—I don’t know, but wherever you are, God is there to remind you that we go through the valley for a reason and a season—we don’t stay there. If you’re in the valley, God is right there beside you, cheering you on, holding you up, protecting you. Delight yourself in this blessed assurance!

Be blessed and keep shining!

*Fret not. No animals were harmed in the making of this sandwich/blog!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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