5 Scripture Verses that Helped Changed My Life
Most of my life I have struggled with anxiety and insecurity. There were days, if I could get myself out of bed, I would not leave my home afraid of what evil or injury may befell me. Honestly, there are still days my Germaphobia paralyzes me at the entrance of a building afraid to touch the door handle or hinders me from even shaking people's hands. When fear is not wrestling with me insecurity is. Unsure of my abilities and fear of failing has left many a dream incomplete or unfulfilled.
Discovering the Word of God has been this empowering gift! While I continue to battle my fears and phobias, the Scriptures have given me strength that nothing else was able to. I can stand on the Word of God to battle those demons that threaten to steal my joy and derail the plans God has for me. Listening to Jesus in the Gospels teaches me how to trust in Him, have hope and discover that I am loved beyond measure. Those battles that have lost in the past are now squished beneath the weight of the truth the Scriptures speak to my heart.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11
How often I look at the current circumstances of my life and wonder – does God REALLY have a plan for my good in this mess? As I struggle to wiggle out from the burdens and anxieties of this world, it is very hard to believe in the promise found here in Jeremiah. Then I remember the hope of my future is not for this world but for one in Heaven. We will not be abandoned. God is with us and He has promised us eventually it will all work out – that is our hope. If that promise is not enough to ignite a spark of trust, maybe the next line from Jeremiah 29 will, "Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord."
“Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7
There is no beating around in this verse – St. Paul is clear what will bring us peace. He throws around words like ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. However, in my state of worry I usually mix them up, having anxiety about EVERYTHING and not bringing ANYTHING to prayer. So much can steal our peace – illness, finances, teenagers – even the innocuous words of a friend. Bring it to Jesus. Maybe the answers will not be exactly what you expected or hoped but you can be assured it will always result in a peace that is beyond understanding.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
How do I stray from my path? So often detoured – tempted and distracted along the way. In all things and with all my heart – I will praise and thank the Lord. I will trust in His way! How often he has shown himself trustworthy though I deserve no such proof.
“Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” ~1 Peter 5:7
Peter was a fisherman. When Peter went fishing, he would cast a large net over the side of the boat and wait. When he speaks these words of comfort to us, casting is meant as an image of giving it all to God and letting him take care of whatever is bringing you woe. I am a fisherman too but I bring a rod and reel. I cast and reel back in, again and again. This is how I approach trusting God. I cast the care, worry or trouble to God then either out of guilt (should I really be bothering the Creator of the Universe with my problems) or impatience (waiting is not my favorite) I reel it back to myself. May I learn to trust in the amazing way St. Peter instructs; cast the anxiety (such as finances, my health or family) and then be ever confident in God’s care of me.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall 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 one cubit to his span of life?” ~ Matthew 6:25-27
Worrying certainly does not extend a life; stress can actually have the opposite effect. Worrying never solved a problem nor has it brought peace. Anxiety paralyzes. The lesson here – realizing that God knows what you need well before you have even thought it. While we may go without things we want, God promises we’ll always have what we need.
All scripture taken from Revised Standard Version on Biblegateway.com.
Copyright 2017, Allison Gingras
Good Friday Reflection - Walk in Her Sandals
Teaching the faith can be a challenge. The Confirmation retreat was nearly over, so we settled back in the main hall after a few hours in the church to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and spend time in Eucharistic Adoration. Though I’ve presented to teenagers for years, it never gets any easier. Corralling them for 8 hours, most against their own will, usually creates a less than friendly atmosphere. This particular group, despite my attempts to provide engaging activities and quick witted presentations, was very difficult to reach.
It was a huge relief to glance at the clock and realize there were fewer than two hours left. “You got this,” I murmured to myself, and grabbed the microphone to begin my last presentation. I barely completed the sign of the cross, when suddenly a young man dressed in a suit stood up.
“Excuse me,” I politely addressed him, “break is over and we are clearly about to pray. We are almost finished; we just have one more subject to cover.” What happened next, even as I type it, still astounds me. “Who,” he began, “do you expletive think you are. This has been complete bull-expletive you have been shoveling at us all day.” Perhaps he saw an opportunity to pounce, since the room had emptied of all adults except me. Before I could answer, he continued with more sentence enhancers and crazy accusations. He had clearly come with preconceived and very misguided notions of Catholicism. My presentations always focus on living the faith in our everyday life and I purposely steer clear of controversial subjects – because I am fully aware that Apologetics are my Achilles heel. This young man perhaps sensed that as well.
The part of my brain that was presently retrieving all of my training in youth ministry and facilitating retreats was screaming “halt, do not fall into this trap, cease all arguments now”! How I wish my brain had won. Instead .... read more
Other Good Friday Musings:
Holy Thursday thoughts ...
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017
I REALLY dislike the Word - BLOG
, In 2009, as my heart was being transformed in ways I had never dreamed through a 'reversion' to the Catholic Church; so was a desire to share that newfound joy with others. Although blogging was already a 'thing' in 2009, my pure disdain for the word kept me from launching my own until April 2012.
Why this second change of heart. I saw how powerfully moved one could be when reading about the spiritual journey of others, particularly as it related to their every day ordinary life. My first post was short and sweet, no images and no hyperlinks (lack of technology and know how):
NEW To Reconciled to You -- a blog about Living the Sacraments in our daily lives. This blog will cover reflections on actual sacramental events and the occasional informative post on the Sacraments themselves. These blog entries will come not just from me, but from various sources - since we all make up the body of Christ, it makes only sense that I span out to bring you the broadest picture of Life in the Sacraments.
My How Times Change
Five years later, and I AM amazed at how the ministry and this blog has evolved. The Lord has opened up so many doors - starting in June of 2012, with an opportunity to write for Catholicmom.com. This allowed me to share my love of the Catholic faith, my family and writing with even more people like me searching to find God among the hustle and bustle.
My blog has grown to include:
Hate the Word, but LOVE the Action
While I still dislike the word - BLOG (bleck). I have come to absolutely adore blogging. The ability to share how the Holy Spirit continues to inspire me in my prayer life; participation in the Sacraments and through my exploration of Scripture - is such an amazing gift! In addition, the wonderful people God has introduced to me through this and the other blogs I've been blessed to contribute to - has made putting up with this stupid word - absolutely WORTH IT!! I guess, I can't deny what is in my heart - The Blog Life is definitely for me!
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017
Struggling to remain focused on Christ during this hectic holiday season? As you have probably already noticed, you are NOT alone! For December, the Catholic Women Bloggers Network offers many ideas and thoughts on how to put Christ at the center of our celebrations (and lives)!
A Blog Hop consists of many different bloggers coming together to share posts on a central theme. You can 'hop' from post to post without having to traverse all over the internet searching! This month's theme "Make Him Room: Putting Christ in Christmas" is now open - and guaranteed to inspire!!