Stress and anxiety plague many women in our society and in our churches. They feel lost, alone and the next right step feels impossible. So why have we found ourselves here and what are some “red flags” to look out for?

Let me first start off by saying, God is in control and no matter how dark life may seem NOTHING happens without passing through His hands first. (Job 2:3–6) Some of our pain is self induced and some of our pain is outside of our control; it just happens. No matter what the situation, please know this: you are never too far gone or broken for God’s healing hand. I don’t care if you said no to Him for 20 years, He still wants you and will NEVER give up on pursuing you, sister. Even when life feels like it’s not worth living, it’s always worth living if you will make God the Lord of your life. Stop fighting Him and fall into His healing hands. Allow Him to transform your life and use your life for His glory! You have a beautiful story that is unlike anyone else and He can and will use it if you would just allow His transforming power to get to work.

What we are talking about today is for the woman who knows and believes God is in control and trusts Him with every aspect of their life, but knows she is not stewarding certain areas of her life to the best of her ability. I wanted to frame that up today because this topic is pretty vast.

Here’s 3 ways to know an area of your life has become out of hand or an idol and needs to be confessed, reigned back in and a plan to avoid it needs to be put into play:

1.You’re going to the world > the Word to define your value, worth and calling.

In 2019, 18.6 million people bought self help books. You girls know I am all about a good read and am always looking for ways to grow BUT this should never replace the Word of God. Want to find freedom? Fill up on His word. Want to experience fresh joy? Fill up on His Word. Want to grow? Focus on growing in your walk with Jesus first. Because here’s what I know: If you’re focused on being like Jesus the rest will fall into place. You’ll be a better wife, mom, business owner, friend, mentor, sister, daughter, etc. So when you find yourself picking up your phone before diving into the Word, going to Instagram and Facebook for your approval and validation, it’s time to step back and take action! It’s time to take back control of your phone, thoughts, time and SURRENDER it to the Lord by handing it all back over to Him.

2. Find yourself saying “this will make me feel good.”

These words are a SLIPPERY SLOPE sister! So many women (and men) unknowingly do this. When life gets hard they go to coffee, wine, food, sugar, unhealthy friendships, Netflix,the gym, the next diet…Why? Because they need a high. They need something that makes them feel validated. They need something to numb the pain.Something to “distract” them. Something that feels brainless. But we can’t allow ourselves to go here girls! We have to BOLT up against the lies of the enemy and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He is the only thing that will fill those broken pieces in your heart. We weren’t made to crave anything other than God. I love this quote by Lysa Terkeurst,

“It is possible to rise up, do battle with our issues, and, using the Lord’s strength in us, defeat them —spiritually, physically, and mentally—to the glory of God.”

3. You constantly feel overwhelmed and tired.

Do you carry anxiety and exhaustion with you everywhere you go? This may be a sign that you need to take back control of your sleep, water intake and to-do list. The reality is we were made to feel productive, to work within a schedule, to feel needed. Yes- “adulting” isn’t always fun but truthfully life isn’t all about having fun all the time. Sometimes we have to rise up and do the work to provide for our family. So what keeps the stress and anxiety down? Having a plan. Going to bed at the same time every night and getting a solid night sleep is a great place to start. Cut down your screen time before bed. Create a healthy nighttime routine. From there add in mornings. It doesn’t need to be MASSIVE changes all at once but small changes over time make a big difference.

I am praying that this helps you girls as we head into 2021. Lets ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment as we navigate the coming year. Let’s pray for the eyes to see any area of our life that we aren’t stewarding well and work every day to be more like Jesus. Not just in words but in actions!