Friday, January 29, 2016

Still in the Storm

For some reason I have recently had several challenges that have caused me to struggle with feelings of anxiety. In my previous post I shared how I overcame those feelings by Trusting God.

Trusting God was the subject of our most recent video conversation for the website. In the video, Ashlee shared a beautiful visualization that she uses to cope with triggers. She told how she removes herself from the situation and goes into her closet to pray when feelings of anxiety and panic start to surface. As she prays, she consciously remembers moments from her past when she has felt turmoil and then felt comforted. She visualizes the Savior coming to her in those moments and embracing her, protecting her, and aiding her. Then she brings her mind forward to her present concerns and sees those same loving arms surrounding her.

Visualization can be a powerful tool to help you recenter your emotions and re-connect back with the spirit. When we feel anxiety, stress, and turmoil we are disconnected from the help that God can give us. Only as we remember Him and put our trust and faith in Him can He bring us back to a place of peace.

I was praying the other night for help to feel peace about a situation that was completely out of my control but that was causing me to feel a lot of turmoil. As I prayed I saw myself standing in the middle of a blizzard. The snow and the wind was howling all around me. The snow was pelting my face and I was desperate to find shelter and warmth. I searched to no avail. The storm was so blinding that nothing could be seen through the snow. Then I dropped to my knees and began to pray. I watched as the snow began to pull away from me and circle around me, leaving a calm place in the center where I was kneeling. The storm was swirling violently around me, yet as I knelt in the eye of that storm, I felt no wind, no cold, no pelting snow. It was peaceful and calm.

In that moment I had a picture in my mind that I could return to. 
I could see how in the midst of the storm I could be calm;
 I could still feel peace.

When those feelings have begun to return, I remember that picture. I remember the stillness. After listening to Ashlee, I have added a new element to that picture. Now I think of someone wrapping His arms around me. Now I see who is calming the storm.

It would be nice if life from here on out would be void of storms. It would be nice to enjoy sunny tropical days, but somehow I do not feel that is the purpose of this existence. The test and the challenge is to learn how to feel peace even when the world is falling apart around us.

So I challenge you to find that picture, the one that can help you recenter, and when you feel the storm encroaching, go to that place of peace. Trust in the Prince of Peace. Then when you find it and you feel it, move forward in faith to do good things despite the chaos that is around you.

Questions to ponder:

  1. How can visualization help you recenter?
  2. When circumstances are beyond your control what can you focus on to help you avoid becoming paralyzed by the storm?

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