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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Walkin' in Circles

Walking down a shady neighborhood trail not long ago, I breathed in the air of a refreshing seventy degrees. Starting slowly, I took some time to praise the Lord and enjoy the peace and alone time. I quickened my pace, and anxious thoughts began to jog alongside me. God, please help Annie on her tests today. Don’t let her fail again. She studied so hard. I’ve got so much to do. I shouldn’t be walking. I’m going to get behind on everything else. Why am I always a step behind on everything?

My worries completely took over my steps, and I’m sure my heart rate went off the charts. Ministry at church. My son’s issues. Not meeting people’s expectations. Emails and phone calls to return. Decisions my husband and I needed to make. Kids and families my heart is grieving for. Not enough hours in the day…

Then, one thought hijacked the others: I remembered something that had recently hurt my feelings. I didn’t think my legs could go any faster, but they did. I bit back at this person in my mind. I defended myself. I informed this person through telepathic communication that her actions were immature and hurtful.

Huffing in mind, spirit and body, all of a sudden, I noticed that I’d passed my starting place and was walking around the same trail again, by a long ways. The thought of going around a second time was quite an exhausting one, so I stopped for a moment, leaned the weight of my body via arms on my knees and caught my breath.
Do you really wanna walk down this path again?
This was the thought that stopped my elevated “worry pulse,” and I’m positive it was from the Lord. He had my full attention, seeing as He had given me a real-life scenario to think it through (not to mention, plenty of time).

It took the rest of the trail (a second time) home to allow the Lord to do some counseling with me. He gave me incredible insight into just how far He had brought me down the path of anxiety. He reminded me that I struggle with it so much less than I ever have before. He recounted instances of situations past where He has worked out each and every problem, hurt, fear or disappointment for His glory. He testified of all the ways He has worked in me to grow me up spiritually.

By the time I got home, my hurts and “But hows” had taken a hike, and the Lord had carried my numb legs through the door. 
I was where I needed to be: in the hold of His strong and capable arms. 
That’s when my prayers and praises started me down a new trail—the one they should have veered on about an hour earlier. I had gone full circle, and now it was time for His Truth to speak.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, 
which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. 
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, 
and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. 
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—
everything you heard from me and saw me doing. 
Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:6-9 (NLT)

What trails keep you running around in circles? Are there any issues in your life that you need the Lord to “stop you in your tracks” over today? Take a few moments to remember His faithfulness on the treaded trails of your yesterdays. Do any of those give you hope for your footsteps today?
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, 
because he trusts in You.”
Isaiah 26:3 NIV

Lord, we praise You, for You are true and honorable, 
most worthy of praise. I pray that You would work Your Spirit 
in and through us, helping us to put your Word into practice on our faith walks. 
Guard our hearts and our minds with Your perfect peace, I pray. 
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Blogger Denise said...

Awesome my friend, may you be blessed.

March 24, 2009 at 3:01 AM  
Blogger The Real Me! said...

Great post my friend. I can't stand it when I start to hash over past hurts and worries. Thank you for the reminder to lay it ALL down at His feet!
Big hugs to you.

March 24, 2009 at 5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great post LauraLee! This is one of my favorite verses. What a blessing!

March 24, 2009 at 6:09 AM  
Blogger Carmen said...

Those are the moments we have to CHOOSE TO LOOK UP and not around at the blowing wind...lest we sink.

Wonderful Word!

March 24, 2009 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

God bless and thank you for your post. It speaks volumnes to me!

March 24, 2009 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

You struck a chord in my heart today.
Astounding at how HE works---using others words and testimonies to speak to us.

Bless you girl!

March 24, 2009 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Joanne Sher said...

Oh, yes. What a message He gave you - and that you graciously shared with us! Beautiful.

March 24, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Shannon Jacobyansky said...

Laura Lee...a very inspiring post today. I needed to hear this message. I often find a walk with the Lord escorts my heart into a calm silence so I might hear the voice of my Lord Jesus. I too am done walking in circles, but know he makes my path straight!

March 24, 2009 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm resonating over here...almost laughing in a way. I can't tell you how often I've been out running and suddenly find myself thinking about someone who annoyed me, hurt me, etc. I'll often rehearse some responses in my mind and then get all fired up about speaking them. It never lasts, but my mind has a great way of wanting it to!

"Do you really want to walk down this path again?" Great question. Honestly, some days I must...want to walk down that path again, because I do...over and over, until I'm completely exhausted from the mental torture.

Training up my mind has been the hardest obedience of my faith journey to date. I'm well along the path in that respect, but I am daily faced with detours, that if not dealt with, lead me down some bunny trails that were never mine to walk.

Great post, Lauralee.


March 24, 2009 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Patty Wysong said...

I've walked that path, too, Laura. Isn't God so good?!?!!!!

March 24, 2009 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Esthermay said...

Completely caught off guard on this post.
Because you hit me right between the eyes/over the head/in the butt. . . WhaTeVER!!!
ohmygoodness. . .
In a great sense, I need to evaluate how I spend much of my day because it is the stretched time-schedule that gets my thoughts all stretched and stressed!
You remind me in a good way to slow down and prioritize my time and thoughts!
Thank you for allowing God to speak through you words of wisdom.
Philippians 4 = EXCELLENT!

March 24, 2009 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger you gotta wonder said...

Very nice! I love the imagery and the lesson. This message from God is very similar to what is on my heart (about looping around and around). I wrote about this yesterday.


March 24, 2009 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Wonderful imagery, LauraLee. I pray that we all will walk in His way--on the straight and narrow--instead of in our own confusing and directionless circles. And, even as we journey now, I look forward to the promise of Isaiah 35:8:

"And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it."

Hope your day was richly blessed with His direction! :-)

March 24, 2009 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger Beth in NC said...

That was great! I could see myself doing the same thing. For some reason, when I'm riding my lawnmower my mind goes to past conversations, and past experiences. I catch myself each time. Maybe I need to anoint that crazy lawnmower. Ha. I don't know why it seems to be a place of wandering in my mind.

Have a blessed day!

March 25, 2009 at 5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you LauraLee for your great and encourigaging post.
The last 6 months I've run in circles and circles. Therefor I hurt some people which was completely unnecessarily. Since then I've learned a lot and thanks to the Lord who gave you and your fellow Christian bloggers the words to encourage me in my faith I'm at peace. God kept me waiting and now I think I know why.
Thank you LauraLee and I want to say thank you to all the other bloggers as well. Please keep on going with the help of the Lord!
Love, Barbra

March 25, 2009 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Thanks for all the feedback. So glad to know what struck a chord in you. Much love in the Lord!

March 25, 2009 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

This is so true. The truth is I never want to go down the same paths. Thank you for reminding me that he offers a stop to these things. Thank you, and blessings.

January 30, 2010 at 8:24 AM  

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