For the past couple months, I haven’t been feeling like myself. Since November, I’d been doing a lot of work on myself, both internally and externally. Suddenly, COVID-19 hits the scene and it felt like all of my hard work had gone down the drain. Where there was once peace, confidence and joy – had now replaced with anxiety, fear and uncertainty. What is going on? What is wrong with me? These questions kept repeating over and over again, to no avail. Just as COVID started to loose traction, we heard of the death of George Floyd. If things weren’t bad enough, they just got a whole lot worse.
It looked as though everywhere I turned, there’s a bad news. Sickness, destruction, division and fear spread like wildfire. There’s only so much I could take. My body began to shut down, and depression began to creep in. I spent 3 days in bed – sad, empty and with no hope.
Out of the blue, a thought hit me: I know Jesus. I know His character, I know who He is. That is the only thing I can stand on – I know that I can be confident in Him, His word and His will for my life. You see, God doesn’t want me to live in fear or sadness, On the contrary, he states:
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.John 15:11
As I began to recall Gods character and His goodness – I started to notice the blessings that already surround me. Something clicked on the inside of me. I have so much to be grateful for. As I began to focus on all that I am grateful for, something beautiful began to happen on the inside. I felt joy, peace, energy, hope, inspiration – light began to override the darkness.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.John 1:5
Gratitude is the antidote to fear, stress and worry. Let’s try and cultivate the habit of being grateful. If you can’t think of anything to be grateful for, that’s ok! Here’s a list to help you get going:
- Your pet.
- Good hair days. Humidity is no one’s friend.
- Your morning coffee.
- The moment you have exact change.
- That movie that always makes you laugh.
- When someone sees your hands are full and opens the door for you.
- Your health.
- Your close friends.
- The holidays.
- Puppy videos.
- Your favorite TV show.
- The moment when your food comes at a restaurant. Drool.
- Thank you notes.
- Your co-workers.
- When your favorite song comes on the radio at the perfect moment.
- A great hike.
- When you wake up before your alarm and get to roll back over.
- Not setting an alarm on a weekend.
- When your dog is so happy to see you.
- Familial support.
- Getting lost in a good book.
- Successfully making a challenging recipe.
- Alone time.
- Being a parent. Tiny humans are adorable and hilarious ― but yours are the best, of course.
- Being single. Think of how much independence you have. You are not defined by your relationship status.
- A great pair of jeans. Talk about a confidence boost.
- Sharing a smile with a stranger.
- Sibling bonds.
- Being understood. There are some people who just get you, whether it’s your penchant for being early to every social event or the fact that you cry when you get mad. And that’s awesome.
- Being outdoors.
- Long weekends. The second best thing next to long weekends? Four-day workweeks.
- The feeling you get after a long run.
- The moment when you can’t control your laughter. You know you’re not supposed to laugh during this earnings report meeting, but your brain has other plans.
- Catching an item someone throws at you. Admit it, you feel a little bit like a superhero when your reflexes are on point.
- Your favorite scent.
- Opening a present. The fact that someone took the time to put thought into giving you something is a gift in itself.
- Lunch time.
- Fun workout classes. It doesn’t matter if it’s SoulCycle, aerial yoga or something else. The more engaged you are, the better the workout.
- A long, hot shower or bath. Ahhh, feel the relaxation
- Old school songs. Permission to jam out to Boyz II Men? Granted.
- A really captivating book.
- Winning a game. Who’s the Scrabble master? You are.
- Hitting every green light on your commute.
- The opportunity to act like a kid again.
- Yourself. You deserve all the happiness and kindness in the world ― don’t forget it.
Although darkness may surround you, God is with you always. When times get though, remember:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.Isaiah 43:2