Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Adding an Hour to Your Life

It's funny how as we get older that this burst of wisdom just seems to be instilled in us. Like this light switch just turned on one day and we suddenly realized we knew more than we thought. For me, the light began to show a few years back but it wasn't until I got married in April of 2014 that I realized what that light was and how eager I was to keep that light shining. 

The other morning I was reading Matthew 6 and I came across this passage:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not like more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" (Matthew 6:25-27)

This passage made me think about all the things we spend time worrying about in our daily lives, instead of counting the blessings we were given. We are trapped in the mindset that we have to tackle all of these demons that we are worrying about in order to live a good life. And I can now say, that it isn't something we have to do. God will tackle those demons for us, he will carry that burden, and he will tear down that worry. (1 Peter 5:7) In the midst of all this thinking about worry, I began thinking about that light again, and that's when the light switch turned on for good. I thought about Matthew 6:27, "Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" and the answer was "No." Of course, when you are a person who battles with depression and anxiety, this is a little bit more complicated. I tell myself "No" when my body and mind tell me "Oh Yes! You MUST Worry." I am in a cycle. It's never ending. But I do believe we can add an hour to our lives by not giving away our blessings. 

After reading Mattew 6, I sat down with my cup of tea and my journal. I asked God "What would you like me to face? What can YOU help ME overcome?" As I opened my Journal, I swear I heard a voice say "Do not worry about how others view you or this life I have given you." and oh boy, was that voice right. I ended up writing 5 pages, front and back, about my feelings towards this statement. The moment we got married, I understood everything in my life thus far was given to me for a reason. I was meant to live THIS life. And although I find myself curled up in a ball from time to time and I'm in a constant battle with anxiety fueled depression, I know that this is how things are meant to be at this moment in time. I have spent so much of my 20's thus far worrying about how people view me and my life. From 20-23 I had this agonizing feeling in my stomach that I had to become this version of myself that people were telling me to be because it's what made THEM comfortable. Getting Married and starting a new chapter has really helped me see how wrong I was in all of it. How wrong I was to think that somehow I could make my life better if I just transformed into this Barbie Doll, Story Book Version of Ashlee. And for 3 1/2 years I apologized for not being that person. But not anymore. I never added an hour to my day by worrying and I never added an hour to my day by apologizing. God gave me this life because he knows this is what will ultimately make me the happiest. He knows what I needed and what I still need. I cannot and will not offer any of my happiness to others at the expense of losing all of the beautiful blessings in my life. Is your inner peace and peace with God worth that expense? 

I know now that I am the happiest when I wake up and go about my day in a way that makes me happy and that God is proud of me for living. The only time I shall stop and ask "Is this the right thing to do? What do you think about this?" is when I'm having a conversation with the Lord. After all, he is the only therapist I need in my life. He is the only one who can give me the advice that I need to follow. He knows my Life better than anyone. And that makes me the happiest!

And so, today, I encourage you all to lay down your worries and throw away your apologies. God has given you THIS life, THIS moment because he know it's what you need. Don't apologize for it. Don't worry about it. 

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 

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