Have you ever told God you hated Him? Have you ever wondered why it seems as if everybody else but you gets it? Have you ever looked in the mirror and realized you did not like the person staring back at you? Have your eyes ever snapped open at the crack of dawn from the panic that’s suddenly engulfing you because you remember that you will now have to face the day? Have you ever looked enviously at the people around you and wanted to rip their hair out because you can’t be like them no matter how hard you try? Have you ever watched someone you care about slowly suffer and die? Have you ever held your child helplessly as they scream in horror while the night terror runs its course? Have you ever stood numbly beside people you love dearly as they say good-bye to a family member who was blind sided by death? Have you ever felt the pit in your stomach when you hear that someone you once knew decided to take their own life? Have you ever held a 9 year old in your lap who came to school sobbing because a relative shot himself that morning and her mom isn’t there to comfort her because she overdosed a few months ago, and that innocent child keeps asking why bad things keep happening to her? Have you ever wanted to crawl into a hole or run away instead of facing someone or something?

I’m fairly certain we have all experienced things that are scary and downright devastating sometimes causing us to question everything. I am not afraid to say that I have experienced all of these moments at some point in my life and none of them were pretty. Looking back I see a common theme among them. They all left me feeling powerless and hopeless. But the way I chose to react to just a handful of these has taught me a powerful lesson. The times during which I have forced myself to stop, breathe and say 8 little words, “Be still and know that I am God,” I somehow knew it would be okay even though it made absolutely no sense at that moment.

This is all fairly new to me and though holding on to those words has never changed the circumstances I was facing, it has, every single time, changed me internally. Just saying those words isn’t enough though. I literally have to stop moving, close my eyes and picture God speaking them to me. At times I see God as Jesus walking right up to me with his long hair, dusty feet, scarred hands and piercing eyes staring right into my soul as he tells me to sit down, let go and give my burdens to him. And when I choose to — and I admit there are times I choose to hang on to them — I feel my spirit lifted. Other times I picture God as the Creator of the universe speaking to me in a booming and commanding voice, “Be still! That’s all you have to do! You don’t need to figure it out, you don’t have to understand or be okay with it! Just KNOW! I AM GOD! I’ve got it all under control whether you believe it or not. I am God, that’s all you need to know right now and that is enough.”

Reflecting on moments in which I was faced with something uncomfortable or maybe even heart wrenching, if I had known those words or if I had chosen to believe those words once I heard them, I know my heart would have felt a sense of peace. But I don’t always want to listen and I don’t always want to believe Him so I have to work on that every single day.

All we can do is try. We have to start somewhere when life starts to fall apart around us. When the alarm clock goes off tomorrow morning and anxiety tells me to crawl into a hole rather than face the day, I will commit to taking just one breath and imagine God telling me to be still and KNOW that He is God. He is in charge and I am not. That’s a huge relief! When I allow Him to speak to me and I choose – even for just a moment – to believe Him, a little piece of me will hang on to that and help me with whatever awaits. There will be days when I will have to allow myself to hear it over and over and over again in order to make it through. But the one crucial thing I have learned is that when I choose to know, choose to surrender, choose to allow His guidance, I will get through it. I will survive. I will be okay. Even though it may seem utterly impossible, my heart somehow feels it, despite my head which tells me otherwise since it does not make sense and I struggle to explain it. However, I encourage you to try it. Allow Him to speak those words to you and listen, even if only for a moment at first. Your heart will breathe a sigh of relief and no matter how subtle that breath is, it will allow you to get through whatever life has thrown at you. God is there and He will give you whatever you need to get through.