This world kinda stinks. Now do not get me wrong, God gave us some pretty amazing things on this earth: relationships and friendships, the ability to travel, the knowledge to grow in Him and in His creation. Everything on this earth has been given to us as a gift from our Father.

But I think that we forget that this world is broken. I think we forget that sin has crippled the earth from living out its sole purpose. We forget that sin has crippled us during our life here in this beautiful place.

I have seen sin break too many things. I have seen the brokenness and the hurt of this world stretch people so thin that they can barely stand.

I’ve seen it because I am one of those people.

My season with anxiety happened because of this fallen world- it happened because I decided to cling to my earthly desires instead of my Heavenly Father.

I feared death. I feared losing my loved ones. I feared my future, and I feared the present. I woke up anxious and spent my days waiting to go to sleep so that my stomach would stop churning and my mind would stop moving. I was worn, broken, and helpless, and more than once I would fall to my knees begging The Lord to take the pain away from me.

Believe me, I know what brokenness feels like. I know the hurt, and I know the pain. And no matter where I looked, no matter who I turned to, I never felt peace unless I turned to the One who knows my pain best.

Now I have to be upfront: my time of anxiety was a season that I believe God lead me through so that I could learn to let go of my own control and trust Him. My season of anxiety was a time of discipline and obedience, a time of patience and waiting. It was a season where I clung to His Word for it was the only thing that I knew would never change: “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame…”

I chose to stand firm in His grace, rejoicing in my suffering because I knew full well that my suffering was for my good and for His glory. I still fail at trusting Him daily, but at the end of the day I can say that He is my joy and He is my shelter.

So what does this all matter to you? What does this mean to those suffering at this moment? What does this mean to the someone I love who called at 4:30 a.m. last night because they felt so worthless and helpless?

Gosh, the only reason my story matters is because of grace. The only reason I can sit here and write this with a full heart is because I was able to look to the cross instead of my own lousy plan for the future. Grace is the only thing that can truly tell you: you don’t have to figure it out because I have got you.

No one said this life was going to be easy. But no one said that we had to go it alone.

You do not have to have it all figured out. You do not have to feel worthless and unwanted because no matter where you are at right now, you are wanted, you are chosen, and you are loved.

I learned a lot over the last few months. A lot about myself, and a whole lot more about grace. I forget what I learned 98% of the time, but all of what God taught me is still true.

I learned that He is faithful. 

Do I really need to say this again? He made us promises, and He intends to keep them. He is our Father, our King, our Shepherd, and our Redeemer- which means He loves us, He reigns, and He restores.

And man did I learn that He is my peace. 

Now I did not actually understand this until just yesterday. In John 14:27, Jesus says: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as this world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. WHAT?! How the heck did I not see this before? Jesus is the only way to peace, you want to know why? Because His peace is not as this world gives because this world cannot give peace. Don’t you dare let your heart be troubled darling, because He is peace and He will never leave you (^ hence the “Faithful” part).

And most importantly, I learned that I am not alone.

I learned this real quickly because as I grew more fearful and anxious, more people surrounded me. People literally threw their love and patience at me like it was nothing, talking with me for hours, encouraging me daily, and continually lifting me up in prayer. I could not have gotten through that season without my friends and family praying for me and lifting me up every single day. In Galatians 6:9 we’re told, “We must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” We are not alone in our suffering, and we are not alone in our pain. Take advantage of others around you when you are suffering because as a body of Christ we are called to groan, weep, and rejoice together. Don’t ever tell yourself you are alone in your suffering, because I can promise you- you are not.

This world stinks, yeah, but we have a Savior who showers us in His grace, who is faithful no matter what we do, and who is our peace even when our world is shaking.

Trust in that; keep on moving. You’ve got this.

See you soon,

Stephanie Lynn

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