We are always talking about the next chapter or the new chapter of our life.
Chapters turn into books, sometimes books turn into encyclopedias.
If our lives are books with chapters, then perhaps we have many, many pages.
I believe a good book has happy, sad, suspense, drama, action, tragedy, and comedy pages.
Some sort of combination of these genres are in our pages of course.
This is what makes a book worth reading, or not. Seriously!
Something awesome or terrible happened and people seem to be stuck on that page or chapter.
Sometimes that something becomes something that gets dragged on for days, sometimes years.
Whatever happened, it’s a source of stress and it’s dealt in some many ways.
Some eat, some drink, some fight, some curl up on the couch, some don’t sleep.
I eat. I shop. Yes, I’m fat and I shop. Not proud of it, but that’s how I deal with stress.
I became the default parent 8 years ago, so all the needs in my world are on me.
I’m the mom, the breadwinner, the handyman, the everything in between.
I don’t regret it for one bit. I know God wanted me here and I’m fine with that.
I do know the kid is happy, the dogs are happy, the house seems to be fine.
I don’t completely suck, but I’m still fat, need to work on my budget and 100 other things.
I do know the changes that must happen, and that’s dealing with what causes stress.
The stress, the worries and the guilt and the regrets that come from flying solo.
I lost my marbles and I yelled at the kid or at the dogs.
I screwed up here or there, something broke outside or inside and needs fixing.
Sometimes those worries keep me up at night, yes, add insomnia.
I got stressed so I ate more than I should have.
For a few days I feel defeated, I feel like a loser, I feel like a failure.
I’m not a whiner or complainer or crier or anything like that.
I’m blessed I have some amazing people who lend me their ear for a little bit.
I have God, and praying, and reading the Bible. I have Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The struggle is real though when you can’t sleep over feeling that stress or guilt.
The struggle is awful real when your clothes don’t fit anymore.
Why did I do this, why did I say that, I should’ve done this, I should’ve done that.
Whatever happened in the past, it’s done, can’t fix it, can’t change it.
Whatever is about to happen tomorrow or the next day, nothing I can do about it.
What I do when the stress or guilt take over, I grab my Bible, go to God and I pray.
The Bible says in Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
My mind is going around and around thinking about whatever thing is torturing me.
I have to sleep because I work the next day, then my heart goes to Jesus.
I get down on my knees, I pray and I read the Bible, then I pray some more.
God doesn’t want us feeling stressed out, guilty or sad or worried.
God doesn’t want us getting fat or drinking or smoking or doing drugs because of the stress, guilt or whatever is torturing our minds.
1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Nothing that happened in our lives happened without God knowing. That’s the truth.
When we screw up, when we fall, when we cry, when we worry, when we succeed.
God knew it would happen. It’s all written down. The Bible warns us about it too.
Whatever I did that is stressing me out, God knew about what would come next.
God knew that I would come to Him, and ask for forgiveness, and repent for what I did, and He knew that His mercy and His peace would come over me.
Like when our parents told us not to do something, and we still did it, and we got hurt, and we come to our parents crying and they make it all better.
Being stuck on that page or chapter doesn’t help.
Proverbs 28:13 says “If you hide your sins, you will not succeed. If you confess and reject them, you will receive mercy.
I screwed up, I came to God, I repented, God forgave me in His infinite mercy.
Time to turn the page. Starting with the eating part. I started fasting this week.
I started a 40-day sugar fast. This week has 22:2-hour fasts, next week we’ll go for longer fasts.
My budget is next but that’s on pause because the dogs started digging on a corner and broke a fence board that I need to fix now.
Turn the page. I can’t move forward if I don’t turn the page.
I told myself that when the year started. Turn the page and move on.
Leave the worries, the guilt and regrets behind. Put the stress to rest. Leave it.
God has my back. God has forgiven me. God loves me the way I am.
God loves me despite what I’ve done, despite my stress and my worries.
Turn the page. Great things are coming.
Turn the page. Move on and move forward.