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Faith Series: Philippians 4:6

Today I was able to go back to in-person church service for the first time in months. My church put new restrictions in place to ensure that the occupancy remained below 250 people (I go to a huge church where the weekly attendance was around 4,000 per week before Covid-19). We had to register in advance and were seating by ushers so that we were distanced from other attendees. We even had to park distanced from the other cars! Overall I felt very comfortable and loved how they were able to implement a “no touch” experience! It was amazing to be worshipping with the crowd, and listening to the sermon in person, especially after being away for so long. My heart has been longing for this!

Today the sermon was about something near and dear to my heart and that is dealing with worry and anxiety. Our pastor talked about how God teaches us to deal with anxiety through scripture. And he touched on one of my very favorite verses, and that is Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

I love this verse because it reminds me that God did not intend for me to feel anxious. I can pray to Him and give my worries over to Him and He will take care of them for me. I am reminded that God has my back and He will help me through anything! Keeping my focus on that during difficult times (i.e. a global pandemic) is so hard but also so helpful!

My pastor also shared a clear action plan of how to deal with worry based on Phil 4:4-11: Pray, Think, Act. First take your prayers and petitions to God. Pray about your concerns. (Phil 4:6) Next, think of what is true, noble, right, pure, and just. Think about the things that are excellent and praiseworthy. (Phil 4:8) Finally, take action and put what you learn into practice. Focus on serving others rather than serving yourself. (Phil 4:9)

Do you have a spiritual practice or verse that helps you through difficult times? Leave it below in the comments!


Faith Series: 1 Peter 5:7

This week as part of the Faith Series, I’m sharing one of my favorite bible verses. I have previously shared that I struggle with anxiety. Leaning into my faith has been so crucial for me to overcome my struggles and find peace.

1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you”

Naturally, I gravitate toward bible verses that have to do with overcoming anxiety, fear, and worry. This verse really stood out to me because it showed me that I can take my fear and give it to God who deeply cares for me. He will carry our worries for us. This is a great reminder for me when I start worrying and having anxious thoughts. It helps me to release them and stay present, knowing that God will handle it and everything will be alright.

This is still a hard thing for me to do sometimes, but I try to remind myself of it often. I think this is an example of learning to trust God and what He has planned for me. I was never really in control anyway, and this brings me solace!


Faith Series: Psalm 16:8

Something I’m really excited about with this blog is starting a Faith Series. Over the last few years, my faith has grown significantly and is now one of the cornerstones of my life, and I want to share that with you. My faith is what keeps me grounded, gives me hope, and helps me to get through hard times. I would like to use this series as a method to share some of my favorite bible verses and talk a bit about what they mean to me and how I apply them to my life. I hope you enjoy this series and let me know if you find it helpful!

To give you a bit of a spiritual background about me, I was raised Catholic and had a lot of faith in God growing up. During my 20’s, I lost my faith and became very lost spiritually and was not sure what I believed. Through a series of life events, I was drawn back to God in a really powerful way and now my faith is stronger than ever. I will probably write a more in-depth testimony in a future blog post.

Psalm 16:8 – “With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken”

I chose Psalm 16:8 this week because this verse is so important and relevant for me. We all go through difficult things in our lives. We’re all human. The thing that helps me to cope through the inevitable hard times in life is knowing that with God at my right hand, I will not be shaken. He has a plan that is greater than my own. He has a greater purpose that I cannot understand. God is always there as my rock and solid foundation during uncertain times.

We will all face adversity, run into challenges, and have difficulties in our lives that will be more than we can bear on our own. The good news: we aren’t meant to! My life changed drastically when I embraced this idea and I made the choice to stop trying to control the outcomes of situations. I gave up control to God and decided to trust His plan for me, and everything changed. Because with God at my right hand, I cannot be shaken.

Faith Mental Health Running

Running for Mental Health

Disclaimer: We are not mental health professionals. This post contains personal experiences, thoughts, and opinions and are not intended to replace medical care or professional help. If you need help, please consult a health care professional or licensed therapist.

Did you know that 1 in 4 people struggle with mental illness in any given year? The odds are you have a close friend or family member who has struggled. Or maybe you have. Today I want to talk about something really important and personal and that is mental health. People still don’t talk about mental health very much, but lots of people are affected by it.  Today I will be sharing my story and how running has been an important habit to add to my self care routine.

I want to be open about one of the main reasons why I run. Running helps me to manage my anxiety. I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. For a long time in my life, I wasn’t even aware that I had anxiety and just thought that worrying all the time about every possible worst case scenario was normal. I thought that my overwhelming fear of social situations just meant I was an introvert. We all feel anxious sometimes, but when it is chronic and starts to interfere with your life, it isn’t normal. I didn’t have the awareness about the anxiety to be able to know that I had a problem until I was in my 20’s, and that’s when I was given the ability to get help and break free.

For me, seeing a therapist has been the most crucial part to finding peace and working through my struggles. I have grown so much through therapy that sometimes I don’t even recognize my old thought patterns. I also take medication. Taking medication was something I resisted for a long time, until it became clear that it was the right choice.

Another thing that has greatly helped me to cope with anxiety has been placing my faith in God. I used to worry about every possible thing that could go wrong and try to control the outcome of situations, which was impossible and self defeating. I’ve learned to lean on God as my rock during times of uncertainty and fear. One of my favorite bible verses is 1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you”. I’ve learned to give up my anxiety to God and it’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

And of course, running is another way that I manage my anxiety. I like to tell people that I fell in love with running by accident, and I never set out to be a runner. I only intended to do a 5k to get in shape for my wedding, but I I instantly fell in love with the mental health benefits I was experiencing. When I was feeling down, I would go for a run and it would instantly lift my mood. When I was feeling anxious, I would go for a run, and it would bring me to a sense of calm that I couldn’t achieve elsewhere. Running releases endorphins and makes you feel good. There are lots of studies that show the mental health benefits of running.

Don’t get me wrong – running in no way replaces therapy or medication. I still see a therapist and take medication, but running is a very helpful tool in my self-care toolbox that I am so happy I have.

I am fortunate that I have become well-equipped to manage my anxiety effectively, and at this point, I am in a really good place. With the Coronavirus pandemic, the whole world is struggling through a new challenge that has thrust a lot of people into an anxiety that they might not have experienced before. If you are struggling, know that you are not alone. You deserve to get the help you need. Reach out to a friend, tell someone about your struggles, schedule a virtual appointment with a therapist, talk to your doctor about it. Life is short and relief is available.

Be well!

-Coach Lauren