While wondering what the title of this particular blog would be, I found myself chuckling because the question that came to mind was "Can composure be found?" See, I am not quite sure if composure is something that we sometimes lose in the first place or something that we just forget to tap into from time to time. Either way, keeping our composure in the midst of a pressurized environment is not always the easiest thing to do, but I am learning it doesn't have to be that way!
First let's examine composure, which according to Merriam-Webster, can also be defined as self-possession. Now self-possession means control of one's emotions or reactions, especially when under stress. Now I don't know about you but I can be the first to admit that I do not have the greatest reactions when under pressure. My reason for this, I believe, came from a burning desire at the beginning of the year to change my circumstance. My family and I had made some mistakes/decisions along our journey that nearly cost us everything. At the time we were dealing with sin issues, not putting God first or in the midst of our plans, and so much more, but that is a blog or book for another time. However, recovering from that season became the reason why I found myself not able to handle certain stresses well. I quickly found myself becoming anxious, not only when it came to making major decisions but even when it came to the simple ones. I realized I had a problem when I found myself in the grocery store and I could not make a simple decision about which cereal to buy.
As the pressure of recovering and growth intensified, I began to gain clarity about what I was still holding onto in my heart. For example: If someone in my family made a mistake, even as simple as accidentally breaking something, I found myself getting upset. This reaction revealed the trauma that I was still holding on to from the previous season but it was the words of God that made me take a pause. He said, "How can I give you more, if you can not handle this?" I was shocked! See, I thought the heaviness I was experiencing was all from the past but most of it was coming from God trying to expand my thoughts, ways, and reactions. So, today I wanted to share with you 3 simple things that I have been implementing to help me learn to keep my composure.
1. God's Word(s)
Isaiah 55:11 says "So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." Knowing this that when we pray, we can speak the things that God has spoken directly to us about our future, family, purpose, and etc. I also picked up, at my local Christian bible store, a coloring book of God's promises. Not only has it been so helpful to remind me of God's word but coloring has helped me to slow down and take my focus off of my burdens.
Now, this may seem cliché but it has helped me in shifting my energy and focus. Whether you enjoy listening to an amazing sermon or dancing/listening to a praise and worship song, these are the things we can use to allow ourselves to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and not on the storms happening around us. Hebrews 12:2 reminds us to keep "[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [a]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work]."
I am a big advocate for this one because I believe prayer works and changes things. At the place where I am in my life, I have found myself praying throughout the day for others, my family and myself. It is through prayer that we can get a revelation about our circumstance or even just find communion with God. We are advised in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to "Rejoice always and delight in your faith; 17 be unceasing and persistent in prayer; 18 in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
As you can probably tell this season, for me, has been a whirlwind filled with unexpecting twist and turns. But if you have ever prayed for God to change your life, family or circumstance, I encourage you to hold onto this promise while you go through the pressures that come with those changes...
"Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. 3 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing." -James 1:2-4