Good Morning Readers – Welcome to my First Devotional on Healthy Desires.
I felt necessary for my first devotional to be my story of losing my faith and the miraculous moment when I felt the Holy Spirit move within me. You see, it wasn’t that God ever left me, but rather I lost Him and needed a good reminder as to how much our Father above loves each and every one of us. The day I brought God back into my life was the day I realized how much my attitude affected how I was feeling.
God was a big part as to why I choose to attend Winona State. On my college visit, I noticed all of the churches within the community and my soon to be coach relayed a bible verse to me that really hit home. I absolutely loved the beautiful campus and truly felt God working within me.
Throughout college I had my ups and downs, as many do. I mean after all, we no longer have parents giving us rules and the strenuous mental and physical schedule of college basketball didn’t help any. But with an unexpected weight gain, from heavy lifting and the six plates of café food I put down each night, an obvious physical change and mental anxiety had occurred. Leading to some struggles that have changed my life forever.
I became very stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. To make things even worse, I started to see I was distancing myself from my teammates, friends and even my family. I pushed God completely out of my life for allowing this to happen. That year was one of the hardest years of my life. But it all changed when the Holy Spirit worked through a teammate of mine. She asked me to go to a church with her. I was a little hesitant at first, but was at such a low in my life that I thought what could it hurt.
I can still remember the feeling I had as I walked into the church. I honestly felt like it was a miracle working through me, the first of many! The church was so packed and everyone was standing and praising the Lord. Not just singing to sing, but singing to be heard by our Heavenly Father. And then the moment that truly changed my life forever was the Sermon. It was as if God was talking directly to me. It was a parable that changed my perspective on everything and how I was handling my situation. It was a parable of a Wise Man Outside His Village:
One day an old man was sitting on the outskirts of his village when a young man from a nearby village approached him. He asked the old man, “I’m looking to move, how is your village?”
The old man replied, “How is your village?”
The young man started complaining, “Oh my city is awful, there is never any rain, the crops are bad, the people are rude and we have very little drinking water.”
The old man replied, “This village is exactly like that.”
The young man started to grumble as he walked away from the village on his quest to find a new place to live. Then, another young man came down the road and approached the old man. He said, “How is your village? I’m looking to move.”
The old man replied, “How is your village?”
The young mans eyes lit up as he said, “My village is so welcoming! The villagers are always so grateful and always give a helping hand. The crops are good and the drinking water we have is so tasty. I will be sad to leave my town.”
The old man replied with a smile, “My village is the same! Come in and I will show you around.”
The pastor stood there with a smile on his face, but I sat there unsure if I understood correctly. And then the message hit me. It wasn’t about the two young men’s villages, but rather how they perceived their villages.
The first man hated his village and complained, the old man knew that his village would be the same for the first young man. But the second young man had a great attitude. He saw the good in everything and the old man knew he would see the same in the new village.
My life completely changed then and there. I know it was my change in attitude and faith that pulled me from my lowest moments. I began going to church again and I gradually felt like myself again. Having God in my life changed everything. But I believe everyone needs to experience lows and highs to get closer to God and to learn more about themselves. And the crazy thing is, it’s in our low times when we reach more to God and become closer to him.
The one thing I would love for all of you to get out of this devotional is this:
It is our attitude and perception towards the things that happen to us, that change how we feel and deal with bad situations. The two young men could have been from the exact same village, but had two very different perspectives on how living there was. The same goes for us, you can have a bad situation happen but it’s how we react and the positive thoughts that get us through.
I would like to say that was my last low moment, but it wasn’t. My life would be going great that I would forget to give praise to the Lord and I would stop seeing the good in every situation. But I can say that every time I started to feel my life feeling sluggish again I can look and ask myself, “Where has God been in your life? Why are you not putting him first?”
So I challenge you on this beautiful day, to stop and take a moment to ask yourself those two same questions. When you start to get stressed take three deep breathes and think of what good will come out of the situation. I promise you, it is a life changing exercise!
Happy Monday! All praise goes to you Oh Lord,