Today on the blog I am so excited to introduce you to Kaitlin Chappell Rogers!! Kaitlin is a writer, wife, and woman of God living in Huntsville, AL with her husband, Caleb. Kaitlin is passionate about prayer, people, and paying it forward with her life. When she’s not writing, you can find her catching up with friends over queso, serving at Church of the Highlands, or spending time with her very close-knit family at their beach house in Gulf Shores, Alabama. You can get to know Kaitlin better by grabbing her first book, Not from God, reading her blogs at kaitlinchappellrogers.com, or following her on Instagram and Facebook at @kaitlinchappellrogers!
Escaping the Spiral of Stress
by Kaitlin Chappell Rogers
Eve was the first woman on earth to experience stress, and what a snowball effect that had on the rest of us! In the most stressful moment of her life, she let the evil one convince her she had no other choice than to take things into her own hands and go against God.
Can you relate?
Can you think of a moment in your life when you were so stressed and anxious that the enemy crept in and convinced you you knew better? Maybe the cause of your stress was a lot like Eve’s:
Eve’s stress came from ignoring God’s best for her.
Eve’s stress came from a lack of identity.
Eve’s stress came from the desire for instant gratification.
As soon as she and her husband, Adam, ate the forbidden fruit, they knew they had made a major mistake, and mistakes often lead to stress and shame.
Put yourself in Eve’s shoes–or fig leaves–and think about the feelings that wash over you after realizing you’ve been duped by the Devil:
Up until this moment, you have spent your whole life walking with God and living in the perfection He created. You have no needs, no worries, and no negative thoughts. You are whole. But then you wonder, what if there is more?
An enemy poses as a friend, and feeds that nagging feeling. So you slowly begin to suspect that doing the one thing God told you not to do, might not be so bad after all. You ignore God’s one guideline. You forget just who you are to Him. You want more wisdom, and you want it now.
So, you trust your own understanding instead of God’s. You sin.
And your sin leads to stress.
And your stress leads to shame.
“At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” Genesis 3:7
Now, you feel exposed and just want to hide from the God you disobeyed. But He sees you. And, He still loves you, which is why He creates boundaries to protect you. His grander plan will still prevail.
Yes, you messed up, but the stress of the mistake can dissipate, because you are not your mistakes. You are the mother of humanity, the first woman in the bloodline of a Savior Who will come to end all stress and shame.
As we continue to look through the eyes of Eve, we see one of her sons murders the other, and her stress now turns to grief. But she has walked with God through the garden. She knows His peace. She knows His power. So she can still still have hope in the midst of darkness.
Friend, if you are feeling like Eve today, weighed down by the stress of life, remember you also have the ability to walk with God and feel His peace.
No matter what fig leaves you’re reaching for to cover up the stress, shame, or strife, know that God has a plan for you that involves pure freedom. He is in control, and all the stress in the world can’t stop Him. In a society that presents self-care spa days as the solution to our stress, remember that God is and always will be the rest we need.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
In moments of stress, let’s practice reaching for His Word instead of reaching for our phones, our friends, or our favorite desserts. We were made with souls that crave reprieve from the constant hustle, bustle, and worry the world has to offer.
We get caught up in news headlines and our thoughts spiral with “what-ifs” and “why-me’s,” but that is not the space our Father wants us functioning from. If nothing can thwart God’s plan, that is also true in our stress. He wants us pouring out the love and peace He is pouring in our hearts and minds. Being filled up to pour out requires intentional time alone with the One Who Created us.
Much like Eve, we often ignore God’s best for us, we become confused about our identities, and we long for instant solutions to pain. Sometimes, we choose temporary highs over eternal happiness. And when we try to rush ahead of God’s timing, we are left out of breath and desperate for direction.
Jesus delivered the biggest mic drop in regards to the tribulation we will face in this life.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
We will have trouble. There’s no way around it, but instead of stressing, panicking, and grabbing for whatever life raft seems closest to us at the time, we can take heart and remember that our Savior came to overcome the world once and for all.
And He is inviting you to shake off the stress of this world and step into the serenity that surpasses all understanding.
We’re living in a time when “pandemic” is the most-used word and toilet paper is flying off shelves. Our world is stressed out as a whole, and hope seems out of reach, according to the reports we read and hear.
But we have the opportunity to take the hope of Christ and pass it out like hand sanitizer. His hope kills stress like sanitizer kills germs. And His peace is the cure for all the worries we’ll ever have.
We don’t have to live with stress and anxiety lingering in the back of our minds, and hallelujah, we don’t have to take matters into our own hands. Every situation, pandemic, or difficult day we face has already been handled by a Father with a plan.