Always on Our Side

Written by Sister Natalie Shawver on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Posted in Devotional

Always on Our Side

Words mean a lot to me. My husband, Brother Justin, can attest to this — I often lovingly hint he can write me a letter instead of buying fancy perfume or chocolate. As a writer by profession, I find myself collecting meaningful phrases constantly. Here’s a sampling of those visible on my desk at the office:

While we are waiting, God is working.

Trials are preludes to blessings.

His ways > my ways

He’s never failed me; He’s never failed me, yet.

They are sprinkled around my cubicle so wherever my eye gazes it sees a positive message. Each one lifts me up at different times and for different reasons.

While the above are written down, I collect quips and reminders mentally, too:

Preach the gospel; use words when necessary. (Thanks to Brother Randy Ciccati)

His eye is on the sparrow – surely He watches me! (Thank you, Brother Ken Staley)

Be you and all that God wants you to be. (My mom, Sister Karen Pezzenti)

My latest addition to the collection is: …and to wake up, knowing that God is on my side, is enough.

Remembering sweet words makes hard days a little less hard for me. Sometimes it can feel like you’re on an island against the world. You can’t seem to win, and your spirit is troubled. Some days, loneliness — even when you’re surrounded by people — can creep in. Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed and abandoned, barely visible.

When I was in my early 20s, I struggled with intensely crippling anxiety attacks. I felt debilitated and stuck, sometimes unable to even catch my breath. I learned, over time, that I needed to push all the nervous thoughts away and focus on one small task: envisioning my throat opening wider and wider and wider to allow air to move through it. When I did this, I calmed down, and the angst subsided. Seems pretty basic, and yet it worked every time (of course ,along with whispering lots of prayers).

That’s how I feel about the newest quote I’ve committed to memory. If all else fails, on bad days, if I can muster up enough strength to remind myself that God is on my side, that’s enough. He is enough. He is more than enough. I don’t need to rehearse long verses of scripture (though that could help) or say a long-winded perfect prayer (though that would be nice, too). I just need to do something small that will make a profound impact.

Sometimes we just need to take baby steps; make tiny efforts; rejoice in the little things; visualize our throats opening wider and God having our backs. Commit a positive scripture or quote to memory —or use my recent favorite — and see if it helps on challenging days. Remember that He chooses us every day, and no matter what, He is always on our side. And that’s enough.

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