Jeanne Takenaka

***There’s an important announcement later in the post, so be sure to read to the end. ***

If I had to guess, I’d say I’m not the only one who’s recently experienced some stressful times.

As I mentioned last week, May was a CRAY-ZAY month. It’s taken me this far into June to begin to feel a little (a very little) more rested. 

Part of what led to exhaustion was living in a constant state of stress. A number of unexpected situations added to an already busy, end-of-school/graduation celebration month. 

Poppies with a number of stems . . . a reminder that stressful times take many forms

At times I found myself hardly able to breathe. I prayed for strength and grace. I craved understanding in the middle of it all. 

And I pushed through, because that was what was necessary. Stressful times steal a lot from us. Last Sunday, our worship pastor shared something that stopped me hard. As his family struggles with a difficult situation with their son, he said something to the effect of how he wants understanding first, and then he’ll find peace in that. 

That statement paused me. How I yearn to understand the why’s of a tough situation, convinced that if I understand, then I can find peace in that.

A bumble bee on a purple flower

If we understand why a loved one is suffering from some kind of illness . . .

. . . that needed job eludes us…

. . . a child continually rebels . . . 

. . . the relationship remains broken . . . 

. . . an unexpected health crisis . . .

. . . the __________ you fill in the blank

Then we can be at peace with the situation.

A greenery-lined path, a reminder that we have to choose which way we'll walk in stressful times

Please say I’m not the only one who yearns for the reassurance of a why in the middle of a stressful time.

But God doesn’t operate within our need to know why. Instead, he asks us to have faith, even when we don’t understand.

One Truth That Offers Peace in Stressful Times—But God doesn’t operate within our need to know why. Instead, he asks us to have faith even when we don’t understand. #tellhisstory #stressfultimes #trustinggod Click To Tweet
Poppies with a bench in the backdrop . . . a reminder that we can find peace in stressful times

The Truth That Helps in Stressful Times

It’s in placing our faith in God—believing He’s working in the midst of the hard—that we find peace. We must choose to trust Him in the middle of the pain if we want to experience His peace.

God wants us to find our peace in Him, whether or not we understand.

A path framed with poppies and irises and greenery . . . a reminder we can find peace in stressful times

As I considered this through the filter of my past six weeks, I realized part of the reason I felt so much stress was because I’d sought peace in the wrong places. This led to me feeling a lot of anxiety. 

When unexpected circumstances piled heavy on my shoulders, I felt stressed. Why? Because I felt like I had to carry it all on my own. I wanted God’s peace, but on my terms.

God wanted me to know peace in the middle of the stressful season. But that could only come when I looked for peace in Him. 

A small grove of brilliant poppies

He isn’t surprised when a number of difficult circumstances push their way into our lives at the same time. God also doesn’t expect us to handle them on our own. Let’s face it, our ability to walk in peace in our own strength is limited. When we arrive at the end of our resources, we find ourselves struggling with stress. 

When we trust ourselves more than our Father, stress bears down heavy on us. 

One Truth That Offers Peace in Stressful Times—When we trust ourselves more than our Father, stress bears down heavy on us. #tellhisstory #stressfultimes #trustinggod Click To Tweet

The best way to navigate stressful times is to choose to trust God when too much piles on us, when we don’t understand, when life feels out of control.

As long as we live this side of heaven, we will walk through stressful seasons. What can we do to walk through anxiety-raising times and still experience God’s peace?

What to Do When We Feel Stressed

If we find ourselves shaking on the inside, feeling overwhelmed, or only taking shallow breaths, it’s time to identify the source of our stress. Chances are, it’s not the actual circumstance so much as our response to it

We need to ask God for His perspective, His wisdom, and then act on it.

And, we must choose to hold those stress-inducing thoughts—beliefs—up to God with open hands. We can ask Him to take them, trusting He’ll help us with them. 

If God has allowed hard things to invade our daily rhythm, then He plans to help us carry them. He will take care of us as we walk through them. Our role is to trust our Father and hold His hand. 

A poppy with it's petals pointed sunward

If you’re walking through a stressful time right now—stop. Identify what’s causing the stress, and give it to the Father. Trust that He is walking close beside you, ready to bring you through. 

What about you? What helps you get through stressful seasons? When has God shown up in a stressful time in your life?


***And now, for a fun, important announcement: If you’ve been here for very long, you’ve read Lisa Jordan’s words on the fourth Tuesday of most months. Lisa and I have decided to collaborate with the #TellHisStory link up. Here’s the skinny: I will host the link up at my site on the first, third, and occasional fifth Tuesdays of the month. Lisa will host the link up at her site on the second and fourth Tuesdays each month beginning next week. If you don’t find the link up here, head over to Lisa’s place and link up your encouraging posts!

For some reason, the links for Lisa’s site didn’t change color. If you hover over “Lisa’s place” and it doesn’t provide the link, here is the address. So sorry for the inconvenience! ( I’ll be working to fix this today.

Come share your story at the #TellHisStory #linkup. Connect and be encouraged by like-minded friends! Click To Tweet

Most weeks, I link up with Grace and Truth, Anita Ojeda, Instaencouragements, and sometimes Let’s Have Coffee. Come join and read more encouraging posts!

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leaving your own encouragement. Click over here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

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