MONEY: “Printed Personal Energy” and “Liquid Life”!

By Donna Gibbs

Money, Money, Money! Money! That little jingle goes through my mind everytime I check out at the grocery store. If I told you our weekly grocery bill, you’d drop your jaw! We’re feeding a crowd of growing boys over here, and let me tell you, calories cost! But, I’m grateful for money. We’d starve over here without it.

Money is a topic covered heavily in scripture – over 800 times! I often hear people reference money as being evil. That is actually an incorrect quotation of scripture. The verse actually says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). It is our attachment to money, rather than money itself, that is a potential root of evil. We do lots of marriage counseling at Summit. We certainly see the potential of money to create division in a couple – disagreement over how to use the money they have (do we save it and provide security for tomorrow? Do we spend it on enjoyable things today because we can’t take it with us when we die?) Couples may have disagreement over debts, spending habits, spending addictions, or even what to do with an inheritance. Evil is just looking for a place to land….and sometimes money is that place.

My friend, Dr Dennis Swanberg, wrote a book that touches on this topic. He writes in “Planting Shade Trees” about the opportunity we each have to leave a godly legacy. He says that an “X” marks the spot, our spot, of planting a shade tree. A shade tree is something we create, that others can sit under. The “X” marks our point of legacy.

Swan says it better than I could, “The best way to look at money is liquid life, concentrated living, printed personal energy, engraved influence on a piece of paper owned by Uncle Sam. You work, you earn, you invest, you gain – all under the blessing of God. Although those bills have Hamilton and Lincoln and Franklin printed on them, they could just as well have your face printed on them. They are a concentrated evidence of your gifts, your talents, your thrift, your willingness to risk, your education, your influence, and your energy. Money is printed, concentrated life. When you take it out of your bank account and plant a shade tree with it, you have used your energy and your life to do something at the “X” that God has marked for you”.

I’m immediately reminded of an anonymous donor that we had at one point in our counseling ministry. Their anonymous gifts were used to provide assistance for counseling fees for many families. Though I never had the privilege of thanking them personally, they planted many shade trees that have provided hope and healing for their beneficiaries. Their money was used as “liquid life”.

Life is short. Do want to leave a mark? – Do you want to plant shade trees for others? Yes, money has the potential of creating devastation. But, it also provides “liquid life” and is a resource that can make a difference in the lives of others. Watch out for the pitfalls of money – even get help with it if you need it. Then, look for the “X” God has marked for you…and pour in some “liquid life”. That, my friends, is a healthy relationship with money.

For more information about Dr. Swanberg’s book, Planting Shade Trees, see his website at: http://www.dennisswanberg.com/


Donna Gibbs

Donna Gibbs, co-owner of Summit Wellness Centers, PLLC, is author of the recent releases, Silencing Insecurity and Becoming Resilient. Donna has authored numerous other books, her blogs are frequently shared in various media outlets, and she is commonly featured on radio broadcasts across America, and occasionally internationally as well. Donna has been providing individuals and families the hope and help they need for more than twenty years as a national certified counselor, board-certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor. A member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), she is a leading professional provider for Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse. 

Follow Donna’s author page at https://www.facebook.com/DonnaGibbsResilience/ for daily encouragement, the weekly blog, and updates regarding events and speaking engagements.

Am I OCD? When a Challenge of Life Invites Mental Health Symptoms

by Donna Gibbs

This past week, my youngest son had a stomach bug. Gratefully, he doesn’t get sick often, and when he does, it is pretty short-lived. I managed this temporary stint of sickness as many momma’s do – checking on him every 15 minutes or so, and filling the air with Lysol in the moments in between.


Things were fine… until I noticed that my husband was looking puny. My typically healthy, energetic, and feisty man was red-skinned and lethargic. When he said he was going to the emergency room (which in 25 years of marriage I have never seen him do), I knew something was up. He got my attention. He was sick, and I was nervous. A couple of hours later, his visit revealed a positive flu test. My Lysol use multiplied by massive proportions. (Some of you can relate!)


The stomach bug and a positive flu test within a 24-hour span sent me seemingly over the edge. They say, “Ignorance is bliss,” but too many educational experiences regarding microscopic germs robbed me of my utopia. Instead, I could nearly visualize nasty germs on all the surfaces of my home; every door-knob, every piece of clothing, every box in my pantry. I was on a disinfecting quest! I displaced my son so that I could isolate my husband upstairs, and only went up to make sure he was alive and to deliver a meal (and I did that only when I could cover my face with a paper-towel “mask” and hold my breath while I was upstairs in proximity of my husband). A couple of times I almost instigated my own panic attack because I held my breath too long! (Don’t shame me – I bet you’ve exercised some of my tactics!)


While some of this is just an entertaining disclosure, the truth is some stressful situations really can induce a temporary season of mental health symptoms. If you had followed me around my home this weekend, you would have been convinced that this typically unworried person really had a serious case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. For a couple of days, I met the criteria! It certainly gives me an even fresher appreciation for the kind of torturous daily struggles typical of those who sincerely wrestle with a lifetime of OCD. (By the way, OCD is perhaps the most easily treated mental disorder, so if you have experienced a long-term pattern of being stuck with obsessive thoughts, or compulsive behaviors, please know that there is help. You don’t have to live alone in that prison anymore!)


While my short season surrounded by sickness triggered some unwanted symptoms, there are many other seasons of life that can also trigger short-term mental health challenges. For example, if you are going through a divorce, you may also experience symptoms of depression. If you are facing a challenging diagnosis, you may also experience symptoms of anxiety. If you are in a challenging circumstance right now, you also have a set of mental health symptoms, and they are probably not
pleasant for you to experience. Those symptoms may make you feel that you are emotionally unstable.


This weekend I extended myself some grace, gave myself some appropriate boundaries, refreshed myself with an eternal perspective, and allowed myself a giggle or two regarding my symptoms. I even allowed some of my symptoms of hypervigilance to work on my behalf, preventing me from irresponsibly spreading lots of nasty germs (hey, a little bit of anxiety is a beautiful thing!). If you are in a season of struggle, I would encourage you to also extend yourself some grace. Allow yourself to feel the emotions of your challenge, but also put some reasonable boundaries on yourself. Refresh yourself with an eternal perspective. Meditate on God’s promises and biblical truths. Remember that your symptoms may be perfectly normal given the situation, and they may even work to your benefit if allowed. Lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously – a laugh or two may be just what the Dr ordered!

If your short-season of struggle (with short-term mental health symptoms) turns into an extended season of struggle (with extended mental health symptoms), then it’s time to reach out for help! That’s why we’re here, and we’d consider it an honor to walk alongside you in your unwelcomed season. Together, we might even find a way to laugh somewhere along the way!

Donna Gibbs

Donna Gibbs, co-owner of Summit Wellness Centers, PLLC, is author of the recent releases, Silencing Insecurity and Becoming Resilient. Donna has authored numerous other books, and is commonly featured on radio broadcasts across America, and occasionally internationally as well.
Donna has been providing individuals and families the hope and help they need for twenty years as a national certified counselor, board-certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor. A member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), she is a leading professional provider for Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse.
Follow Donna’s author page at https://www.facebook.com/DonnaGibbsResilience/ for daily encouragement, the weekly blog, and updates regarding events and speaking engagements.

How to Rest in a Season of Unbelief

by Ashleigh Beason, LPCA

We all struggle with unbelief in some way, shape, or form: unbelief that God is good in the midst of hardship, that He loves you even when it seems no one else does, that He is faithful in times when we desperately need him to show up, and that He is in control when nothing is going the way you planned it. As humans, unbelief and doubt come naturally but always leave us feeling anxiety stricken and fear oriented.

Rest–a word that today’s society often longs for but not many actually experience. Why is that? Perhaps it’s because our culture is obsessed with the virtue of work, perhaps it’s because balancing all that life brings does not allow for rest, perhaps it’s because everything around us screams, “Now!”

But I often wonder if we don’t spend time resting because we don’t trust God with our time, we forget who He is in the midst of our busy-ness, or because we don’t believe He is who He says He is. We can know intellectually who He is but our actions do not demonstrate that. Hebrews 3 says that the Israelites were “unable to enter (God’s rest) because of unbelief.” This is the importance of believing God is who He says he is, so we can enter into His rest. In fact, the very next verse says “the promise of entering His rest still stands…only to those who have believed,” and isn’t that something we all want to experience? This is a promise, rest.

He is in control when everything seems out of control and not going the way you planned

He is loving even when it seems no one else is

He is faithful when we need him to show up

He is good in the midst of hardship and nothing is going right

Doesn’t that give you a sense of rest and peace?

Rest is something God wants for us so deeply. Rest it is something that was fully experienced in the garden of Eden…uninterrupted time with God, believing in His goodness, faithfulness, and loving nature. But then Adam and Eve started to doubt his goodness, faithfulness, and love so in their unbelief they ate from the tree and fell away from God’s rest and presence. Isn’t this what we all do daily? We doubt one characteristic of God and anxiety creeps in.

We read on in Hebrews 4 that rest is something we have to “strive” for. It does not come easily because it is not what is natural. Unbelief is natural, hurriedness is natural, work is what is natural. But even in our striving it is no mistake that the end of Hebrews 4 about entering into God’s rest is about Jesus who is the only reason we are able to enter into rest with God. This verse reminds us that even in unbelief, hurriedness, anxieties, and fear we can “draw near, with confidence to the throne of grace” to God’s presence, to the place of rest “and he will give us grace in our time of need.” Jesus will meet us in our place of unbelief and doubt and remind of us His character, of His peace, goodness, faithfulness, and love.

The enemy does his best work to make us doubt the most when we live a hurried life so take time this week to rest: to RE-SET, to create a garden experience for yourself, reminding yourself of God’s character and the importance of spending uninterrupted time in His presence. Perhaps rest is what you need most.


Ashleigh Beason, LPCA

Someone I Love Committed Suicide How Will I Survive?

by Donna Gibbs

As the struggles in our world continue to escalate, so does the rate of suicide. What used to be only occasionally heard of has now become an epidemic. It is a rare person who has not in some way been impacted by suicide. For far too many, suicide has hit too close to home. It’s personal now.

Some of you reading this blog right now feel that your world has stopped. Someone you love has committed suicide. You can hardly process this tragedy. And you don’t know how you’ll ever survive.

While I can’t possibly cover everything related to processing the complexities of a suicide in the confines of this space, I will address three issues that often times create a challenge for those left behind.

1) Because the ramifications of suicide are so wide-spread, we think of suicide as the most selfish act a person could take. And while it is true that the ripple effect of suicide is immeasurably enormous, it is important to understand that the person who takes their life is not intending to be selfish. Your loved one didn’t intend to bring you harm. But their thinking was irrational, and their judgement warped. Whether they made an impulsive choice, or one that was well-thought out, their intention was simply to get their pain to stop. They felt trapped by something – a mental illness, a crisis, a diagnosis. In their mind, suicide was the most reasonable solution. Clearly, they were unable to consider all of the consequences to those around them. But to conclude they were just being selfish is likely an inaccurate and incomplete assumption.

2) Those who lose a loved-one to suicide have great concern about eternal consequences. “Is suicide the unpardonable sin? Is my loved one in hell as a direct result of taking their own life?” The answer is no. The bible is clear that the only unpardonable sin is the rejection of Christ. Suicide is not a rejection of Christ, though it is evidence of a critically incorrect conclusion regarding Christ’s love and power. Yes, suicide is a sinful choice; one that can be forgiven.

3) Guilt is the most common emotional experience I’ve seen in those who have lost a loved one to suicide. If you have recently lost a loved one to suicide, you are naturally analyzing your most recent conversations with them. You are also picking apart your responses and comments. Your actions and inactions. When something unthinkable happens, we naturally look to place blame. And with a suicide, the easiest place to put that blame is sometimes with ourselves. We question ourselves, “Why didn’t I see this coming? I should have .” (You fill in the blank). Guilt is a relentless bully driven by “What if’s” and “Should have’s”. And when it comes to suicide, it is a false guilt that is experienced. Beating up yourself may seem easier or more honorable than feeling anger at your loved one who took their life. But the reality is this: you would have never handed them that gun, or given them those pills. You would never have made that choice for them. They made the choice. Therefore, the responsibility for that choice is theirs. Not yours. As painful as this is, allow them the responsibility for the choice they made. And release yourself from the responsibility of a choice you would have never made for them.

If you are struggling in the aftershock of a suicide, and contemplating suicide yourself, please reach out for help. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In addition, there are Survivors of Suicide Groups located all over the country. You can also reach out to a trusted friend, pastor, or professional counselor. You don’t have to walk this journey alone!

To learn more about how to cope with the tragedies of life, visit: www.becomingresilientbook.com


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Donna Gibbs, co-owner of Summit Wellness Centers, PLLC, is author of the recent releases, Silencing Insecurity and Becoming Resilient. Donna has authored numerous other books, and is commonly featured on radio broadcasts across America, and occasionally internationally as well. Donna has been providing individuals and families the hope and help they need for twenty years as a national certified counselor, board-certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor. A member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), she is a leading professional provider for Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse. 

Follow Donna’s author page at https://www.facebook.com/DonnaGibbsResilience/ for daily encouragement, the weekly blog, and updates regarding events and speaking engagements.

Marriage or Relationship Challenges?

Dealing with marriage or relationship challenges? Donna Gibbs was recently invited to write an article for Focus on the Family on this very topic. Follow the link below to read the article, and learn more about how insecurities might be impacting your marriage (and what to do about it!) 

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/marriage-challenges/how-to-stop-being-insecure-in-a-relationship

For more helpful information just like this, follow us on fb @summitwellnesscenters or sign up for our free weekly blog and newsletter.

“The Only Constant In Life is Change…”

by Donna Gibbs

“The only constant in life is change”. We’ve all heard that phrase. Oh, how painfully true it is! Our lives are an ongoing process of change. Our bodies age daily. Circumstances change. People come and go. Some changes we welcome. Most we dread.

When I consider change, I often think of the caterpillar. This creature experiences the greatest transformation of any other creature I can consider. I’m not sure why God designed it this way, but the poor caterpillar experiences a seemingly painful process that involves it’s digesting itself. Yuck! Actually, as we follow the caterpillar’s process, we learn that it is a beautiful metamorphosis resulting in a picture- perfect butterfly. Who would have thought that the disgusting transformation inside a mysterious cocoon would result in something so miraculously and beautifully unsuspected?

Perhaps you’re feeling like you are in your own version of a cocoon recently. You know that change is on the horizon, but you fear what is to come, and you don’t like the growing pains you experience along the way. You feel like you are being “digested,” but for no good purpose! Let me assure you, if you are cooperating with God, your painful transformation has great purpose, and the result will ultimately be as breathtaking as a magnificent, newly released butterfly.

Friends, let’s trust God’s process for change. We fear change because we doubt. Trust is the answer. If God can transform a simple caterpillar into a unique butterfly, He can be trusted to guide our process of metamorphosis as well!


https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/EB6yiiWFhyMSy2BTpJMGOQ74vG8pmHwQblN-ipL4KLHyhBuek6LqZVammowmeF0Lct4k_kkM3BTlfeFyU5j3j3Q7heqfvK2yb5diuNC0R4TSyasgM9JllZ6T9n5pvDLqu_GOrS4dspFV9oWDuw

Donna Gibbs, co-owner of Summit Wellness Centers, PLLC, is author of the recent releases, Silencing Insecurity and Becoming Resilient. Donna has authored numerous other books, and is commonly featured on radio broadcasts across America, and occasionally internationally as well. Donna has been providing individuals and families the hope and help they need for twenty years as a national certified counselor, board-certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor. A member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), she is a leading professional provider for Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse. 

Follow Donna’s author page at https://www.facebook.com/DonnaGibbsResilience/ for daily encouragement, the weekly blog, and updates regarding events and speaking engagements.

Can a Secret Make you Sick?

by Donna Gibbs

Can a secret make you sick? 

You bet it can! Sometimes a family or an organization keeps a secret… and it makes them sick. Sometimes an individual keeps a secret… and it makes them sick. A secret is anything held in the dark that carries shame or fear. The resulting sickness is one of an emotional, physical and/or spiritual nature. 

Secrets keep us stuck! Why? Because where there is a secret there is also oppression. The enemy lurks among our secrets. Consider some of these examples: 

Maybe you were sexually abused as a child. You may have been threatened with harm if you told the truth. The secrecy has given the enemy tremendous space to shame you. To confuse you. To torture you with disgusting images and memories. 

Maybe you had an affair. You’ve kept your secret silent for fear of repercussions. You work diligently to protect this secret from potential exposure. But the truth rings loudly in your own mind as you experience the pangs of regret. 

Maybe you struggle with an eating disorder. One of the “rules” of the eating disorder is that no one know about it. So you cover your restricting and you purge in secrecy. No one knows the lonely prison you are in. 

Maybe you had an abortion years ago. You’ve never even uttered the word out loud, or even in the silence of your own mind. You can’t. The word itself makes you sick to your stomach. You avoid anything related to the word, and intend to take this secret to your grave. But there are certain dates and seasons of life in which it is becoming harder to run from your secret. 

Secrets certainly make us sick. They invite anxiety as we live in fear of being exposed. These secrets also invite depression as we live with unbridled shame. The silence of the secret is deafening. A secret can become sickeningly overwhelming and torturous. 

But when God reveals truth, and a secret is exposed in a healthy manner, the enemy’s power is chained, and freedom can begin to be unleashed. 

If you are carrying a painful secret, it is likely preventing you from becoming resilient. You don’t have to shout the truth from the mountain tops, but a conversation with God about the truth is imperative. If you’ve felt shame in your secret, you may have never even had a conversation with God about this issue. 

You may also feel it necessary to share this secret with a trusted counselor or pastor. I encourage you to take this step. Exposing your secret to someone you trust will feel terrifying. It may make you cry. It may even make you sick. Much like the ripping of a band-aid, your disclosure may sting, but the sting will diminish with the guidance of a trusted professional. This disclosure will also likely unleash some of the freedom that you’ve always thought was out of reach. The enemy no longer will have the same leverage to oppress you, and you can begin the process of taking your life back. 

Don’t let a secret keep you stuck or make you sick. Today is the day to begin your journey to wellness! 


Donna Gibbs, co-owner of Summit Wellness Centers, PLLC, is author of the recent releases, Silencing Insecurity and Becoming Resilient. Donna has authored numerous other books, and is commonly featured on radio broadcasts across America, and occasionally internationally as well. Donna has been providing individuals and families the hope and help they need for twenty years as a national certified counselor, board-certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor. A member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), she is a leading professional provider for Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse. 

Follow Donna’s author page at https://www.facebook.com/DonnaGibbsResilience/ for daily encouragement, the weekly blog, and updates regarding events and speaking engagements.

Categories

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Recent Posts

“The Only Constant In Life is Change…”

Feb 15, 2019

Laughing Together, But Crying Alone. What About My Grief?

Feb 1, 2019

Be Still

Jan 25, 2019

Laughing Together, But Crying Alone. What About My Grief?


by Donna Gibbs

I remember when my youngest son was 1 year of age. Like all young ones, he expressed all emotions equally…he responded at equal pitch whether his emotion was sad, happy, hungry, mad, etc… Isn’t it interesting how the older we get, the less balance we have in expressing emotion? We are socialized to express positive emotions loudly, but negative emotions are to be suppressed. Think of our cliché, “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone”.

Yet, we know that there is a time for every event in life…and grief is just as normal as eating and sleeping. Grief is inevitable this side of eternity. ALL of us will face some form of grief in this lifetime. That grief will represent some type of loss: death, divorce, job loss, infertility, betrayal, trauma, etc… When grief does hit, we are likely to experience a variety of jumbled and unpredictable emotions: confusion, apathy, sorrow, rage, guilt, jealousy, helplessness, loneliness, sadness, disappointment, fear, inadequacy, rejection, distrust, etc.. In fact, you are likely to feel emotions that you’ve never experienced before; and to a depth you didn’t previously know was possible. You may even feel that you are going insane. Recovery from grief to growth doesn’t require a special skill or degree….it just means processing what you feel when you feel it. This takes time, and in some situations may require the help of a professional. The old cliché, “Time heals all wounds” is simply not true. Sure, time can sometimes take the edge off of our pain, but you and I have both seen some old, bitter people – time alone did not serve them well. It is what we do within a period of time that brings healing.

Here are a few additional tools that may be of help:

1) Journal – dedicate this to your journey to growth

2) Connect with others through church and support groups

3) Avoid premature decisions

4) Eat nutritiously, Rest, and Exercise (grief is stressful to the immune system)

5) Talk about your losses and begin building new memories

6) Communicate with (and nurture relationships with) the loved-ones you still have

7) Don’t confuse feelings with facts. Believe against the grain, cling to God when you can’t see what’s ahead and you don’t feel like clinging.

8) Be careful with the question “Why?”. This often leads to an unproductive quest, and a quick trip to depression. Replace this quest with the question, “What now?”

If you are concerned about someone else who is grieving, make sure you listen, without condemnation. Allow them to grieve. Share memories and stories – it is helpful to them to be able to talk about their losses. Give practical help with chores and daily demands. Offer a touch when there are no words. Don’t use clichés or pat theological answers – those are rarely helpful, and often hurtful and offending. Check on them during painful holidays and anniversary dates. In the end, don’t underestimate the simple importance of your presence and relationship with them. God has created us to share burdens together!

For more information regarding bouncing back from life’s hurts, check out Becoming Resilient, written by Donna Gibbs, at https://www.becomingresilientbook.com.

Donna Gibbs, co-owner of Summit Wellness Centers, PLLC, is author of the recent releases, Silencing Insecurity and Becoming Resilient. Donna has authored numerous other books, and is commonly featured on radio broadcasts across America, and occasionally internationally as well. Donna has been providing individuals and families the hope and help they need for twenty years as a national certified counselor, board-certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor. A member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), she is a leading professional provider for Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse. 

Categories

ALL POSTSACCOUNTABILITYANXIETYBECOMING RESILIENTBIBLE STUDYBULIMIACHANGECHRISTMASCHRONIC CHALLENGESDEPRESSIONEATING DISORDERSGRATITUDEGRIEFHEALTHHOLIDAYSHOPEINTERNETLUSTMARRIAGEMARYMINISTRYNEW YEARPARENTINGPEACEPORNOGRAPHYPURPOSERESOLUTIONSRESTSCHOOLSILENCING INSECURITYSUICIDETHANKSGIVING

Recent Posts

“The Only Constant In Life is Change…”

Feb 15, 2019

Can a Secret Make you Sick?

Feb 8, 2019

Be Still

Jan 25, 2019

Be Still

by Pam Nettles

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46:10

Many years ago I encountered a period of multiple stressful events that led to a season of depression and anxiety. I felt stuck, helpless, and often hopeless, and wanted God to answer my prayers on my time frame…immediately, and in my way! I was exhausted from trying to fight the battles, many of which I had no control over to begin with! It was during this time that I learned the meaning of the term ‘synchronicity’. Simply put, everywhere I turned I would hear or see messages consistent with Psalm 46:10. After repeatedly hearing this message I began to meditate on this verse, as well as several others, that God laid upon my heart during my quiet times with Him.


As I read, prayed, and meditated on His Word I learned several meaningful concepts. ‘Be still’ is a verb. In today’s performance-based society we are better ‘do-ers’ than ‘be-ers’. We think about ‘being still’ in a negative connotation; to do nothing, be avoidant, or as being lazy. (Which is difficult for those like me who want to have control of our circumstances.) Actually ‘being still’ is quite the opposite. To ‘Be still’ requires taking an active stance of giving up our desire for control in order to quiet our hearts, minds, and souls, and to have faith and trust in God to accomplish His will for our lives, in His perfect timing! (Jeremiah 29: 11-14)


Often, the remainder of this verse gets overlooked. The second part of this verse reminds us that God is all-powerful and to be honored, praised, and respected. When we give up desire for control and lean upon God we acknowledge that we believe that He will do what He says He will do and that He will give us wisdom and discernment to direct our paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)


During this season I intentionally tried to remove the unproductive worries and distractions that were keeping me from focusing on God’s truths. I began expectantly looking for opportunities to ‘be still’ with him. One day I was picking my niece up from preschool and I noticed a prayer garden near the entrance of her school. I took the opportunity to walk through the gates and stood in awe at what was before me! On the brick wall of the garden was a concrete tablet engraved with the verse Psalm 46:10. I stood there for a few quiet minutes and then quickly took a photo of the wall to show a friend that had been encouraging me during this time. Several days later, I printed the picture to give to her and I was so disappointed when I noticed there was a large shadow cast on the verse! Of course the perfectionist in me wanted to retake the picture but I couldn’t as the location was several hours away. So I apologetically gave the print to my friend and expressed my disappointment about the shadow spoiling the picture. Immediately she looked at me and said, ‘Don’t you see? The picture is perfect!’ God had still another message for me through that experience. Immediately as my friend commented I heard the ‘still small voice of God’ reminding me that he was hiding me in His shadow; under the protection of His wing!


When we lose focus on God’s promises and commands, or make decisions without prayerful consideration, we waste countless amounts of energy; leaving us weary and overwhelmed. We experience anxiety instead of peace. We may even put ourselves in unhealthy or dangerous situations. During times of waiting on God we are often unaware of how God is working in ways to align His perfect plan for our growth, protection, and/or blessing. Ultimately He wants to fight the battles for us!


God graciously led me through one of the most difficult seasons of my life and many other struggles since that time. It was during that time he used my experiences and growth to lead me in to Christian Clinical Counseling. He taught me to lean on Him. He also taught me what empathy means. To understand the struggles of others, to sit with them in their pain, and a deep desire to share the healing we get when we trust the ‘Ultimate Healer’! His plans and time are always perfect! When we allow ourselves to ‘Be Still’ we can rest in His shadow, under His wing of protection, and have confidence that He has a perfect plan (and perfect timing) for our lives!


Related verses
(Psalm 91; Exodus 14:13-14; John 16:33; Psalm 37:7, I Kings 18-19, 2 Chronicles 20:14-17)


Related songs based on these scriptures
Hillsong – Still Hillsong -Be still


Goals, and Necessary Endings

By Donna Gibbs

“Necessary Endings”. That phrase just sounds… wrong, doesn’t it? But if you are seeking a goal that God has orchestrated, then the journey will automatically involve some endings. And these endings will indeed be required. Endings are non-negotiable components of achieving goals. 

I’ve spent the last year processing endings. For those who know me well, you know that the counseling ministry of A Clear Word Counseling Center was very close to my heart for many years. In 2007, after serving ten years as a single practitioner, I allowed the necessary ending of my independence and responsibility only to myself as I followed God’s leading to open a non-profit and expand the counseling ministry. After a tremendous amount of personal stretching and many hours of hard work, an organization was born. To be honest, it felt more like the birthing of a baby. I poured myself into developing the organization, developing an annual comedy night and an annual golf tournament that would fund our Client Assistance Program, and growing and nurturing an amazing team of clinicians and staff. I remember often reflecting on how grateful I was that God seemed to have shined His blessing on that organization. He allowed us to be used to help people… truly help people. Lives were being saved and changed. Oppression was being lifted. Marriages healed. Depression released. It was a truly great decade! When you pour into a ministry like that, and you see God using it in the most intimate way in the lives of countless people, you develop emotional ties. When something is so sacred, you want to hold on… and never let go. So, you can imagine the emotions I experienced when I recognized that God was leading something new for that organization. And that is precisely why the term “necessary ending” became an important one for me. 

It is impossible to follow God to a new place without letting go of the old. We can’t accomplish the new without releasing what has already been. Endings are necessary. Indeed, I had to allow the ending of A Clear Word in order to energetically embrace my role in the graduated ministry of Summit Wellness Centers. 

What about you? What goal do you know God is orchestrating in your life? Is it related to your ministry? Or perhaps a relationship? Your health? Your finances? If you are pursuing a goal, remember that endings will be necessary. Some endings are radical and complete. There is no residual of the past, no contact. Other endings are more like endings of patterns, methods, or particular structures. But remember this: an ending in some manner will be non-negotiable. You can’t add(a new goal) without subtracting (from the old). It’s basic math! 

God has a word about these necessary endings: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18) 

So today, let’s learn to embrace necessary endings. Rather than focusing on the unknowns and anxieties of a transition, let’s welcome the basic math that comes with obedience to a new, God-ordained task. Where God has led, He will also assist in the necessary release. 

For more about necessary endings, I suggest the book by the same title, written by Henry Cloud. 


Donna Gibbs, co-owner of Summit Wellness Centers, PLLC, is author of the recent releases, Silencing Insecurity and Becoming Resilient. Donna has authored numerous other books, and is commonly featured on radio broadcasts across America, and occasionally internationally as well. Donna has been providing individuals and families the hope and help they need for twenty years as a national certified counselor, board-certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor. A member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), she is a leading professional provider for Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse. 

Follow Donna’s author page at https://www.facebook.com/DonnaGibbsResilience/ for daily encouragement, the weekly blog, and updates regarding events and speaking engagements.