Type R Personality. Why You Need to Know This!

by Donna Gibbs

Type R Personality! Business professionals are talking about it. Even Good Morning America got in on the discussion last year. According to these reports, Type R Personalities are trumping type A Personalities in success. So what does Type R mean? It means resilient. And, as you know, that is a word close to my heart.

Many of you set out to accomplish something new this year. You set a goal, or a resolution. You resolved to reach an important objective. We’ve talked before about imagining, having purpose in your goal, believing beyond your perceived limitations, allowing failure to be your friend, and looking beyond the past into the future toward a “new thing”.

But more than anything, it takes resilience to reach a goal that has previously felt untouchable. Why? Because we live in a tough world. We face obstacles every day. Even when we try our hardest, we still fail. We suffer. We struggle. But our ability to bounce back, or even bounce forward, from a trial or a failure ultimately determines our success. Our success in business. Our success in life. Our resilience is the most significant predictor of our outcome.

The best news of all? Resilience is not something you either have or don’t have. (That is why the subtitle of my book, Becoming Resilient, is “How to Move Through Your Suffering and Come Back Stronger”). Resilience is something you develop. Yes, you can bounce back from a failed New Year’s Resolution. You can bounce back from an unsuccessful business plan. You can bounce back from your poor decisions. You can even bounce back from a painful betrayal or an unthinkable trauma. The most encouraging news? Though there are some struggles in life that you cannot bounce back from (things will never be the same), you can bounce forward into a beautiful new normal that is meaningful and purposeful. You can overcome. You can thrive again.

Friends, let us build up one-another through the inevitable obstacles and struggles of life. Let us persevere. Let’s allow resilience to be contagious as we encourage one-another. As Jim Valvano always said, “Never give up!”

Let’s throw out the Type A and reach for the Type R!

“But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland”. (Isaiah 43:18)


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.

How Can I Be Anxious For Nothing When I Am Anxious About Everything?

by Donna Gibbs

This blog is always designed to be relevant to the struggles of everyday life, and to the issues that come through the door of our counseling centers. So when I considered the most relevant topic of the week, I knew this week’s blog had to be about anxiety. Without a doubt, this is a season that fuels the sparks of anxiety. The news is full of domestic and international unrest, we hear daily of issues of violence or addiction, and… we’re approaching end-of-school year festivities, including the infamous end-of-grade testing! These triggers cause even those not naturally bent toward anxiety to experience some of the pangs of fear. For those who are predisposed toward anxiety, or those who are vulnerable due to some previous trauma, these concerns can potentially fuel a fear that is crippling.

If you are experiencing anxiety regarding anything in this tumultuous world, then you are likely experiencing some physical symptoms of discomfort: shallow breathing with rapid heart rate, nausea, headache, dizziness, sweating, and/or tingling. The genuine physical cascade of symptoms creates even more angst, often landing individuals experiencing these symptoms in the ER with concern of heart-attack or some other serious condition. I am going to share a brief checklist below of steps to take if anxiety is getting the best of you:

1. See your physician to rule out potential medical issues related to your physical symptoms.

2. Having ruled out medical complications, talk truthfully to yourself about your anxiety. A panic attack will feel like it can kill you. Truth is, it cannot hurt you. Reminding yourself of this truth diminishes the power of the bully of anxiety. Your season of anxiety will pass.

3. Avoid caffeine or other stimulants. Yes – skip that much-loved morning pick-me-up coffee, your afternoon sweet tea, and your favorite chocolate dessert. These will only increase your un- welcomed symptoms.

4. Breathe deeply. Be mindful of your breathing, and allow your symptoms to calm. You can gain control of your physical symptoms, vs their controlling you.

5. Exercise. Exercise positively impacts areas in the brain that channel serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine (the great mental health chemicals in the brain). Exercise works like a med! While you’re at it, take advantage of the self-induced increased heart-rate, and get some practice lowering your pulse so that you have more confidence when you encounter an elevated pulse due to anxiety or panic attack.

6. Reduce unnecessary stressors. Some stressors of life are unavoidable. But unnecessary stressors invite unnecessary suffering. You’re already suffering enough. It’s time to simplify.

7. Tell yourself the truth. Much of anxiety is a battle of the mind. Tell yourself the truth, not a minimized or exaggerated version of the truth that creates angst. If you have difficulty discerning truth, seek help. A professional counselor can help you discern and replace destructive thoughts.

8. Assertively use meditation and repetition. Anxiety is fueled by repetition and meditation on destructive and false beliefs. Recovery is found in repetition and meditation of truth. As I often tell clients, “You get out the same way you got in”. Cling to scriptural truths. Agree with God. Test your thoughts against His. And then allow Him to “transform and renew your mind” (Romans 12:2). Your brain, and your anxiety, will literally be changed through the tools of meditation and repetition of truth. Neuroplasticity is a beautiful thing!

9. Consider meds if your anxious thoughts are obsessive and crippling (if they are interfering with daily functioning). Be cautious about use of acute meds which can be addictive if over- used. Ask your physician to provide information regarding a group of maintenance meds, or SSRI’s, that may assist you in managing crippling symptoms. Remember, meds are not a cure-all; you’re still going to have to do the hard work.

10. Don’t allow anxiety to bully you! It will shrink your world if you allow. In fear of the next episode of panic, you’ll avoid the people or places that you fear will leave you vulnerable. This only empowers the anxiety. Instead, embrace opposite action. Don’t believe the anxiety! Rebel against the bully.

Finally, let’s remember that a little bit of anxious concern is good. Yes, it can allow us to be more pro-active, more focused, and more detail- oriented. It can keep our care at a healthy level. But, a good thing turned too high… is still too high. So keep check on your concern, and when it turns toxic, take some of the steps above to turn it down.

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.

Royalty, Spirituality, ISSUES, and Depression: Did David Have Issues?

by Donna Gibbs

Last week, we addressed the collision of royalty and depression. We’ve come to accept that even someone who has access to all the extravagant benefits of royalty can be vulnerable to depression. Even a King!

We also addressed the collision of spirituality and depression. We’ve come to accept that someone who has a rich and genuine spiritual life can still be vulnerable. Even a “man after God’s own heart”.

With those collisions established, I think it would be helpful for us to gaze for just a moment at some of the other issues going on in David’s life. Perhaps this glance could provide further explanation to his struggle with discouragement.

1. David had STRESSORS.

David had enemies. He had stress. He had overwhelming life situations and traumas. David had legitimate oppressors. Anything from wild animals to nations, David was often fighting with, or running from, someone or something. There were times in which he lived with great fear and anxiety. The angst of life’s stressors creates a path to discouragement.

2. David had DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHTS.

David often got stuck on his toxic thoughts. Many times in the Psalms we see evidence of David’s ruminations. He frequently got stuck on hopeless, defeating thoughts about God, about himself, and about his situation. He would be the first to acknowledge that he wrestled with his thoughts. It is nearly impossible to avoid discouragement in the presence of destructive ruminations, and David sometimes struggled to pull himself out of his personal darkness.

3. David had PHYSICAL CHALLENGES.

David made reference to his bones hurting, his fatigue and weariness. Of course, we don’t know what else might have been going on within his body (David likely wouldn’t have even known himself). He could have suffered injuries, diseases, vitamin deficiencies, or chemical imbalances. While we don’t know those specifics, we do know this: God made us whole. We are whole physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – so when our emotions hurt, our bodies hurt. And when our bodies hurt, our emotions hurt. David was no exception, and his physical challenges had a ripple effect.

4. David had PERSONAL REGRET.

It’s true – sin can create depression. David had a terrible fall. He misused his power as king, had an affair with a woman, and followed that affair with the murder of her husband. What a mess! In Psalm 51, following a conversation with a respected friend, David wrote a reflection on what is sometimes referred to as the darkest day of his life. David begged for God’s mercy and forgiveness. He was broken and disgusted with himself. His regret created deep sadness.

Can you relate to David? Do you live under the yoke of stress? Are you enduring a tough situation or trauma? Do you have enemies? Do you sometimes get stuck on negative thoughts about God, about yourself, about others, or about your situation? Do you have physical challenges? A chronic condition? Do you have personal regrets? Are you suffering the tough consequences of an immoral choice?

If your answer is “Yes,” remember that you are in good company. You are in the company of royalty. You are in the company of one who loved God.

Remember, it’s ok to realize that you are struggling. But it’s not ok to stay stuck. Reach out today to a trusted friend, pastor, or counselor for help!

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.

Depression, the Common Cold, and Royalty: What do They Have in Common?

by Donna Gibbs

Depression – it’s called the “common cold” of mental disorders, but how common is it really?

Depression impacts hundreds of millions of individuals across the world. Up to 20% of the population in America struggles with the sometimes debilitating symptoms of depression. 20%!! I’d call that common, wouldn’t you?

If depression is that common, then any of us are susceptible… a teenager, a mom, a dad, a senior adult, a person of any race or occupation. Your neighbor. Your co-worker. Perhaps even a King!

I enjoyed an invitation to speak to a local church some time ago regarding the topic of depression. Their specific request was that I address the possibility of depression in the life of David, the writer of many of the Psalms. So, we put David on the “Hot Seat” and posed two questions: 1) David, were you depressed? 2) Can a Christian be depressed?

But before we examine David, let’s first consider some general symptoms of depression:

*Sadness

*Crying Spells

*Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities

*Apathy – lost your “care”

*Letting go of self-care/hygiene

*Fatigue

*Irritability/Agitation

*Withdrawal/Isolation

*Changes in sleep patterns

*Changes in eating patterns

*Difficulty concentrating, or forgetfulness

*Chronic aches/pains

*Feelings of worthlessness

*Hopelessness

*Destructive Thoughts/Ruminations

*Suicidal thoughts/attempts

Who was David? As a boy, he was the youngest of his siblings. As a young man, he had a simple job of taking care of sheep. But God had a more extravagant role designed for David’s adult life. After a series of amazing events, David was ultimately appointed King of Israel. David became head of the royal family!

Did you watch the most recent royal wedding? Or follow the news of the recent royal birth? Wow! What a display of power, infamy, wealth, and lavishness! As King, David too experienced the extravagance of this lifestyle. But can someone who lives like that possibly experience depression? Someone who never has a financial care? Someone who never has to cook their own meal, or cut their own grass? Someone with access to the very best of all that life offers? Is it possible that even someone with this ultimate grandiose lifestyle could be vulnerable to the symptoms we identified above?

As if royalty weren’t seemingly enough to insulate him from depression, David also had a unique spiritual life. Indeed, he is historically known as “a man after God’s own heart”. He was far from perfect, but he had a rich spiritual life. Isn’t that enough to protect someone from depression?

David’s own words will answer our questions:

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night.

Psalm 42:1-3

Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? My bones suffer mortal agony.

Psalm 42: 9-10

My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught…. My heart is in anguish within me…. Oh that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.

Psalm 55: 2, 4-8

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts, and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Psalm 13:1-4

Yes, David lived the life of royalty. Yes, David was a man of God. And, David met the criteria for depression. He felt downcast and distraught. He wrestled with his thoughts. He had ruminations. He had crying spells. He had spiritual disconnect. He had physical symptoms of pain. He wanted to run away from everything and everybody. He desperately wanted to escape. He grew agitated and impatient. Can you relate?

If you also wrestle with depression, I want you to take comfort in this: depression really is common. No one is immune. No one is insulated from pain. Whether through a genetic predisposition, a vitamin deficiency, a thyroid issue, a hormone imbalance, or a fiery trial of life, we are all vulnerable. Even me and you.

If you are wrestling in your thoughts today, know that you are in good company. Even a king, even a “man after God’s own heart” might say, “I can relate”. Rest in knowing that you are not alone! And then reach out for help. No need to suffer in silence any more.

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.

Infertility: Hope in a Lonely Journey

by Donna Gibbs

The wedding was beautiful. Lifelong hopes and dreams became a reality as the vows were spoken and the couple was introduced to those in attendance. The bride and groom started down the aisle, full of aspirations for a hope-filled, joyous life together. They pictured themselves living the American dream, with a beautiful home, a Volvo in the garage, and 2.4 children.

Time passed. One year turned into two, then three, four, and five years. Family and friends began to question, “When are you two going to have a baby?” “You know, youʼre not getting any younger.” “Isnʼt it about time you started having a family?” For this couple, infertility was soon becoming a harsh reality. They considered the time, energy, finances, and emotional strain involved in medical interventions or adoption. It was all so confusing and overwhelming. They prayed, questioning God, asking “Why?” Why were relationships becoming strained? Why was walking down the baby food aisle of the grocery store becoming unbearable? Why were announcements of pregnancies and baby showers so painful? Why was Motherʼs Day such a sad occasion? Why?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 11% of reproductive-aged women experience challenges in getting pregnant and/or carrying a baby to term. This is probably a low estimate of the many isolated, hurting couples with few places to turn with their grief. Infertility is a disease that creates significant grief, bombarding its victims with intense, inexplicable emotions. The grief process can be experienced from one extreme to another, all within a cycle of 28 days. Infertility attacks an individualʼs sense of self-worth, tempting them to compare themselves to peers who seem to have no difficulty achieving or maintaining pregnancy. Certainly, infertility can place great strain on relationships among family and friends who often, with no evil intent, have painful questions and expectations. An unresolved plea for pregnancy can also create stress and tension in the marriage relationship. Without question, undesired childlessness shakes our faith in a God who describes children as a blessed gift. Yet, there is hope! For we serve a God who makes promises. The promise for someone with infertility is not that they would necessarily have a biological child (though approximately 85-90% are able to conceive). The promise is that even this difficult trial will be worked for good. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). “All things” is an all-inclusive phrase: even infertility can bear fruit!

If you are wrestling through this tough journey, I pray you will look for fruit, and don’t lose hope! There are others who share your pain. You are not alone!

Wondering what the grief process of infertility looks like? Here are some expected experiences of grief. While grief is better described as “waves” vs “stages” these are some of the typical places that you may find yourself, based on where you are in your monthly cycle, and where you are in the overall process of infertility.

The Waves of Infertility Grief

*Denial/Shock: “I canʼt believe this is happening to me.” *Desperation/Panic: “Iʼll do whatever it takes to have a child.”

*Anger/Resentment: “What kind of God would allow me to go through this?”

*Sadness/Depression: “Why me?”

*Inadequacy/Guilt: “What is my purpose now?”

*Hope/Peace: “Iʼm OK.”

*Reconciliation/Integration: “May Your will be done.”

If you have concerns that you are stuck in your grief, please reach out to a trusted pastor or counselor. You are not alone, and you don’t have to walk this tough road alone!

A Note for Pastors and Counselors

In all likelihood, if you are a counselor or a minister, you have encountered couples who are experiencing the trial of infertility. Below, Iʼve listed a few tips for working with these couples and hope that these assist you in providing a supportive and effective atmosphere for them.

*Be well versed regarding the emotional, relational, and spiritual challenges of infertility, as well as reproductive treatment options. Just as we would want to be aware of cultural differences that can impact our clients, we need to be aware of the life and challenges of the couple experiencing infertility. *Normalize and validate the common struggles at each phase of infertility grief (see “Processing Infertility Grief”)

*Educate regarding gender differences in infertility grief and assist the couple in processing their grief without divisiveness.

*Refer couples to support groups if available, at minimum mentors who can relate in a non-threatening and supportive manner. This is particularly important due to the isolation that generally accompanies infertility. If no resources are locally available, advocate for the development of these resources.

*Educate couples regarding stress management techniques. Infertility is known to be as stressful for individuals as a life-threatening condition.

*Assist couples in making deliberate, well-processed decisions regarding their treatment options, taking into consideration spiritual convictions, financial obstacles, family dynamics, stress-levels, etc…

*Assist couples, through role-play, in communicating their struggles, needs, and hurts to family, friends, and co-workers as it relates to infertility. Assist couples in determining what they are comfortable sharing with others and in explaining what they prefer to be kept private, how they will respond to announcements of pregnancy, invitations to baby showers, etc… This type of rehearsal assists couples in overcoming isolation and resentment.

*Have couples journal their experiences and emotions and process in session.

Excerpts from this blog are taken from Water From the Rock (2002), co- authored by Summit Wellness Centers co-owner, Donna Gibbs.

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.

Listening

by 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.

The Power of a Habit. Is Your Auto-Pilot Headed to the Destination You Desire?

by Donna Gibbs

“So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clear-headed”. (1 Thessalonians 5/6, NLT)

What a fascinating scripture. We’re challenged to be prepared for the day of the Lord’s return. To be alert and sober. But after an in-service earlier this week led by my colleague, Kevin Wimbish, I’m reminded that this scripture speaks to an even broader truth. The power of a habit! I’m going to share with you in this blog one of many truths that Kevin shared with our staff, with hopes that you too can benefit from the challenge to be “alert”.

Did you know that 40% of what we do each day is habit? That’s a disturbingly large portion of our life that is ruled by auto-pilot! Habits, both good and bad, can become entrenched. They develop into powerful pathways in the brain, marrying us to our habitual thoughts and actions, whether we intend it or not.

If my daily habit is to think on God’s truths, to consistently encourage my husband and children, and to make good choices in nutrition and exercise, then habits work in my favor. Unfortunately, many of our habits are better described as destructive. We habitually think critical thoughts regarding our situations, and habitually choose behaviors that sabotage our genuine goals. Why? Because we’re checked out. Asleep. We’re not clear-headed. We’re on habitual autopilot when intentional mindfulness is what is most needed.

“Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction”. (Proverbs 29/18, NIV). Without vision and specific direction, we are vulnerable to destruction. Without intentional thought, we are vulnerable to destructive thought. Without intentional action, we are vulnerable to destructive action. “But blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction”. Heed is a verb. It is action based on intentional decision; the opposite of being “asleep”.

Today, let’s examine our habits. Let’s consider if our auto-pilot is leading us toward the destination we desire. Let’s guard against complacent carelessness. How do we reverse a destructive habit? Through “repetitive thought and repetitive action”. This repetition develops new pathways in the brain, and creates the potential for new, healthy and purpose-driven habits. Practice this mindful examination every day, even if just a few minutes each day. Before you know it, you’ll have a new auto-pilot. One you’re more confident in having lead your life!

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.

Hope Rose! Resilience and a Burial Straight-Jacket

by Donna Gibbs

It’s Easter weekend. A time in which we often gaze back to the crucifixion of Christ, and the significance of His resurrection. If you are like me, you have read these accounts in the New Testament many times. Frankly, I don’t like to read this portion of scripture. In fact, I can hardly stand thinking about the death of Christ. It makes me physically sick, and emotionally disturbed. I try to read quickly through the crucifixion so that I can get to the resurrection. But this week, I took the time to contemplate something in the burial of Jesus that I have previously missed, because I was in too much of a hurry to get to the resurrection.

Following the crucifixion of Christ, Joseph of Arimathea received permission from Pilate to take down Jesus’ body. Nicodemus joined him, bringing perfumed ointment and spice. We often point to the fact that Joseph prepared his own tomb for Jesus, or the fact that these men boldly exposed their love for Christ by coming for his body in the middle of the day. But what I noticed, for the first time in this account that I have read so many times, is what the scriptures say regarding the actual burial spices. Of course, we know that Nicodemus brought Myrrh and aloes. These would have been commonly used in a burial in Jewish custom.

But it was not the presence of the myrrh or the aloe that struck me. It was the fact that together they weighed 100 pounds. That means that following death, Christ’s body was not just washed, but it was covered

in 100 pounds of a myrrh and aloe mixture, and was then wrapped in linen cloth. This makes His resurrection even more powerful to me. Following the journey of the crucifixion and the condition of his body unto death, he was weighed down with what would have become a heavy layer of a slimy, glue-like substance, and then he was wrapped tightly in linen. Consider the gravity of that condition three days later. Death, followed by the equivalent of a full-body cast, or a 100 pound straight-jacket.

But He rose! Death couldn’t hold Him down. And neither could 100 pounds of burial preparations. The day of His death may have been dark. It may have seemed that hope died. But Hope Rose! Indeed, Sunday is coming!

Today, you may be facing an uncertain future, or a dark and tragic circumstance. You may feel that hope is lost. Your life may resemble the darkness of the day of crucifixion. But keep your head held high, my friend. Because, Hope Rose! Christ was resurrected from death (and from a full-body cast of burial preparations!) That same power that raised Him from the dead is accessible to you as a child of God. Call out to Him – and trust in His power and care to meet you at your point of need. Resilience can be yours, because God has already demonstrated His power for ultimate resilience, the resurrection!

“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:19-20).

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.

National Stress Awareness Day: When Too Much of a Good Thing is… Still Too Much!

by Donna Gibbs

Did you know that April 16 is National Stress Awareness Day? The day after tax day – that’s fitting, don’t you think? April is also National Stress Awareness Month. I know, there is an awareness day or month for everything under the sun, but this really is an important one, so we are going to discuss it in today’s blog!

Though we always hear that stress is terrible for us, it is certainly inevitable this side of eternity. I believe that God created us with the capacity to feel negative emotions like stress in order to fuel a productive response. A little stress keeps us on our toes. A little stress can allow us to show more attention to detail, and to be more focused and efficient. You’ve probably even heard some people say that they work best under pressure.

But, what about a lot of stress? You guessed it – Too much of a good thing….is still too much! Truth is, chronic stress is down-right toxic. Our body releases chemicals and hormones that allow infrequent and low-level stress to have a positive effect, but when we receive too much of these chemicals they begin to build up, and are the culprit for many physical and psychological struggles.

So, today, let’s just take a moment to evaluate your stress levels. Where is a little stress working to your benefit? Are there some unnecessary stressors in your life that must be addressed? What emotional or psychological struggles are you experiencing due to chronic stress? What physical problems are you experiencing that are potentially related to elevated stress in your life?

If you are overwhelmed by the thought of facing your stressors, it’s time to reach out to a trusted friend, pastor or counselor. Other great stress-relief tips? Exercise, healthy nutrition, deep breathing and adequate rest are great physical skills. Prayer and bible-study will allow you to maintain an eternal perspective on stressors. Lastly, there’s laughter, which will connect you with others, and is “good like medicine”.

Praying you have a “stress-free” weekend ahead!

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.