Originally Published December 2015, and Updated: September 9, 2021
Corrie ten Boom said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
PAUSE & REFLECT
But man, we (I) don’t do an outstanding job of that, do we? A quote like that coming from Corrie ten Boom puts us (me) in our places, doesn’t it?
This is a quote that hits me and makes me think when I read it. I even included it in my “I Will Trust In You” calendar. It’s an important message that we need to remember.
Crazy Year Anyone?
This has been a year of uncertainty. More than once, I wondered what was going to happen next. There were times I did not know where I would be from one week to the next. There was a lot of travel happening!
Family emergencies slowed down, health improved, and answers to questions were provided in ways that were totally a God thing. There is nothing we could have done to orchestrate the results we saw.
In the past few months, my car gave major hints she was ready for a new owner that wouldn’t make her go on long road trips every weekend. Finding the new-to-me car that I have now took months! But it happened, and it happened in a beautiful way.
You would think after a series of events like these, I would remember that God is in control. He knew before I did what I would need and, in his perfect timing, he took care of me. But no, instead during the next crisis I panic all over again. Sigh…
Thankfully we have a patient God who quietly reminds us where our focus needs to be.
As I’ve reflected on this past year, I’ve realized a few important things. Over the years, I’ve intentionally cultivated habits that make a tremendous difference in easing anxiety on the panicky days
Cultivating GOOD Habits
1) Daily Time in the Word
Now I’m definitely not perfect in this area. There are days I miss. What a difference it makes when I do have that daily time.
For a long time, my prayer was, “Lord, help me WANT to take the time to spend my mornings with You and not feel like I have to”. Thankfully, over time, my attitude has changed to the point of craving this daily time in my Bible.
My journaling habit can often be a hit or miss when life gets really busy. But I seem to always find my way back to my journal each week. When I take time to journal, it can make a significant difference in my life.
When I write out my prayers, it helps me to stay present, especially as I’ve fallen asleep while praying a time or two 🙁 or at the very least, have my mind drift into another line of thought. Writing out my prayers gives me focus and helps me to stay on track.
3) Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude
Even on crummy days, there’s something to be grateful for. In my journal I’ve started a section “Today I’m grateful for…”. Writing a daily gratitude list helps me see the good and the daily provisions I take for granted.
His Unfailing Love: A Daily Quiet Time Journal, is a 31-day journey filled with five simple activities to develop your faith, cultivate gratitude, and nurture your creativity, including:
- Reading and writing out the verse of the day
- Keeping a daily gratitude list
- Tracking prayer requestsJ
- ournaling thoughts and prayers
- Creating with simple designs for coloring and space for lettering, doodles, and more
4) Pattern Prayers
On the overwhelming days when I’m not sure where to begin, using a pattern prayer gives me a structure, a starting point to help jumpstart my prayers. These prayers help take the focus off me and celebrate who God is.
I’ve tried several patterns over the years, but my favorite right now is Rachel Wojo’s CH@T Prayer.
- C-Celebrate Who God Is
- H-Humble Yourself Before God
- @-Appreciate What God Has Done
- T-Tell God What You Need
5) Specific prayers
I think there are times we feel it is selfish to ask for what we need, so we stay safe and pray on a surface or generic level. But you know what? Getting specific opens up doors to understanding.
Once you get specific (especially when you write it out!!) you can see quickly the motive behind the request. Sometimes that door opens and you are acting selfishly and sometimes it opens up doors where God blesses you.
Answered prayer, whether it is a yes, no, or not now, helps us learn to trust our known God.
Take a few minutes today to:
- Read a Bible verse
- Journal and remind yourself that we can trust the unknown to the KNOWN.
Here are a few more resources on pattern prayer and learning to trust.
- ACTS Prayer Pattern: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication
- Andy Stanley – Red Letter Prayers Part 1: Our Father (this one lives on my iPod)
- Andy Stanley – The ‘N’ Commandments: Worry Not
- Andy Stanley – The ‘N’ Commandments: Fear Not (actually the entire series is great)
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer, and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her dogs. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books, and now with the Selah Journal: A reflective journal and mini-retreat. Start your own daily gratitude practice with our, “7 Days of Gratitude Challenge – A Gratitude Journal Starter Kit”.