Cleere Cherry was born and raised in North Carolina, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and recently moved to Shreveport, Louisiana. She is an aspiring writer who believes that with God's help, anything is possible. She hopes her writing will remind you of who you are in Jesus- dearly loved and highly favored. To read more from Cleere, check out her website, Cleerecherry.com.
You know when people are a certain way and they say, “I can’t help it, it’s just part of my personality.”
Well, they are lying.
I used to always say, “I am naturally just an anxious person. I’ve always been that way since I was little.”
Was that the truth?
Well, yes, I have always been an anxious person, ESPECIALLY since I allowed myself to accept that as part of my personality.
It was a habit I practiced, became good at and eventually reverted to in times of stress.
When I would see a test on the syllabus, I would start to get anxious.
My friend would text me back with a period rather than an exclamation mark and I would get anxious.
I would imagine situations for what they could become based on hypothetical responses I would make up for people in my head and I would get anxious.
LOONEY TUNE, right?!
(I am kinda getting anxious about the fact that you probably think I am a total nut-case after reading this.
Did I just say “probably think”?)
SEE WHAT I MEAN?
Because I became good at being anxious, I assumed I would just have to stay good.
It would rob me of my joy some days because I didn’t know how to be present in the moment anymore.
I had become so used to being everywhere else but exactly where I was.
After spending some time with Jesus and knowing that this just shouldn’t be the case, He reminded me of some crucial things.
1.) Personalities are based on charactertistics and characteristics are formed through actions and actions are based on decisions.
My personality was not concrete and I didn’t have to be an anxious person, I had chosen to be that way.
2.) Emotions are raw and they are real but they are not based on truth. Just because I initially “feel” anxious doesn’t mean I have a reason to be anxious.
Spiritual maturity is gained when an individual can recognize an emotion and choose to not let it lead their decisions.
3.) Anxiety is not of Jesus. He is in control and He is the author of peace so when I am feeling anxious, I must recognize it and seek the root of my anxiety.
Do I trust God with my heart and my life in this particular circumstance? If so, I can rest in His sovereignty regardless of what is to come.
You see, I think we take the easy way out sometimes.
It’s far easier to say that being late, being anxious, reacting out of anger, being dramatic or whatever it may be is just “part of our personality”.
We can’t help it, right?
I have realized that when it comes to our character and ultimately the way we handle situations, the moments are crucial.
How we handle one situation 10000% affects how we handle the next.
Let me ask you this question: If the trash is already overflowing and there are a couple of boxes parked to the right of the trashcan, are you more likely to add your dirty paper towel to the boxes than you are to take ALL of the trash out and put a new bag in?
Maybe this is a better example: Say you start a new diet and you are determined! On the second day, you accidentally give in and eat a cookie before lunch. Are you far more inclined to call that a “cheat day” than to stay on track?
I guess what I am saying is, if you “give in” to what Satan wants you to do in the moments, it will become harder and harder to make wise decisions or work on destructive habits.
If I wanted to stop reverting to anxiety in stressful situations, I was going to have to call myself out during the moments, dedicate myself to trusting Jesus and take it moment by moment.
When we let God have authority over our emotions and our mindset during these moments, we soon realize He becomes the King of our decisions.
The little adds up to the big.
The mountain is overcome by a million foot-steps.
The habit is broken by a daily refusal to give in.
The character trait is formed by a repetitive decision to act or be a certain way.
Because of who my Jesus is, I do have the power within me to change the things about myself that I do not like and the wisdom to know it’s not an immediate process.
Those habits we can’t kick, those personality traits that we can’t seem to deviate from, those things about ourselves that we aren’t crazy about—those thorns in our side are nothing short of a blessing.
A blessing that draw us closer to the One who made us and remind our hearts of how deep His rivers of grace run through us.
You, my friend, are never “stuck” being anxious or angry, prone to drama, always running late, lacking integrity or whatever it may be.
Because of Jesus, you have the ability to enter the moment and embrace it with Him by your side.
And the next moment? You will need Him to.
The change is not sudden, the desire is not always your first instinct and success may feel miles away.
But take heart, you are transformed!
Moments make up momentum.
Make your own.
Dedicate yourself to each one and you will be unstoppable
“The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” -Deuteronomy 30:9-10
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” -Isaiah 30:21