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Develop enduring faith for the turbulent waters of life.
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Develop enduring faith for the turbulent waters of life.

04 Jan Posted by in Articles | Comments Off on Develop enduring faith for the turbulent waters of life.
Develop enduring faith for the turbulent waters of life.
Develop enduring faith for the turbulent waters of life.

Following Jesus doesn’t guarantee sunny skies and smooth sailing. In fact, the waters of life are often tumultuous, crashing over us. Sometimes we can feel that we’re drowning in a sea of confusion, division, frustration, complacency, or disillusionment. We need more than a shallow faith to survive these deep waters.

Into the Deep is an invitation to dive headfirst into a life of courageous faith. With endearing warmth and authenticity, Lauren Gaskill shares how she and others have learned to swim with Jesus in the deep waters of life—facing challenges such as anxiety, depression, and chronic illness—only to discover a more authentic, enduring faith that cannot be shaken by circumstances. In addition to examining the character of God and the lives of women and men of the Bible who chose to dive deeper with God, she provides practical examples and tools that help us take our faith to the next level by learning to make decisions by faith alone, control our reactions to overwhelming situations, and live a life rooted in love.

Get ready to exchange fear and frustration for the boldness, courage, and holy confidence that lead to a life of deep faith and joy!

 

Read an excerpt!

 

Excerpted from Into the Deep by Lauren Gaskill (C)2018 Abingdon Press. Used with permission.

If you would like to use the excerpt, please contact ajenningspr@gmail.com for permission. 

—Psalm 42:7
have swept over me.
all your waves and breakers
in the roar of your waterfalls;
Deep calls to deep

The clock digits rolled to 2:00 a.m., and I groaned, scolding myself as I tossed and turned in bed for the hundredth time.

You have nothing to worry about, and you’re being ridiculous. Just calm down and go to sleep, I whispered to myself as I felt the waves of another anxiety attack creep up inside me. Sleep is a luxury for college students, and at this point I’d be lucky to have a few hours of rest. Every minute counted too, because I had a psychology exam at 8:00 a.m. But knowing this didn’t stop my mind from racing, my throat from closing, my heart from palpitating, and my stomach from churning.

I clutched my comforter tightly and prayed for deliverance, but nothing changed. Instead I sank deeper into anxiety with each word I prayed. I wanted to jump out of my dorm room window and run until my lungs gave out. I wanted to scream until the anxiety drained out of my veins. I wanted to feel anything other than the sheer panic and helplessness overtaking my mind.

Minute after minute rolled by, and with no relief in sight I desperately reached for my phone and texted a friend from my Bible study group.

“Help! Please pray for me,” I typed. “Feeling lost, alone, and overwhelmed amid another anxiety attack. I don’t know what to do. I’m so afraid.”

A few minutes later my phone lit up with a reply.

“My dearest Lauren, trust me when I say everything is going to be OK! God is with you, and He wants to use this for your good. Have faith! Trust Him and hold on to hope! He will see you through, and with His help you will overcome the waves. Always remember you are a daughter of the Most High King. You are priceless and beautiful in His eyes, and in Him you have nothing to fear.”

As true as her text may have been, it didn’t make me feel any better about myself or my situation. At this point in my life, I’d been struggling with anxiety attacks on and off for two years since my junior year of high school when I began having some health issues. To the outside world, I was an accomplished student and swimmer who had it all together, but on the inside I felt like I was drowning—lost in a sea of anxiety, depression, and unexplained chronic pain that was tearing my faith to shreds.

Week after week, I listened to pastors talk about a God who delivers us from our problems, but hearing their words only made me more frustrated and confused. I wondered: If God loves me, then why isn’t He rescuing me? If God is good, then why do I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of despair?

Somehow I had missed the explanation of how a life with Christ doesn’t always mean crystal clear waters or sunny blue skies; how God is not distant but swims with us through the deep waters of life; how God not only sends help in these situations—He is our help, despite what we might feel or think.

When my life didn’t turn around and my health worsened, I began to doubt God’s goodness. But worse than that, I lost faith in God’s ability to save me. I tried to soothe the ache growing inside me by reading and studying the Bible, but none of it felt real. The stories seemed like a distant fairy tale—something only for people who had it all together and not for someone as messed up as me.

It was a slow process, but somewhere along the way anxiety and depression greatly diminished my faith. I stopped believing things would get better. I stopped believing God had a plan or cared about my future. I watched the world change and move on without me, and with each passing month the “water” in my lungs rose a little higher.

I was drowning.

About the Author
Lauren Gaskill is an author, speaker and host of the She Found Joy podcast and She Found Joy Ladies Night Out events. After being diagnosed with an incurable connective tissue disorder, Lauren made it her life mission to encourage others to fight for faith and find joy — no matter what life’s circumstances might bring.Gaskill is a storyteller who believes stories are powerful and loves how God uses them for His good. She writes and speaks to motivate and inspire others to experience abundant life in Christ. She is particularly passionate about encouraging women to fight for faith and go deeper in their relationship with Jesus. Gaskill also writes and speaks about what it looks like to walk with Jesus through pain and suffering.

She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Find her online at LaurenGaskillInspires.com or on Facebook (lauren.gaskill.inspires), Twitter (lauren_inspires) and Instagram (lauren_inspires).  

 

 

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