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Stones of Remembrance...

 How remembering God's faithfulness alleviates anxiety.

We could learn a thing or two from the story of Joshua when he told the Israelites to pick up stones of remembrance from the Jordan River.  These stones were to represent to generations to come God's faithfulness in drying up the Jordan so that the Israelites could cross over...

“Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests' feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ ...  And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”


Joshua 4:2-9; 20-24

I am not suggesting that we pick up actual physical stones.  That's not to say we in our sinful state many times need something right in front of our noses to have an impact, but what I am saying is that there are ways that we can "pick up" memories that remind us of God's faithfulness.

I believe the key to alleviating anxiety is to remember God's past faithfulness...  I will showcase this by taking a page out of my own chapter...

This week was the type I dread...  A week filled with appointments, two of which I was very apprehensive about - a dentist appointment to find out the fate of my abscessed tooth and an echocardiogram to determine if my heart was showing signs of sustained high blood pressure.

But as the Lord ALWAYS does, He ministered to me through my devotions, Scripture and the blog posts I read.  It seemed as though every blogger was writing about fear and anxiety this week which spoke to the "season of fear" I find myself in...

I was most struck when reading a First 5 devotion written by Wendy Blight.  In it she was expanding upon Genesis 31:13 which says, "I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me.  Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land."  God had spoken this to Jacob when He saw Laban, his father-in-law, mistreating him.  God intervened, meeting Jacob in a dream and telling him it was time to return home.  Wendy went on to say that God identified Himself as the "God of Bethel" to remind Jacob of the last time He had spoken to him in a dream where He promised Jacob that He would give him the land on which he was lying and also promised not to leave him until He had done what He promised.

Wendy encouraged her readers to remember where they last met God and found Him faithful when they experience times in the valley.

I took Wendy's encouragement to heart and started to recount all the ways the Lord had shown Himself faithful to me...


I started to place my stones of remembrance down one by one in my minds eye, recounting each and every time the Lord rescued me, heard me, saw me, healed me, sustained me, provided for me, comforted me, and filled me with peace...

Stone of Remembrance - God Rescued me...


The Lord rescued me from dying in my sins, and He daily rescues me when temptation presents itself and He whispers, this is the way, walk in it...

Stone of Remembrance - God Heard me...


The countless prayers I have prayed from the biggest to the smallest, seeing God's activity, sometimes subtly and sometimes in incredibly profound ways, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that He has heard my prayer

Stone of Remembrance - God Saw me...


In those situations where I have felt unappreciated or unloved,  He raises up an encourager to minister to me, whether it be a person or through a blog post or Scripture verse, reminding me that God sees me and I am Wholly Loved.

Stone of Remembrance - God Healed me...


From a mystery illness that lasted six weeks, leaving me weak and dizzy; from a thyroid nodule that presented itself as malignant, but ended up being benign; from panic attacks; from debilitating anxiety; from an EKG that appeared to show a serious T-Wave abnormality, but ended up being a non-specific, benign issue caused by the tilt of my heart; from serious asthma attacks; from a tailbone injury that made it impossible for me to sit for years, yet now I'm comfortably able to do so; from Meniere's disease and benign positional vertigo

Stone of Remembrance - God Sustained me...


During a stress test, two MRIs, a root canal, a tooth extraction, colonoscopy prep, a colonoscopy and while in the hospital receiving news that my husband had suffered a carotid dissection and had had a stroke

Stone of Remembrance - God Provided for me...


Money and a job when we were down to our last pennies; money for my husband's five years of seminary, owing nothing upon completion of his degree studies; a part-time job with the absolute perfect hours; courage to speak in front of a large group of people; an inexpensive car for my husband; courage to move forward in situations that made me anxious; words for my blog posts.

Stone of Remembrance - God Comforted me...


While I lay sick those six weeks, dizzy and weak; when my daughter left our home for the first time to move cross-country to California to live with her husband; in the days after my husband's stroke; during times when family members were in crisis; when a neighbor's 24-year-old son, a boy that grew up in my home,  died suddenly

Stone of Remembrance - God Filled me with peace...


When concerned about situations involving either of my children; when my husband was in the hospital after the carotid dissection; times when I was feeling extremely anxious when going for a medical test or a doctor's appointment...

...And just today, I was getting stressed about my stress echocardiogram scheduled at 3 p.m.  I had asked people to pray for me and my appointment.   While in the waiting room, I suddenly felt such a peace wash over me, total relaxation filled my body.  I thought to myself, surely someone just prayed for me...

The Lord blessed my appointment with a normal blood pressure AND a heart that indeed shows all that I have is white coat syndrome - heart and arteries showing no sign of sustained high blood pressure. Praise God!

After the appointment I thought, if only I had sought to meet God where He had already shown Himself to be faithful I would have saved myself the anxiety...

When I go for my tooth consult in a few weeks to prepare for a tooth extraction and implant, I will re-visit the stone of remembrance where He sustained me the last time I had a tooth pulled...  And my faith will be strengthened and my courage renewed.

The stones of remembrance I have listed are but a few of the many stones I could lay down to commemorate all that the Lord has done for me.

 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. 
Remember His wonders which He has done...  
Psalm 105:4-5

I waited patiently for God to help me; then He listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things He did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in Him. 
Psalm 40:1-3

For related posts on overcoming anxiety, please check out the following links:





Let us all lay down our stones of remembrance - pillars for our own walk of faith, and a sign to encourage the faith of those around us...

How remembering God's faithfulness alleviates anxiety




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Comments

  1. Karen,

    Thank you for sharing your stones of remembrance...God has indeed been faithful to you and your husband...Loved reading how you felt peace wash over you...whenever I take the time to do this, it reminds me of God's past faithfulness and how He won't stop being faithful today...and I need those reminders regularly :-) Blessings to you.

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    1. Dolly, You are welcome. Indeed He has. :-)

      Thank you for sharing your heart as well.

      Blessings to you too. :-)

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  2. What an encouraging post! Thank you for sharing from your heart. It is the heartfelt posts that really minister. I just read about Jacob this weekend.
    Blessings,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. Laura, Thank you. :-)

      I love how the Lord ties together His lessons in all that we read or hear.

      Again, thank you for your kind words. :-)

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  3. How often we forget those 'stones of remembrance!' Thank you for sharing some of your stones and for the encouragement to remember God's faithfulness when we're stressed out. Excellent advice!

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    1. I know! I oftentimes feel like the Israelites forgetting that God has fed me manna!

      Thanks for your kind words! :-)

      So glad you visited.

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  4. Beautiful post, Karen. I think remembrance stones are part of that power in our words that we speak over our situations! I have even prayed and commanded my blood pressure to come back to normal in Jesus' Name, and seen Him do that! I believe that Jesus has given us authority to "speak" to our symptoms, to your tooth (I've had horrific root canals, so can imagine) etc and tell them to get in line with his word that we are healed by Jesus' stripes. Heard someone teach the other day that the govt named 39 categories for all diseases recently. The wonder is that Jesus took 39 stripes for us. Blessings to you in peace upon you. Love that you felt that prayer today too! God is with you!

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    1. Pam, Thank you. :-)

      Thank you for sharing your heart and insights on Jesus precious healing to us through His stripes.

      I always enjoy your visits! :-)

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  5. Your post resonated with as I sit here recovery from a sinus life & implant:) The verse which has been my strength has been > "So be strong & courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will PERSONALLY go ahead of you.He will neither fail you nor abandon you." (Deut. 31:6, NLT) He is already waiting for you in the dentist chair :) Blessings!

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    1. Joanne, Oh my! I guess it did!

      The verse you shared here is my life verse!! Those Words have given me courage in so many instances.

      But I ALWAYS need reminders. Thank you for reminding me that indeed He is already in the dentist chair. :-)

      Hope your recovery went well and you are feeling good.

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  6. This is such a wonderful post. When I turn to the Lord in times of distress, He often reminds me of times He has been faithful to me before. He's always taken care of me before, why would He stop now? I can trust him.
    I especially resonated with your reflections on when God 'saw you'. This was such an encouragement, thank you.

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    1. Kelsley, Thank you. The Lord certainly provides the material. :-)

      Thank you so much for sharing your own heart on God's faithfulness to you.

      You have encouraged me as well. :-)

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing this detailed list of what God has done for you. We would all surely have a tall stack of remembrance stones if we took the time to list them. God is good!

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    1. Constance, Praising God for His great faithfulness.

      Indeed, all His children do. :-)

      Amen!

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  8. I have learned that the stones of remembrance exercise is so helpful (Although we didn't call it that-- we called it spiritual mapping-- but I like your title much better!) It helps us to remember what He has already done and gives us courage and strengthens our faith to stand on what He will do! Definitely helped in my walk of anxiety and worry. Thanks for sharing this, Karen-- and praise God for good heart test reports (both physically and spiritually :-) #SeeWhatIDidThere?

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    1. Sharita, When my husband attended seminary, they put together "spiritual maps". It was so fascinating to look back and see how the Lord was drawing us to Himself long before we even realized His activity to that end.

      Thank you for sharing the testimony of your spiritual map.

      And yes, I did see what you did there! :-) Love it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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