Stress Fractures

As a Christian leadership and business coach, I work with some pretty stressed out individuals. On Monday mornings, I prepare for my clients in a worship walk. I-pod blaring and coffee coursing through me, I am awake, alert and receptive to whatever comes my way. Usually by about 8:30 Monday morning, shortly after I start into my first session, the first rant comes full blast. It’s like they’ve bottled it up all weekend just for their coach. I pray at the start and end of each session, and it’s the assuredness that the Lord has the session in His hands that allows me to hold my client completely objectively. Without fail, by the end of our call, transformation occurs. One person at a time, one session at a time, by the power of the Holy Spirit combined with a well-practiced servant and a client willing to grow.

The way out

Stress can cause us to operate, not out of our strengths, but out of our weaknesses. Stress causes us to say desperate things and make wrong decisions. Think of the overworked executive grabbing fast food for lunch, or how about the harried mom bugling at the kids while trying to manage the home, desperate to remember whom she once was. Maybe it’s the ministry leader, leading out of deficit rather than overflow. So many external variables can keep us perma-stressed. Stress can crush us. Just like lifting heavy weights can cause stress fractures on weak bones, the weight of too much stress can have its ill effects spiritually. But, there is a way out every time. His name is Jesus. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

Real life balance

If you are like me, even hearing the word stress is a trigger of stress. Today, determine another mode of thought. In coaching we call this changing your state. Quite literally, emotional control and maturity stem from the ability to reframe and choose our attitudes. What if instead of stress, we chose balance? That question begs the question: what does real life balance look like? Imagine a life centered on God — one fully focused on and present with the One who saves. What if you could let go of how you control any given situation and truly give God your heaviest burdens? At any given moment you can look to Christ to give you the mindset of finishing well and trusting in Him at all times, regardless of circumstances.

God in the center

Yes, life gets crazy and can be tough. Summer was busy, hectic for the parents, and fall seems even more so. But we can choose our attitude no matter what we are walking through. Warfare is real, but we have a prescription from the great physician in the gospel of Matthew: Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things — our health, our finances, the well being of our kids, our relationships, our career or any other life care — will be given to us, handled by God himself. We just need to stay centered on Him, devoted to Him and focused on His path in His pace. Not too far ahead or lagging behind, but day by day, receive our daily bread.
Be healed. Be yielded. Be balanced.

Dr. Anne Arvizu is CEO of Christian Coaching International, Inc. and founder of The CCI Coach Institute. CCI equips leaders wanting to integrate the skills of professional coaching into their own lives for personal development, as well as gaining the certification they need to help others. Visit www.GodCoach.com.

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