Friday, April 3, 2020

Strength for Today, Bright Hope for Tomorrow ~ Guest Post by Karen Del Tatto

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
Philippians 4:6

Little did I know, when I penned March’s blog posts around the theme of Faith, that they would resonate so much with not only my readers, but especially me. 

And not only that, quite randomly, (but nothing is random in God’s economy), a little over a month ago, I decided to write a devotional.  I felt the Lord had given me the title and so I wrote.  But now I see how providential it all was.

The title of my devotional is Choosing to Trust God Breaking the Habit of Worry.  Much of what I shared in the book are lessons that the Lord has taught me and is teaching me.

You see, for those of you who don’t know me, I have struggled with worry and anxiety my whole life.  In fact, this time last year, I was in a debilitating season of anxiety.  I’ve thought to myself, had this pandemic happened this time last year, I don’t think I would’ve survived mentally. 
But here I am, a year later and a year stronger.  The Lord brought me out of that season of anxiety some time over the summer, and as the months went on, I could feel myself getting stronger and happier with each passing month. 

Which brings us to the beginning of March when the pandemic officially reared its ugly head in the United States, and I can honestly say that my anxiety has not really surfaced.  It’s strange to me really.  
In the past, just having a blizzard where I knew we couldn’t get out of the house or get to a store would send me into extreme anxiety.  Not to mention all the years I have worried about one health issue or another to the point that I’ve effected myself physically from the anxiety. 
Then there is the very real threat of this pandemic as I am on the cusp of the age group more acutely affected by this virus.  On top of that, I have asthma, complicated by the fact that I have a blocked tear duct which causes me to have my hand near my face often, and my husband still has to work. 

Yet I am still supernaturally calm.

The funny thing is, I have heard others who typically suffer with anxiety expressing the same phenomenon.  In fact, I saw the following post on Facebook that articulates this.  “I’ve noticed that the people I know with anxiety disorders (self included) seem to be much calmer than the general population concerning the Coronavirus.  Guess all these years of dealing with imaginary worst-case scenarios has actually made us more capable of dealing with real threats when they come.” 

Could be, but I know without a shadow of a doubt for me that it is the Lord who has redeemed my anxiety which has strengthened me for this unimaginable pandemic.  

I would like to clarify though, I may not be feeling anxious, BUT I am feeling stressed.  You might say, what’s the difference?  For me there is a difference, as stress manifests itself in a short temper, loss of patience, frustration, and anger.  My poor husband is getting so tired of me saying, “Did you wash your hands?”  “Did you disinfect the door knobs?”  “Did you wipe down the inside of your car?”  Yet, weirdly, my questions don’t have anxiety behind them, at least not the kind of anxiety that I am used to, but more just concern control.   I’m trying to control that which is so out of my control. 

But what I can control is my attitude and my days.  I have found that structure is key for me.  Doing that which is familiar and normal has made a WORLD of difference in my stress level.  I have set my mind to ministry work and during those hours of work, I don’t even think about what is going on in the world outside.  It doesn’t even enter my mind. 

During social distancing, I plan on working on this summer’s blog posts to keep me busy.  (Summer Karen will be very happy!)  I also hear that several universities are offering free college courses.  I’m going to look into that. It would be nice to learn something during this time of quarantine. 

One of the hardest things for me right now is missing being with my daughter and grandchildren. The littlest one is almost 16 months old,and they grow so fast at this age!  It’s not as easy to FaceTime as my grandchildren are busy, busy, busy.  lol. 

If I could give any advice that is greatly helping me, it is to just take this one day at a time.  Don’t think about how long this will last because you will become overwhelmed. 

I have also limited my news intake.  I read the highlights from our Governor’s press conference each day, and that’s it.   

Thankfully, those people I follow on social media are very positive in their posts and are just keeping normal content. But I also very much appreciate when they admit they are struggling.  There really is a comfort knowing we are all in this together and share the same emotions. 

I would like to encourage you that even if you are suffering with worry and anxiety, it’s okay, and it is absolutely normal!  But know that God will redeem this season of anxiety you are in, and I promise, you will come out stronger than ever.  I may have had years of “training” lol, but it is the same principle. God is in the business of redeeming EVERYTHING that touches our lives. 

Our God offers incredible hope, especially in the midst of a pandemic. 
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15:13 

"Your way, O God, is holy; What God is great like our God?  You are the god who works wonders;  
You have made known Your strength among the peoples."
Psalm 77:13-14.  

During these unsettling times, let us remember that everything is settled with God. He has ordained these circumstances and will show His wonders in seen and unseen ways for His glory. And He will show His strength in and through His people. Indeed our God is great! 

Bio: Karen is currently working on expanding her Christian Blog, Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge, with a focus on providing Biblical insights to encourage and equip women to grow in and through their struggles. Her husband, Michael, is the Associate Pastor at their home church where Karen also serves as the Women's Ministry Leader. They enjoy taking nature walks and when the weather permits, going fresh water fishing. In the winter, you will find them looking for the resident snowy owl that makes its return every year or enjoying local museums and mansions.
You can connect with Karen on Facebook and Pinterest.

I hope you take the time to visit Karen's Blog, where you will find much spiritual depth, edification, and Godly wisdom, and be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Karen by clicking HERE!  If you would like to order Karen's brand new book, you can do so by clicking these links:
Paperbook Version

Great is Thy Faithfulness ~ One Sonic Society & Mike Weaver

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TWO MORE THINGS I'D LIKE TO SHARE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1.  If you would like to read Kevin & Cheryl's Infertility Story of Faith, published earlier this week at Karen's blog, please click HERE!

2.  I have recently started hosting online Bible studies with some precious friends in Christ.  I would absolutely love to have you join in with us!  The next study, called "Breaking Anxiety's Grip" by Michelle Bengston, will begin in four days on April 7th.  This is an amazing way to study God's Word daily AT YOUR OWN PACE and convenience.  You can do it whatever time of day you'd like, and if you get behind and/or miss a day or more, you can just pick back up when you are able.  No pressure, no worries, and it is FREE!  One of my favorite parts of each study is to read the comments at the end that are left by other participants.  It is just a precious way to fellowship online and get to share your heart with fellow believers.  If you would like to join us for our next study, please click HERE, then click "Accept Invitation" near the bottom of the screen you are directed to.  Even though it starts on April 7th, you can go ahead and join now, so you'll be all set to start reading on the 7th.  I don't know about you, but I need all the encouragement I can get right now, and I so want to learn more about conquering anxiety.  Karen is joining me, too, and I so hope you will do the same!

Oh, by the way, we conducted an interview with Michelle Bengston, the author of this upcoming study several months ago.  Maybe you would like to check it out —just click HERE!

Keep encouraged, dear ones!
God is with us.  His faithfulness is GREAT, and His mercies are new every morning.  Because He lives, we can face tomorrow, today, and all other days!  The Captain of our salvation goes before us, winnows our path, and He will see us through.
Stay strong.
This too shall pass, and Heaven will be worth everything we go through in this life!
The best is yet to come.


  1. Wonderful post and I can relate to so much of it as a person who has always suffered with anxiety and worry. I have not been overly anxious over all of this happening in the world. This, with my son and future daughter in love, living in London and Tokyo, and our daughter being a nurse in a hotspot. I could easily go over to the "dark side" with worry. But God has given me peace in the midst of this storm. Dennis goes to work every day and I worry about what he's exposed to and bringing home. I disinfect everything when he walks in the door. But...most of my day is spent in Bible reading and prayer. And I have peace.
    May God continue to bless you through these strange times we're living in.

    1. I can surely relate to the anxiety and worry, too, Betsy. So thankful to know we are not alone and can pray for one another in these trying times. May the Lord bless and keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe, continually, sweet friend.

    2. Hi Betsy, Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Thank you so much for sharing how the Lord has been covering you with His peace in the midst of these strange times.

      Blessings to you too!

  2. Kare, this post hit home regarding anxiety because when this whole COVID-19 hit I was going through an issue with a family member. I couldn't figure out which caused me more anxiety, my family member or the virus. I'm calmer now due to encouraging texts and phone calls and the Word of God. And you are so right about the news! We don't have regular tv but there are those pesky news articles online that I keep clicking on. And Karen you are right about not thinking about when the pandemic will end. It does overwhelm. My little ladies Bible study finished the Sermon on the Mount and I remember Jesus words about not worrying about tomorrow. Such encouraging words from our Savior. Thank you Karen and thank you Cheryl!

    1. I am so thankful for the peace God has given you in these troubled times, Regina. May the Lord continue to fill you with the comfort you need. Thank you so much for your visit and kind words.

    2. Regina, Thank you for sharing your own story here and how the Lord is ministering to you in the midst of it all.

      You are very welcome! Blessings,

  3. Thank you so much Karen for this post. I have suffered from anxiety and worry, mostly over things I could not control. Yes God will redeem this time. Dear Cheryl, thank you for sharing. Wishing you all a blessed Palm Sunday.

    1. Me, too, Pam. So much of my anxiety and worry has proven to be so unnecessary, and I have wasted so many precious moments allowing fear to take over. It is good to know we are not alone in our battles, isn't it? Thank you so much for reading and for your encouragement on this beautiful Palm Sunday! Many blessings to you!

    2. Hi Pam, You are very welcome! I think that is a common struggle for many of us. Thank you for sharing.


  4. So awesome that you're in a season of calm when the rest of the world is experiencing what you've been delivered from.

    When we see or sense calm in others, they become the leaders as the spines and minds of others get strengthened. God always has a plan and this didn't catch Him off guard.
    Wise words and ones that are playing through my mind these days; the partial words of Jesus' prayer; "Give us THIS day, our daily bread..."

    1. So true, Floyd! I always appreciate your words of wisdom and perspective. May the Lord bless you and keep you and your family safe and healthy in these troubled times.

    2. Hi Floyd! Yes, indeed it is! All Glory to God! :-) Thanks so much for sharing that! Amen!


  5. Such a beautiful post you shared Karen, and how amazing that the Lord directed you to write a devotional just before this virus really began to affect our world! Isn't it wonderful to know that He so carefully takes care of each of us, and provides for all of our needs!

    Blessings to you Cheryl for this series. I enjoy listening to the music you share too, and I love reading the comments of others. Our Lord has all things in His hands, and I find great comfort in knowing that my life is in His hands! Much love to you sweet friend!

    1. I just love reading all the comments, too, sweet friend. And the guest posts are a steady source of such dear encouragement in these troubled times. Much love and gratitude to you for your precious words - they bless me so much. I am so thankful you enjoy the music, too!

    2. Hi Marilyn, Thank you so much!

      Indeed and Amen!


  6. A wonderful post Karen thank you.. heartfelt. Yes, trult "the name of the Lord is our stronghold in the day of trouble, the righteous runneth to it, and is safe." Praise His name.
    Love what you've shared.. a testimony of growth in our Lord.
    Thanks Cheryl too for hosting this..all takes work.
    Sorry for late visit! 😊
    Thanks for sharing, and may God bless you and all you love, and keep you well in uncertain times. In God we trust.
    Hugs, Shaz in Oz.x

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

    1. Thank you for your visit and kind words, Shaz. Yes, in God we put our trust, and we will not fear! He is ever with us, dear sis.

    2. Shaz, Thank you for your kind words. You are welcome!