On the eve of the Special General Conference, many of us are feeling anxiety and stress at a variety of levels; lay, clergy, congregations, persons, and our Connection itself. We know that some type of change is going to happen. We are not sure how this change is going to affect us; personally and connectionally. In the midst of this uncertain time, we as the Body of Christ and as persons are suffering within our relational, emotional, spiritual, and physical dimensions. How can we healthfully deal with our stress and anxiety through General Conference and beyond?
Most importantly trust God: "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope." (Jer. 29:11)
Let the Holy Spirit work within, among and through us: When we get out of the way of God, something amazing can happen, something that we may not have conceived or thought of.
Have a willingness to listen respectfully to the Other: When we truly listen to one another’s perspective, pain and hopes; that person often feels cared for and is willing to listen to us, as well.
Pray for each other: Let God’s love surround all of us and this situation. God often works in spite of our plans and designs.
Practice good self-care: Get enough sleep. Eat healthfully and regularly. Do daily intentional physical activity. Daily connect with God through prayer and/or devotions. Breathe deeply and soulfully. Connect and process with supportive persons.
Remember that you can only work on changing yourself. Each person needs to process what they can and can’t accept. God is the one who changes hearts and perspectives.
Serenity Prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference; living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. — Reinhold Neibuhr