I will confess, I have been watching Christmas movies already! And as I said in my last writing, over the next 6 weeks I will be taking us on a “Journey to Christmas”.

A journey that will reconnect you within, with God, and with joy, hope, peace, and love this season rather than chaos and overwhelm.

Yet I do not want to overshadow the importance of Remembrance Day. At Trinity we honoured those in our armed forces, current and past, on Sunday. We will pause again on Thursday as well

What I talked about on Sunday was fear. I can’t think of any greater fear than running headlong into battle with the enemy shooting at you.Every fibre of your body must be saying to turn around and go the other way. Yet these brave men and women, who fight for our freedoms, press on.

Fear is one of a number of primary emotions we may feel. When we experience an emotion, unconsciously our limbic system creates a feeling or sensation.

This may be a feeling of “butterflies”, an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and blood flows to the extremities so you can run if you need to. This is part of the fight, flight, or freeze reaction.

The mind then creates thoughts in relation to this. Perhaps, “I’ve got this!” Or “Yikes, run!”

Our thoughts and beliefs I believe are the cornerstone of our ability to stay grounded, present, and experience inner harmony.

God has given us the mechanism, we just need to remember to be aware, connected, and awake rather than on auto pilot.

A few weeks ago, I shared the turnaround phrase. This is a phrase that you use to turn around your thoughts and acknowledge feelings and emotions.

Whenever I experience worry or fear I use this turnaround phrase from 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.” (NKJV)

This is a crucial piece of our journey. As we journey to Christmas fears may arise, but also sadness, anxiety, or worry.

If you have techniques to gain awareness, connect to the emotion, feeling, and thought, identify it or “name it to tame it”, and remind yourself of God’s love and plans for you, you can reset in the moment.

God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper, not to harm you, to give you hope and a life.” (NIV) Remind yourself of this in the moment of fear and worry and know that all things are possible with God.

There are not really negative or positive emotions. Emotions and feelings are God’s GPS to let you know something has happened. Something has shifted and we need to take care of it or make a change.

Find a phrase that works for you in times of worry and remember God is near. With the APB of inner harmony, the turnaround phrase, and the awareness of the presence of God you will feel more grounded, present, and hopeful as we embark on this journey.

This is the first of 6 steps I will share with you as we journey together with unwavering prayers for unshakeable hope.

Today on this day of Remembrance, let us pause to remember those who have protected and stood for our freedoms. Those who faced fear without hesitation to protect us. Selah – let us pause today and reflect upon their courage.

Until next time my friends remember every breath you take is a breath of God and a shared one with All my Relations United as One.