Be Not Conformed
a Devotional by Sara Foust
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
~Romans 12:2 (KJV)
I discovered this verse for the first time a little over six years ago when I was going through an extremely difficult time in my marriage. It brought me such comfort at the time. I am a bit of an overthinker, and my mind was revolving over and over the problems I was facing. Worrying, wondering, wallowing on repeat. When I read this verse, it was clear to me that the only way to stop my mind from obsessively hyper-analyzing, overplanning, and causing severe stress was to submerge myself in the presence of God. That in order to find rest, renewal, and light again, I needed to discover God’s will for me and follow it, without question, with a full level of faith. I was able to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and repeat—rather than the worries and confusion—God is capable of renewing my mind, rerouting my thoughts, and reorganizing my concerns.
I rediscovered this verse in the last few months when I, again, decided to take up the burden of fixing all my problems myself regarding my marriage. God brought this verse to me in a random moment, I don’t even remember what I was doing at the time, but He encouraged me to focus on the calm serenity inside His will for me that always allows my mind to refresh and renew. It’s easy for me to plan, organize, and plan some more. What isn’t easy is to let go of control. I’ve been working on this (and when I say working, I mean working with sweat, tears, and the constant need to be acutely aware of my thoughts and behavior) for the last few weeks.
I’m practicing intentional relaxation techniques, the most important of which includes talking to God, telling Him my fears and worries, and then releasing them to Him and not magnifying them and revolving them over and over. It’s a practice I’m not very good at yet, but I can already see the benefits. I am sleeping better. I am waking better. I am spending my days in a more relaxed and less anxious state. After all, I trust Him completely to guide my steps and to take good care of my mind, body, and soul, so why should I create unnecessary stress? God’s got me, guiding me toward His good, acceptable, and perfect plan, giving me rest in body and mind, and renewing my faith day by day. For that, I am thankful.
A struggling marriage and a mission trip to the other side of the world. What will Julie’s future hold?
Julie Johnson's life as a mom and homemaker is richly blessed, but her marriage is struggling. Years of busyness, exhaustion, and hurt have taken their toll on her emotional and spiritual life, building impenetrable walls around her heart. When she feels God calling her to a mission trip on the other side of the world, Julie puts her faith in Him and leaves her family for ten long days. What she learns about herself, her marriage, and her faith will change her life forever.
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Sara is a multi-published, award-winning author and homeschooling mother of five who writes surrounded by the beauty of East Tennessee. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She is the author of the Love, Hope, and Faith Series, which includes Callum's Compass (2017), Camp Hope (2018), and Rarity Mountain (March 2019). She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit www.saralfoust.com.
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