Sunday, August 1, 2021

Sharing Our Stories: Perspective

This Hour’s Perspective
A guest post written by Stephanie Bankhead

Violence, disunity and death pervade the hour we are in. When this hour is over, what do I want to be able to say my posture was? When I look back in 10 years from now, 20 years — or even when I’m gone from here and living in the next life looking back — what do I want to be able to say about how I handled myself?

If the past eighteen months was the final answer, I would have to say that I was anxious and distracted. I allowed the madness of the world be the loudest voice in my heart and mind. But I do not want that to be my story.

One of the most eye-opening situations has been my inability to keep my focus on the Lord. Prior to March 2020, I would have told you that my relationship with God was deep, full and meaningful. I would have told you that I trusted God and followed closely to Jesus and His teaching. Along came 2020.

Fear became the dominant emotion and anxiety followed closely as well. I was surprised at how I was reacting to the situation. The old me would have said I wanted a “do-over,” but NO WAY do I want to experience any of this all over again.

Over a year later, my faith still feels terribly shallow. My thoughts are scattered. I can’t seem to go more than 15 minutes without getting on Facebook or checking my news app. Why? In complete candor, I really don’t know. Speculation swirls in my mind. The unknown is scary. Remember the old saying, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know?” Maybe that is my underlying reason. Do I think that if I know all the facts that I won’t be as scared? If that’s the case, it’s not true. The facts scare me.

So where is God in all this? My relationship with Him feels like a miles long river that is only a few inches deep.


My heart’s desire is to be deeper with God. To know and love Him with all my heart. To be sold out for Jesus and His way. In a recent Bible study, it was mentioned that during first century Israel the disciple of a rabbi would be expected to follow the rabbi everywhere he went. The idea was to follow so closely the dust from the rabbi’s shoes would get all over the disciple.

That is exactly how I want my life to be defined, by the dust of Jesus’ shoes. How does that happen?

First of all, the noise has to be stopped. I have taken breaks from social media, and certainly from the news. That has helped. I’m also making exercise and sleep a priority. I found an app that reads bedtime stories to me while I drift off to sleep. And I’m keeping this one verse at the forefront of my mind.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”— Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

There’s my answer. This Bible verse (
Matthew 6:33) unequivocally answers my questions.

Seek God first and above everything else. Trust God to handle the rest.

Author Bio:
Stephanie Bankhead is a Bible teacher, mentor and author of several Bible studies. She has worked at a local church as the Women’s Ministry Leader since 2013. 

In 2018, she became an ordained Teaching Pastor. Before that, she worked as the director of a very successful youth volleyball club.

What both of these experiences taught her is that women are still little girls inside. Deep down we are all still asking the same questions, “Am I capable? Am I attractive? Am I enough?”

Stephanie delivers sermons and speaks at women’s events on a multitude of topics. Her favorite topic is teaching people what the Bible says about their own identity in God.

Stephanie lives in Amarillo, Texas with her husband of 32 years. They have a rescue pup who barks too much, and a bird abandoned when her two grown children flew the nest. Her four grandchildren are the apples of her eye.

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