F.r.e.e eBook: De-Stress Your Life

By Gaylyn Williams, , , , , , , , , , , With 0 comments

F.r.e.e eBook: De-Stress Your Life


This is excerpted fromDe-Stress Your Life. If you would like a copy of the full eBook at no cost, click the link above.


I’m (Gaylyn) jolted out of a deep sleep as another bomb explodes—this one closer than the rest. Trembling, I whisper, “Wow. That was really close. … I wonder what blew up this time.

Half an hour later, I am still trying to get back to sleep. Suddenly a gunshot pierces the air within a block of our apartment in Guatemala City. I wonder if we’re safe. Shifting my position, I pray for our safety.

Tonight is no different from many nights in the past few months. Still, every time a bomb explodes or gunshots blast, I shudder. The guerillas are angry because their candidate didn’t become president.

I realized I had a choice about how much I would let stress     affect me.

The next morning, dark clouds hang ominously outside our window. At breakfast, my husband and I discuss what we should do. We believed God called us to serve Him here in Central America. Had we misunderstood? Are we supposed to leave? Our work isn’t finished and we don’t want to flee this beautiful country. But is it safe to stay?


The next day we receive news that Chet Bitterman, a missionary friend in Colombia, South America, had been murdered. Forty-eight days earlier, he was captured and held by terrorists. I remember Chet’s amazing love for the Lord during our training with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Dallas, Texas a few years before.

We grieve Chet’s death and agonize for his wife and two little girls. Eventually I had to ask, “What if something like that happens to us?”

We arrived in Guatemala in 1979, two years earlier, eager to learn the spoken language of a remote Mayan people group. Our desire was to create a written version of their beautiful language so one day they could read God’s Word in their own tongue. I knew this kind of life wouldn’t be easy, but I never thought we’d fear for our lives.

The day we learned of Chet’s death, I realized I had a choice about how much I would let the stress of that situation affect me. I could become obsessed with the bombs and the danger, or I could focus on God. Focused on the problems around us, I would have packed my bags. Instead, I made the choice to trust God and stay in that war-torn country—even knowing the next bomb might hit our little apartment.

Stress is a normal part of life. I could have been overwhelmed by stress, if I had focused on the gravity of our situation or on all the “what ifs”: What if I’m captured by terrorists? What if either of us gets shot? What if a stray bomb hits us? Do you see how this type of thinking could make a stressful situation worse?

When problems strike, what do you do? If you’re like me, it’s easy to only see the pain and difficulties. Although I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes pain and difficulties are very real and very present, making them rather difficult to overlook! And yet, when we focus on our problems we can find ourselves blinded to opportunities and blessings, which are also very real and very present, even if they seem eclipsed at the moment.

Blessings on you as you get to know God better,

Gaylyn Williams, author of The Surprising Joy of Exploring God’s Heart: A Daily Adventure with 365 of His Names  and All Stressed Up and Everywhere to Go, Solutions to De-Stressing Your Life, Recover Your Sanity


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