Run to God

Few writers are born with the natural gift of storytelling. Many of us have toiled for years to learn the art and science of the writing craft. I don’t think that was the case for my writing friend, Mrs. Annie Yorty. Her infectious smile, ebullient personality, and adventurous spirit clearly shows through the words she pens. As the years have passed, her passion and zeal for life has been tempered by God’s amazing grace. Her writing provides a mix of wisdom and encouragement that empowers others to seek a closer relationship with God. I’m so honored to host her guest post here on Around the Cross Dubya this week.

Enjoy Ms. Annie’s post, I have.

God’s blessings,


Run to God

My furry beast sits with ears perked and eyes searching. He’s just tall enough to peer over the sill of the picture window in our living room. A siren in the distance sends Misha into a paroxysm of barking. He circles and dances at the window, staring down the perceived menace. The delivery truck barreling down the street has the same effect. A dog walking past poses the biggest threat of all.

When J.D. asked me to be a guest on Around the Cross-Dubya, I wondered what I might write that stays true to his theme of ranching. While we’re short on ranches in Pennsylvania, we have plenty of dairy farms. But I’m not a farm girl. Then a squirrel intruding in my yard sent my crazy labradoodle into his usual frenzy. I decided Misha might serve as a good northeastern substitute for J.D.’s cows.

Misha, all standard poodle with no sign of his lab heritage, prances in circles with his head swiveling to watch the cheeky offender searching for nuts among the daffodil bulbs. I call his name from the other side of the room. He briefly acknowledges my voice with a quick glance. Another call, and he bounds to my side, still yelping and whining.

Isolation during the Covid quarantine turned Misha into an anxious dog. I imagine we all feel anxiety at times. Sometimes fear has a rational basis. Other times, like Misha, silly notions set us off.

Fear of the Unknown

The unknown often triggers fear. God wove a wide swath of the unknown into my life many years ago. I woke up on the day of my daughter’s birth with an expectation of an uneventful delivery resulting in a healthy baby.

That day turned out radically different. My life changed the instant I learned my baby had Down syndrome. Mountains of unknowns loomed large and threatening. No one could hear, but inside, anxiety whined and barked like Misha at the steep, jagged peaks.

When Misha runs to my side, I reach out and stroke his wooly curls with my hand. He struggles to fix his eyes on me. His ears twitch and his eyes shift back and forth between the window and my face.

Have you ever felt like Misha? Wanting to trust your Father in heaven but unable to tear your eyes from the source of your fear? #Faith #Fear Click To Tweet

Learning to trust God with the unknown of Down syndrome didn’t come naturally to me. So often I circled round and round, relying on my own understanding instead of running straight to Father. Sometimes I listened to other voices instead of God’s Spirit within me.

God patiently works through my role as mother to train my heart to run to His side and trust Him. My book, From Ignorance to Bliss: God’s Heart Revealed through Down Syndrome, tells how God used the unexpected and unknown to transform my heart.

Just as I call to Misha when he’s overwhelmed by anxiety, so God calls to you.

Four Tips to Hear God’s Voice

In his second book, Apostle Peter reminds us to remember the basics of the faith. Let’s never neglect these four foundational practices that penetrate our fear with God’s voice.

  1. Study God’s Word.

The Bible is God’s word—His voice—speaking to us. When we read and study His Word, His voice becomes familiar.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV)

  1. Meditate on God’s Word.

Spend time deeply thinking about the characteristics of God, Jesus, and the Spirit found in the Bible. Choose a verse each morning to dwell on throughout daily activities.

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15, ESV)

  1. Pray to God.

God already knows your fears, even when you tuck them into the deepest recesses of your heart. Prayer, however, transforms your own mind and heart. As you pray, your perspective of God grows bigger and more accurate, so your faith in Him increases.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4, ESV)

  1. Receive encouragement from a godly friend.

God designed us to grow and thrive within human relationships. When fear of the unknown throws you into a tizzy, seek out a godly friend who will encourage you to trust God.

The sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. (Proverbs 27:9b, ESV)

Trust in God for Your Unknowns

After more than three decades of mothering my child with Down syndrome, I thank God for every unknown that sent me running to Him. In His presence, I found compassion, comfort, reassurance, guidance, encouragement, and much more.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2, ESV)

Will you attend to God’s voice and run to His side in your fear-filled unknowns?


Book Links:

From Ignorance to Bliss: God’s Heart Revealed through Down Syndrome touched me in ways I could never imagine before opening it up. Having volunteered with Special Olympics for several years in Florida, serving in roles from cheerleader to coach, I was blessed to work with and learn from some of the greatest young people God has placed on this earth. I’m certain that Miss Alyssa Yorty, Annie’s beautiful daughter is among them. At my adoption in my teens, my new little brother, 6.5-foot tall Paul, taught me life lessons firsthand. In him, I learned the true meaning of words like faith, love, perseverance, determination, and overcome. As I read this book, I saw those same lessons being taught as only God can. I can’t recommend this book enough. Please consider using the links below to obtain your copy of this soul-satisfying book.

On Amazon: From Ignorance to Bliss: God’s Heart Revealed through Down Syndrome

On Barnes & Noble: From Ignorance to Bliss: God’s Heart Revealed through Down Syndrome by Annie Yorty, Alyssa Yorty, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (

When life comes at you sideways, you learn firsthand how God uses the unexpected to grow and change us the most. #FromIgnoranceToBliss Click To Tweet

About Annie

Annie Yorty, wife, mother, writer, and speaker has a deep desire to extend hope and encouragement to those living through difficult situations. God has gifted her with a variety of twists and turns in life where she’s had no choice but to fully rely on His person, presence, provision, and purpose. Centered and dependent on her heavenly Advocate, Annie Yorty finds daily purpose and passion by advocating for God and others as His ambassador.

The task of advocacy was thrust upon Annie with the birth of her first child, who has Down syndrome. In it, she finds joy in helping others discover their true needs and find sources of support and hope. She applies this calling to many interests including parenting, disability support, global missions, homeschooling, Bible teaching, Multiple Sclerosis awareness, and mentoring.

As an author and speaker, Annie has taught and inspired audiences across four continents from Argentina to Siberia.

A lifelong learner, Annie regularly seeks new and eclectic challenges. She gravitates toward anything crafty or creative. Sporadically, she works at learning to play the piano and ukulele. Always open to travel adventure, Annie helps organize mission teams that share God’s love around the world. She wishes she had more time to read, crochet, and practice Russian. Her furry beast (aka labradoodle) would like her to spend more time teaching him new tricks.

Annie lives in Pennsylvania with her high school sweetheart/Air Force veteran husband, Jeff. They have two grown children and one still in process. (Isn’t everyone, really?) Amidst the fun, challenges, and chaos, Annie encourages others to look upward with her and perceive God.


72 thoughts on “Run to God”

  1. Thank you, Annie, for your encouraging post. I can identify as a caregiver for my mother, who has dementia at the age of 101. It’s been a rocky road from denial to anger to exhaustion, but I have finally crossed into acceptance, understanding, and unconditional love. It’s been a struggle, but I am now comfortable with my role as a mother to my mom. It’s a joy to talk and sing with her every day and to watch how God ministers to her through the simple things of life. I’m grateful for how He has stretched me and uses me to bring love and dignity to this woman who has always taken such good care of me. I am so blessed to still have my dear mother in my life.

    1. As both a caregiver for my dad and having a brother who was challenged in life gave me a great basis for why I enjoyed Ms. Annie’s latest book so much. Whatever the recipient is, caregiving is perhaps the greatest role we can play in someone’s life. In that role, we have the ability to help them draw nearer to God.

    2. God bless you, Karen, for the loving care you give to your mother. I know from experience with my grandma how you wind up doing tasks you never imagined. But God changes our hearts, and we embrace our new role.

  2. What a beautiful and thoughtful post. As a mom and grandmother, I can relate to what you share even though I have not experienced a child with Down Syndrome. I have always felt parenthood and now grandparenthood is a wonderful way to draw closer to God and relate to Him as a parent. At least it was and is for me.

  3. “Just as I call to Misha when he’s overwhelmed by anxiety, so God calls to you.” With two standard poodles, I can relate your your story, Annie. I want to better tune in to my Father’s calming voice.

    1. So glad you enjoyed the post Ms. Martha. I love seeing my friends connect with one another here at the Cross-Dubya. It’s what community is supposed to do. So when are you going to send me a guest blog? 🙂

  4. Annie, your post spoke right to my heart. Like Misha, I too often allow my eyes to wander from my Master and back to the cause of my anxiety and fear. Thank you to you and J.D. for sharing!

    1. OMGoodness Ms. Tammy! I had that same thought when I first read Ms. Annie’s post. “How often do I look to God, then dart my eyes to start at the source of my fear more?” I thought of how my wife’s little dog “Archie” will bark at the cattle or donkeys, but then run and peer out from behind me when they move toward the fence to figure out what that little noisemaker is.

  5. My dog has anxiety about thunder storms and strangers. I empathize with Misha. Our pups bring us comfort when we are afraid, but our “go to” in times of anxiety and fear is our Lord. Annie, your four strategies to seek Him during times of stress (and every day) are right on target. Thank you for sharing–thank you, J.D., for hosting.

    1. Thank you Ms. Katherine. I’ve often wondered how we must appear as gods to our animals. We are their protectors and providers in the same way that God is ours. Perhaps this is part of the “dominion” role He gave mankind, to extend His love, mercy, and grace to them as He does to us. I too enjoyed the four marvelous ways Ms. Annie suggests. God’s blessings my farming friend.


    I LOVE your four points. They are so true and valuable. When I neglect them, I also feel the fear creeping in or overwhelming me,
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Jaciee. I know they’re pretty basic, but Peter tells us to remind one another of the foundational principles because we easily wander away from them.

  7. Beautiful post and analogy! “So often I circled round and round, relying on my own understanding instead of running straight to Father.” And the Lord just waits patiently for me to stop running and look to Him. How very thankful I am that He is with us in every unknown. Thank you for reminding me today that what is unknown to me is always and completely known by Him.

    1. What a comforting thought that everything unknown to me is completely known to God. I need to be reminded often. Thank you for adding to this conversation, Joanne.

  8. Thank you Annie for sharing your heart and your wisdom. I love the conclusion of gratitude in drawing to the Giver who knows all ,and the comfort we find in Him in our unknowns.

    1. Absolutely Ms. Barbara. I’ve enjoyed “From Ignorance to Bliss” immensely and was moved by Ms. Annie’s powerful writing. Thank you so much for visiting the Cross-Dubya this week. I love it when great friends gather.

  9. What a wonderful message from your cute little puppy. God can teach us so much from every thing around us. And it is so important to remember to run to God when we are anxious.

    1. How true Ms. Yvonne. Anxiety, like fear itself, is not of God. Remembering that does indeed make it easier to run to Him. The closer we are to Him, the easier it is for us to reach out. I’m sure glad we don’t have far to run these days sweet friend. God’s blessings.

    2. So true, Yvonne. We have no excuse not to know God. I’m thankful we always have a secure place to turn in time of trouble AND in times of joy. Blessings to you!

  10. I love Annie’s writing and continue to learn from her insight and wisdom. Who among us hasn’t struggled with fear of the unknown? May we all learn to fix our eyes on Jesus.

    1. Me too Ms. Candyce. I think that’s been the biggest blessing in my Christian writing journey; the encouragement and support we give each other. I sure hope I don’t let you, Ms. Annie, or any of our wonderful writing friends down in those areas. God’s blessings my beach-loving friend.

    1. Woo! It sure is Ms. Melissa. I really appreciate the four tips. The words “Discipleship 101” rang loudly. These are things we need to make sure every new Christian understands. Thank you ma’am.

  11. Annie, with your wondrous writing skill, you pointed us to the Father who tells us there’s no need to fear. I especially appreciate this section where you shared your gains from trusting God in the unknowns: “compassion, comfort, reassurance, guidance, encouragement, and much more.” J. D., thank you for sharing your space with Annie today.

  12. Evelyn Mason Wells

    What a wonderful analogy! How many times do I take my eyes off of God and look at circumstances confronting us in today’s crazy world, temporarily forgetting that fear doesn’t come from God, but that He has given us the gift of power, love, and a sound mind. Indeed, yes, for greater is He who is in us than he that is in the world.

    Thank you, J. D. for sharing this with us, and Annie, for your incredible encouragement.

    1. Absolutely my honor and pleasure ma’am. Have long enjoyed your writing and am so blessed to share your godly heart and great skill with other friends here on our blog. Thank you once again for your willingness to share both wisdom and encouragement ma’am. God’s blessings.

    1. Always glad to read your comments Ms. Kathy; you bring beauty into my day with your words ma’am. Thank you for the blessing.

  13. J.D., thanks for introducing Annie, and Misha, to us. I often want to hear God’s voice and direction more than anything else. I find it’s necessary for me to drown out the noisy world and my own inner voice to hear clearly. Annie’s points are great insight for discerning God’s voice most of all.

    1. You bet Ms. Karen. So appreciate your comments ma’am, and most glad you got to learn about my writing friend Ms. Annie and her Misha. He’s quite a fella it seems. Have a blessed week ma’am.

  14. What an honor to be among the guest bloggers on J.D.’s wonderful blog site. As usual, I’m behind on my response but wanted to support your insights on how dogs and special needs dependents can change your life and woo us into God’s arms. Enjoyed reading, Ms. Annie.

    1. Am always grateful when I see a response from you Ms. Karen. I know I’m about to smile when I do. Thank you ma’am. Knew you were a sucker for a good dog story. 🙂 Have a great week ma’am; and welcome home from Europe.

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