For as long as I can remember, I dealt with fear.
Not just a fear of the dark, but a gripping fear of so many different things. Health, family, life, the works. It prevented me from engaging at a very young age to most anything other than my control.
You know the fear I speak of. The kind that causes you to run. The kind that causes you to settle. the one that dictates your perspective of love, life, believing that there is a God, worthiness, peace, marriage, parenting, friendship, careers, and dreams.
Because if we dare to think that there could possibly be a God that is good and is supposed to be good and
we lose the job,
the spouse leaves,
the healing never comes,
the empty arms of a mother praying for a child, and she never carries....
If we dare to think that God exists with these incredible pains, we open ourselves to a realm of releasing control, and believing that despite how we feel or whatever the end result is that it IS somehow GOOD. Oh, that is a dangerous moment for control.
In 2013, I was embarking on a journey to become a crisis advocate (because duh, I wanted to help others be in control, ha!). I sat across from a precious family grieving their own loss of suicide, it came upon me with the most blinding force I've ever experienced. The weight of "why".
Why did God allow this to happen?
If God didn't save him, why would he save me?
What kind of God creates such terrible sadness?
What is God's will? Is it His will for such evil?
How in the world could I stay safe? Stay safe from the pain? What if this happens again to me? What if I get consumed in my fear that I lose it?
Ya'll I had seen the power of God, and knew the Lord, but this was blinding. I had been given a contact for a counselor a few months ago and after nights and days of terrible anxiety, I desperately reached out.
The Lord covered me, and knew.
On the other end of the line, I explained what was running through my head-- what happened to my brother, my fears---- and she responded "Oh honey, I knew you and I knew your brother, you are dealing with PTSD and you are OK. Why don't you come in and we can catch up later?"
He knew. The Lord knew I needed to hear exactly what she said, and had orchestrated it even months before that I had her card. That I had known her so long I had even taken my first steps in her home. She could speak life into things that she confidently knew I had been surrounded by. Such freedom in my soul to know that this season was a season in the making, and that God was covering my every move.
I began a series of months where every single answer I had to bring before the Lord. The really really hard ones, that no blog could answer. That no one with past experience could grant me peace. I was literally going from glory to glory, from revelation to revelation of peace. Once again, the family we found at Milestone Church, seriously provided me such a safe place and I had continuous support and prayers. I never reached an "alone" point, because I literally could say I was having a hard day and found myself surrounded within hours.
The miracle of joy..
At one point I was sitting before work feeling confident that I was really just never going to feel freedom from these emotions, that this was my new normal-- and I read this
"Romans 8: 1-2 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death."
This moment. This promise. I read this and immediately my soul breathed a sigh of relief. I didn't have to live like this. My answers were wrapped and woven in the promises of Jesus. Literally every single lie that had blinded me, the scales of fear, unworthiness, control, and unbelievable pain fell off one by one.
Fear binds us and grips us so tightly that we do incredible things with the emotion. It is REAL. But it is fatal to the dreams and desires that the Lord has over your life. Jesus came so that we may have life, and life more abundantly--- but we must choose it. We must take the reigns and physically redirect our paths. The promises above state that the heaviness of fear and torment are not ours to bear, not ours to wake up each morning and place upon our shoulders. Studies are actually showing that thinking a certain way starts to carve a neural pathway in our brains so that when we start to think something our minds can go directly to the same place over and over again. (check out the studies by Caroline Leaf!) So if we can plant, we can uproot.
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. " Romans 12:2
There are some reading this right now with basic fears, that just hinder our thoughts and maybe stir us and keep us awake at night. Then there are specific people reading this now, who intentionally clicked because you are ravaged with fear. Let me encourage you, that no matter where you've been- what you've seen, where you've walked, the reports, and the true things that you are encountering, that YOU were still designed for LIFE and MIRACLES in your situation.
1. Declare Life-
'The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.' Isaiah 61:3 Declaring life over death. I call them my 5 or 5000 days. My sweet husband knows that phrase so well on my struggling days. I literally just thank the Lord. I take time out of my thoughts and start just confessing the most petty 'thank you's'. There have been days where I weep and say "thank you for the bird, thank you for my beating heart, thank you for air." SUPER BASIC thank you's. Some days I have to declare the life 5 times and I start to feel the weight rise, some days its 5000... and that is ok, the sun will set and I will rise again and declare until my emotions and heart line up with God's promise.
2. Don't battle in your imagination-
I deal with this one so very often. I think, "If I can prepare myself now, then it won't be as bad, right?" WRONG. Soon enough, we have built a home for our fear and asking what it would like for its next meal, "oh you want this night's rest, or this peace, it's yours!" By engaging in the thought and embracing the "what if" of the nature we allow it to form brick by brick. You are not less Holy, by simply choosing not to fear and moving on--- not everything is meant to have an answer.
"But I’m deaf and mute to it all,
ears shut, mouth shut.
I don’t hear a word they say,
don’t speak a word in response.
What I do, God, is wait for you,
wait for my Lord, my God—you will answer!" Psalm 38:16
3. Keep on, Keeping on.
Psalm 34:14 and 1 Peter 3:11 both say "seek peace, and pursue it/work hard to maintain it." Fear is something that I desire so badly to cast off and it stays off, but it is just not the case on this side of heaven. Each day we must equip ourselves with peace, each day we must take our portion and work to maintain it. So don't feel defeated if you've received freedom in an area and it still comes back to remind you, you just have to have a second to remind yourself of peace. Your promise is LIFE abundantly, dreams beyond the beyond.
So what is the miracle? I learned to LIVE.
I assure you, walking around life knowing that "I will see goodness in the land of the living" instead of surviving my days is pure freedom. If you need a place, please please join me this weekend at Milestone Church at one of our Easter services! www.milestonechurch.com