Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fear and Anxiety

My wonderful small group has been doing a wonderful bible study since February called Breaking Free. It is about breaking free from strongholds in our life. I am thankful that my life has never had to deal with physical abuse, drugs or alcohol issues, or the many other "big strongholds" that our minds would immediately go to. Until this study, I have really associated strongholds with circumstances in my life. I thought the strongholds were the result of pain that I have experienced as a result of things... my eyes have been opened WIDE to the fact that I am a person that lives in fear and anxiety... and it doesn't have to be due to a difficult circumstance. It can be anything... from a crack in a wall in my house, the fear of something happening to one of my children, the fear of something happening to my marriage, the fear of struggling financially, the fear of being sick and getting cancer, the fear of losing my hair, the fear of losing a friendship, the fear of being misunderstood... the list goes on and on. And with that, the ANXIETY. My eyes are full with tears just even typing about it. Literally, the past month, I have been attacked to no end. It's like now that I know what is my BIG stronghold, now that I am not in denial about it, the Enemy is just trying to get me on all sides. I have found myself obsessing over things that I have absolutely no control over. I will keep myself awake at night plaqued with fear. One night, the only way I got myself to sleep was by reciting scripture over and over. This morning, after another night of worry, I woke up extra early because I needed to really have alone time with God. I know who I am in Christ, I know that God has the peace that he longs to give me as a gift, I know that His ONLY Son, died so I might be free from this... and I don't want it to be in vain. This morning was painfully beautiful if that makes sense at all. I don't want the enemy to get any glory with me. I know that God is telling me as compassionately as he can, "I can take care of you... if you will only let go." It is like a tug of war, I am telling you... why do I fight so hard when I know that it isn't my game to win... it is the One who created me, who knows every little thing that hurts me and he is the only one that knows how to fix me. Near the end of my morning time, I received the most beautiful text from my sweet friend Gennie. She sent me the devotional from the book, Jesus Calling, for today. Mind you, she had no idea that I was in this moment with God. You all, really God speaks through people and today he had to find a way to get these words to me, because sometimes I am too wrapped up in Me to listen.
Jesus Calling, April 2nd
I have promised to meet all your needs according to My glorious riches.  Your deepest, most constant need is for My Peace.  I have planted Peace in the garden of your heart, where I live; but there are weeds growing there too: pride, worry, selfishness, unbelief.  I am the Gardener, and I am working to rid your heart of those weeds.  I do My work in various ways.  When you sit quietly with Me, I shine the Light of My Presence directly into your heart.  In this heavenly Light, Peace grows abundantly and weeds shrivel up.  I also send trials into your life.  When you trust Me in the midst of trouble, Peace flourishes and weeds die away.  Thank Me for troublesome situations: the Peace they can produce far outweighs the trials you endure.
I honestly don't know if anyone else can relate to this, because I know we all deal with things differently, but I want you to know, that I know this doesn't have to be our life. We have to let go of the fear, of the stuff that we can't control, of all the "what ifs" because it is stealing our joy... so today my prayer that I am repeating over and over is this:
Lord, thank you for coming here to save me from myself... thank you for being the most perfect dad. Thank you for loving me. Please help to let go. Loosen my grip, unpry my fingers from the rope and take it. Fill me with your Presence because I want to experience Your Peace.
Pride almost kept me from putting this on my blog today. Someone is going to read this and be surprised to know that I struggle so much. Ironically, I am the leader of this bible study. Ha! But you know what, in order for me to have freedom, I can't live behind a mask. God has done some really amazing things in my life, and I am much closer to Him than I was 5 years ago, but it is a journey. As long as I am here, he must have some more work to do in me... so if that's is the case, then I am just going to be honest about it. Hopefully I will be able to tell you by the end of this study that I am living in freedom of Fear... and it will all be because of HIM... because it definitely isn't ME.