Fighting Fears with FAITH

Fears that I’m facing head on…..overcoming as I embrace a life of peace and serenity.  In the words of the Serenity Prayer (the entire version) “that I may reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with you forever in the next.”  It’s not going to be a perfect life, but I don’t have to live it afraid!!!

1.  Gaining my weight back and becoming morbidly obese.

I am fighting this with the faith that if I continue to present my body as a living sacrifice, living one day at a time that my mind, body and soul will continue to become healthier.  I also realize that ultimately my days are in God’s hands.  I’m making better choices in terms of my food/eating and working out regularly.  

*4-14-16- I have gained some of my weight back and am trying to figure out how much of this is out of my control and what is due to poor habits sneaking back into my daily living.  I’m aware of my tendencies and have started back on the path to wholeness, health and healing.  Fear will not take me down into its stronghold.

*7-30-16- I have lost all of the weight that I gained and then some.  I am back at the 100+ pound weight loss mark.  I have participated in a Daniel Fast, used 21 Day Fix and am training for my third half marathon.

5-22-17- Gaining and losing 20 pounds a year isn’t fun.  I’m glad to finally be below the 180 mark. Praying to stay here consistently/permanently.

2.  My oldest son Joseph never knowing deep and meaningful love because of his limitations socially due to autism.  I fear that he will never truly know love, friendship or have a meaningful relationship with God.

(Fall of 2014)  Joseph is in therapy and started public school in the Fall.  He is in the 8th grade.  Prayer, writing in my journal, working with a counselor on grief issues have all helped me realize that Josephs quality of life cannot be measured using a certain standard. These fears of mine are unmitigated.  God loves Joseph just as he is and is in control of His relationship with Joseph.  I can teach Joseph about God, pray for him and then I must let go of the results.  Joseph does have friends.  Just because they don’t come over and spend the night or he isn’t talking to them on the phone or chatting on FB doesn’t mean he is incapable of friendship.  I’m praying for eyes to see things with new perspective and a heart to love Joseph exactly the way he is today, not as I would have him.

*Joseph had a very successful first year in public school.  He repeated 8th grade and is preparing to transition to the local high school.  He is progressing nicely and working toward independence.  We are so proud.

3.  Never seeing my family again.

I was blessed to say goodbye to my Papa in May and to surprise my mother for a Mother’s Day visit.  I also saw all of my brothers and their families, my father and several friends while in town.  Now that we live in NC I am becoming reacquainted with family and was blessed to say goodbye to Papa before he died in November of 2014.

4.  I’m afraid of nighttime.  I have a general sense of anxiety about winding down.  I don’t sleep very well.  Will I get a call that someone is sick or has died?  Will Nathan come home from work?  Everything feels out of control for me at night time.  Odd I know…but I’m trying to release this fear.

I’m praying Scripture over myself at night time and sleeping with ear plugs so I’m not constantly listening for the children.  Also sometimes I sleep with the door closed.  I’ve stopped taking the phone into bed with me (although it’s still on my bedside table).  I’m making purposeful attempts to have a calmer, more peaceful evening routine.  

5.  Completely warping my children, isolating them and driving them away.  I have fears of them moving out and never visiting and sitting in some counselor’s office someday talking about what a sick and twisted, controlling mother they had.  🙂

I’m blessed as people encourage me that I have well-behaved, well-adjusted children.  Yes, they have room to grow and change but I’m trying to provide a healthy, stable, functional home in which they can go through that process.  I can do my best and then I have to let go of the results.

6.  Gliding through life, surviving and full of regrets, and having missed opportunities to be fully engaged in my life and the lives of others.  I don’t want to feel sad and sorry for the life I’ve lived.  What kind of legacy am I leaving?  Will I be known and remembered?  Have I made Jesus famous in my lifetime and lead others to Him through my life???

Purposeful living.  Sabbath simplicity.  Making plans, goals and creating opportunities for dreams to come true.  Engaging and disengaging.  Learning to live in rhythm.  Asking God to lead me down the ancient paths where the good life is.  These are things I’m pursuing.

7.  Losing Nathan.  What would like be like without him?  I don’t even want to expound upon this fear.  Life would be different and very lonely, but I know I could/would move forward.  Would I remarry?

Nathan belongs to God.  His days are in our Creator’s hands.  I will throw myself into loving Nathan fully and completely every moment I have him in my arms, and not worry about the moments I won’t be able to do so.

8.  What people think?  I’ve struggled most of my life with being a people pleaser.  I HATE this character defect.  I’m working on overcoming people’s opinions and seeing things for what they really are.  Daily I’m working on realizing my validity is in my relationship with Christ.

Just recently I’ve been faced again with the ugly monster of people pleasing.  True friendships are being refined, and toxic relationships are being released.  Character flaws are being prayed about and changes are being made.  Scripture is being memorized and a LOT of writing is taking place.

9.  I’m afraid that Joseph will never be able to live on his own (either group home or with a roommate).  Often I think that Joseph will always be our responsibility. Nathan and I will never know the joys of retirement, empty nest, just being “us” again.  This is two-fold.  I desire for Joseph to have more, to be more, to experience independence and a full and joyful life.  There are times that all of this seems possible but others it seems like a foolish dream.  This takes up so much space in my mind and heart.  It overshadows and colors most of my interactions and reactions to/with Joseph.  I know Nathan is fearful about this as well.  The biggest part of this fear……if we will live our entire life in the current condition.  Is THIS as good as it gets?

10.  Will I be able to help my children, each of them, reach their full potential? Each one of these amazing, beautiful gifts has so much potential, so many talents, such a field for harvest.  How can I help them know just how special they are, how much they can do, how beautiful they are, how loved they are by God and by us?  I’m not even sure that I know how to adequately parent currently.  It’s such a sad place to be and I’m fearful.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Fighting Fears with FAITH”

  1. At the beginning of the new year I shared a 7 day study with a good friend. We coveted strength and armor for a fearless 2014. The devotion was supplemented by the writing of john piper, but grounded in scripture. These are my own humble writings following the first day of the new year.

    Fear vs Faith

    1 john 4:17-18

    In Gen. 3:10… Adam first spoke to God with… “I was afraid.” I believe that fear is faith perverted. Adam only new faith until Satan recieved Adam’s authourity over the laws of the earth. Its not that Satan created fear or set spiritual law into motion… he only perverted what Adam “knew” was already there. So, fear and faith are almost identical. They only produce opposite results. Fear is the counterfeit of faith. The good news is that the counterfeit is never as good as the real thing. As a child of God, when we experience fear, we can know that there is abundant faith for us… but we must put it to work. Fear is a bonding force that is not natural for a reborn believer. Faith will always overcome fear. Keep in mind that they are both spiritual forces. Fear works the same as faith… only one cripples and one strengthens. Unlike Satan, God created spiritual and physical law. Therefore, Satan can only attempt to challenge the faith that God has shown us through his perfect love. God’s promise to us. The substance of things hoped for, the things yet unseen.

    In this devotion… Piper suggests that fear may have a place in the believers life, or atleast up until a certain point. I dont agree. Fear is born from the enemy and I just can’t reconcile such a thing as a combination of God’s way and Satan’s way. Fear is our weakness exploited by the lies of the enemy… but through God’s word we can exercise our faith muscles. You see, I believe that like a muscle… faith, is strengthened when it is put to use… and weakened when it is left limp. “Faith comes by hearing the word of God.” So, fear must come by hearing the world.

    Lets give fear no place in us this year. Dont act on fear. Whatever is in your heart will come out in your mouth… so lets not speak of being afraid… II Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” FEAR NOT appears more than 60 times in the bible. So don’t.

    Being redeemed means not having to fear. Live the life that God intends for us… the life that Jesus died to provide for us. According to John 4, there is no fear in love. The entire new covenant is wrapped up in love… perfect love. In order to allow God to express his perfection in us we must keep his word. Cast out fear by walking in love… by keeping his word.

    Fear is spiritual warfare. I refuse this year to submit to any spirit but the Holy Spirit! I am not born in fear. Jesus has transformed me. So, Fear comes from the outside in. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but powerful through God to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4-5). In 2 Kings 6, Elisha shows us to “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than that be with them.” The power is already there for us. Born in love and armored in his word.

    I pray that in 2014, I will exercise my faith muscle. Through the mighty protection of an angel army, I wil gird myself in the promise of his word and watch as his perfect love is manifest in me. May I walk free from fear in every area of my life.

    1. Philip, thank you for your love. Thanks for reading this blog and sharing it with others. Thank you also for sharing your insight into fear as it affects the Christian. I miss you and pray that we can see you this summer. If you get to see my boy soon…give him a squeeze from all of us. Praying that 2014 is a No Fear New Year for us all.

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