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Archive for the ‘Fear’ Category

The results are in! I put the names in a hat, and had my dad randomly select the winner. And the winner of Grace Fox’s book Moving from Fear to Freedom is…

Nichole Parks! 

Congratulations, Nichole! You’ll be receiving your free copy soon.

Thank you to all who entered, and make sure to visit again for more giveaways in the future!

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Today I am very excited to not only be reviewing Grace Fox’s fabulous book Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation, but to also be giving away a free copy to one lucky winner! To enter, simply share the link to this post on either Facebook, Twitter, or in an email, and leave a comment with your name. A name will be randomly selected from a hat, and the winner will be announced a week from today on Monday, February 6. The giveaway is open only to the U.S. and Canada.

Grace’s book is one of the best I’ve read on fear, so you won’t want to miss this chance!

To learn more about the author, read her interview here: http://wp.me/p132LV-nB  or read her guest post here: http://wp.me/p132LV-nX.

My Review:

Title: Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation

Author: Grace Fox

Pages: 256

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Before “meeting” Grace Fox through this blog, I’d never heard of either her or her book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first sat down to read. Was she a good writer? Would it be worth the read?

I can honestly say now on both counts, “Yes.”

Moving From Fear to Freedom addresses several concerns we all worry about such as the fear of personal inadequacy, the fear of facing the ghosts in our past, the fear of rejection, the fear over our family’s well-being, fear for the storms of life, and fear of an unknown future.

At the end of each chapter there were “Points for Progress” (discussion questions), “Promises to Ponder” (Scriptures on the subject), and “Praying the Promises.” Each of these were immensely helpful, but the one I found to be the most transforming was “Praying the Promises.”

It was something I’d never done before, and I found praying Scripture really helped make those particular verses come alive to me in a whole new way. Something about praying the promises God has given to us through Scripture made the verses so much more real and potent to me. For that alone, I’m grateful I found Grace Fox’s book.

To even read Moving From Fear to Freedom was freeing because I gained new perspectives on fears I’d stared at for quite some time. Every chapter offered something of value, and I came away from it feeling encouraged and inspired that, yes, freedom from fear is possible. I also left feeling more equipped to handle fear flare-ups in the future.  

Along with the book, you can also buy the DVD and Study Guide if it’s something you’d like to do with a small group, so that’s helpful as well.

For anyone who struggles with the fears and worries of everyday life, I’d highly recommend this book.

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Boy, am I glad to be back! Did ya miss me? 😉

I can’t believe it’s the beginning of a new year! If you’re like me, a new year brings the exhilarating thrill of new opportunities, the fresh scent of second chances, and the beauty of unforeseen adventures hanging just over the horizon.

Okay, I admit it. I am one of those people. You know, one of those sentimental types that reflects over the past year and makes resolutions for the new one? Yep, that’s me.

So what have I been doing all this time while I’ve been gone? You got it-reflecting and resolving! I’ve had a lot of time to think about everything I accomplished (or did not accomplish) in 2011, as well as where I’d like to see myself going in 2012. I also did a lot of thinking concerning The Fear List, and I’d like to share some of those things with you today.

First,

Reflections:

2011 was a very difficult year for me at first. I had resolved at the very start of the year to be as free from fear as possible, and to get over my fear of driving. But the longer I got into the year, the harder it became to see the end. I didn’t know anymore if I could get my license. Most of 2011 felt like a fight in more ways than one.

No matter what I tried, it didn’t feel like it was working. I kept driving, but didn’t see any progress. I kept writing, but didn’t see anyone responding. It felt like a whole lot of fight without much to show for it.

I also felt like 2011 was a whole lot about discovering my weaknesses. They were all I could see, and I didn’t remember anymore if I had any strengths.

But you know what? 2011 may have been a lot about discovering my weaknesses, but it was even more about discovering God’s grace. For, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10.)

Without the year I had, I still wouldn’t know what grace looked like. Now I know grace is the hand up when you’ve humiliated yourself and fallen; the dew of spring when winter has lasted too long; the brush of a thumb taking away your tears. It’s Jesus.

I’ve seen grace. But only because I had to face what was unseen first.

It felt like a fight. It felt like I’d never arrive. It felt like… losing. But through the grace of Jesus Christ, the fight ended in a win. It took me ten months to do it, but I got my license by the end of the year. I looked my fear in the face and watched it flee.

I can honestly say 2011 ended in triumph. And I know to whom all the honor and praise belongs. Through every challenge, my God was with me. And other than that, all I can think to say is: “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” (Psalm 103:2-5.)

Resolutions:

Every year of my life I want to be growing. I want the ability to say, “2011 was a better year than 2010, and 2012 was a better year than 2011.” I didn’t think it would happen at first, but by the end of 2011 I was able to say, “2011 was better than 2010.” I want the same to be true for this year.

I’d also like to go in a new direction with The Fear List. To be honest, I haven’t liked where The Fear List has been headed for a while now. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been absent for such a long time-I’ve been thinking and praying about where this blog should go. One of the things I realized with both The Fear List and my writing in general is that I had turned it into something for me, and not what it was meant to be: a ministry.

So with all of my writing, I’m giving it back to God. It was He who gave it to me in the first place, and it belongs to Him. What does this look like practically? Practically, it looks like this:

I used to get an idea for an article then pray, “God, please help me write this well.”

Now it’ll be: “God, what do you want me to say? What message do you want me to deliver?”

I used to pick a publication and then say, “God, please help me get this published.”

Now it’ll be: “Who do you want this message to go to? Show me the publication you choose, Lord.”

I used to pick a publication based on how much I’d get paid.

Now it’ll be: “If you want me to write an article for free, I’ll do it. Wherever you want this message to go, I’ll place it there. Whoever you want me to tell, I’ll tell. Whether I’m paid or not, or whether or not it helps the resume. I’ll trust you have my best interests at heart. Me, I’ll just follow where you lead and trust you. One. Day. At a time.”

I used to write a post for The Fear List because experts say, “You should be writing at least three posts a week if you want people to stay.”

Now it’ll be: “What do you want me to write this week, God? Anything? If not, I’ll ask again next week.”

I’m done following others’ rules, and ready to risk it in faith. I’m ready to trust Him with my career, because He has promised to take me somewhere. And His “somewhere” is better than anywhere else on earth.

Mostly, I want The Fear List to be about you. You’re the reason I started this blog in the first place, so it’s about time we went back to basics. If you haven’t introduced yourself yet, please do! I’d love to get to know you and learn more about you.

If you haven’t seen it already, the new slogan for this blog is, “The place that is for the faint of heart.” It’s for those of us who are scared and scared to admit it; a community of a fallen, fearful people, seeking a good, courageous God. It’s not just for my list, but for anyone who’s ever carried a secret list of fears in their hearts. This is the place for the faint of heart to see their courage renewed.

To be honest, I don’t know all the changes that will be coming to The Fear List yet. I’m not entirely sure where God will be leading me this coming year. But I wouldn’t mind your help in figuring it out, and personally, I can’t wait!

I believe God is going to take us on an amazing journey for the new year. I believe we can see the impossible become possible, and mountains move simply because of a seed of faith.

With that said, I guess there’s only one question left to ask: Whaddaya say? You in?

I Hear Ya: Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions? Was 2011 better or worse for you than 2010? If worse, how would you like to make it better in 2012?

P.S. I’ve also decided to take a break on Phobias of the Week for a while. It was just getting too overwhelming trying to have a new one every week. Now I’ll probably have one phobia per month, and I may re-institute it at some point. But for right now at least, it’s time for a break.

Also, starting on Monday, January 30, I will only be posting on Mondays. I’ll look forward to seeing you then!

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As most of you know, on Monday I took the dreaded driver’s test. I had a little trouble going to sleep the night before going through all the possible scenarios, trying to remember the course, and mentally taking note of all the things I needed to do to pass.

The day of I made sure to pray with both my mom and dad, read some of Grace Fox’s book Moving From Fear to Freedom (which helped), re-read Isaiah 43 and Psalm 91 to remember God’s truth (which also really helped), and took some homeopathic chamomile which helps with nerves. After all that, I felt mostly prepared.

We drove down there, and went through the route one more time. Then we parked and waited. I tapped my finger on the steering wheel, and popped a piece of gum in my mouth to keep from biting my lip.

Soon the driving instructor arrived, and I sucked in a breath-sending up one last hasty prayer asking for help. She got in the car, and almost immediately set me at ease. Almost.

Having heard several horror stories from my friends about driving instructors who were stern and silent, I was expecting the same with this lady. However, she surprised me by being both friendly and talkative. Before we ever left she was asking me about what I was going to do for Halloween, what I was doing now for school, etc. This definitely helped set me at ease, but I showed my nervousness when she told me to pull out from the parking lot. I struggled to switch gears for a few seconds, wondering why nothing was happening.

Then I remembered. I hadn’t started my car yet.

Sheepishly, I turned the key and looked at her askance. “I forgot I turned off my car.”

Oh, nice save Lizzie. “I forgot I turned off my car”? Brilliant.

At this moment, I think the instructor realized I was pretty nervous (yeah, ya think?), and reassured me by saying, “A lot of people get nervous because it’s a test. But I’m probably the most laid back instructor you’ll ever have.”

If you were inside my head at this moment when she said that, you would have heard the hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah. If anyone ever needed a laid back instructor, I did.

After I actually started the car, the drive went incredibly smooth. The instructor took the exact same route my sister had helped me practice on, so I knew every move before she gave them. By the way, I have to take just a moment and congratulate myself on my acting skills: I don’t think the instructor knew for a moment that I already knew the route. I’m tellin’ you-an Oscar is in order for that one!

It was about a fifteen minute drive (it was supposed to be ten, but I was being insanely cautious and going a little below the speed limit), and then we were back. I put it in park and anxiously awaited her verdict.

She looked down at her paper and wrote something as she spoke. “You did a really good job…”

Yes, yes?

“You looked over your shoulder when you changed lanes, stopped at the appropriate places…”

Yeeeessss…?

“You did make a couple of wide right turns, and when we went through the Thru Street you should have looked down it to see if anyone was coming…”

Gulp. Yeees?

“But everyone does that. You’re allowed twenty points before you fail, and you only got four. I think you’re ready. You passed.”

YES!

Oh, the happy jig that started in my heart with just those two little words! I had prayed to get no points whatsoever, but I could deal with four out of twenty. Besides, the goal was to pass. And I’d passed!

She signed the document for me to take to the DMV, and we both stepped out of the car so my dad could pay her for the test. As the three of us stood there, we all caught sight of the same thing at the same moment. After a few seconds of silence the driving instructor said, “Well, good thing I don’t give points for parking, huh, dad?”

I had parked my car sideways across two parking spots.

Really, Lizzie? Really?

It was embarrassing at the time, but I think it’s hilarious now. That’s me, all right! Starting with a good impression, and ending on a positive note!

My dad, sister, and I went to the DMV as soon as my test was over, so I now officially have my license! I couldn’t stop grinning all day yesterday. I had that song from My Fair Lady on replay in my head with some amendments: “I did it, I did it, I did it, I said that I would do it, and indeed I did! I thought that I would rue it-I doubted I’d do it- but now I must admit it that succeed I did.”

I also went driving for my first time alone yesterday. Some friends invited me to go have coffee last minute, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have gone driving alone for a little while yet. There’s still some things I feel I need to learn (like parking), and had my friends not called I probably would have waited. But once they called, I agreed hesitantly to meet them. After all, I was on a roll. I’d already taken on one challenge that day. Why not take up another? I couldn’t very well tell them no the day I’d gotten my license. What would be the point of that? Besides, it seemed like a God-thing. It was like He was giving me another opportunity to reach my full potential.

The drive went very well, and I even parked successfully at Starbucks!

It was just an amazing, surreal feeling. I got my license. I drove by myself to meet friends for coffee, and I didn’t have to rely on my parents to get there when I wanted to leave. I just did it!

There’s still a few skills I need to refine (like parking), and there’s still a bit of nerves remaining, but I’ve gained a lot of confidence. I passed the driver’s test which means I am at least capable. The lady said she thought I was ready. I drove by myself and didn’t do anything dumb. Most of all, I know now more than ever that I am not alone. The Great I Am goes with me.

My God showed up for me on Monday in a mighty way, as He always does. I beat this fear through the strength and peace that Christ alone can give. The only reason I felt confident enough to drive alone was because I knew I wasn’t going alone. The Lord would be with me watching over me, as well as guiding and directing me.

I know it was because of your prayers I was so calm. Normally, my nerves would have gotten the best of me. While the nerves didn’t go completely away, I was calm when it mattered. I didn’t get sick to my stomach, and I passed.

Thank you to every single one of you for going on this journey with me, for praying for me, and for leaving your sweet, encouraging comments. I couldn’t have done it without any of you.

When I first started blogging about this fear, I was very afraid of being judged and rejected. I thought people wouldn’t understand, and I was very worried of what others would think of me. But what I found was something entirely different.

I found people who were what real friends ought to be: encouraging, supportive, and there to cheer me onward, not to drag me down. I had one friend who sent me a key chain to encourage me. Another who sent me a visor clip decorated with a mustard seed and cross. For, “Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.” (Matthew 17:20.) People were praying for me, and lifting me up when I was down. You’re more than just my readers now: you’re my friends. I cannot thank you enough for how you showed the body of Christ to me, even if just over the internet. Thank you so, so much. I hope one day to pass along the same love you gave to me.

At the beginning of this year, I prayed and asked God to help me have a year free of fear. I asked Him to help me conquer my fear of driving, and I wanted to be free of it in 2011. Honestly, a lot of times I doubted it would happen, as you all well know. You’ve been on this journey with me. You know I had my ups and downs. But God is so gracious and faithful. He keeps His promises, and He answered my prayer. He gave me the peace that surpasses all understanding. He rescued me when I felt as if I were drowning. Who can I thank but God that my little sister knew the route and could remember it so I could practice? Without it, I think I would have been ten times more tense and less able to do a good job. Who was it that brought me such great friends through you, my readers?

Through this experience, I learned this truth again: that even when I have given up on myself, God has not given up on me.

Going by the title of this post, you may think it’s only been thirteen days that I’ve worked to overcome this fear. In reality, it’s been more like four years I’ve struggled with it. To be free of it now-to have my license and to be driving-is a surreal feeling! But here’s what I want you to know: the same can be true for you. You are not alone in your fear, whatever it is. If you’ve been afraid of sharing it, afraid of people not understanding or rejecting you because of it, know there is freedom in the light and in the truth. You have God and me on your side. You are never alone. You may have been struggling with the fear of trying to overcome your drug addiction, of facing your eating disorder, or your fear of others thinking you’re a bad mom or dad because you struggle with your temper. Maybe you’ve struggled with it for years. You may think it’s too late-that there’s no hope and that it’s impossible.

But if I can do it, you can, too. I thought the same with my fear of driving. It was very hard for me to see the end. But I’m here to tell you that through God’s power: I made it! What was once impossible was made possible through His grace in my weakness. Don’t give up. You may have still have a bit of a struggle before you, but you can overcome. No matter how many years your fear has been tormenting you: you can overcome through Him who gives you the strength, and I’m witness to that. Forever and always, I’ll testify to His unfailing love. After all, I’ve seen it in action.

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Well, readers, it’s finally happening! Tomorrow I go in to take the dreaded driver’s test. How did this happen, you ask? I have no idea. I’m just as surprised as you are.

On Saturday I asked my dad to schedule the test in about two weeks’ time. Next thing I know, I’m scheduled for Monday morning at 10:00. My dad says he’s hard of hearing, but sometimes I think it’s more like selective hearing. Not only is it scheduled for tomorrow, but the man didn’t even have the decency to make it in the afternoon. It’s first. Thing. Tomorrow.

My emotions right now are all over the place. I’m scared, nervous, excited, worried, many things! In some ways, I feel ready. In other ways, not so much. I’m most worried about panicking tomorrow and doing something stupid I wouldn’t normally because that terrifying driving instructor will be sitting there judging me, just waiting for me to make a wrong move. But I can’t think about that! I’m doing my best to remain positive.

It’s exciting (albeit nerve-wracking) to finally have the end in sight. Just think-tomorrow, I could have my license! If I get my license tomorrow, the biggest hurdle has been jumped. I will be so relieved. I’m ready to get this done and over with, so I don’t have to worry about it any longer.

Luckily for me, my little sister also recently took her driver’s test with the same driving instructor (yes, my little sister did get her license before me), so she knew both the route and the things I’d be tested on. So this evening her, my dad, and I went through the exact same route my sister went on to get her license (praise the Lord for her brilliant memory!) I went through it about four times, so I’m feeling a lot more confident and ready than I did before. I’m just praying the driving instructor doesn’t change up the course for some reason.

Ten minutes! I just have to survive ten minutes of driving.

Once we went through it a few times, I felt much more comfortable and calm. If the driving instructor sticks to that route, and as long as I don’t panic, I should be okay. For some reason I had trouble parking today, so hopefully that won’t become an issue.

Tomorrow we’re getting there a little early so I can run through it one more time, and then it’s showtime!

When it comes right down to it, I know I can do this. I think I’m ready. I feel like now is a good time to take the test. Winter is coming, and I definitely don’t want to take the test in the winter. I said I’d get my license before the end of this year, and I will have it by the end of this year! Oh, how wonderful it will feel to have that burden lifted! For this worry to disappear!

But there’s a couple of things I need to make sure and do: 1) I need to focus on God, and not my fear.

Ooo, that one is such a biggie. With all my fears, that’s been the biggest issue: I see and feel the fear, but I never enter in the God-factor. And the God-factor is a big one. Readers, if I get my license tomorrow, I will know better than anyone that getting it was not because of anything I did. Instead, it will be God’s grace, peace, and strength alone. Because all I am in this area of my life is weak and inadequate. I’ve already spent all my resources and strength on this. I need His strength to show up for me tomorrow, or I’m a goner.

Left to myself, I know exactly how I’d react: I’d shiver and tremble (literally. It’s happened to me many times), get sick to my stomach (again, literally), spend the whole day fretting and most likely have a moment of panic. But I am not going to be alone. And I know my God is faithful, that He is on my side, and that He has a peace that surpasses all understanding. Trust me, I will be relying on that peace tomorrow!

Another thing I need to do is 2) Believe His promises.

I have eyes, but I don’t always see. I have ears, but I don’t always hear. I hear and see God’s promises to me in the Bible, but I need to claim them for my own and believe them. One of them I’m claiming for tomorrow is Philippians 4:13: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Even pass a driver’s test. And, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26.) For a long time, getting my license and overcoming my fear of driving has looked impossible. But tomorrow I will see it become possible! Another great one is, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6.) And finally, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10.)

Finally, I need to 3) Remain positive.

I’ve had such a negative attitude towards driving, and only recently have I realized how much of one and how much it was holding me back. Never once did I imagine myself getting it right; instead, I expected the worst. Hardly ever did I look at what I’d done right-instead, I looked at all I’d done wrong. Never once did I look at driving with excitement-instead, I dreaded the prospect. Tomorrow I’m going to remember all the benefits I will gain from driving, and look forward, not behind! God can and will bring about a miracle, and what joy for me to be able to share how God’s strength showed up in my weakness! His light in my darkness, and His hope in my despair. Yes, God can work a mighty miracle, and I’ll be asking Him too.

Will you join with me in that prayer? Please, please, please pray:

1) First and foremost, that I pass the test! There’s no way I’m doing this again, haha.

2) That God will give me confidence in my abilties, His abilites, the peace that surpasses all understanding, and a calm of mind and heart.

3) That if the instructor changes up the course, I will be able to adapt quickly and know what to do.

4) That I will have a positive attitude and have fun!

Thank you so much for your support-I know I will feel those prayers, and know that when you pray, you will be fighting a spiritual war on my behalf! Thanks so much.

Well, that’s all for now! I hope to return again as soon as I can tomorrow with some good news!

I praise you in advance, Lord, for all you have done and will do.

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,

Lizzie

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 Goodness, how long has it been since I last updated on how my fear of driving has been going? Too long, I know that much.

Luckily, the “Day 11” in my title does not refer to how many times I’ve been driving, but rather only to the times I’ve documented driving. I’ve been able to keep a pretty steady pace up the last couple of weeks, and have driven at least once every week except for the last two weeks. Some weeks have been better, some not as great. Some weeks I’ve only gone once, others twice, a few three, and a few none at all.

I’m a little frustrated with myself that I haven’t been driving as much as I should. Most weeks I get the two days in, but I haven’t quite accomplished my new goal of driving three days a week. I’m kind of living the philosophy, “Something is better than nothing.”

I’m still just as determined to get my license before the end of this year. I don’t what I’d do if I get to end of this year and find I’m still not ready. I’m terrified of that being a possibility. It just can’t happen! I’ve had enough of this fear.

I am so very tired of being a burden to my family and friends because they have to get me from place to place. I’m tired of feeling ashamed and embarrassed. I’m tired of not being able to get to certain places because I can’t drive. Of missing out on opportunities, and not being as able to hang out with my friends. I’m tired of being afraid. Heck, I’m even tired about writing about being afraid! But most of all, I am tired of this being my reality. I’m ready for a new reality!

I feel like I come across as such a loser when I write these posts. Like a victim and someone to be pitied. But I also feel like that’s not who I am. Sure, I may have a more timid and shy personality, but I also feel as if I have a lot of strength. Sometimes I feel as if people don’t see that in me.

A couple of weeks ago I would have said with 100% certainty, I can beat this fear. I will have my license by the end of the year. I was doing so well. I was driving at least once every week, and things were just coming naturally for me. Driving! Was coming naturally! My dad was talking about me getting my license soon, the first time he’s ever said anything like that. I wasn’t afraid anymore as I drove-not even in town. A little nervous, but nothing like how it used to be. I was actually kind of even enjoying driving!

But then I did something stupid again. And my confidence crashed.

I started becoming dependent on my dad once more, asking him things I already knew to do myself. Things I’d done countless times before. I was so frustrated and upset with myself. Why do I always revert back to that dependency? I’ve proven to myself that I can do things alone. That I am smart, strong, and capable. Then I do something stupid again to mess it all up, and I wonder, can I? Is it really in me?

I hate feeling so helpless. Especially when I know deep down that I’m not. How to hold onto that truth?

I’d had some new people in the car with me and though I thought I’d be fine, the pressure of what they were thinking of me overcame me. I started doing stupid things I wouldn’t normally. Then one of the people in the car said something disparaging. It wasn’t anything too awful, but I’ll admit, I can be a very sensitive soul. So then I let my emotions get the better of me, and I went right back to square one. I was right back exactly where I started. I relapsed into dependent stage, and completely tuned out of driver-world. Basically what ended up happening was that my dad had to jerk the wheel because I had zoned out mentally and didn’t realize which direction I was going.

It was miserable. It was pathetic. It was me on day one.

I’m not going to quit because of a silly incident like that-I’m no quitter. It’s just that once more, I’ve reached my breaking point. I’m doubtful I can get my license by the end of this year. After all, I’ve been going at it for months, and then just because of one comment I can do something dumb like that?

 Something so simple-something so easy and normal for other people-has been one of my biggest banes. That’s a tough pill for the pride to swallow.

Honestly, sometimes I wonder why I share this stuff. It’s actually pretty humiliating. But I keep on in the hopes that this will help someone out there. That someone struggling with something shameful of their own will find the courage to tell someone about it. To receive help. That someone will defeat their own fear, and realize they’re not alone.

The race isn’t over yet. I’m not giving up, as depressing as the text above might have sounded. I just started this blog with a vow of honesty, and that’s where I’m at. On the racetrack of life, I’m going for another round, hoping that this time I’ll find the exit instead of finding myself right back at the beginning.

One more lap.

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Those who are righteous will long be remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.” (Psalm 112:4-8.)

Last week we looked at the above verse and talked about the question: is God trustworthy? I think many problems we have with fear can be traced back to that question. If we’re unable to trust God for certain situations in our lives, then fear automatically has a foothold. What do you do if you can’t trust God in the scariest moment of your life? If you’re unsure He can help, or if He even wants to? If you missed that post, you can read it here: http://wp.me/p132LV-lV

Today I’d like to check out that verse in Psalms again and go even a little bit deeper.

Four words stood out to me when I first read this verse, and they were these: trust, confident, fearless, and triumphantly. Each stood out to me in a unique way, so I thought it would be fun to have a look at each of them separately. Whaddaya say, you in? Awesome, then let’s get started!

Trust: Would you agree that any good relationship is built on trust? If so, then how is our relationship with God any different? To grow in our relationship with Him, we need that trust. Without trust, it’s impossible to live a life without fear. If we don’t trust God to care for us, then who are we trusting?

The more we build that faith muscle, the more our fear fat shrinks. How do we build that trust? By getting to know the Lord intimately and well. By reading His Word, and learning more about His character as we do life with Him. By partnering with Him through trials and struggles. After all, how do you learn to trust anyone? By getting to know them and their character.

It’s a thing built over a lifetime, not gained overnight. So start today. Pick up God’s Word, or ask for His help today. Get to know Him. If you do, I’m positive you’ll find a God who is mighty to save, loving, and faithful. A God worthy of your trust. But don’t just take my word for it-experience Him for yourself! He’s just waiting on you, treasured one.

Confident: Now that’s an appealing word, huh? Confident. I don’t know about you, but I admire confident people. I respect them and maybe sometimes even envy them. We look up to confident people as long as their confidence doesn’t verge on arrogance.

Do you know the secret to being confident in who you are as a person and how to confidently expect a better tomorrow? You confidently trust the LORD to care for you.

You see, confidence and trust go hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other. I find it very interesting that the word “trust” follows “confidently” in our verse above, because the definition of confidence says this: “Full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.”

Here comes that pesky word again: if you want confidence in your life, you’ll first have to find trust.

Fearless: Now this word is somethin’. Did you know it was possible to be fearless? I certainly didn’t until I read this verse.

Imagine. A day completely free of worry, stress, or anxiety. No worrying about getting the bills paid on time, if your children are safe, or if the world will end in 2012. No walking through the dark listening to every creak in the house, of not auditioning because you just know you won’t get the part and will fall flat on your face, and of not sleeping until you hear the front door click and your teenage daughter’s steps on the stairs.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be absolutely, bona fide fearless? Well, this verse says you can be! And it all begins with trust.

Triumphantly: Ah, the best word of them all!

A foe is a oppenent of any kind. Anything that’s opposing us on something-whether that means depression opposing us on our joy, or an unkind co-worker opposing us on every decision we make. Each of us have our own personal foes.

The good news is, God offers us triumph over them! If you’ve asked Jesus to come into your life and save you, you have God on your side.

The good thing about having God on your side is that He wants you to win. Christians can get uneasy with this concept, but consider this: you love your children. Would you ever wish failure on them? Of course you still them love even when they do fail, but don’t you want them to succeed with whatever they set their minds to do?

Our Heavenly Father isn’t any different. He wants the best for us, and He’s there to help us reach our goals. To find healing and freedom. He loves us and wants us to experience triumph and victory in our lives.

The thing is, He can’t help us if we don’t let Him. If we never trust Him with the things that are troubling us, then all we’ll ever face is the fight. He wants us to also experience the victory.

So whatever fight you’re facing today or this week, let God join in on the fight with you. Partner with Him so you can face your foes. If you do, I can guarantee you’ll soon find some other things along the way: trust, confidence, fearlessness, and a little thing called triumph.

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