Posts Tagged ‘trusting God’

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…”


“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.”


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.


Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.)

My heart thudded in my chest as I held onto the ten-foot-high deck railing for dear life. My little four-year-old hands gripped as tightly as they could, but I felt the bars slipping from my sweaty grasp. For a brief moment, I considered calling out to my parents.But I couldn’t call them. I’d disobeyed them by going out on the deck in the first place.

Suddenly, I knew exactly what to do. I’d just pray for God to help me! He could save me. My parents and Sunday School teachers told me that God answered prayers, so I knew he’d rescue me. I sent a calm plea upward and waited.

One hand broke free, and with alarm, I realized the second hand was getting slick. I clung on tightly, but suddenly it slipped free and it was a stomach fluttering fall followed by a sickening smack. The bone of my arm pushed through my skin at an awkward angle, and I remember staring up at the night sky thinking only one thing: God, why did you let me fall?

Maybe you know what that feeling is like. Maybe it wasn’t a deck you fell off of, but a leap you took trusting in God, and He let you fall flat on your face. Or maybe it wasn’t an arm you found broken, but a relationship. Maybe it was a dream you spent years praying about and building, only to have both hands slip away right when you thought you had it.

You might feel as if God let you down. And if I knew your story, I wouldn’t blame you. Having something like that happen strains our relationship with God and severely hurts our willingness to trust Him.

The truth is, God does sometimes allow bad things to happen to us. If you’ll look at the verse I began with, you’ll notice it doesn’t say, “They do not fear bad news; it won’t happen to them,” but, “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.”

Do you confidently trust the LORD to care for you no matter what happens? Another way to ask this question might be: do you believe God is trustworthy? Please take just a moment to stop and honestly answer that question before continuing to read. Don’t be afraid to ask it. God already knows the answer. It might help if you do, too. Don’t answer flippantly, but really search your soul and ask yourself: do I trust God? Do I trust His character? Do I trust him in my every day life, with every day things, and not just for my salvation? Do I trust that His plans for me are good ones, meant to prosper me and not to harm me, even when they’re painful? Take a moment to think on that, and then come on back.

I know it’s a tough question, but that’s why I’m asking it. How you treat God and interact with Him depends on your answer to that question. If you don’t trust God, you will always be keeping Him at arms’ length, and your relationship with Him cannot grow. Before you beat yourself up too much over that, are you curious as to what my answer to this question was? If you’re wondering, it wasn’t a wholehearted “yes.”

Searching the depths of my own soul, I was shocked and ashamed to admit that,

despite everything God has done for me to prove His love over the years, I found I still withhold some things from Him.

I share some things that weigh heavy on my heart, but not the heaviest. I rely on Him for some things, but rely on myself for more.

We have learned through life to protect ourselves and in the process save a lot of time and energy. We’ve learned not even our closest friends or family can be completely trusted, and all those experiences color how we treat our relationship with God. If we believe no one can be trusted, then is God any different?

It’s easy to let our pain prejudice what we believe about God and His character.

Is God trustworthy? That’s a question I could answer for you scripturally and theologically, but in the end, I think it’s a question you have to ask God yourself. The only way for you to know for yourself if God is trustworthy is to get to know Him intimately and well. If you know His character, you’ll know if He is the type of God that Jeremiah 29:11 speaks about. A God whose plans are to prosper you, and not to harm you. To give you hope and a future.

Right here, right now, you can meet with God. Whether you’re angry, grieving, or terrified, God already knows. Whatever is in your past, present, or future, He knows. But I also believe He cares.

You know what was most remarkable on the night I broke my arm? It wasn’t that I wholeheartedly believed that my God would save me. Oh, no. Instead, it was this: that I still believed He loved me even after he let me fall.

Wow. Back then, I had enough faith to make Mother Teresa jealous. I still trusted in a God who sometimes let me fall. Now, I’m not sure I’d be so willing. I’ve had too many people hurt me. But if I look past the pain… I can also see a loving Father with arms outstretched, just waiting to take me into His arms.

The choice is always ours: we can choose to hold back because of our pain, or we can let Him hold us in our pain.

What about you? Can you still believe that God loves you? Is He trustworthy? And if He is, can you trust Him with whatever situation you’re in right now? No matter how impossible, painful, or tragic?

I know you’d probably like me to answer that question for you, but I know someone who could answer better. Someone whose reach far extends my own, whose insight far outweighs mine, and whose love for you will last for all time.

Right here, right now, you can meet with God. If you’d like, I can make the introduction for you:

God, I’m hurting and wondering why. I’m scared, and I need you to help me with some things. I need to know: can I trust you, and do you still love me?

Go ahead, loved one. It’s just you and God now. Seize the moment, and I’ll leave you two to it.

Your miracle may be just around the corner.

Read Full Post »

Update time! Last post I wrote about driving, I had gone a long hiatus (don’t you just love that word?) without driving and was hoping to get back behind the wheel soon. I am pleased to report that the last two weeks have been better. I have gone driving four times in the past two weeks. It’s a small accomplishment, but it’s still progress. I am planning on going at least two days this week as well. I’m getting closer to my goal of driving three days a week!

Again, my problem will be sticking to the committment. I’ve managed to drive pretty regularly the past two weeks. Now I just gotta keep it up. Like the slogan here says, one day at a time!

Emotionally, I’m doing really well. Driving is losing some of its scariness for me. I feel determined and confident. Don’t get me wrong-I still get the hives when I think about driving into town. I can’t go into town without having my heartbeat double in rhythm or have my hands clench around the steering wheel like a woman in labor. Nor can I think about passing a driver’s test without wincing. However, I am feeling more comfortable behind the wheel, and more familiar with my car. Next I’m hoping I become more road-familiar.

There are a couple things that have helped change my thinking recently:

1) I was offered a babysitting job in the summer. To be able to accept it, I need to drive. After consulting with my dad, he believed I could get my license in time if I started working at it every day. I said I’d take it. Now I have no option but to drive. I’m pretty nervous about it, and kind of like, “What was I thinking?!” I’ve definitely put some extra pressure on myself.

What if I don’t get my license in time? But I have to. I told the lady I would babysit her kids, and I don’t take that lightly. I do my absolute best to keep commitments when I make them, and try to make promises I can keep.

Oh, boy-what was I thinking?!

2) Xochi Dixon’s guest post (read it here: https://thefearlist.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/guest-post-fear-of-trusting-god/) about the fear of trusting God really got me thinking. In all my fears, isn’t that what it really boils down to? Not trusting Him? It really made me evaluate myself and my fear of driving. Has God ever let me down before? Has He ever abandoned me when I was afraid? Hasn’t He proven Himself faithful and good? Hasn’t he proven Himself bigger than any problem I’ve ever faced? The answer is a resounding yes.

Then why on earth am I so afraid of driving? What possible reason could I have not to go for it with all I am? Xochi’s post helped me realize a) that I was not trusting God with my problem, and b) that I could. Thank you, Xochi! 😀

3) A long time ago, I was watching some show where a therapist suggested one of her clients write a goodbye letter to her addiction. I thought it was ridiculous and weird. Giving a persona to an addiction? Writing a letter to it? Cuckoo-alert! But out of nowhere, I wondered, What if I wrote a goodbye letter to my fear? Would it help? I didn’t know, but this fear has plagued me for so long I’m desperate enough to do anything. And the thought kept coming back. So I finally decided to do it. Here’s a sampling of what it said:

Dear fear,

We’ve had a long run together but it’s time to say goodbye. You’ve done nothing for me, and frankly, I’ve done everything for you. I’ve given up dreams and even my dignity for you. I’ve stooped for you and cowered for you, and I’m sick of it.

I’m ready to live my life, and I don’t want you a part of it. I’m going driving tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. And you can’t stop me. Because if God is for me, than who can be against me? I’ve had enough. I can do this. For, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Did you hear that, fear? All things.

Can I really start again with all we have between us? Can I really leave you alone after how many years we’ve been together? You better believe I can. So far it’s done nothing for me. Can I just walk away, without a backwards glance? Sure I can. Why look at what’s behind when I can look at what’s ahead?


Fed Up

Surprisingly, writing this letter did a world of good for me. Which leads me to:

Fear Tip: Write a goodbye letter to your fear. Try to specifically mention the fear that’s been troubling you, as well as how it’s been troubling you. It may sound silly, but it’s a great way to get your thinking changed around. As in my case, it marked a mental (no, I did not become certifiably insane) and emotional change for me. Writing it out helped me sort through the feelings, declare a course of action, and let it go. It was a mental turning point. Saying goodbye helped me realize that I could and was leaving it behind. I’d said goodbye. Now it was time to move forward.

You can burn it up when you’re finished-but I’m tellin’ you, there’s a reason therapists are paid so much! Believe it or not, it’s not just the awesome couches.

Read Full Post »

Today I am pleased to present a guest writer with a heart of gold. Although Xochi and I have never officially met, we became friends through Facebook and I have been impressed with this woman ever since. Friendly and encouraging, don’t miss out on making Xochi’s acquaintance. Xochi is currently conducting an amazing online women’s Bible study, so contact me for more info or run by Xochi’s website to check it out: www.xedixon.com.  Let’s show her some love in the comments!

Fear of Trusting God

by Xochi Dixon

(Read Genesis 18:16-33; 19:1-26)

 When Abraham heard that God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, he immediately interceded. In mercy, the Lord allowed two angels to rescue Abraham’s nephew, Lot, and his family, with only one condition. There would be no looking back.

Lot’s family was following a trustworthy leader who promised they would be safe if they obeyed his instructions. But just as they were reaching the safety zone, Lot’s wife turned around and was transformed into a lifeless pillar of salt.

Although scripture doesn’t specify why Lot’s wife disobeyed, I can relate to the habit of looking back on things that should be left behind. For me, that bad habit is based on the fear of letting go and moving on.

When I am afraid to let go and move on, I try to control circumstances, wanting to avoid more pain, failure, or loss. When God is trying to deliver me, this fear prevents me from following Him in obedience and faith while moving forward. What I’ve come to realize, though, is that all fear translates to simply not trusting God.

Over the years, I’ve learned three things that help me overcome this paralyzing fear.

Get to know God intimately. The Lord reveals Himself through the way He works in and through the lives of His people in the Bible. Knowing His whole story, Genesis through Revelation, helps me remember who He is and what He’s capable of.

Be honest about my struggles. The power of fear is diminished when I come clean with God, showing that I trust Him to help me through all my circumstances.

Ask God to lead the way and help me trust as I follow Him one step at a time. When I focus on God’s sovereignty and love, I can learn to trust His character as I follow Him instead of being afraid of what lies around the corner.

Like Lot’s wife, I can become a pillar of salt, useless and bitter, if I allow my fears to keep me clinging to what needs to be left far behind. By seeking God daily in His Word and communicating with Him through prayer, I will be able to stop looking back on where I missed the mark and trust He is with me as He leads me forward.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)




Xochi E. Dixon is an author, speaker and Bible Teacher who loves Jesus and digging into God’s Word. She is based in Northern California and is devoted to serving the Lord by encouraging women, teens and fellow writers through Life Psalms Ministries at www.xedixon.com.

Read Full Post »