Faith-Full Friday, Fear, Maggie

Faith-Full Friday Don’t Keep it on the DL

Fear you will never be welcome here……

The Breakup Song by Francesca Battistelli

Francesca Battistelli’s song on fear is sooooooo catchy.  With it’s cute little melody that just makes me want to sashay across the kitchen floor.  

Jamie mentioned Zac Williams song Fear is a Liar in her post last Friday. This one cuts me to the core. As I sang one night in a step study meeting, I was confronted by the Holy Spirit as attention was given to my heart, full of so many different fears.  

I mentioned in my Monday Mayhem that I have this protocol I use with fear thoughts: “Is this realistic or unrealistic? “

I DON’T watch the news.   Just can’t. When I lay the filter of “is this realistic or unrealistic/”  across all the headlines and breaking news, I cannot decipher. Some people find this to be very drastic, as if I choose to bury my head in the sand.  The TRUTH is I cannot let fear take root in my thoughts and heart on that level. Media driven, you know the kind I am speaking of. Suggested fears, like there isn’t a God who is in control.  I often see where the enemy uses this approach to convince anyone in earshot that God has abandoned us all and there is nothing but evil in the world. Then of course there are the movies and this time of year…. UGHHHHH

I hate Halloween also. I can’t take all the goblins and ghouls, the trickery into participating in the most evil, dreaded night that exists in the satanic calendar. Just ask my kids, this is a place of deep conviction in my life.

But, whatever you choose to do with these things, that is up to you.  What I hope to do in this post is draw attention to God’s plan for our lives when it comes to handling our fears.  

I am going to admit, before today, I was really struggling with how I would approach this topic. Not because I don’t have any relatable material, but because the revelation of fear gripping almost every corner of my life is fresh and tangibly one of my most devious enemies.

In the Celebrate Recovery material, the first lesson is Denial.  As I listen to the lessons being taught and then immersed myself into a step study to really hone in on the areas of denial in my own life, well, let’s just say initially  I was underwhelmed.

There wasn’t much to deny.  I grew up in a severely dysfunctional home, abusers of alcohol, anger, power, and the people that he lived with… my father was evil.  I don’t always elaborate on the details, but I don’t deny the course my life took at the hands of my paternal father. He messed me up a lot, and one of the hardest things I have had to process is that there is a God in heaven who has been present during the darkest moments in my life.  My Heavenly Father.

Fear tried to steal Him from me.  To tell me He didn’t love me and if He did, WHY would He allow me to experience life on life’s terms as He has.  Fear keeps me from believing God… not in God, just what He might want to do for me and how He is for me and not against me.  It seeks to steal, kill and destroy our hopes and dreams.

When I started thinking about the grasshoppers and how I was now afraid of them, something started to bubble up in me.  God does this sometimes when He wants to teach me something. You see, the grasshopper was an example of how letting something that appears to be hanging out innocently, go unchecked, well it can turn into your biggest opposition.  I mentioned on Monday that grasshoppers like to travel in pairs, remember?

Well, fear in my life, travels very closely with anger.

My anger was an imminent front to mask the fear that was tearing me up inside.  To protect me in the most vulnerable of situations, in the places that I should never have been afraid.  

You see, I was afraid.  Not angry.

Anger, well, it was a safe, comfortable blanket that was acceptable and justified for so long.

I was angry that no one rescued ME. I was in fact left behind.  

I was angry that I was not protected or defended. I was left to do these things myself, and I did.  Anger helped with that.

I was angry at the injustice of it all. How was it that people could be so deceptive and convince me they were there to protect me one moment, and then violate me the next? Or how could they ignore the totality of my circumstances?

As I submitted to the recovery process and vowed to really dig in with this step study, the true nature of my denial and the depth of my fears became uncovered.

The D in denial is for “disables our feelings.”  Denial has disabled my feelings.  To a point of not even understanding them, or what I really have felt.  Eventually, I became numb.

The L in denial is for “lengthens the pain.”  It has been through this last fearless and moral inventory that I discovered that I have allowed my past to own me.  I have spent 25 years dabbling with recovery and never really confronting the source of my pain and addictions.  That is a long time!!

God says, “I will give back what you lost to the swarming locusts…”  This is a promise where God declares that he will give back what has been taken from you.  He wants to be your protection, your satisfaction, your abundance… if you lay all your trust in Him and Believe God, there is redemption and healing and fear will lose its grip on you.  

God has always had a plan for my life, for my pain, to recycle all the struggles and hurts that I have experienced. I have always believed in Him.  BUT I haven’t always believed Him.  

I have sat in the depths of rejection and abandonment and fear, believing the enemy of my soul as he whispered insidious lies into my mind and heart over and over.  I replayed the tapes and the tales of how invaluable I should see myself as being… it kept me rocking in the corners of my mind in disbelief of how God is for me. FOR ME.

This really amazing truth has been hidden under layers of fear prompted decisions and consequences.  

Like the abortions, because who would want me or how would I ever make it if I had more children and how could I possibly care for and love them?  I was broken and damaged goods, and if I wasn’t, well, those abortions threw me over the edge.

The shame, being used and abused… more damage.  The devil tried to convince me that he was damage control when he created scenarios where  I binged and purged to either be more or less attractive. To control how people perceive me.  To feel as if I had some kind of control in this world.

TODAY,  I live in the TRUTH.  I BELIEVE God, and who He says I am and that He can and will do all that He says He will.  

I want to be well.  I am no longer looking to just feel better!  I want to be well. I am no longer looking to just be comfortable, I want to be changed.

Free from fear.  Free from anger and the chains that bind me to it.  Free from unforgiveness which when traced back is the root of my anger.  My fears have been giants…cursing God and wearing me down until I was left cowering in unbelief.  My fears have fenced me in for so long that now, I just want to live…FREE.

What God has really been telling me is this.  It’s all about LOVE and forgiveness.

Seems simple enough, right?  

But, whose love and forgiveness ?  This my friend is the best question you can ask.  

I have always believed in God. I could tell you day in and day out how wonderful He truly is, about all the works of His hand that I have seen.. And yet, these old tapes and memories, they have kept me from believing that God believes in me, too.

I have always been loved by Him.  Completely and totally loved. He treasures me and if I were the only one whose sin was separating me from Him, He would have died on that cross.

JUST FOR ME.  

He is a gentleman, who has never forced himself on me, and has always cherished me.  He wants to be my choice. He wants to protect and guard me.  He has NEVER left me or given up on me.  He took me just as I was and then graciously surrounded me with promise and possibility so that I would not let my past define me.  His PERFECT love casts out all fear. His redeeming love carries me away from my sin and the power it has to control and conquer me.  It FORGIVES me, wholly and eternally. NEVER looking back. It can reach me no matter where I am. Nothing can separate me from Him and all that He has provided.  In Him, I am free to surrender all that has been in order to experience all that can be. He has great things in store for me. For YOU.

We just have to walk to the edge… and jump off.

I am worthy of all the goodness and grace…just because HE is who He says He is.  And I believe Him. I believe He has a perfect love for me, that wraps me up and, therefore, fear cannot exist within those safe confines.  This revelation has changed me. My fears are cast out when I allow this to be the filter of TRUTH that I use to expose the lies of fear.

I have an action plan now when fear tries to wiggle its way back in.  I am taking my thoughts captive, and using HIS living word to help me determine the truth from the lies.  I am calling myself out. Was that just fear that tried to take me down? Is it real or unreal fear ? What will happen if I don’t give into it?  What will I miss, if I do? I try to remember how deceptive and convincing the enemy can be, and although I don’t blame everything on him, (why give him the satisfaction or the power), I want to evaluate all my thoughts and decisions so as to not be fooled into going back down the path of fear (or anger) .

How about you?  Has the enemy of your soul tried to keep you from the promises of God?  Have you decided you are too unworthy to be called His child, part of a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).

Child, look up, (all credit to Lauren Daigle for turning me to this phrase) there is a God who has chosen you, He has been working on your behalf and has had a love for you like no other since before He put the world in motion.  Don’t let your past and the lies of the enemy continue to steal, kill, and destroy the hope set before you. Don’t let Satan take one more moment from you that the Creator of the world wants to redeem. If you have never asked Jesus to be your LORD and Savior because you were afraid of giving something up or because you just couldn’t believe you were part of His plan, let TODAY be the first day of the rest of your life!!!

Tell Him you are afraid, tell Him you need Him.. Take the leap off the edge and don’t look back.

Father, help us to know and really understand that fear is not from you.  Songwriters have penned that Fear is a liar; it does steal our rest and happiness.  You, however will deliver us from evil.  We cannot conjure up more courage, but You can increase our faith, IF we ask.  Father, please let us no longer be so overwhelmed by our fears that we never ask.  I have been afraid for so long. I am laying my fears at the foot of your cross surrendered to you, completely aware that in my weakness, You are my power.  

Stand in Your Love by Josh Baldwin

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