4 Steps for Fighting Fear: The Journey

Often when I hear testimonies of overcoming I hear the “everything changed” and miss the journey. Then too often in my own life all I see is the journey and nothing seems to change.

It’s like saying “I went to Germany”. That sounds easy. Short. Simple. However there was a journey required. There was the packing. Before that working to pay for the trip. The hour drive to the airport. The flight to Boston, which from Alaska means two other flights first. There was the 14 hours in the air before landing in Germany.

After reading 4 Steps for Fighting Fear a friend asked me what my process was. My first thought was “You read the post, right? Four steps, that’s the process.” But I asked more questions, she asked more questions, and I pondered my process.
In case you read the 4 Steps for Fighting Fear as a quick and easy route like, “I went to Germany.”, I wanted to flesh it out a bit.

1. Call on Jesus

When fear attacked the first time I had to rely on scriptures I already knew. I wasn’t looking up verses in the dark holding my breathless daughter. I had to pull on what was already inside, what I already believed about the goodness of God. Memorizing and meditating on scripture is SO important.

2. Find God’s promises

Knowing I couldn’t live in fear I spent time praying and remembering verses. In the situation with my daughter I had verses from months before that I returned to.

3. Personalize the verses into declarations

I wrote “She will live and not die. She will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” and hung it where I see it as I nurse her. A friend had Esther 4:14 painted as a gift for us and it hangs as a reminder of God’s purpose and promise for my daughter.

4. Declare the promises of God out loud

As well as saying the verses I often sing No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser. Sometimes as a lullaby, sometimes as a roaring declaration “He rescued me so I could stand and sing ‘I am a child of God’.” The first verse for me. The second for her.

When fear attacked I had to choose (still do) if I was going to believe the sensations in my body and the crazy thoughts in my mind or if I was going to believe in God’s love for me. I could choose fear or peace. The choosing is in my mind. I chose peace. This put me in the paradox of peace in my spirit and fear and stress in my mind and body – for a time.

Each time I choose to believe God’s love for me, His faithfulness to keep His promises the sensations fear creates in my mind and body leave faster. Now it is very brief and not very often. Attacks have gone from multiple times a day to every couple weeks or less. (I’m also realizing I have other fears I still am living as a slave to so it’s time to apply the four steps to them as well. They are scary in another way. That just means they are debilitating in another way, too. I’ll share the process soon.)

I would love to hear from you if this helps or raises questions.

Do you hear people’s victories and discount the journey like I often do?

4 Steps for Fighting Fear

Seeing the Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living.

You fell asleep while nursing. I nudged you to encourage you to finish. You didn’t respond. A strange heat flooded me in a panic. I couldn’t get out words to pray. Confusion, doubt, and fear were front and center.

  Last night you had stopped breathing. I think it was by God’s grace I couldn’t see your coloring. I had turned off the main lights and turned on the lamp before getting you from your cradle. You were very limp when I picked you up but I didn’t sense anything was wrong until I sat down on the couch to feed you. You were too still – completely unresponsive. Your brother was just heading to bed. Your dad was beside me. I told them to pray. We declared healing in Jesus name and asked for restoration of your breath.

I don’t know if you really stopped breathing this morning or if you were just extra sleepy like you’ve been before. I’m having a hard time not being scared today – a harder time than last night.

 As I walked this out – being attacked by panic and fear – feeling paralyzed and unable to breathe myself – I was reminded (strange that I would need to be) this wasn’t the first time I had feared my baby dying, feared losing her.

See, I have three beautiful, amazing children who had easy uneventful pregnancies. I have a fourth child I will never get to hold alive. I heard his heartbeat twice. Then around 17 weeks there was no more heartbeat.

After coming to terms with being pregnant at 42 when my youngest was 14 (another story for another time) I began the battle to not live in fear of another miscarriage.

1. Call on Jesus

When fear attacks I say the name of Jesus. Sometimes I had more words I could pray, more faith to speak out. Often I just said “Jesus.”

2. Find God’s promises that address the area of fear. 

For me the words of Jesus to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” (Luke 8:50) were the first to come to mind. Then Psalm 27:13, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (NIV) and Esther 4:14 “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (KJV).

3. Personalize the verses into declarations of what you are believing God is promising you.

My versions:
Luke 8:50 “This child will live and not die.”
Psalm 27:13 “They shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Esther 4:14 “They are conceived/born for such a time as this.”

4. Declare God’s promises out loud when fear attacks.

So when I was calm enough I would say the declarations (my versions of the verses) or sing “I’m no longer a slave to fear” and believe it. I sing “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott – which was hard knowing that she wrote this song after losing a child through miscarriage. Believing for life knowing I may have to accept death though I couldn’t see any possible good reason why.

It’s a few months down the road and fear rarely attacks so brazenly. I am seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. So is she.

When have you been attacked by fear?

 How do you fight back?

Eyes of Hope

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What does today look like through eyes of hope?

Hope and be a bit slippery to hold on to. God tells us we have hope. He is always faithful never changing so there is always hope.
The eyes of hope get close to God and see things from His perapective, by faith.
Today looks bright and full of promise through the eyes of hope.

Courage Is a Choice

Courage Is a Choice
Courage is a command; therefore a choice, not a feeling.

Courage is a command; therefore a choice, not a feeling.

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9 KJV

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. – Phl 4:13 KJV

Waiting Is Grace

Waiting is Grace

Waiting is not something I always do well. Often do not do well really.

I was so excited when I saw that waiting is grace.

Then I spent a month waiting and realized my excitement was quickly lost.

Why does God wait until the last possible second to provide what we need? 
It is grace. 
Think I’m crazy. Stick with me.
Remember Abraham. He waited 25 years for Isaac. That took – or maybe developed – patience. It took grace.
Let’s look at another scene with Abraham and Isaac.
1 Some time after these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham replied. 2 God said, “Take your son – your only son, whom you love, Isaac – and go to the land of Moriah! Offer him up there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will indicate to you.” 3 Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out for the place God had spoken to him about. 4 On the third day Abraham caught sight of the place in the distance.
This instruction makes no sense. Yet Abraham does not hesitate to obey. Amazing!
Let’s look farther on in the scene.

5 So he said to his servants, “You two stay here with the donkey while the boy and I go up there. We will worship and then return to you.” 6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. Then he took the fire and the knife in his hand, and the two of them walked on together. 7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father?” “What is it, my son?” he replied. “Here is the fire and the wood,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 “God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.

Faith in the God who has been faithful for so many years.

9 When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood.

He is really doing this!

10 Then he stretched out his hand and grabbed the knife to slaughter his son.

Still doing this!

 11  Just then, an angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven and said, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. 12 “Do not harm the boy!” the angel said. “Do not do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God because you did not withhold your son, your only son, from me.” Genesis 22:1-12 NET

Talk about the last possible second! The knife was in the air!

Waiting requires faith, without faith it is not possible to be pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:6). Requiring us to wait in faith is grace, allowing us to be pleasing.

Us waiting brings Him glory. Us waiting in faith brings Him more glory.

Us wandering around wringing our hands about when and how the provision will come robs some of His glory.

Us waiting with Biblical hope, the earnest expectation of a great good, brings Him glory.

We were created to bring Him glory. The waiting is grace.

I am waiting for financial provision or unpleasant situations to shift, not waiting for a way out of sacrificing my child!

I will put the energy of wondering and “hoping” to real hope and patience in faith. My God will supply all my needs.

I will provide the priests with abundant provisions. My people will be filled to the full with the good things I provide.”  Jeremiah 31:14 NET

 

My Life June: Lessons in a New Land

My Life June: Lessons in a New LandWatch, I will bring you to a new land, an unknown land. I will speak to you, declare over you your song. I will speak in the midst of you, at your very core. I will build you a garden, a place to seek me and feel my embrace. I will take your valley of trouble and open through it an eternal door of hope. You will sing again. Sing your song for me. You are free.
Hosea 2:14,15 My version

Christian:

I have been feeling this new and unknown land is a wilderness, not a very friendly one either.

He has a purpose though. This new land is a training ground for my destiny.
This new land contains a garden, a very special place to me spiritually.
He is speaking His plans for a hope and a future. He is singing my song, like the women of this tribe sing a child’s song. I don’t fully hear it yet. He sings anyway.
My Lighthouse

He is giving me gifts, like my lighthouse.

As I have struggled in this new land I thought the lighthouse was to remind me I was strong, I would endure.

It was. It does.

More than strong and enduring He sent me the lighthouse for another lesson, the one I didn’t receive so well the first time.

Lighthouses have needs.

The salt of the sea, the beating of the wind and waves wears down the strongest of lighthouses. Without maintenance their light would not continue to shine. They can no longer serve their purpose. No longer lead people safely to the shore.

I have been struggling to get in a good routine this summer. I spend quiet time with God almost every morning. I talk to Him throughout my day. We even argue sometimes. I don’t always like what He tells me to do. Sometimes I am slower to obey than others. I miss having a structured group to hold me accountable. I think that may be part of my missing maintenance plan.

Wife:
For Father’s Day I gave Brian the best picture of Josiah I could, like I had seen him.

Josiah Dances
Josiah Dances
I am learning to treasure my husband more with each new phase of our project. I also see in this new land I need to again submit to his training me– not like obedience school.
Hear me out.
He is gifted in ways I am not. He sees people and situations very differently than I do. It is very good.
I have been very happy to appreciate those things in him, even call them out and encourage him to use them more. In this new land God is telling me I need to learn to be like him. And Him.
I certainly don’t see why.
I mean – We’re partnered. Isn’t that so he can use his strengths and I can use mine? 
Sort of, but not when its an excuse for me not to grow, not to lean on my Savior to help me do what I cannot on my own.
For loving to learn I am not always a very willing student. Oh and knowing a lesson is so much easier than living one – but more on that later.
It will make a difference in our future. It will help me fix my broken filters, the ones that always hear condemnation and failure.

Mother:

Having children 12, 13, and 14 for me means they like to sleep in. I have been trying their entire lives to get them to sleep in, now when I want them up and productive they can sleep the day away. I really enjoy my quiet mornings though. If I don’t have something specific to accomplish they get to sleep. When there’s work to be done they get woke up and usually fed breakfast.
Karissa crossing
In bits of time here and there I am planning school for the fall. We will be studying world history and physical science with two other families. I am hoping the small group will provide fun for the kids and simplicity for me.
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Author:
I am blogging and waiting on direction. This season in the new land will produce things to write about I am sure. So far this is not the season to be producing anything new to market.

I always love to hear if you have read my books or would like to get a copy. I always have books on hand and sign each one I send.
Do you have a personal maintenance plan?
What things do you need to do your life well?

But With God

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As we move ahead on our shop and apartments, our God Sized Project I am facing things I wasn’t expecting, things we can’t possibly do.

Jesus, looking on them, said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for all things are possible with God. Mark 10:27 BBE

But with God. I love that! We started this project knowing we couldn’t do it. Why should I be surprised or tempted to worry when I see something we can’t do? I shouldn’t!

When God handles my impossible situation He alone gets the glory. People will see what a great God I serve.

Our Christian walk is the same, a God sized project. We cannot possibly do it on our own.
But with God.
With God ALL things are possible.

God Sized Project

We are stepping out into a BIG project. A God sized project. One there is no doing without His favor.

Outside view of the building with a deck. Two story part has apartments and garage. 50 x 60 shop at the far end.
Outside view of the building with a deck. Two story part has apartments and garage. 50 x 60 shop at the far end.

We are building a 50′ x 100′ building. It will contain two apartments, a two car garage, a craft room/office, and a shop. One apartment is home for Brian’s mom, Barb, as long as she needs it. In part this is very much for our family, our dream, something longed for. I will have craft space, quiet writing space, room to put things away, even a finished house. The kids will have room to work, to play, to learn the great range of skills their father can teach them. There will be room for friends and fun.

Playing with a drafting program to design my space, or at least the feel of my space.
Playing with a drafting program to design my space, or at least the feel of my space.

Another part is a knowing there is much more to this building and our building it. What that looks like-I do not know. I know it will impact the world for the Kingdom.

Building package
Building package sitting in the yard outside our bedroom window where it spent the winter waiting.

We looked at our steel package in the yard this morning discussing the goodness God has already shown and the favor we need and expect to complete this project. We realized Miracle Truss is the company that designed the structure of our building. We purchased the building from WorldWide Steel.

We are fully expecting miracles to be able to complete this building. We also have a deep knowing that miracles will somehow go worldwide from our building or because of us taking this step of faith. One wall of the shop will display forever testimony of the miracles God does during the construction of this building.

Wall of Miracles
I plan to create a wall to record the amazing things God does during this building process.

The most recent miracle for the wall is a 9 fold increase on the refund for poor coating on our trusses. The original offer of $2,000 from WorldWide ended with us receiving a check for over $18,000. The mistake will be totally corrected without any additional expense to us.
The shop will open many opportunities for family and friends. We see ministry for working on vehicles, building projects, fabricating, and other projects that come along. We also sense more. . . somehow.

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If you want to follow the journey of our project you can sign up for blog posts in your inbox (enter your email on the left) or watch for updates on Facebook.

If God is asking you to partner with this project we would love to hear from you. We  are thankful for prayers of blessing and agreement. If you are close by we may be asking for labor, too!

Let the Wind Blow: Revisit and Update

Maybe it the season. Maybe it’s about dreaming.
I want to share this post again. The original portion was two years ago, updated a few months later.

A post about a storm in my life… (read the post by clicking the link below)
 Let the Wind Blow: I originally posted this in April. I really need the reminder today as the clean up continues. God is faithful, in him I put my trust. …

April 2013
The winds of that storm rarely gust anymore. A great measure of healing has come. Most of the big trees survived and are doing well, some we’re still loving and praying for recovery. I feel we’re in a long winter. It’s hard to tell about the flowers and the gardens. I long for spring. I long for big projects and improvements, but sense it will only be a season of cleaning, repairing, mending – being faithful in small things before larger things are revealed.

New winds are stirring. I pray for warm, encouraging south winds. I know there are cold, harsh north winds. This creates the whirlwind to transform me to His image.

While I long to see the end result I will choose to be content knowing I am on the Rock that will not be shaken though all else is shaken.