Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fear and it's Buddies Part 2

In case you missed the first post on fear, we talked about me struggling with fear and God meeting me at my fears and bringing me to listen to Revive Our Hearts (which she was talking about fear and it's buddies). Today I taking a closer look at those fear buddies.

1. It distorts Reality

      The decision my husband made and the ugly fear that arose after lead me to believe my husband was sabotaging he chances of getting a job up here. I know he misses the South and wishes we could live closer to his family. I understand, I DO! But unless God provides a miracle (if it is His will), we can't move and be together ALL of us as a family down South at this time. 

     I starting thinking that he didn't REALLY want to find a new job up here! He kept forgetting to send out a thank you note to an interview he had, had about a week before. THEN when I mentioned it, he didn't respond. So the fear kept growing..."SEE he isn't sending a note in. He's ignoring my request. He doesn't want to try and stand out. He doesn't REALLY want to get a job up North!!"
     Here I was packing and planning, all the while in the back of my head, telling God all of this (much to my shame). Then about an hours later, as I'm still crying out to God. My husband with a "skip in his step" whips up a Thank You note and gets it ready to mail out!!!

     It may not seem like a big thing, but that had been the "last straw" to "confirm" my fears...aka distorting of reality! God showed me through that one simple act of changing my husband's heart to stop and prepare a Thank You note (he really had meant to earlier, but kept forgetting), that fear was distorting my reality over my husband's thoughts and actions.   

2. It victimizes the person.

     Fear can cause a pity party for oneself, a victim mentality. One evening in particular I was really fretting and fearing over this whole job situation (or lack there of) and the decision my husband had made. It was taking a toll physically and mentally. I was tense, my stomach hurt, I had a headache, I wasn't smiling, and my mind was just RUNNING with my fears. Finally I had had enough and pray out to God to forgive me and remove this fear. I didn't want tears and fear anymore! He is in CONTROL! "PLEASE God REMOVE this dread from me!!!" And He did! I was in awe! I felt so much calmer and relaxed! One moment I couldn't seem to stop thinking about my fear that next it was hard to recall. Did I still remember what had caused me to fear? Yes. Could I have chosen to turn my attention back to it and dwell? Yes. But one moment it seemed I had no control of my fear, the next I could choose to dwell or not. I choose NOT to be a victim and instead live in God's freedom. 

3. It puts stress on the body, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

     Isn't that the truth! Fear can give me headaches, upset stomachs  heartburn, exhaustion, cause tension and in turn impatience with my family. Not good! The list could go on. That's NOT what God wants for us!

4. It alienates the truth.

     Of course believing my husband was intentionally trying not to get a job up North is not the truth. I had also starting thinking that if my husband's decision had caused him to not get the job God intended to provide him with, that God will be angry and punish us. That HE wont provide another job up North, that He is not for us.

     1. First if he did lose out on the job that God was going to provide, I have to trust God. My husband is the head of the home, it is his decision (especially since he will be working at the company), and that decision is between him and God (though of course our sins effect others and not just ourselves). So the truth is I'm to submit to my husband.

     2. God LOVES us and provide for us! Even when we sin and face consequences God is so merciful and forgives. HE is STILL there! 

What shall we then say to these things? If God (be) for us, who (can be) against us? Romans 8:31
     God met me at my fear once again. Right before we left for GA, my husband informed me that he has another interview this coming Thursday. No it doesn't mean that God will give him the job, if it's outside of His will. But once again He answered my fear buddy. I forgot that God is good and faithful. I was fearful and dwelling on the fear that, God would punish us with no job prospects in the near future and He in turn provided Joseph with another job interview! *smile*

5. It cripples you.

     For some people fear can be SO strong that they are afraid to leave their homes. I am terrified of heights and I literally can't move. But fear doesn't just cripple us physically, it also cripples you emotionally and spiritually. It drains me of giving the best of me to my family. It also stops me spiritually, I have to go back to God's word and what it says about fear and God's faithfulness. In what ways has fear crippled you?

6. Fear replaces faith.

     When we let fear creep in most often, if not always it pushes out or replaces our faith. We cannot trust God and also live in fear. It's not easy for me to say that! I find myself worrying and fearful often. :( I am learning through our trials though, that when fear starts to creep in...PRAY!!! I might not be able to stop and read my bible at that moment or even get on my knees to pray, but I can pour out my heart/thoughts/fears, etc to God as I'm going about my day. I am learning to recognize my sin (fear) and repent of it, work (really hard) at not dwelling on what is causing me to fear, and asking God to remove me fear. Like I already said, one day my fear was very strongly replacing my fear and after crying out to God (I was only able to stop and pray very briefly, the rest of the time I spent talking to Him while being a mom and wife), He replaced my fear with faith in Him! Isn't God amazing?!?!
7. It disappoints.

     It's like Karin says, "Fear gives nothing back!" Everyone and everything will/can disappoint us, except....GOD! We have to remember that our HOPE comes from GOD ALONE. But Fear in particular will disappoint us, it has NOTHING good to offer! I mean fear had me distorting the image of my husband in my mind (it still does at times)!
8. It robs your memory

     I am still a work in progress. I still struggle with fear/worry on and off. Sometimes I feel like a roller coaster! Each time I have to confess my sin and be reminded of the truth. Fear robs our memories. How quickly I forget God's truths and all that He has done. Even this past week, when I still struggled with fear creeping in, I kept forgetting how God met me right there last week to show me that He is still in control! No for us I don't know what the future holds. I can't plan and "control" (which is really hard), but I can lean on Christ and daily go to His word to refresh my memory! *smile* That's one reason I am so happy to share my struggles and God's faithful with you, because I can also go back and be reminded, so that I wont forget!

What about you, is there something that is causing you to fear? Can you apply the "fear buddies" to your situation? Can you think of any others to add?

In the next post we will look at scripture and regards to fear.

For His Glory,

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