Be More: Baby steps to the life you want– starting now!
Have you experienced your heart racing lately? Do you lie awake at night thinking about problems? Do you have nervous habits like biting your nails, or your pencils?
You, my friend, are dealing with anxiety, worry and stress — emotions that we all experience, and emotions which are all based in one thing: FEAR.
When we feel worried, anxious and afraid our bodies respond with that adrenaline rush that scientists call the “fight or flight” response. (You learned about it in school, remember?)
So awesome! We can run away from predators like ferocious saber tooth tigers. …Oh yeah, you don’t hear about too many tiger attacks in the news today, do you?
What we do get attacked by are thoughts and fears about finances, family issues, job problems and whether the world’s supply of chocolate will run out (or maybe that’s just me).
Living with all this anxiety causes ulcers, heart palpitations, and a myriad of other problems, even weight gain.
I am sure that this is not news to you, so the question is: What can we do about all that worry?
If I asked you to tell me the antidote to anxiety, you would probably say “peace”, or maybe ” medication”. If you’re a Christian, you might say “faith”. I would have said that too, until I read this:
“There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear …The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (I John 4:18 NIV)
Or as it says in the New Living Translation:
“We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us and shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us.”
The antidote to fear is love.
I’ll tell you a story to illustrate what I mean by God’s personal love. A few years ago, we sold most of what we owned to follow what we felt God was leading us to do — move to another country to work in a non-profit organization. It was a very exciting, yet challenging time in our lives.
I would have told you at that time that I was not attached to material things, but there were many items that I loved like the antique oak rocker that I rocked my babies in, the stained glass window that had been given to us, the desks that God had provided for my girls just when we needed them and for $10 each. The list went on and on.
During this time of purging our belongings, I felt impressed to go to a thrift store on my way home from an errand. When I walked in I found a tiny leather purse with four color blocks. The blocks represented colors that I had associated with each of my children for years. The purse also happened to be designed by Kate Spade. I felt God saying that He knew exactly how to provide for us in a personal and loving way, and in a way that was more than what I needed (who NEEDS a designer purse?).
Finding that purse spoke to my heart and encouraged me in a way that no human could have possibly managed (and it was $2.00 by the way).
The story doesn’t end there though. I recently began thinking about purchasing a new purse. The one that I had was difficult to use because it was a huge sloppy bag and I had to dig around to find whatever I was looking for. The lining was also ripped almost completely out and was just hanging on the inside of the bag waiting to capture loose items and hide them away in a secret compartment.
I decided that I wanted a black purse with a little structure to it.
And this is what I found for $4.00 at a yard sale just a couple of days ago (notice the Kate Spade label). You may think that it is just a coincidence, but I know that it is God loving me in a way that is absolutely intimate and personal to me. I had no intentions of visiting a yard sale that day, but felt that I should stop at that particular house, and by listening to that inner voice, I received a gift.
As I experience more and more instances of God’s personal love for me, I gain trust in Him. His loving gifts to me enable me to understand in the depths of my being that He IS love and He truly wants what is best for me.
My entire point in telling you this story is to encourage you to look for the personal ways that God is pouring His love out on YOU. By resting in His love, you can stop worrying, experience true peace and as Jon Acuff says, “Punch fear in the face!”
Have you experienced a tangible example of God’s love for you? Share in the comments. 🙂
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You are welcome Mariya!
I have been praying for God to help me recently as I just got out of a 6 day hospital stay for pneumonia that turned out to be a huge wake up call. I feel like I was meant to read this post from you at this exact moment! While in the hospital I had a bad reaction to some steroids for the pneumonia and they shot my sugar up so high thay I had to be in ICU most of my stay. During this time my heart rate was extrememely high as was my blood pressure without reason. I had many tests done and was so scared. I am only 33 years old and have beat thyroid cancer almost 6 years ago and now this. I couldn’t understand why God was doing this. I couldn’t see my kids bc I was in ICU and the 2nd night I was there my husband and youngest oson came home to find thier favorite dog had passed. All these terrible things happened all at once and I felt helpless. My anxiety and panic attacks that I have gotten since being a teenager and have been on medicine for the past 9 years for kicked into high gear. I was finally able to come home 3 days ago and just couldn’t controlcontrols panic and worry over finances, my health, all the new meds I’m on etc… so tonight I have been trying to read more about panic and anxiety and was trying to download the king jamea version of the bible on my phone when I happened to run across the email with this post in it. I want to thank you for sharing as it helped put some things in perspective. I’m sure God has a plan its just realky hard to pull back and accept it sometimes.
Hi Cara! I am so sorry that you have been going through such a hard time, but I am so glad that you are home now. I pray God’s perfect peace will fill you and that He will pour out His love on you. Just keep trusting Him, and I know things will get better for you.
Thank-You for this post. I have been very fearful lately as I have encountered several conflicts with coworkers as well as my manager.
I know that God will work everything out in time. I have to pray and believe.
You are very welcome Larabelle. I’m sorry that you are having a difficult time, but I pray that God will encourage you and help you.
Thank you for sharing your story. I think the hardest part for me is listening to God’s nudging me and follow it.
It can be difficult Barbara, but the more we practice listening to God’s voice, the better we become at hearing Him. 🙂
Hi, just a word to Angela,who wrote above. Eight years ago I was in a terrible situation. I lost my beloved husband, had a little son and almost lost my job,due to a boss that hated Christians. And was alone in another city, without family nor friends. My son needed some more time with me,so I started working part time,instead of full time job. That means,half salary too. I trusted my Father and said to
that boss,when he asked how I would survive with half salary: The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing ( Psalm 23).
From that day till now, God has provided everything for us too, the needs and also some wants. I can write a book about so many wonderful miracles and blessings.
Just trust,Angela. God is good!
Blessings to you and your family!
What a blessed post!
I too received the most beautiful present from God. My son. We had been married
for some years and could not have children. Then, as He knew in advance, 4 years before,that I would became alone, He provided a blessed son for me. God is good!
Now that is the BEST gift Sandra!
Thank you for this blog. I love your advice and my family is about to go through what you’ve gone through. I’m thinking about leaving my job to homeschool my kids. I keep asking how we’ll be able to do it on one income and then I read your blog and it reminded me to just trust God for the details. He’ll provide what we need.
Hi Angela! I am so glad that I could encourage you. Blessings to your family!
I left my job to homeschool my kids…we just started this year (they are in 5th and 6th grades!). Last spring is when we really started considering it, it had been a passing thought before, but in the early spring it kept coming up. I was looking into all the details and had really kind of made up my mind, but wasn’t sure how it would work financially. I started really worrying about it because I felt called to homeschool, and knew I was capable, but I just was so worried about the money.
One evening when I was very stressed, my husband thought it was a good idea to take the family out to dinner. I tried to enjoy it, it was special time with my family and I didn’t have to cook. But in the back of my mind I was thinking “this is $60, why did we do this?” Dinner took over an hour to be served, during that hour my husband and I enjoyed our children so much. We all laughed and had a great time. We finally asked the waitress why our food was taking so long, and I don’t know what had happened but we still didn’t have our food. We requested to take it to go since it was nearly 8pm and we needed to get the kids to bed. They packed our food up, and did not charge us for the meal.
The story sounds cheesy sometimes, but I felt it then. I knew God planned that evening for us, a good solid hour of enjoying family time (which doesn’t happen often when both parents work and kids go to school) and it ended up being a free meal. That evening I knew it would work out and that homeschooling was the right choice.
Over the summer, I found a part time job that pays nearly double per hour what I made at my old job, so I work half the time and end up bringing home more money. Homeschooling is not easy, but in just a few months I have felt it is the best decision I have ever made. If you feel called to do it, trust Him. I am so so glad I did. Now I just need to let go in other areas and trust Him in everything ;). One step at a time for me. Also, you will be surprised at what you can do without when you are home with your kids. :). Good luck!
I love that story Debbie! Thanks for taking the time to share it with us and to encourage Angela.
Well, back in college, I had just bought my very own (first) laptop. I was always ALWAYS ALWAYS the one with something different (I never wanted to and never will want to follow the crowd). I had been searching for the *perfect* laptop back to tote my laptop to and from college classes. I wanted something that would finish out my undergrad and last through grad school, but didn’t want to spend a fortune on it. Oddly enough I had found myself praying about it, as all I could find in good sturdy quality was black, and black is not my thing… (orange is my favorite color if that says anything)…. So i kept looking, and waiting…. nothing caught my eye…. until…. I was at TJ Maxx with my mom, very randomly…. and I thought I should check out their bags in hopes of finding something. I walked through and didn’t find anything, and about that time my mom came over and was looking in the bags also…. so i decided to “look” again… and what to my surprise, but my perfect bag. Light tan, with sequins every inch or so to give me a “not so college” but not to “professional” look. I fell in love, and know it wasn’t there when I looked the first time, I had JUST looked there. God was there, and is there, and will always be there. He truly is amazing :)…. Even for the little things in life 🙂
God alway provides! God is good!
I experienced a very similar experience, years ago, while going through a horrible experience. It seemed that even my church friends were keeping me at arms length. My world was crumbling and I felt very alone and forgotten. I was loosing my home, my marriage, everything.
I was looking for a sofa that would fit an apartment, and hit all the consignment used furniture shops. Having worked in a furniture store, I had a love of Basset furniture. But, as you said, who NEEDS a Basset sofa?? There was one sofa I found that I really liked and could afford. Inspecting the bottom to check on the construction and springs – there was a Basset label!
A wave of goosebumps swept through me. NO ONE knew how much I wanted a Basset sofa – except for my Heavenly Father. I started crying. I couldn’t believe it. That sofa was His way of saying, I know you. I love you. I can fulfill even your secret desires.
I didn’t buy the couch. I didn’t need to. I got what I needed. I knew I was in His Hands and that was enough. I needed to remember this tonight. Thanks for the post.
LOVE that story! Thank you for sharing it with us. 🙂
Julie Medlin says
Hey there! Growing up I had a friend who things just seem to go perfectly for her. I don’t mean she didn’t have problems, but she made the best of everything and she magically seemed to have “perfect” things, clothing etc…even if they didn’t have any money…She was always telling me about God…Eventually I did give my life to Christ…and have since been astounded at his love and his gifts! I can honestly say he has provided for all of my needs and nearly all of my wants…I wondered if I was just being silly or superficial about something like getting the perfect outfit for certain occasions and thinking it was God. But after reading your story I know that he does look out for me in ways that are important to me… Thank you for sharing… I really thought this article would be about making lists, forgiveness etc….which are important too, but you really hit the nail on the head…Jesus is the way to experience Peace. God bless you.
Thanks so much for your encouragement Julie! If we look for them, there are gifts all the time. 🙂