Monday, September 2, 2013

When I Stopped Denying I Was Scared




Photo by Demi-Brooke (Flickr)
I’m scared! I feel like I’m in trouble.


I caught myself falling into the familiar thinking pattern. but this time, I didn’t continue with that line of thinking. Instead, perhaps by a divine inspiration, I turned around and faced a different direction and said out loud:


“I do feel scared, but the truth is: I am not in trouble. No one is coming into my home to punish me.” Then, even more confidently, I continued, “God is in control of my life. I am safe because He loves me.”

With those reassuring – and true statements, I returned to the sink and continued washing the dishes (a miracle in itself during those days). But just a few minutes later, I had to repeat that scenario, and again a few minutes after that.

Thus began my journey out of chronic anxiety disorder. And now for more than ten years (and counting!), I am actually considered a stable person. At least, by most people. ;)

But I am convinced that my entry into the stable life could never have happened without my firm resolve to demolish the lies my emotions were telling me, and believing instead what was actually true. I had to be serious about taking captive every thought, making it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

On the other hand, it was also important that I didn’t deny my thoughts (or emotions). If I had simply said, “I’m not scared” it wouldn’t have made sense to me because I was experiencing real fear. However it was when I began to validate my feelings, but challenge their validity, I began to experience a real breakthrough.

It wasn’t overnight, for sure! But nevertheless I began to experience more and more rational thinking and freedom from anxiety each day. (Honest!) Even the fear of looming anxiety attacks diminished. The key is to stay consistent!

Prayer:
Father, help me to discern truth from lies in my thoughts and my emotions. I pray to grow in my confidence in You and Your love for me as I continue to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Your Word.

This week’s goal:
To take captive every thought (and emotion) and make it obedient to Christ, as I continue to spend time reading and meditating on God’s Word.

What about you?
  • Do you struggle with anxiety, believing every emotion is based on reality?

  • How can we pray for you in this area? (Feel free to use a pseudonym.)
Note: There is a special link available for ladies at CoffeeWithSheryl.com. Click on the Struggling with Depression? tab (under header) for ongoing support.

5 comments:

  1. Sheryl, this is a very timely post. Especially with all the chaos and uncertainty we are facing in our country and all over the world for that matter. It is so easy to look at circumstances and become fearful. But I know that in these last days, it is all the more important to keep our focus on Jesus and wash our minds in His word, taking every thought captive and making it line up to Gods Word. I have learned that if I don't believe what God said about a situation, then I am believing what satan said. And I know satan is a lier, and God does not lie. I will have no excuse if I stand before Him one day and say "oh, yes Lord, I did or didn't do that; but I believed this about the situation, even though you said that." I mean when I bring my excuse out into the light I can see it is but a frivolous thought. It is imperative that we make our thoughts line up to the Truth. And put down any thought that tries to exhale itself above God. That helped me a lot when I recognized lies I had been fearful of and that I had actually let them rule me. I was actually making them my God. I started seeing them as David saw Goliath...as one exalting himself above God. It helps me get angry at the lie for daring to say it is equal to or greater than God. I really understand what you are talking about when you talk about fears. I did a word study years ago about all the verses in the Bible that talked about "fear not." And "fear God." I thought "how can God tell us not to fear? How is that possible? And surely if He command us not to fear, then there must be a way, right? I was amazed to discover that He told us to fear Him and not the things of this world. Because He is greater. If I was afraid of something, I was exalting it above God. That helped me a lot.
    Barbara

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    Replies
    1. I don't mean to imply that I have fear under control or that I no longer fear. It is a constant struggle for me to fight the forces that come against me and try to get my attention away for God (Truth) and onto some lie. But thank God He is leading me.
      Barbara

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    2. Great insight, Barbara!

      And I believe it would be honest to say we all struggle with fear on some level. Some days (seasons) more than others, for sure.

      It is good to know that as we grow in our faith (our knowledge of the Truth), those days and seasons become shorter and easier to overcome. Praise God for all He is and all He has done for us!!

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  2. Wow, Sheryl...I sure do identify with this. Anxiety attacks are vicious and cruel....they strangle the life out of a person.

    I went through a period in my life in which I suffered these attacks....unless one has been there, they truly can't grasp the

    intensity of them. Eventually, a person becomes afraid of everything. I finally got through it as well...and for me it only lasted a

    year or so. Yes, I prayed, and I learned that God would get me through it. Like you, I slowly learned to change my focus.

    God will never let us down...

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    Replies
    1. Amen, God is faithful.

      I always love it when you stop by, Sharon.

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