Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"An Untroubled Heart," Chapter 2

Welcome to our second chapter of "An Untroubled Heart" by Micca Campbell. If you want to join in the study, or read along, hop on over to Lelia's and have a visit.

As some of you might know, this past week/weekend has been interesting for me... to say the least. (See HERE and then HERE) And I have been dealing with fear too. It has been a challenging week. It has been one of trying to remember God's truth, and apply what I have learned in the last year or so.

Chapter 2: The Fear Factor

(any quotes from the book are in red)

Over the last year I have really learned that I need to be intentional about spending time with God, developing my relationship with Him.

My biggest obligation is to maintain my relationship with God. When I lean on Him, my anxieties give way to peace.

As I have been dealing with the anxieties of wondering what kind of job I should try looking for, and how we will take care of the kids, and how are we going to straighten out our finances, there have been several times where I have found myself leaning on Him. As I have, as I have pressed deeper into Him, I have been overwhelmed with His peace.

However, I don't think I am doing this enough.
(I know I'm not!)

The last day or two I have been putting a lot of questions to God, and not felt like I have heard many answers. I think I read in my P31 devotional today that if you have questioned, and haven't heard anything yet.... wait. Spend time in God's presence and He will answer you. Sit, pray and wait. Read God's word, study God's word, pray God's word.

I have been sitting, praying but in the waiting I have found myself succumbing to fear. I don't want anxiety and fear to rule my life.

Ole Smutty Face knows what we are capable of with Christ. To prevent us from walking on water, he poisons us with fear.

Over the past year or so, as I have pursued healing from past and present hurts, I have been beset with fears. Some so bad that just walking into the waiting area of my counselor's office was enough to send me into a panic attack. There were many times where we were in the middle of the session and Tricia would stop us where we were at. She would pray and bind the enemy, specifically. And surprise, surprise. Guess what? The fear would ease up enough for me to press on through.

As I have looked back at the things God has brought me through, I can see that trusting Him has helped me overcome those fears of facing them, and fears of the emotions they brought up.

Trusting God requires more than just saying the words.

Trusting God is really saying by our actions, that we rely on Him to take care of us.

Trusting God is about surrendering to God.

And surrendering to God causes me some fear and anxiety.

One of the hardest things to do is to give up control and trust someone other than ourselves. Again, we misunderstand the benefit of a surrendered life. It's not about giving up; it's about gaining the power and presence of God living His life through us.
(emphasis mine)

I have to learn that God loves and cares for me. I do know this. I do believe this. But it has to sink in more deeply. Each situation that I go through helps it become more of a part of me. Though the enemy tries to get me to fear and doubt God's love, though he tries to twist God's good and make it damaging to me, God already has the victory. As long as I cling to Him, and His truth, I know that I have the victory in the end as well.

With the recent things going on in my life, I have been having trouble remembering the truth.

The truth from my most recent scripture memory from Beth Moore's challenge.
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
1 John 3:1-2

The truth from my previous scripture memory.
"Do not throw away your confidence. It will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved."
Hebrews 10:35-36; 39 (emphasis mine)

As a matter of fact, all of the scripture memory that I have done so far this year, all of it can be applied to the things I am facing today. Hmm. I think I am going to need to go through them all again tonight before bed.

Today was a hard day. I think everything compounded on me.

Last night I didn't sleep well. I went to bed at an OK time, however every time I closed my eyes I got dizzy, light headed and nauseous. It started me panicking. My anxiety started going up, because I wasn't in control of it. I got up and to distract myself I turned on the TV, because even though my eyes were making things look like they were jumping back and forth, at least I could look at the TV a little and listen to the stories, so that kept me distracted until I started feeling better. But the whole problem, it was after 1am before I was able to get to sleep. The I got woken twice in the night by my son, and my daughter got me up for the day by 7:30am.

I spent some time with God this morning, but it was so hard to concentrate, and every time I tried to pray, I was out of words. I felt like I couldn't worship, even with the worship music I had on to help me.

I also felt that, because of the lack of sleep last night, that my cold was starting to bother me more.

Add that to struggling with hearing from God about what to do about a job, and if I should take one or not, and I was a mess by 10am. Dave got up (he was sleeping in because he had to work 2nd shift) and I sent of a desperate email to my friend, Cindy, giving her a brief run down of what I was dealing with, and asking her to pray for me. I went into the bedroom to rest until Dave needed to get ready to go to work.

I laid down on the bed, buried my face in the pillows and burst into tears. The tears that had been threatening all morning. I cried and prayed a few bits of the Psalms back to God.

Then I cried myself to sleep.

I woke feeling a bit better.

God must have been singing over me in my sleep.

When the apprehenshions come, our faith falters. We stand guard against the Devil by remembering God's words are true: "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Heb. 13:5).

As we submit to God and believer His truth instead of doubting it, the Devil will flee.

I have to keep clinging to the truth so that my faith doesn't falter.

I want to live in the freedom that Christ freed me for. When Micca said we've stepped out of the care of God.... the result has been fear, she is right.

I still feel shaken, tired and frankly, quite emotional. I feel weak and tired, and like my faith is very shaky. But I know this is an opportunity for God's strength to be shown in me again. (Do I have to keep having these opportunities God?)

I am fighting to resist the enemy even now, to give in to fear. Of course it is always the fear of the unknown. God knows everything past, present, and future. So nothing is unknown to Him. If I cling to Him, and put myself under His care, under covering, rather than trying to do things myself, or figure things out because He doesn't seem to be answering me... I have no reason to fear the unknown. Because it isn't unknown to Him. I am in Him, He is in me. He loves me and protects me and will never leave me nor forsake me, and has plans for me to give me a future and a hope.

My heart still aches with the desire to stay home with the kids and not work. My longing is to be free financially. The fears associated with where we are financially are pretty hard to look at, especially as I know I have to face the bills tonight.

Two quotes near the end of the chapter really hit me.

For you and me to live as carefree children in the care of God, we must return to living daily in His presence.

Faith in God's provision is our anchor that secures a life free from fear.

Maybe my practice of trying to start every day with God, and end it that way if I can is the start of living daily in His presence. All day. Constantly aware that He is there.

Maybe that is the start of really realizing that He provides. Everything. I can cast all my anxieties on Him because He cares for me. He provides for me. And He will. Always.

And maybe my rehearsing the truth, sharing it with you, will get it more deeply ingrained in me.

I need to sit still and listen. I need to wait on His answer now that I have asked Him questions, and stay deep in His word.


Michelle said...

The waiting is often the hardest part. "Trusting God is more than just saying the words." I love that! I'm glad you're participating in the study. I look forward to battling fear with faith together!

Micca said...

Oh, sweet friend. My heart hurts for you tonight. I'm so sorry for your pain and your circumstances.

Continue to cling to God's Word. The Scriptures are for our guidence, to help us endure, and to give us a hope. You and I have a living hope--Christ Jesus! He wants to guide you, strengthen you, and give you a brighter future.
Our hope comes from His promises. Lean on them as you are doing. They will provide you with strength and stability you need to do more than make it.
God loves you!
Press on!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I know all too well about waiting. I read that P31 devo also. I love how Micca called the enemy Ole Smutty face. He does know what we are capable of with Christ so his goal is to hinder us however he can with fear or whatever negative feeling.

You are so blessed to have a counselor that would stop mid session and pray. I went to a Christian counselor for over a year when my beloved left me. I see now that she was merely a sounding board for me. She didn't really speak much, she didn't challenge me or my actions, she didn't share God's Word with me directly unless I brought it up. I so want that. I think even 21 months after he left, I could still use some good hard biblical counseling that heeds some accountability of my walk with Christ, challenges me, and directs me to the path of healing.
Thanks for being so honest and raw.

Tina said...

Oh how I feel your pain as you wrote....

still feel shaken, tired and frankly, quite emotional. I feel weak and tired, and like my faith is very shaky. But I know this is an opportunity for God's strength to be shown in me again. (Do I have to keep having these opportunities God?)

I thought, oh how many times have I felt just like that recently!! My friends and family will ask "how are you" and sometimes all I can say is, I am weary and weepy.
My faith has been shaky too but it is there.

You encouraged me to continue to step out of the boat... I am and I see you there too with our wonderful Jesus as he walks with us through these storms. It is good to have sisters to walk with, thank you

In Him always,

Andrea said...

Oh, yes, Heather, God does indeed care for you very much, even more than you will ever imagine does he love you. It is so difficult to trust God when the enemy is fighting us so and when things around us are very difficult and hard to understand. But hang in there! Stand firm, and continue to hide yourself in the word. Remember, Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. Trust in Him. He will bring it to pass. Mighty is our God! Many blessings, grace, and mercy to you today.

In His Love,


Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tammy said...

Pressing through something that you can't see is hard.

Worship,even when you don't feel it. Pray with your heart,when you can't find the words to speak and hold on to God's hand,so He can lead the way.

God is with you,

Carol said...

Sweet Heather,

I've been catching up on your blog, and all your dealing with. That is an ache I understand. When Brinn was a baby it was a blessing from God that I was able to live with my sister and not work until she turned 9 months. I so ached at the idea of having to go to work, but I wasn't married then, and needed too.

Waiting on God is hard, because we like our answeres now. God though know's the exact timing for you and exactly how to get you through this time and the answere will come.

I also understand the burden of debt. I sturggle with that fear often, and trying to control things in a bad way.

I will pray for you to hear God's voice, and know that He'll be in the details of it all.

Love you my friend