Friday, May 15, 2009

Living in Fear

I have to admit. I have been in quite a funk lately. I am tired, tired of living in fear. I know I am not supposed to live this way and I have been working to correct it but it is hard at times to change a lifetime of anxieties.

I have always been anxious and fearful. In second grade my mom would have to literally tear me off of her side when she took me to school. In fourth grade I had the honor of waking up every Tuesday and Thursday at 4 am feeling sick to my stomach because I knew I had swim lessons and the teacher had already threw me in the deep water before I knew how to swim. My parents made sure it didn't happen again but then I was forced to walk around the pool the entire class while the rest of the students had their class. Then in 5th grade I was scared to death to walk home from school after hearing on the news that some guy was stopping and trying to entice kids into his van in a nearby town. When I finally did get up the nerve to walk home-some older boy threatened to beat me up after school- well that did it. Poor mom came and picked me up from school everyday after that.

Middle & High school was better. But I still had the occasional worries and anxieties. Like worrying about my parents getting sick and dying. I worried that I would have cancer at the slightest tinge of pain. I worried that I would grow up alone, and die a single old spinster. You name it I worried about it.

After high school, I sort of went out on my own. My relationship with God became a little more distant. I became engaged to my high school boyfriend and ended up moving in with him against my parents wishes. This broke my heart. Then about a year later, I went back to them broken and ashamed of the choices that I had made. The relationship did not work out- and I crawled back home. They welcomed me home with open arms and hearts and helped me through a very rough time. By that time I was into going out to clubs, I love to country -western dance. I was at a local club probably 5 out of 7 days. My parents still talk about how they prayed me home every night. During those couple of years, I made bad choices. Looking for love and acceptance where none could be found. I am terribly ashamed of many of the choices that I made during these years of my life. I cannot go back and change the things I have said or done but I have asked God for forgiveness and for help to have me move on. I remember one night just saying "God, help me move past this. I do not want to be 60 years old doing the same things over and over again!"

Like an answer to prayer, my life started changing around. The Lord brought an old school mate back into my life. We began to date, we got involved in a church and here we are 9 1/2 years later still learning to rely on God.

Some things though I have a harder time changing. I still worry. Sometimes more than others. My husband has been a great support system~he married me knowing all my fears and insecurities. We have been married for 8 1/2 years and the Lord has gotten us through many a hard time! Over 6 years ago, we found out we were going to be parents. Wow! We were excited, scared and many other emotions rolled up into one. Then on Thanksgiving Day, we miscarried and ever since then, I have been afraid to try again. I fear getting pregnant, then I fear not getting pregnant again and never having a child of our own. I fear one of us getting sick, I fear our parents getting older and worry about their future. We help lead the youth in our church and I fear for them in this day and age and what their future holds. I pray everyday for the decisions that they make in their lives and I pray that the Lord leads them and that they are open to go where He calls them.

Needless to say, I am so tired of living in worry and fear. I know I am not meant to live this way but sometimes I find it a little harder than others to get out of the pit that I tend to get myself in. But God sends sweet reminders to me and I am forever grateful. Here are some more of my gratitude gifts:

19. A post I ran across that made me heart sing this morning. What a great reminder.

20. A turtle dove gathering sticks and such to make a nest for her young. Another sweet reminder that he takes care of those birds so he will take care of me too!

21. Gathering of friends and loved ones to just enjoy each others company.

22. The ability to get up this morning and take in the sweet fresh air.

23. Knowing in my heart that God has always taken care of me and He will never fail me.

Learning day by day, and moment by moment to give my yoke of fear over to Him!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Julie

6 comments:

Lyla Lindquist said...

Hi Julie, just came on over from my stats page. Thanks so much for the link in your blog roll. I so appreciate your heartfelt thoughts about fear in your post. The cool thing is you didn't stop there with the ways you might be afraid . . . you went forward and also said out loud the ways that God is faithful.

I like that.

I like it a lot.

Jennifer said...

Julie,
I keep thinking about God's promise that His "perfect love will drive out out fear." But even when we know Truth, I can still find it hard to stand in it.

I'm speaking Truth today over your fear.

And then, as I read through your post, it was very clear that YOU are also speaking truth over your fear. God has you in the palm of His hand, and you are clearly responding to His voice. May you stand in His truth.

You know the saying? "We're never taller than when we're on our knees."

I'm on my knees for you today.

Lauren said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for the kind words. You are an encourager! I pray that you are blessed and I hope you'll stop by again soon!

Kee said...

Hi, just found you from Jennifer's blog. Your honesty and openness is so refreshing.

Sometimes when we face tragedy in our lives it causes us to live life in fear waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak.
I've dealt with a lot of loss in my life and I don't think there is a day that goes by that I don't think about losing my husband, kids, mom and close friends.

At those times I have to remind myself that God is in control and He has not given us a spirit of fear. I remind myself to enjoy every moment.

But I have not dealt with anixety from childhood and can't begin to imagine how horrible that has been for you. But I know One who does know exactly what you are going through and only He can comfort you fully in those times.
And you are on the right path by focusing on the things you are grateful for.
Looking forward to learning more about you.

Danielle said...

Julie, I love how open and honest your post is. Fear is one of those things that takes root and branches out into every aspect of our lives. One thing that is good is you've given a face to alot of your fears. Sometimes that's not always easy... but with God ALL things are possible. It is He that will destroy these strongholds in your life.

Kee said part of the scripture that I was going to use! Love it! My daughter is 9 and is afraid of alot of things, too. Especially while outside.:-) We have given her 1 Timothy 1:7 to memorize. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of POWER, of LOVE and a SOUND MIND!" Besides having her memorize, we have printed different scriptures off the computer and they now are up all over her walls. She knows that when she gets scared, she is to look at them and read them, pray them to God.

Quote His word to yourself. There is much POWER in His word. The devil hates it... and that's what it is. The devil plants the seed of fear. Tell him to 'Hush!' Heee!

Another thing that works for me when my mind becomes a huge battlefield... I just say 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus' over and over again. You say it for how every long you need. IT HELPS!!!

Danielle said...

Julie, I love how open and honest your post is. Fear is one of those things that takes root and branches out into every aspect of our lives. One thing that is good is you've given a face to alot of your fears. Sometimes that's not always easy... but with God ALL things are possible. It is He that will destroy these strongholds in your life.

Kee said part of the scripture that I was going to use! Love it! My daughter is 9 and is afraid of alot of things, too. Especially while outside.:-) We have given her 1 Timothy 1:7 to memorize. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of POWER, of LOVE and a SOUND MIND!" Besides having her memorize, we have printed different scriptures off the computer and they now are up all over her walls. She knows that when she gets scared, she is to look at them and read them, pray them to God.

Quote His word to yourself. There is much POWER in His word. The devil hates it... and that's what it is. The devil plants the seed of fear. Tell him to 'Hush!' Heee!

Another thing that works for me when my mind becomes a huge battlefield... I just say 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus' over and over again. You say it for how every long you need. IT HELPS!!!