Tag Archive | Anxiety

Still On My Journey…Learning More…..Sometimes With My Heels Dug In…..

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I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since May – and here it is October! A lot has been going on for sure. Some of it has been tough, but I lean heavily on God and He always sees me through!

As mentioned in this previous post, my daughter and son-in-law moved down south.  They are doing well though we are all missing each other like crazy.  My daughter had some serious home-sickness going on for a bit – but I think she is doing better now.

They both came back up a few weeks ago for a visit.  While here, many of their friends came out to the house for a little party.  It sure was fun seeing everyone together again!  And most recently they were here for the wedding of ‘my other daughter’ – as you may have read on previous posts….she is my daughter’s best friend.  They call each other ‘sister’ and I’m ‘Mom’ to her.

I also mentioned that the new job I got after being laid-off was not very enjoyable.  I didn’t want to complain about the job I had after losing the other one…but I was miserable.  I didn’t want to come across as being ungrateful. It was during this time though, that I started learning that I was not leaning on God as much as I thought.

I was so ‘worried’ about being laid-off that I grabbed the first job that came along rather than praying about it and relying on God to open doors for me.  Again, which has been typical in my life, I was trying to be in control and manipulate my situation.

If you read this earlier post of mine, then you will understand my thought process here.  Of course it wasn’t until after I started the new job and began to reflect on my situation that I came to realize that I was still struggling with ‘unbelief’. Though I had faith that God would provide, my unbelief came about in thinking that I needed to jump on that job because there might not be another offer rather than waiting on Him.  So I spent almost 6 months in a job that I was unhappy with and that was not a good fit – for me or the employer.

During this time, I kept studying and learning about God’s grace and His desire to provide for us, His children.  Most recently it dawned on me….

Just as an earthly parent, God does not want His children to suffer, be ill, in pain or live in poverty.  He wants only the best for us.  I have always said I believed that….but I think deep down I always felt like I wasn’t living up to whatever it was in my mind that I thought I should be or be doing for Him.  I felt that because I was ‘failing’ or falling short of what I thought He wanted….then why would He shower me with abundance?  If I couldn’t take care of the little, why would He give me more?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not talking about doing ‘works’ in order to get to heaven.  But just as with my own children….they may do things that are not what I would choose for them…and they may even disappoint me from time to time.  But would I want them to suffer, do without, hurt?  No way!  So why would I assume God would be any different?

I heard someone say that maybe we shouldn’t be asking God for ‘just enough’ – meaning, why do we ask Him for things like giving us just enough to live comfortably, or feel better, or pay our bills?  We are children of God.  We were made righteous by Christ.  So we should claim it!  We have power through Christ!

So I recently sat down and had a lengthy conversation with my Father.  And I laid it all at the feet of my Savior. It finally made sense to me! I gave thanks.  I cried. And rejoiced.  And cried some more.  But afterwards I felt so much lighter and I could definitely feel a difference.  The burdens were gone.

Very shortly after that…things started happening for me:

First of all, I hurt my back carrying something at work that was WAY to heavy.  And I was laying in bed on the 3rd night of the worst pain I have ever been in.  But through the misery – I kept repeating thanks over and over for the healing.  And sure enough, the pain went away without seeking medical care.

Every time I found my mind wanting to head down in the dumps or start with the negative thoughts – I would correct myself and say thanks to my Father.  I gave thanks for my healing (we are healed by his stripes….) and thanks for His provision. Let me tell you….it was not – and still isn’t – a natural or automatic thing for me.  I am so used to thinking ‘here we go again’ or something negative…and then gearing up to deal with it.  So, I have had to repeat many, many times that I do not have to carry the burden….God’s got this!

Next, I got a call from someone that I have always considered a mentor of mine.  I had worked with him in the past and though we parted ways years ago, I would still do some ‘virtual assistant’ jobs for him from time to time.  I also know his boss – the owner of the company in which he works now – from that same time period in our past.  He asked me to stop in to help them with some personnel issues.  I agreed.

When I got there, both of them were there telling me about how some things had changed within the company – and they wanted to offer me a job!!!  You have to understand – I have wanted to work for them for years!  And here it was, out of the clear blue, being offered!  Needless to say, I accepted the job.

Within the first week – I was given a raise…to cover the healthcare premiums – so that it wouldn’t cut into my take home pay. Can you believe that!?  I was also assured that I would be getting my pay bumped up very soon.

Then came the realization that I was most likely going to lose my insurance on my home – due to ‘forgetting’ (Fibro Fog) to pay it…and my first check was coming in exactly one week later than the cut-off date.  Again I found myself starting to get stressed.  But I reminded myself that God’s got this….and I was just along for the ride.

Sure enough – no quicker had those thoughts crossed my mind when my boss asked me how I was with the gap between my last job’s payday and this one.  I told him I was figuring it out.  He told me to give him a figure and he would advance it to me.  I did.  He did.  When I asked about re-paying it…..I was told not to worry about it right now.  So, house insurance was paid – literally within 4 hours of it being cancelled!

For many – this may sound like small potatoes….but for me – this is huge!  For the first time in my life, I feel that things are going to be good for me!  I no longer feel like I screwed up and therefore it is what it is!  Of course there will still be things to come up and I will probably have to remind myself another few hundred times to let things go….but I’m confident that it will become easier as I’m growing and learning more!

Next on my list is my health – again, I’ve spoken with God about this and I am confident that my body is repairing itself and I will no longer suffer.  For now, I find that when I’m getting caught up in the ‘unbelief’ – my Fibro starts acting up.  Once I claim healing and refuse to worry about the situation the symptoms recede.  I believe that for now this is my little reminder to help get me back on track.  But I also fully believe that I am healed and that my healthy body will manifest once I learn to accept the gift given to me.

And finally…..relationships.  I’m not sure where I’m going here yet.  But I’m trusting God to lead me.  At the moment, with all of the pain and mistrust I’ve experienced in this area….I do not want an intimate relationship with another man…ever!  But at the same time, I find myself lonely and wishing for companionship.  However, I will wait on my Father and see what He has in mind for me.  Maybe it’s more than I can ever dream of…..or maybe I’m not supposed to have another man in my life….either way, I’m good with that.

F.R.O.G. = Fully Relying On God…..that’s the fun part….once you learn to relax and go with it!

It Has Been One of THOSE Days!

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We all have days that make you wonder if you shouldn’t go back home and start over……or go back to bed.  It seems like we had one like that today at work.

Monday.  Walk in and find that two offices have been flooded due to who-knows-what….some leaking pipes or something.  It ruined a few things in the payroll office.  There were guys here cleaning up the mess, setting up fans and looking to repair the mess.  Instantly, when you walk near the place, you smell the mildew/moisture – which is not a good thing for some of us (me included) who have allergies to such ‘aromas’.  Top that with the cleaning products that permeated the air – which triggered more problems for some very highly sensitive folks in the office.  All of that made for some pretty miserable people.

Add to that – our phone system was down.  Tech guys didn’t know why. They rigged up a phone that allowed the external calls to continue coming in – but they couldn’t be transferred or place on hold, etc.  Therefore the receptionists had to take messages and/or ask the caller to call the employee’s cell phone (company phones, not personal).  Can you spell S-T-R-E-S-S?

And finally – a dear, beloved man that our company has worked closely with for many, many years passed away this weekend.  His funeral was today.  Several folks are greatly saddened by this.

I must say though – everyone handled the chaotic morning better than some places I’ve worked before.  Everyone simply got to work doing what was necessary.  And ultimately it smoothed out by the end of the day – for the most part. 

Yes, it has been one of those days, for sure.

Then there is my friend.  She and I email back and forth to check in on each other from time to time.  She is ‘stressed’ she says.  I say she is depressed.  Either way, she doesn’t sound good.  I worry – no, I am concerned about her – because she tends to take on unnecessary burdens.  She is a people-pleaser and therefore she takes on too many things trying to ‘help’ others at the expense of her own well-being.  She means well.  She is a good person.  But she needs to stop doing that.

Most of our conversations consist of her looking to escape by moving somewhere else.  I’ve known her for over 20 years and she has always wanted to leave town.  She did once…for a while and then she came back.  But she still dreams of leaving.  I personally think she is looking for things to be ‘better’ in another place rather than facing what the real problem is in her life.  Do I know what her ‘problem’ is?  No.  That’s not my expertise – but it seems to me that she is looking to fill a huge void in her life with material things rather than with what she really needs.

I believe she has a lot of self-esteem issues.  I believe she needs a closer relationship with God – let Him fill that void.  But she’s not there yet.  She ‘searches’ by visiting different churches every week – but can’t seem to land anywhere. And she believes she is ‘good’ in this area – and honestly, who am I to judge?

I care deeply for her – and I’m concerned greatly.  I pray for her.  I don’t ‘worry’ because that is not of God – and I know that He knows better than I what she needs and what she needs to learn on her journey.  She and I have little in common – we don’t even know why or how we became friends actually.  We are both single moms – but her kids are grown.  I have one grown and one 7-year-old. So we don’t really hang out or do anything together.  We communicate by email and sometimes by phone and that’s it.

Since we don’t hang like best friends normally do – I choose my words carefully with her so as not to sound like I’m preaching.  After all, I’m on my own journey (hence the name of my blog).  But I do try my best to be encouraging and uplifting when I can.  But here’s the kicker…

I have to be careful so as not to be taken down the negativity road myself.  What I mean is – have you ever been around people who want to dwell in the negative all of the time!?  If you have, you know how draining that can be.  You know how it can ‘rub off’ on you if you aren’t careful.  Since I come by negativity very naturally myself – it takes real effort to keep myself from going there.  So when I find myself banging up against that wall with her – I try to be encouraging, she shoots it down, I try another angle, she finds something wrong with it too…I simply have to step back, and remind myself of the Truth.  And remember that He is in control and that it is not up to me to do or fix her situation. 

If God chooses to use me to be a testimony or something – that’s awesome!  But that doesn’t mean that I am to ‘do’ anything – because that is ME controlling the situation again – or trying to at least.  See how I must self-talk all of the time because I find myself chasing my own tail!?  LOL – don’t worry, I’m not crazy yet. Just traveling along on my journey with my best friend – God!

But I do have a tremendous need for my vacation to hurry up already!!!!  I can hardly wait – mountains, fresh air, fresh water…..ahhhhh!  Can you see it, feel it, smell it!?!?  I have included pics I took on my last vacation with this post – this will give you an idea.

 

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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I WILL STAND AGAINST FEAR!

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Today I listened to a message that lead me further into my health issues.  And I now have so much rolling around in my mind, I’m not sure that I can adequately write this in a manner to convey what I’m thinking and feeling.

What was revealed to me today is that Satan wants us to live in bondage of fear and anxiety (as I’ve mentioned in a previous post).  He uses these things to keep us from living God’s will.  We are instructed over and over in the bible that we are not to fear – so we know that fear is not of God.

In the message I heard, my pastor said ‘There is a difference between sickness and a spirit of sickness’.  Just stop and think about that for a minute.  If you haven’t had a chronic illness, this may not impact you quite as much as it has me.

This really hit home with me though.  Because I have been in such bad health and hurting for so long, I had finally given in to the fact that this would be the way the rest of my life would go.  I would simply have to find a way to ‘deal’ with the pain and fatigue and go on.  However, as I’ve mentioned before – I DON’T WANT TO LIVE THIS WAY!

The devil can hold us in bondage mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually or even socially.  We must remember that through Christ we have been set free.  It’s out birthright.  Our gift from God.  Our Father has done His part and given us the freedom.  We simply need to accept it.  To stand up and refuse to live in bondage any more!

If you think about it – this can be applied to anything you are battling in life.  Not just a health issue.  Are you under financial bondage? Pornography? What about drugs, alcohol, cutting, anger or depression?  How about negative self-talk?  I used to do that a lot.  I battled the inner voice telling me that I am a disappointment to God.

God will never bless fear-based decisions and therefore, we must CHOOSE to become absolutely intolerant to bondage.  We must stand against the bondage that Satan tries to put on us so that God can bless us for doing His will.

Here is an example on a personal level.  As many of you know, I am working not only on losing weight but mainly focusing on improved physical health by going through a detox program.  I actually did pretty well in the beginning – but before long, the symptoms of my fibromyalgia got worse than ever before!  I was in a very bad place.  I missed work. I wanted to give up.  I wanted to scrap the whole thing and go back to the way things were.

However, after much praying – God revealed to me that even though I was on the right track with the clean eating, I was listening to others instead of Him.  Once I understood and decided to hang in there – I have been attacked like you wouldn’t believe.  There is so much information coming at me from all sides – that it is not even possible to sort through it and know which information is correct!

But Satan has misjudged me.  Tell me I can’t do something and it makes me even more determined!  I am still standing against all that he is throwing my way and trusting in God alone.  GOD is my anchor.  He is my teacher.  He is walking me through this and I will be victorious because I choose God’s will.  God is leading me through this journey and I am not giving up.

Have a great week, everyone!  And, choose to stand strong!

Fear, Anxiety, Worry – Consumers of Joy

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Let me first say I’m not one to go around saying ‘God told me this’ or quoting scriptures to people.  But I have chosen to seek a closer relationship to God and I am learning (slowly) to quiet down and listen for God’s voice.  So, this is a bit about what I’m learning in that journey.

 
As many of you know, I’ve been through a lot over my lifetime.  And it’s been quite a rough ride over the past couple of years in many ways.  But I also want to praise God for walking through it with me and showing how to have peace and happiness along the way!

 
Today I listened to a message about fear, anxiety and worry.  While listening I felt like this was just for me.  I have been living under chronic stress for many years – of course that is another way of saying that I’ve been a worrier and anxious about way more things necessary.  It’s like it is my character – I’ve always been that way.  
 
I always felt that some of that was a good thing in that it made me a hard worker (fear of failure).  It made me to be sensitive to others’ feelings and situations (good until you take on their burdens).  It made me keep going no matter what came along (fear of failure again). That fear of failure is what has driven me in a lot of areas – even as far back as making good grades in school.
 
But, as we all know – life is full of trials and part of that includes failure – otherwise how do we learn?  But I couldn’t ever see it that way.  So, when something came along that I viewed as a failure, I spiraled into depression.  And that had been building for many, many years.
 
Along with that went my health.  I cannot even begin to tell you all of the ways that it has negatively impacted my health.  Many see that I am overweight and assume I’m lazy or that I eat too much.  But truth is, it is more directly related to my overall health and the inability to do much about it.  
 
When I was finally diagnosed a few years back with Fibromyalgia, I was somewhat relieved to be able to put a label on many of my unexplained symptoms.  However, I also started getting hard-headed and decided that there had to be a better way.  I refused to take prescription meds for my ‘condition’ – instead I started really paying attention to what was triggering the pain.
 
My progress has been slow – but through a lot of prayer – I believe God is leading me to the solution.  I am seeing positive outcomes with small changes and as long as I continue to speak with Him through prayer and tears, He is faithful to lead me to the next step.
 
Through this process I believe that all of this is directly related to what I have been calling chronic stress – but can now say it boils down even further to fear, anxiety and worry.  I believe that my chronic issues have greatly manifested to a point where it has taken my quality of life away.  It has contributed to failed marriage.  It has impacted my kids and my relationship with them.  It hinders friendships.  I could go on and on.
 
As this has become more and more clear to me I now know what I need to work on – right?  Well, sort of….  
 
You see, for many years, I knew what my problem was (to an extent) but tried to correct it on my own.  Wrong.  Can’t do it.  It’s temporary.  I have to keep reminding myself to rely on God….it’s not ‘habit’ for me because I am a survivor and part of that requires me to be in charge (Ha!) – so I’m still working on it, trust me!
 
So after working through my failed marriage and divorce.  After changing jobs from one that I invested everything I had into only to be betrayed by people who ‘claim’ to care about others to something much less stressful.  After working to straighten my finances up after the long, rough marriage.  I can now say I am on the right track!
 
I seldom have fibro pain – though I do find that it will flare right back up as strong as before when I let anxiety and worry creep back in.  My mind is clearer.  I have slightly improved energy.  I’m no longer depressed.  
 
Most recently, I was talking with God on the way to work.  I was telling him that I just knew there had to be more to life.  I know with every inch of me that He did not put us on this earth to be miserable.  I long to have energy and health to be on fire for Him.  I want to live the life He had planned for me.  So I asked Him to show me the way.  Show me how to get there, what He wanted me to do.  I asked Him to change me from the ‘inside out’ so I could be healthy and full of life.
 
From that moment on, I have seen changes in me like nothing before!  I have actually felt better physically – not that I’m ready to run a marathon – but more like I have energy at the end of the day to spend with my beautiful son.  I can concentrate more and I am now ready to do whatever it takes to keep progressing.  This is new for me folks.  Prior to this, if it required much energy or effort – it wasn’t going to happen.
 
I have many more things to say about things I have come to realize in the past few weeks – but I will save it for another post.  Bottom line is that I keep hearing over and over from various unrelated things/people etc that one must remove stress and anxiety from your life in order to maintain your health and quality of life.
 
As we have all heard this many, many times – we almost laugh when we hear it.  But really, when you stop to consider exactly what has it done for you or to you….it makes you pay attention.  And for me, because I was to the point that I just assumed I would always live my life unhappy and miserable.  I was about to accept it for my norm.
 
Not anymore!  I CHOOSE to be healthy and live!  I CHOOSE to make the changes now to have a better tomorrow!  I CHOOSE my friends and family over my ridiculous need to be in control of something that obviously was way out of control in my life!  I CHOOSE quality of life!
 
If you would like to hear one of the most important messages of your life click this link and choose ‘I Changed My Mind’ (Part 2).  http://www.tfc.org/sermons