Agoraphobia

Live Now

live now ferris wheel2

Are you living now?

Or living in the future?

Or living in the past?

You can’t really LIVE if you are living in the past or in the future.

All we are guaranteed is today. Today is the only time God has given us. We have no ties to the past because we can’t change anything that has happened or anything that has been said. We can apologize and try to make amends, but in reality we can only live for today. Our past has no power to control us or our lives unless we give the past the power. Our lives are more than our past and more than our future.

God has placed a special plan and purpose into each of our lives, yet often we focus so much on “finding” that purpose, we forget to live in the present moment.

Moments where memories are lost. Moments  where we often forget to appreciate what we have and where we are in our lives. Maybe we aren’t exactly where we wish we were at this point in our lives, but by always focusing on the “greener” pastures, we forget that we have so much to be thankful for.

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It is time to live for me. After living a life so focused on my anxiety, fear and agoraphobia for over 15 years, I have decided that life is to be enjoyed. In the process of “finding” myself after being hidden for so long, I have realized that special moments are in every aspect of my life if I will take the time to look. In the small things such as a wet kiss on the nose from my dog, Penny to huge moments of having a big hug from my son Chance. Each moment means the world to me because for so long, I lived in a bubble of fear and anxiety. I didn’t take time to enjoy those special moments. Life just was plain overwhelming…

But today, I am in a better place, free from Fear. How about you? What are you doing to LIVE NOW?

Take the time to focus on the small and big moments. God gives us each day to live. Remember HE loved us and gave His only son to die for our sins. He wants you and I to really LIVE.

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Keep Walking

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Photo Credit:

P. J. Di Benedetto

When we learned to walk as a baby, it was tough at times. We often fell down, cried or even through a fit, but over time we still learned to walk.

Our parents would offer us help and encouragement, but even that couldn’t teach us how to walk. Walking just basically required us “doing” the work to learn the process. One step at a time. Then one day we were walking more than a few step at a time and before long we were running with other children. Walking isn’t something we knew when we were born, but through trial and error, we eventually learned the steps to becoming more independent.

Now, when we think about the Christian walk. It is basically the same process. We don’t have any clue how to face the struggles life hands us, but over time we learn to use our faith even in the deepest pits of life. No life is a bowl of cherries. We all face hardships, difficulties and pain in this life;whether of our own doing or someone else’s. Life can hand us pain unimaginable at times. I know in my own life, I can certainly attest to that.

As a child I never knew how much pain I was carrying around because it seemed normal. Yet, over time the shoving the pain down began to manifest itself in the way of anxiety, fear, and eventually agoraphobia. This certainly was not the life I dreamed of as a child. Life became unbearable, yet I saw no way out. The roller coaster only intensified after the murder/suicide of my grandparents.

I am giving you that example because I can certainly relate to trials, pain and tragedies, yet over time I had to learn that my life wasn’t going to change unless I changed.

Changed my thoughts

Changed how I let the past control me

Changed relationships and the power they held

Began to trust and believe in myself

I can never change the pain of the past, the loss of loved ones to horrible tragedies, but I have learned that I must

Keep Walking

Even when it is hard

Even when the path is unclear

Even when the naysayers are loud

Even when the end seems so far away

Nothing in life is easy and usually the sweetest accomplishments are the hardest fought.

Praying for you today to feel God’s love and His peace. He has a wonderful plan for you. Love to each of you.

I am having a new website designed, so in a few weeks I will have a new landing. Hope you will check back often to see the new site.

Linking Up:

Essential Thing Devotions

My Freshly Brewed Life

Deep Waters

Deep Waters1

The deep waters can overwhelm us, yet God is calling us to trust Him to cleanse us in the deep.

Deep waters

of

Pain, hurt, loss, joy, peace, fear, hope, uncertainty

YET

He is there even in the deep waters

The waters are for our healing and our benefit. Yet, it still hurts at times because of the refining of our lives.

Refining of our lives requires walking into the deep waters with Christ. It will not be fun, nor easy but in the end we will be better people.

We can then be healed, set free, happy and able to focus on the calling God has called us to do. Often the waters must be stepped into fully and deeply to find ourselves and the real YOU..

I know when God called me into the DEEP, it required a huge amount of trust because I had always lived in fear of the unknown. The waters of healing and freedom required an amount of trust in the Lord that I had never had to have before. Living with fear was easier than stepping into the waters with God.

I had trusted Jesus with my heart in 1977 yet life had many challenges from that point forward. The challenges kept me from living a full life, yet after walking into the deep waters with God, my life is happy, peaceful and free from fear. God’s healing touch was in the deep waters.

Today, don’t be afraid of stepping into the deep.

He is there waiting to refine, repair and restore.

Nothing is impossible with God. Matthew 19:26

Linking up

Simply Beth

Beauty in His Grip

My Daily Walk in  His Grace

Juana Mikels

Violet Imperfection

Women to Women

FREE: Follow up on my word for 2013

The end of last year, I made a choice to focus on the word FREE for the year of 2013.

Needless to say, the ride has been both exciting and nerve wracking at times.

God has done a tremendous work in a once fearful, anxious and also agoraphobic woman.

I still have many strides to make in this journey out of fear, but I am so very thankful for the place I am currently in.

Two years ago, I could not even ride in a vehicle without having full blown panic attacks and totally be in a state of fear. I also had not had a vacation out of town in over 10 years, but the last two years my family and I have traveled on four different trips. We have made memories, visited family and put the enemy in his place.

That has been the sweetest part:

Putting the enemy in his place

He has no power over me and my freedom any longer.

For years, I lived my life believing the fear would always be part of my life but God has totally healed me from the fear, anxiety and agoraphobia. I still have a few goals to meet in the new life I have now, but I know God will walk with me just as He has each day.

I look forward to the next step God has planned for me.

I am thankful for the freedom I currently have, yet I know with God all things are possible.

Thankful for being FREE

free cage

Free from:

Anxiety

Fear

Agoraphobia

Past Dysfunctional Relationships

Self-Hatred

Self-Doubt

Believing the Worst

Today I am THANKFUL

Five Minute Friday: Fly

In Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday, other bloggers and writer write for Five Minutes about one word. A word which deeply spoke to me.

This week the prompt is the word FLY

Fly, sweet girl. You are free to fly and become all God created you to be. You have lived in the shadow of fear, anxiety and agoraphobia far too long. Why have you hidden your beautiful self? Why have you doubted all I have made you to be?

You are called to a new place and a beautiful purpose. Now it is time to find your wings and become all I have called you to be. Move forward and live a life full of wonder, happiness and purpose. Nothing in the past can hold you any longer. The past has been a learning process that has made you who you are today. The past will help you on the next path I have called you to walk. The past is part of you but it is not YOU. You can now move on.

You have lived a life that has been full of pain, fear, anxiety and many tragedies, but yet you have survived to live a new life on this next journey we are going to take together.

I am excited and now it is time to FLY.

Live big

Dream big

Find your purpose

birds flying

Photo Credit

Deposit Photos

Linking up with

Lisa Jo Baker

Ragged Edges

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Ragged Edges

Pieces of the past

Falling Away

Slowly, one day at a time

Nothing is off limits

God is restoring

God is moving

God is ABLE

For years, I lived a life that just was down right unhappy. Not unhappy because of my husband or children, but unhappy because my life was so limited because of fear, anxiety and agoraphobia. Life became enclosed by the four walls of my house and the dependence I had on others to feel “safe”. My life never felt secure or normal, even though I had a great life with a wonderful husband and children, yet something was always missing.

Today, I can see how the ragged edges of my past have fallen away more and more over the last two years. The last year has been life changing.

The edges are almost all gone.

Life is wonderful. Peace is present. Self acceptance is mine.

Freedom is Sweet.

I am not claiming to have it all figured out, but I do know that if God did this for me

Anything is Possible Matthew 19:26

Lord, I thank you for giving me a life full of possibilities. Nothing is beyond your scope of repair, restore, renew. I am a living testament of your power in the life of a believer. Without You, Lord I would be lost, alone and fear bound but through your saving grace and wonderful healing touch, I am free. I am forever thankful and I will continue to give my testimony as long as I live. My life will never be the same. The walls are no longer keeping me captive. Now the windows and doors are open to FREEDOM and JOY. You have called me to a new place and I am ready for the next step. Move now Lord.

Linking  up with

Essential Thing Devotions

Be Simply Better

Write the Vision

writing journal

Writing the Vision

Have you ever thought about writing your goals and visions down?

My family has done this for several years. We write our prayers, visions and dreams down on small cards. Then we take those cards and put them in a small box. At the end of the year we like to go back and look at what God has done in our family and our own lives individually.

It has been great to see the amazing things God has performed in our lives.

From small prayers such as:

Full time job for son

Full time job for Angie

Mike’s business to grow

To larger dreams and goals such as:

Moving forward with my new ministry

Having my own “real” website designed specifically for me

Freedom from fear, anxiety and agoraphobia

Financial prosperity

The new year is almost upon us, so now is the perfect time to focus on what you want for your family and yourself in the next year. These goals, dreams and prayers could range from spiritual aspects to overall family goals. I truly believe when we seek God’s will for our lives and the lives of our family, friends and churches, HE hears our prayers. Sometimes the prayer is not answered exactly as we wish, but none the less, it is answered.

Answered either with

Wait

No

or Yes

In God’s word it says, ” Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets. That he may run who reads it for the vision is yet for an appointed time.”  Habakkuk 2: 2-3

God knows our hearts even better than we know them ourselves. Nothing is hidden and nothing is a shock to him.

Be bold and brave in your goals, dreams and prayers. He wants the best for His children.

Reminding You Today:

You are loved

You are beautiful

You are special

GOD LOVES YOU.

I love each one of my readers. I am sorry I haven’t been very good at replying to the comments, but for some reason I have issues with my wordpress site. I hope when my new website is up and running the issues be repaired. God Bless and please know I appreciate all of the readers, comments and followers.

Linking up today with:

Simply Beth

Beauty in His Grip

My Daily Walk in his Grace

Jennifer Dukes Lee

Prowess and Pearls

Little R&R

Are you in Egypt?

This song resonates with me and the real shaking my family is currently facing.

I have  faced spiritual battles before in my own life; especially when it has come to my bondage and stronghold to fear, anxiety and agoraphobia. Yet, this battle is even more…

More painful.

More loss involved.

More on the line.

Lives. Families. Relationships. Sin. Eternal.

The song by Sara Groves has really spoke to my heart lately.

Life was comfortable before because I knew what the day was going to hold. I knew that I would be fearful, anxious and panic stricken in most every part of the day. The life I am living now is more uncomfortable, especially in the present day of such a spiritual attack on my life and the lives of those I love.

Yet, I know the past is closed off to me.

The past is so tangible. I know it by heart. Such powerful words from the song.. Oh, they speak to me. I knew the past by heart.

Familiar things are hard to discard. Oh My.. Yes.

I lived in such a path of darkness for so long. My eyes were covered by  fear. I felt I had no value to anyone. The ones that I so desperately wanted to love me, totally abandoned me and left me feeling worthless. Even though the familiar was unhappy, damaging and not the best God had for me, I stayed stuck.

Stuck because I didn’t feel worthy of any other life.

I was painting pictures of Egypt but none were coming true. The past had such a hold, yet the future seemed unattainable. I was stuck in the middle. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

I so desperately wanted to go, yet I hesitated. Fear continued to hold me back.

I was caught between the PROMISE and the things I knew.

One of the verses in this song says, ” But the places that used to fit me, cannot hold the things I have learned. ”

I cannot explain how this song has spoke to my heart. Life changing.
Beyond words.

Did someone tell Sara Groves my story because it seems that this song was written just for me.

I so desperately wanted freedom from the past abuse, neglect, fear, anxiety and agoraphobia, but I saw no solution. Yet, God had bigger plans.

He set me free from anxiety, fear and agoraphobia in August 2012. After 40 years of living with this I am now free. Free to travel. Free to drive alone. Free to be happy, whole and ANGIE.

The timing was right for the Lord to heal me.

The song says, ” If it comes too quick I may not recognize it. ”

If God had done this tremendous work in my life 8 years ago, would I have been ready? Would I be in the place I am with my ministry? Would I be in a place where freedom would truly be mine?

I am not so sure. His timing was right, just as it always is.

Yesterday I  fasted, prayed and sought the Word and will of the Lord for the shaking and attack my family is currently under. So much pain. So many unanswered questions.

Yet, even when the shaking continues..

I will not let the enemy win and I certainly will not go back to the past life I once lived. I have come too far.

Prayer for you and me:

Lord, today I want to thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed on me and my family. I ask that you do the same for the reader. Help them to feel your love and your powerful healing touch for whatever they may be facing. Life is hard, yet we are over-comers with you on our side. Nothing can break the love you have for us as believers. We stand connected with you and the armies of angels surrounding us. Even when life feels like it is so painful, we continue to trust and believe in your better plan. We don’t see what you are doing behind the scenes, but you know the perfect time and place to have all the pieces fit together. Lord, help us to continue to trust, love and accept. Acceptance does not mean we are happy, but it does mean we know you are faithful to perfect all that concerns us and our loved ones. Lord, watch over and protect my family. We know the restoration, love and healing is possible. One day, I hope to be able to tell the full story of the restoring power of JESUS.

Linking up with :

More To Be

Little By Little

Same but different

How can three siblings be so different yet grew up in the same home?

I wonder.

scar

I know for me being the middle child, life was much different from it was for my other two siblings. One sister was 3 years older and then a baby brother was 11 years younger. I was a good kid who loved to read, ride her bike, play outside and play “office” in her room. I was quiet and shy much of my early years, which meant that my mom called me names from a very early age. “I was a “problem”. I was not ” normal”.  There had to be something “wrong” with me. Why was I so fearful? Why did I cry so much? Couldn’t I be like my sister? ”

From as early as 3 or 4 years old, this was my everyday life. We lived one way at home behind closed doors and another in public. Most of the extended family could see how I was treated but often was fearful of confronting the situation because of the possible distancing of me from them. Most felt that if they kept me close, then at least I could be protected on some level.

Most were wrong.
I was not protected.I was not safe.

I lived in fear each day of once again waking up to the nightmare, yet dreaded sleep even more. Sleep frightened me. Darkness overwhelmed me. Fear was my best friend. At least with fear I knew what to expect. I couldn’t say the same for my parents or siblings.

It is still that way today. I never know from one minute to the next what my “first” family will do today to try to hurt me or harm my 2nd family. The family that I so love is often hurt so deeply by the out reaching tentacles of the “crazy” ones.

Family that I wish loved me, as I love them

wanted me healthy, happy and whole, as I pray  for them

cherished my children, as I do theirs

wished the best for me,  as I do them.

But after reading Elisa Morgan’s newest book, ” The Beauty of Broken” I have come to the realization that we each have adapted to our raising and childhood in different ways. I had to leave that life from the day I turned 18, while the other two have stayed entrenched in that life. If I had not left, I would have lost myself even more. It took me until I was 46 years old to finally try to find ” Angie” and to really seek what God said about me. To block out what has been said about me by my first family. To believe I am worth more. To believe I am loved. Such hard truths to accept. Yet, I am on the road today.

I would have lost me if I had stayed any longer.

I would recommend this powerful book to anyone struggling in their own family. Elisa shares the ups and down of her childhood as well as her life as a mother, wife and the struggles of that family. Powerful reading and you will walk away looking at your relationships in a different light.

Side Note: When my dad passed away 12 years ago, my mother wanted everyone to write something on the pine box casket. My husband wrote, ” Dennis, thank you for giving me your wonderful daughter Angie to love and cherish. She is so special to me. ”

My mom went behind hubby and marked out the writing.

 

Forgive and Forget?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about a scripture verse in Luke 17:3-4 which says:

Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you saying ” I repent, and you shall forgive him.  KJV.

This has been a struggle for me in my own “first” family as Elisa Morgan describes in her book ”  The Beauty of the Broken.”

beauty and broken

My “first” family is not healthy, whole or even in the least happy, yet they often do not even realize it. Since I have overcome my anxiety, fear and Agoraphobia my family continues to try to pull me back into the dysfunction and often crazy behavior.

My healing is mine and I certainly can not heal them but I wish I could. I wish I could give them the same freedom I have found, but I personally do not feel that they even want the happiness and joy that God has given me. For years, I also lived a very unhealthy, unhappy exsitence.

Some folks like drama and some folks like to be unhealthy.

Reading the verse I was discussing it with a pastor friend and he said,

” If a person repents, then you forgive. But if they don’t repent and ask for forgiveness with a sorrow that is Godly; not a “I got caught sorrow” then you can forgive the person and have a relationship. The Godly sorrow and repentance must come from a sorrowful heart that is broken for the pain they caused.”

I then questioned, ” If they do not repent, do you have a relationship after rebuking them which then allows them to continue to do the same thing again?  He said, ” NO” Rebuking and repentance must go hand in hand for total forgiveness and restoration to happen.

But forgiveness comes in either instance. Whether they ask for forgiveness or not, we as Christians must forgive, but that does not mean we forget and fall into the same trap again with this person.

I know that I can forgive my family and have had to repeatedly do that over my lifetime of horrible atrocities. Just because I forgive does not mean that they have had a repentant heart or EVER apologized in any form or fashion. From a physical assault by my brother, to damaging letters about my child, to hot checks being written repeatedly to on and on. No apologizes ever.

Yet, there are some folks that stand behind the belief that forgiveness means you must have contact with that person again. I stand to differ. I believe forgiveness is always our goal because without forgiveness we become bitter, angry, resentful Christians. Yet, boundaries are often necessary.

Forgiveness is different from having a relationship with the offender again.

Luke 17: 3-4 makes it clear we are to rebuke, repent and then forgive.

I believe the Word of God is powerful and allows the believer to fight the good fight.

Fight

Stand

Believe

Put on the Whole Armor of God

My God is all-powerful and has equipped me for the battles I face.

I can forgive and have, but that does not mean that I will back down in a spiritual battle for my healing and my 2nd family.

One day we will each have to answer for what we have done on this earth; good and bad.

I am a sinner that is full of God’s mercy. Thankfully.

I am not perfect and do not claim to be perfect. I am an over-comer and will continue to overcome.

What the enemy has thrown my way by the hands of my “first” family, the God of the Universe will use for my good. Nothing will be wasted.

My story will stand.

How about you?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this verse and something you have had to learn the hard way about relationships.

Today, Lord we come to You asking for your protection and mercy for all of us that are so undeserving. We pray for those that have hurt us along the path of this life. Life is hard and the pain is often overwhelming, but I know that nothing You allow into our lives is ever wasted. Help us to not be overcome with evil and lash out at those that have hurt us. Help us to stand strong and face the battles with Your Word and the power of the Sword. You are all powerful and for that I am thankful. POWER and PROMISES.