fear

Which road are you on?

Are you living in the past

or are you living in the present?

As Christians we are given paths to choose in many different situations. We have to face decisions on many different aspects of life from the employment opportunities we have, to whom to marry all the way to where to live and how many children to have.

But we have other decisions to make as well.

Personally, a big choice we need to face head on is whether we are going to go down the road of dwelling on the past or are we going to face today, head on and live in the present?

It is easy to go back and live in the past, but what does that accomplish?

Often it only brings pain and heartache, but it can offer us hope and healing as well, yet we are not to sit down in the ashes of the past…

and stay and stay..

Why would we want to give up our present for pieces of the past?  Click to Tweet

The Lord wants our lives to be full of promise and certainly full of love, hope and healing.
Sometimes we have to sit for a bit..

But then it is time to face the present, all the while learning the lessons from the past.

two roads4

Today

Be strong

Live free

and

Face the past

But now we must move..

What dream do you have for your life?

Take time to write your goals down

Stretch your mind and write.. write.. write

nothing is too crazy or off limits.

God can perform above anything we can ask or imagine.

God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:26 MSG

I believe we can learn from the past, but oh my, what the present holds for us as well as the future…

Wow. The possibilities

God has huge plans for us as His children, but often we get in our own way. We want to stay stuck and connected to the past, all the while the present is passing us by.

I lived this way for many years while I struggled with fear, anxiety and agoraphobia.

Yet, God had a bigger plan for me than I had for myself.

Freedom was mine after more than 20 years of living with fear.

In August 2012..

The present became mine while the past faded away.

Doors were opened and I began to walk through them, all the while listening to the still, small voice of the LORD.

He has led me and held my hand each and every step.

Often it has been a day to day process, but other times the freedom has been easily found. The enemy continued to try to pull me back into the past but I knew the

Present and Future

are mine.

I want to offer you hope.

Nothing is lost with the LORD. Yes, you may need to look at the past to learn some lessons and find healing, but please do not stay there. Don’t sit in the ashes.

Step out today and LIVE.

and LIVE BIG

Take a long, hard look. See how great he is – infinite, greater than anything you could ever imagine or figure out! Job 36:26 MSG

Linking up with

Juana Mikels

Essential Thing Devotions

Simply Beth

Beauty in His Grip

Life, even when …

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Life goes on, even when..

What would your even when be?

I could fill that in with many words

Suicide

Murder

Anxiety

Fear

Agoraphobia

Painful Relationships

Dysfunction

But, even when I don’t understand, God does. I may not ever know the reasons why certain circumstances or aspects of life have happened the way they have, but even when I don’t, there is still a plan and purpose.

I may never understand why my grandmother was murdered by my grandfather in 1996. I may never understand why I suffered so many, many years with anxiety, fear and agoraphobia. I may never understand the painful relationships. But God does.

Yet, I have to choose to believe that God will not waste any pain or heartache or joy  in the big scheme of His plan for me or my life.        I wish I could understand this side of heaven, but I still trust in HIM and HIS plan. I do not claim that this is always easy at times but still I believe it is the best way.

Psalm 115

Certainly, in this fallen world, we all face heartaches and struggles, but I can attest that I have often felt beyond God’s reach. I have felt forgotten and alone. Even in the church, I have felt this way. Pushed aside. Lonely and fearful. Afraid to leave my home, yet often afraid of being in my home. A life of an agoraphobic is tragic and painful.

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” If you can’t be thankful for what you receive, be thankful for what you escape.” Click to Tweet

Sometimes the only answer is:

Lord you are Sovereign. That may be all you can offer now as well. That is enough while you wait for the next step in your journey. He hasn’t forgotten you.

Or me.

” He who limps still walks.” Stainslaw Lec

Sharing at:

Sandra Heskaking

 Essential Things Devotions

Beauty in His Grip

Janis Cox

Imagine Freedom

Imagine freedom from fear or anxiety.

What does it look like in your mind?

Have you ever experienced that before?

Freedom is possible with God. Personally, I know the struggle you may be facing today. You feel like the freedom you so desperately want is just out of reach or God only has that for someone else.

We tend to believe the lies of the enemy instead of looking at the wonderful aspects of our lives that God has given us on a daily basis.

I understand.

I did the same thing for so long. I doubted His love for me, even though I could look around and see all the beautiful aspects of my life.

Yet, the one aim of my life seemed so out of reach.

Freedom from fear, anxiety and agoraphobia was nowhere to be found; or so it seemed.

Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. Click to Tweet

Nothing is impossible with God, even when we doubt or feel unworthy.

Luke 1:37 For with God nothing is impossible.

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God has a plan, even when we don’t understand. After all of my struggles, I have a story to tell. Our stories help others know that they are not alone.

Share your story here today. What has God healed your from or helped you overcome?

Nothing is lost.

Let me pray for you:

Lord, nothing is lost in your sight. You know the beginning and the end of our lives. We have pain but that can be used for your glory if we follow your leading. I pray that anyone that is struggling today, that they can find a sense of peace by listening for your voice. You speak and we listen. Help us to quiet ourselves. Help us to seek your face and to see the wonder in even the small freedoms we have.

Linking up with

Simply Beth

Juana Mikels

The Beauty in His Grip

Messy Marriage

Captivity

” I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity.”

Jeremiah 29:14

I love this verse in the Bible.  How comforting to know that God will bring us back from the captivity we find ourselves as well as from those who have held us captive.

Captivity according to Dictionary.com:

the state or period of being held, imprisoned, enslaved, or confined.

When I think about the word captivity, I can come up with several scenarios where the word captivity would apply.
Such as:
Being held as a prisioner
Being held as a slave
free cage
But I also think about the lives of many struggling Christians who are being help captive by the enemy. Maybe in small ways but also in huge ways. Think about those you know or maybe think about your own life. What do you struggle to be set free from? Addictions? Sexual Sin? Lying?
Rejection from someone/many? Fear? Anxiety? Agoraphobia? Gambling?
Personally, I can relate to being held captive to something not of my own doing, yet that is exactly where I found myself for over 20 years. Agoraphobia took over my life and became my best friend. I knew what to expect in relation to it, yet the outside world overwhelmed me. Thinking of traveling away from home would cause the panic and anxiety to run full force; way beyond my control. The fear and panic were easily feigned off when I would once again give into the enemies control to hold me captive once again.
This scenario went on and on. Over and over. Never changing much. I would so desperately want to be free from the chains holding me hostage, yet I could see no way out of the depths of fear.
Yet, when I was ready and the Lord was willing to hear my desperate cries, I was set free from all of the chains holding me hostage. Nothing will stop me now. Oh, I won’t lie. Often I can feel the enemy trying to gain his power back again, yet the battle is not over. The enemy will never win this battle.
” Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles. ” Psalm 2:3
The last time we took a family trip to San Antonio, as we were driving home I said, ” Well, little devil, once again you lost that battle.”. That is what I will continue to say, even in the face of fear and anxiety. I will continue to move forward in the call God has placed upon my life to help others struggling with fear, anxiety and agoraphobia, or those who have lost loved ones to suicide or murder, just as I have.
I hope you will read an older post from when I was first set free from fear.
God literally gave me the verse I discuss in the Feeding on Ashes post.
” God called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. ” 1 Peter 2:9
Today, I want to offer you hope that healing can and will come. God has a wonderful plan for your life and that plan includes freedom from captivity and bondage. Don’t settle for anything less than God’s best.

Year in Review

winter tree

A year of beauty but also a year of pain.

That has been my life.

Relationships fail

Pain is inflicted; whether intentional or unintentional

Harm is done that cannot be forgetten

Things will change whether we want them to or not.

But one thing that will never change is the power of God in our lives.

I am finally free.

Free from anxiety, fear and agoraphobia.

God has changed my life in so many ways.

Confidence

Self-Esteem

Love

Faith

Hope

Joy

Peace

And FREEDOM

Finally Free

Comfort

Comfort

As a Christian, I have faced times where I often wondered if anyone cared. Where I felt so alone and wish that someone would reach out to ask me how I am doing.

I have always had to be the “strong” one even in times where I was falling apart or my life seemed to be falling apart.

Time of loss and heartache where I never felt I would see the sun ever shine in my life again. When I lost my grandparents to murder/suicide, I really never felt I would ever be the same. Loss so indescribable, yet it was my life.

Comfort was no where to be found because each family member was facing the same pain and loss. Then, I had others within our small town that just had no idea of how to help or what to say to COMFORT.

Comfort

So, I was all alone or felt that way at least.

Trying to be strong, but often falling apart at the seams.

Wishing my life would end as well. So much pain, yet I had no clue as how to overcome the deep loss and emotional pain I was facing, and all of my family was facing. We were all barely hanging on.

Why is it that in such desperate times, the church community is often some that causes the deepest wounds?

I would love to have had someone reach out their hand and offer to listen or even to give me a hug. Offer a hot meal. Offer to pay for counseling for my children or myself. Offer to spend the evening with me while my husband worked overnight at the police department. Offer to not speak words that would hurt, but that was often the norm.

I had one really “well-known” Christian man from my church tell me the day my grandparents died, that I needed to “quit crying and screaming because I wasn’t acting like a very good Christian.” Then another said that ” maybe this is a conclusion to an already bad relationship”.

How do we tell ourselves that as a Christian that somehow gives us the right to hurt another person struggling or needing a friend?

I can think of many instances where I have seen the ugliness from the church, when I initially went to the church for comfort.

Certainly not what I found.

I have found

condemnation

comparison

gossip

jealousy

favoritism

on and on

We as Christians need to remember that we are representing the ONE TRUE COMFORTER

and when we act as such, we fail in our efforts to portray HIM in a positive light as well. Our lives are to be a witness to the power of the LORD in our lives, yet when we act unbecoming we demean all HE has done for us and our lives.

I have faced ridicule for having anxiety, fear and agoraphobia as well. My son has been gossiped about supposedly being gay. (doesn’t matter either way because he is my son) but is it the right place for this to happen. This same son no longer goes to church because of the pain inflicted. As a Christian, when we lash out, we hurt. When we speak evil about someone, we hurt. When we choose to ignore, we hurt.

(Are you reading this????)

We hurt others but we also hurt our Lord.

We hurt ourselves as well.

Why do we want to act so foolishly in the Lord’s eyes and the eyes of others?

Today, I really want to offer a word about being so petty and malicious. God expects better from us but we should expect more from ourselves as well.

Comfort comes from the LORD and for that I am thankful.

He loves me and wants the best for me.

Lord, I come to you to ask you to soften our hearts to the pain we often inflict on others; whether intentional or unintentional. You want us to love others and offer a helping hand to others.

LOVE doesn’t hurt

Linking up with:

Simply Beth

My Daily Walk in His Grace

Women 2 Women Ministries

 

Dreaming of Now

tree up to sky

As a child, dreaming is such a powerful part of our lives. We look forward to the future, even when we are unsure of what the future holds. The dreams seem to be within our reach and help us to strive to reach for the moon.

Dreams can become reality but often in our lives, dreams don’t pan out. Life becomes a roller coaster of ups and downs. Often more downs than ups. We still hold the dreams of our childhood often deep within our minds and hearts, yet we don’t see any way of making them a reality. We live so focused on just “surviving” whatever situation we are currently facing.

Maybe the reality of your life has squished your dreams as well. Maybe the life you are living feels more like a nightmare at times.

I know at times in my 48 years of life on this earth, I have wondered when the dream life would happen. Life was such a tremendous struggle most of my life; most not of my own doing. Some was my doing but often it was caused from my dysfuctinonal past life…How do your overcome something that changed the course of your life?

I often wondered that myself. I knew nothing other than the life I had from birth. Yet, that life caused me so much heartache, anxiety and ultimately losing much of myself.

Dreams of becoming the President of the United State was still in the back of my mind.

Dreams of one day becoming a famous author were still there in the depths of my heart

Dreams of children and a good family life

Dreams of having a dog to love because my parents didn’t allow pets

Dreams of traveling the world

Dreams of being loved just for being Angie

Dreams of everything I could imagine

What are your dreams now?

What were your dreams as a child?

Have you achieved in reaching your dreams?

Some of my dreams have come true and for that I am forever thankful.

My life is thankfully not over so with God’s help, I have the opportunity to continue to reach for the sky.

Dreams can come true

I am married to the love of my life. We have been married for 30 years; from the age of 16 and 18 years old.

I have two grown sons and three grandchildren.

I have 4 dogs currently and have had many other pets over the last 30 years of married life.

I have a home that is full of love and mercy.

My husband loves and accepts me; faults and all.

A life well lived is a life that quites the evil spoken by others.

My dream of writing a book and having it published are a work in progress. The story I am writing is about my journey from a fearful, anxious child to adult that later overcame her fears as well as agoraphobia. With God all things are possible.

Keep Dreaming

Our dreams are never wasted. God knows our hearts and what we want for our lives. Keep seeking Him and HIS heart. HIS plan is always right, even when we doubt.

Stay tuned to HIM

DREAMING OF NOW..

Now is all we are guaranteed. Not tomorrow. Not the next day.

ONLY NOW.

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

Choose to Believe

Choose to Believe

We all have choices to make each day.

Choices to believe

or not to believe

Choices whether to love or hate

Forgive or hold onto to unforgiveness

Grow or remain stagnant

Live or Die

Believe in God

or

Deny God

For me, many of these are easier than others. One that will never change will be to BELIEVE IN GOD. I have faced 3 suicides, a murder, abuse, neglect, car wrecks, anxiety, fear, agoraphobia, loss of jobs, friendships, as well as other tragedies, but through it all I have never stopped believing in God. My faith has been shaken but no denying God has stepped in more than once to protect, guide, and love me through it all.

Believe in God

Even when it is hard

Even when you want to give up

Lean into HIM

Praying for you today. Lean into HIM and HIS love for you. It is unconditional and full of peace if you trust HIM and HIS plan. HIS plan will always be best. Life happens but nothing is out of HIS control.

CHOOSE TO BELIEVE

Linking up with:

Simply Beth

My Daily Walk in His Grace