Peace

You Are Beautiful

God calls you beautiful.

Beauty is fleeting in the worlds standards, but in God’s eyes, you are beautiful. From the moment you were just a twinkle in your parents eyes, God has loved you.

He sees you perfectly beautiful, full of possibility and totally cherished.

God sees YOU.

The real you; not the YOU the world, friends or family has told you that YOU are or were.

God doesn’t see your past, nor does HE listen to the static words of what others have said to you or about you. No one else’s opinions matter to God, other than HIS own.

He understands that the words of the past often haunt you, but He doesn’t give your past any power because once we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives; our past is as far as the east is to the west.  (Gone forever)

HE is the designer of YOU and YOUR potential.

You are beautiful

You Are Beautiful

Photo Credit:

P. J. Di Benedetto

Text added by Angie Webb

Don’t doubt your worth.

Trust God knew best when He created you.

Love yourself and always want the best.

Don’t settle for less than the best.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

Lord, I ask that you touch the reader today and help them to know their value in Your eyes. Help us to remember that You designed us perfectly beautiful. We are not mistakes nor are we the past we often tend to carry around behind us. We are set free to live our lives following in the call that You instilled in our hearts from the moment we were created. No person is lost in Your eyes. Each one hold value that is unmeasurable by the worlds standards; but we need to remember that our lives are to be lived by Your standard. Value. Purpose. Beautiful. Free. Happy. Making a difference.

Remember folks, WE WIN. The end of the story is already written and the enemy will not succeed in winning this battle. Stand strong and take the time to look in the mirror today to remind yourself: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Praying for each of you today.

HUGS and LOVE

Trusting in Him,

Angie

Linking with Woman to Woman

My Daily Walk In His Grace

Simply Beth

Happy Is, Happy Does

happy face

The above is my new motto..

After 47 years, I finally am finding ME: ANGIE
Isn’t that crazy to think that all of my life I have felt like I was missing out on life, yet that is really how I have felt..

I was talking to my uncle a few days ago to see if he had received the family pictures I had mailed him.. He was so shocked to see them because he has not seen me in person for almost 9 months. In that nine months I have changed so much with God’s help..

I know that God has slowly been redeeming my life;

healing the past
moving forward
accepting myself
believing I am worthy
loving my life; changes and all

When I talked on the phone to my uncle, he said that he could not believe the changes in my face, my smile and the way my eyes sparkle..

I guess I have looked at myself in the mirror for so long, I don’t notice the changes like others do..

I believe that God has called me to step out of the past and move forward, yet often that can cause others to think that you are leaving them behind. My life is on a different level than it was even 9 months ago, yet often that moving forward means we have to make decisions in relationships that are difficult, set new goals and require more of others as well as ourselves.

I am not willing to go backwards..
ONLY FORWARD

My new mantra is HAPPY IS, HAPPY DOES

Happiness: I am not accustomed to this.. It is strange to be happy..

Isn’t that sad to say??

Growing up, I had times of happiness and times of extreme saddness. UP and DOWN. You never knew what you were going to feel from one day to the next because of the extreme mood swings from my parents.

Happy times but many difficult times as well.

As a child I so desperately wanted a “NORMAL” life like my other friends seemed to have or that my cousins had at their homes. Yet, most often than not, there was no fairy tale at my home.

Material possessions do not equate love..

Today, I am living a life that I never dreamed of having as a child that was full of fear, anxiety and later as an adult agoraphobic..
HAPPY IS, HAPPY DOES..

Today, I want to offer you the freedom to be happy..

It is okay to be happy.

I give you permission to be happy but more importantly, God gives you permission and sent His son to die on the cross for us to have an abundant life John 10:10 (b)..

Don’t allow the enemy to keep you stuck in your past, live with regrets or to lose sight of who God has called you to be.

Eyes on God

orange flower oswald chambers

Oswald Chambers: We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.

This life is harsh.
This life is painful at times.
This life is anxiety filled at times.
This life is difficult.
This life is challenging.
This life is demanding of our time.
In this life we will see a fallen world; YET, GOD IS ALIVE

Yet, when we trust in God and allow our eyes to stay fixed on Him and His Word, life can and will be so much more relaxed, peaceful, joyful and simple. Taking our eyes off of God and His Word will allow all of the above to overshadow His plan and His purpose for anything and everything we face in this life.

Oh, I know life can be a struggle at times and challenging, but I sure would rather be walking through this life with God by my side and Jesus in my heart, than walking through life struggling all alone.

Out of the two options: I PICK GOD AND I WANT TO CONTINUE TO KEEP MY EYES ON HIM.

I have been handed my share of difficulties in this life… more than I would ever wish on my worst enemy. I don’t know if that means God trusts me to handle what He has allowed to enter my life or if He is wanting me to learn a lesson I have yet to learn. I don’t really know…

One thing I can be sure of though: Even when I have doubted His goodness and His faithfulness, both were still there waiting for me to grab on for dear life.

Goodness and Mercy have followed me according to Psalm 23:6, even when I have doubted.

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

Many a time I have sat on the floor begging and pleading for God to change the outcome of a situation I have been faced with, whether it was the loss of my grandmother to murder or the loss of relationship with my son or the loss of my “life” due to my anxiety and agoraphobia. Many a times, I have felt like He has not heard me and my begging, but in the end I have to trust that He knows best.

Over a period of time things just began to finally line up for me to begin walking on the path to finding freedom from my anxiety, depression and agoraphobia. I am not sure what changed other than myself. I have lived with each of those from as early of an age as 4 or 5 years old. I have never known a time in my adult/teenage years that I have not struggled, so for freedom in any form is such an awesome feeling.. Words can’t describe the joy I feel..

God didn’t change.
God didn’t leave.
God didn’t move.
God didn’t turn a deaf ear.
God knew the time and place that my healing would happen. I just had to be patient and allow Him to set in motion all of the “pieces” that needed to be in place. Maybe it was my stubborness or my pride that kept me bound for so long. I know that part of the problem was my lack of trust in God and His love for me. Some was trying to hold onto the ashes of my past instead of letting God have all of that as well.

I don’t know why it took so long, but today I am thankful that I am in a better place and on the journey to enjoying life.

I am learning to keep my EYES on GOD and not the anxiety of life or the difficulties of life.

WITH GOD:
LIFE IS JOYFUL
LIFE IS PEACEFUL
LIFE IS HAPPINESS
LIFE IS A JOURNEY
LIFE IS LOVE
LIFE IS BEING LOVED AND LOVING OTHERS
LOVE OF LIFE

Today,my friend I want to offer you hope and a word of encouragement. Keep praying. Keep seeking God and His Word for your situation. Nothing is impossible for God. Maybe today it won’t happen, but that does not mean it can’t happen tomorrow or the next day. God is not the author of confusion ( 1 Corinthians 14:33), so stay focused, peaceful and allow God to take the reigns of your life. He knows best. Hugs to each of you today.

Go down to Egypt

brown butterfly CALLED

Lord, You have continued to walk beside me as I “go down to Egypt” and allow me to achieve more than I ever thought was imaginable. I know that this is only the beginning because Egypt is over and I am FREE..

I don’t know about you, but I am shocked and bewildered at times at how good God is to me. I know it doesn’t make sense for a child of God to doubt HIS goodness and faithfulness, but I have more than I care to admit. That is a normal thought process for a child and later an adult that basically has never had anyone in their lives that they could trust. Trust is often a by-product of having individuals in your life that love, protect, nurture, value and esteem you, but when you never have those aspects in your life; then trust does not come easily.

word EGYPT

Yet, through my journey out of fear, anxiety and agoraphobia as well as the dysfunction of my biological family, I have learned so much more about myself, my God and my world than I could ever put into words. Believing in myself has the biggest bonus of “going down to EGYPT” and coming out of EGYPT.. I am by no means where I want to be, but I am so, so thankful that I am not where I was even a year ago. Less than 7 months ago, I went on my first family vacation in over 10 years because I had allowed my anxiety, fear and agoraphobia to control my life. WOW.. Now that was a sure fire way of stepping of out “My EGYPT” and coming full circle with putting my feet where my words and heart said I believed; IN GOD..

Oh, I had been a child of God since the age of 10 years old, but over time my life began to grow farther and farther from the total trust in God and HIS Word. Oh, I knew the Word, could quote the Word and believed it for everyone else, but why would GOD do those things for this “messed up, crazy person” as my parents and siblings had always said about me. I knew miracles still happened in our modern world but I did not believe that God would ever do such an amazing feat in my life because I did not believe that I was worth HIS time or that I would ever amount to anything in this life, so why would HE waste HIS time on me to help me step out of the controlling forces that hindered me from enjoying my life?????

I don’t know who I am talking to today but I want to offer you hope. Even when you feel like you have gone around the same mountain over and over; for 40 years, which I had done since I was 8 or 9 years old… Don’t give up. Keep going and keep connecting your WORDS from God to your feet. Step out and keep moving even if it one small step at a time. No one expects you to go and do everything the first day that maybe you haven’t done in years and years, but trust yourself today to do one small thing that you have avoided in the past. Go to the grocery store alone. Go to the park and sit on the park bench for 20 minutes. Go to the post office. I know for years I avoided those simple pleasures in life because I was afraid of being away from home. Afraid of living but more afraid of having a panic attack and not being in my “safe” place. Dear One, this is not living. This is surviving.. Do you really think God sent His SON, Jesus to die on the cross so we could and would only live a “small” life and a “safe” life?? NO He sent HIS SON, Jesus Christ to die on the cross so that we could live an abundant, full, peace-filled, happy, joyful, memory filled life. FRIEND, please hear me today.. JUST TRUST IN THE ONE TRUE GOD THAT WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU, NOR FORSAKE YOU… TRUST IN YOURSELF TO FACE WHATEVER MAY COME, EVEN IN THE WORST SITUATIONS. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK. YOU ARE MORE SPECIAL THAN YOU BELIEVE AND YOU ARE WORTH MORE TO GOD THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW..

” Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. PLATO

” Necessity makes even the timid brave” Sallust

” There is no such thing as bravery, only degrees of fear.” John Wainwright

Precious Friend, Go out and be brave today. I totally understand how easy it is to say that but I totally believe you can take the step of faith and just do one thing today that you have been avoiding… Stay strong and love the ones you love.. Be fully present.

Freedom is Possible

free tattoo2

FREEDOM IS POSSIBLE

I am thankful that I never gave up on finding and receiving God's freedom. But more importantly, I am thankful that God never gave up on me.

It is hard to describe to someone else that has never lived with fear, anxiety or agoraphobia, but the best way to try to describe it is that you live in a bubble trying to control the world and not allowing yourself to feel anything that might cause you to become anxious or fearful. Living in the bubble gives you some type of protection, yet in reality, the bubble is only hindering you from living and enjoying life. That is what I have done for over 15 years due to many tragedies in my own life, but for 47 years I have carried around my fear, anxiety like it was my best friend. In reality, it has been my worst enemy. It kept me from living my life…

I never really noticed the pain and anguish my face held. I look back at older pictures of myself even from less than a year ago, and I do not even look like the same person. I see a place of freedom and peace in my eyes and face when I look at pictures today compared to a year ago even. It is amazing how finding some resolution in my heart over the past and dealing with family related issues about the past abuse has also freed me up to move forward.

I wish things with my family could be different but I truly believe that if I allow the same behaviors and abuse to be condoned in my own life by them, then the same treatment will continue. The past cannot be changed or undone, but in my own heart I have to expect better from those that say they love me. Words are not enough. Words are only that: WORDS.

If you say you love me, then you will not abuse me either physically or emotionally. Yet, my mother and siblings say that they love me, yet the treatment of me continues to be just as it has been for 47 years. I cannot and will not accept that any longer in my life. Now the ball is in their courts to do the work to improve their own lives as well as do the work to improve relationships. I have worked on myself for over 4 years in counseling and therapy of one form or another. Through this process I have learned that I am valuable, powerful, purposeful, and thankful to be alive.

It has been a long road of healing and I am sure the process is not complete because there is so much more that needs to be faced and dealt with, but I am thankful that I can now look in the mirror and feel acceptance of myself about 90% of the time, where previously I felt much anquish and hatred toward myself and my struggle with the past, fear and anxiety.

I am thankful that FREEDOM is possible and I am on the path to finding that for myself. I am excited to see where God continues to call me to walk and the doors that continue to open for me. This path is just beginning..

Today, I pray for you to find freedom as well. Leave the past in the past. Don't continue to carry around the baggage of the past because God wants you to let Him carry that for you. It is not yours any longer. Let it go. Move forward. Accept yourself. Forgive. Move on the path God called you to walk. Remember your dreams and reach for them today.

Just an Unworthy Woman with a Powerful God

NEENIE

THIS IS MY GRANDMA, NEENIE AND SOME OF HER OIL PAINTINGS.

If you are like me, I often just sit back and wonder why my God is so good to me.. I don’t feel worthy and I am certainly not doing anything of great value in this life, yet for some unknown reason, He continues to bless me over and over..

I stay in awe of the power of God in my life especially when I look back at the way my life began and the tragedies I have faced through losses due to several family members suicides as well as the murder of my grandmother; I often wonder how I have the life I live now..

Each day the loss of my family members and especially my grandmother, Neenie is always there. She and I had a special relationship. She was a unique individual and a grandmother that few had the privilige of knowing, but through Gods grace and mercy He knew that I needed this wonderful woman in my life to help me through the abuse and anxiety as well as the rejection I faced as a child. Without my grandmother I would not know the Lord. Without my grandmother I certainly would not be a walking testament of the power of the Lord in my life because I believe I would have made another choice to go down another path in life to escape the painful home life I encountered day after day. I was told once by a counselor/therapist that I was lucky that I had not ended up as a prostitute, drug addict or alcoholic due to the extreme circumstances I faced as a child and young adult.

I KNOW THAT I AM NOT IN THAT PLACE BECAUSE I HAD A PRAYING GRANDMOTHER AND A POWERFUL GOD that saw something in me that I certainly never felt at home from my parents or siblings. For that, I am forever thankful.

I miss my grandmother because I know she would love getting to see the way my life is unfolding and how I have grown in my walk with the Lord. I know she would be thrilled to have the opportunity to know my sons as adult men with their own lives and children, yet that was not in the cards for our family. It breaks my heart to know that my children did not get the opportunity to know this Godly woman who made such a difference in my own life, yet I hope by the way I live my life and the memories I share with my two sons, they have a small glimpse in to the power of one person in someones life as well as the power of ALMIGHTY GOD.

I truly believe that God has used my past to help others struggling with fear, anxiety, agoraphobia as well as horrific tragedies, but that will never take away the pain of loss. Yet, thankfully over time the pain diminishes and the memories grow sweeter instead of only being painful, but the loss will always be a part of my story. Tragedy changes a person and it certainly has the capability to make the person more thankful for those we love and the time we share, but often it makes the person only bitter, angry and resentful.

I was bitter at one point after such deep losses in a period of 6 years, but through much time, prayer, counseling and love, the pain, bitterness and anger is gone. I know that without trials, loss and often pain, God cannot work in our lives. According to Romans 8:28, God can use everything for His glory if we allow Him to take the reins. Giving up control has been the most difficult for me personally because I am very much a TYPE A personality but each day when I look at my life and the love that I have with my husband and children, I am thankful even for the pain I have felt and the loss I have suffered. Each day I feel…. WOW, this is my life.

I am married to the love of my life for 30 years; since he was 16 and I was 18 years old. I get to write about my life and lessons I am learning. I have the opportunity to connect with other great authors, bloggers and FB friends. Both hubby and I are healthy and happy. Our children are making their own paths and finding their own way. Life is good and for that I am forever thankful.

I am just an UNWORHTY WOMAN WITH A POWERFUL GOD…

This peace and purpose is available to all who call on the name of the Lord and ask Him to come live inside their hearts while confessing all of their sins. God offers forgiveness freely and holds no grudges. He remembers our sins no more after we confess them to Him. Today, God wants to connect with you and have a relationship that only You and He can have. It is easy. Just speak from your heart.. God Bless.

With God on our side; WE AlWAYS WIN… I WIN AND YOU WIN..

Can God Heal a Broken Heart? Yes, He can !!!

Can God Heal a Broken Heart? Why, Yes He Can!!!!

In the face of tragedy, such as the Sandy Hook School shooting, we often wonder where was God and why did He not stop the murders of innocent people. Yet, God was there. He saw it all and it broke HIS heart as well.

As humans, we will never understand God or His ways, but the Bible has told us this already. (Isaiah 55:8)

 We beg and plead for God to give us an answer as to why we suffer, why there is death and why and why over and over.. Yet, He is the only one that will truly ever understand the purpose behind all of the brokenhearted souls and the weeping for the tragic we see in this world day after day.

In my own life I have had more tragedies than I care to admit.

3 suicides of family members as well as the murder of my grandmother by my grandfather who then took his own life. ..

 I don’t personally know anyone else that has had such dramatic, horrible tragedies happen one right after the other. All of this took place in a 6 year period.

You can count on the fact that I begged, pleaded, cried, screamed, demanded as well as just got plain, old angry over all of the loss my family continued to have with no clear answers and never understanding any better whether it was one day later or 16 years later as it is now. Time goes on and life continues to move forward even when we basically want to sit on the sidelines and grieve.  God grieves right along with us yet He does not grow tired of our questions. He definitely understands our feelings and sits there holding our hand and our heart as we grieve and ask our continual questions. Be assured; He understands. His Word tells us that He will offer strength to the feeble hands and steady the knees that are about to give way to anguish, loss and pain. (Isaiah 35:3) He knows the depth of our pain and offers us HIS help in many tangible ways but often in ways we don’t even see until days, months or even years later.

The loss of a loved one runs deep and carves out a place in our heart that will always be empty on some levels, but in God’s time, we will find a new life without this wonderful person in our lives. We will always miss them and always wish they were here on earth with us, but sitting in our grief for a time is understandable, but I do not think it is healthy to stay there.

I have never lost a child to murder so I cannot say how I would feel in that situation, but I do know that God gave His ONLY son to die on the cross for my sins so that I could have eternal life in heaven with my Heavenly Father. So God has felt the loss of a child and HE is there walking along side these parents that continue to have such deep, open wounds of loss. He understands. He has felt the pain of losing a child.  According to Genesis 6:5-6, God grieved so this allows us to see in the Word that God has the capability to grieve, which in such situations as Sandy Hook School, suicides, murders, and other horrific tragedies, we know that God is feeling the same sadness as His children are experiencing. Isaiah 25:8 says “The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces. “

I know that as a parent, we wish we could protect our children from any and all harm in this often, evil world, but evil is just a fact of life. God has a plan and a purpose for all that happens, even when we don’t understand.

I look back on the time from 1990 to 1996 and the way that 6 years changed me and my family on many different levels, but more importantly, it changed my children. My oldest son struggled with fear of death for many, many years. He was so afraid of losing anyone else he loved; he basically shut off all feelings at all. He became a very hard, angry person who continues to struggle today at the age of 28 years old. We, as his parents, did all we knew to do. I know in my own life, my fear and anxiety which I had struggled with my whole life, eventually led to agoraphobia. For 16 years, I have lived my life in a bubble of just trying to survive and make it day to day with a huge monster of fear, anxiety, and agoraphobia constantly sitting on my shoulder giving me the evil eye.

I had a good life with my husband and children, yet something was always missing.

My heart has now healed from the brokenness it has felt for 16 years. God has done a tremendous work in my heart, mind and soul because I can now talk about the fear, anxiety and agoraphobia and know that I was given that thorn to carry for a purpose. He used that time of anger, fear, depression and agoraphobia to refine me into the woman I am now becoming. I had lived a life that was defined by others, whether it was my family saying negative words to me about my fear or whether it was being described as the “granddaughter of so and so that was murdered.” Those words took a toll on my heart and I began to believe that was the only value I had in life; being defined by a negative. But, you see, God had a different plan for me and that plan includes good, peace, victory, hope, love, acceptance, joy… all good. You may be in the depths of a tragedy such as Sandy Hook or maybe something not quite so tragic, but regardless of the magnitude, God is still walking along side you. He never leaves you nor forsakes you according to Hebrews

Yet, I am here to tell you today, the negatives can be used for God’s positive. He will take the nails that someone else wants to nail into our coffin to say we are done in this life and use those same nails to build something new. (Isaiah 43:19) He has shown me that even though I will never understand the many, overwhelming WHY’s? of my life, He will continue to move me forward in helping me tell my story so others that have faced huge loss such as the Sandy Hook School, will know to never give up, never doubt God’s faithfulness and His sovereignty because He is always the right choice, even when we wish the outcome was different.

Father God, today I ask that you touch those that are hurting today, whether from the Sandy Hook School shooting or some other reality in their lives. I don’t know where the reader is at today, but you, in your all-knowing can meet them in the place of their need right now. I ask you to speak peace into their lives. I ask you to bring freedom from past pain. I ask that you guide them into a new place of healing. Break the chains of bondage from fear, anxiety, depression, suicide, generational curses and guide the reader into the healing waters of your love. Help us to feel your presence today and every day. I know the enemy uses the generational curses of our families to keep us bound to the enemy, but in your Word, we know that the freedom you have for us is ours if we ask. Lord, today I am asking you to meet us at our point of need. Whether it is to dry our tears, hold our hand, open a new door for us to walk through or close a door we need to leave shut, You know best. (Isaiah 48:17). God, we are thankful you are an ever present help for us in our times of trouble. Our world is facing times of trouble and I pray, Lord for the people to wake up… Lord, forgive us where we have failed you and fallen short. We know you want the best for us and I pray you will guide us onto the path we need to go..

 

Day 1 of Memoir Post

I am going to begin at the beginning..That is a good place to start.

I have been writing about my journey dealing with fear, anxiety and agoraphobia since 2008 in print form and then from 2010 to current in the blog form.

Growing up, I felt like my life was just like every other kids, but in reality I am just now figuring out how different my life was. I was always afraid. I was always worried that somehow or someway I was going to get in trouble and be beaten. I always lived my life wondering what was wrong with me, even from as early of the age as 4 or 5 years old. I knew that my parents were never happy with anything I ever did or didn’t do, even though I was a well behaved little girl. I grew from the age of 4 or 5 being beaten for wetting the bed to a girl in junior high that was beaten, grounded, kept up all hours of the night because I couldn’t understand my geometry and this was my “punishment”. I grew from that fearful young girl into a woman that lived in fear of many things, but more importantly just barely “lived.” I loved God and believed that He sent His son to die on the cross for my sins, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was the black sheep of the family no matter how well my grades were in school, how well behaved I was, if I graduated from college, stayed married or had great children. None of it was good enough to somehow be accepted.

Trust was a huge issue for me and I believe that is where much of my fear orignated from. When you feel like you cannot trust your own parents and that they certainly do not have your best interest at heart, how in the world do you trust yourself or anyone else?

When I was 16 years old, I had a horrible car accident which almost took my passengers life, who was my best friend. Years of abuse from my parents escalated in this moment, to the point of wishing I had died in that car wreck. The abuse, both mental and physical, I suffered at their hands for the months and years after, was almost worse than dying I belive. I could not understand why they were not thankful that I survived the wreck, but it almost seemed like they were upset that I lived. I only heard how awful I was and how much money the wreck took from them and the family. I was continually told how I deserved all of the horrible treatment I received.. I was being “punished” for the accident and for lying to them about what happened. For almost 2 weeks after the wreck, my parents led me to believe that my friend had died and I believe that they did this so that they could see the pain and anguish I was in believing she had died. This was the type of atmosphere I grew up in on a daily basis.

Fear grew and grew. Distrust of everyone only magnified. Doubt and depression became my best friends because I had no one else. I was not allowed to go to school after the wreck due to my physical injuries, which this only intensifed the feeling of being alone. I saw my home school teacher 2 times a week but that was the only outside contact I had with anyone. My friends from school had abandoned me because of the way my parents treated them at the hospital and later when they tried to visit, so basically, all of my friends quit making the effort. Alone and lonely on top of fear and doubt. The world of this 16 year old girl was very small and she had no sense of what true love was or if she was even worthy of love. Angie(ME) didn’t believe she was worth anything and the condemnation I received daily from my parents did not help the situation. I was constantly told that I had some kind of “mental” disorder because there was no reason to be so fearful,anxious and depressed. Yet, the responsibility of seeking help for me was their as parents, but by doing this, they would have to answer to authorities for their actions, so therapy or counseling was not offered to me in any form or fashion.

That is all for today. Check back for the next post. The journey just began but the finale is much better than the beginning. Thankfully, God has done a tremendous work in my life.

Running the Race

As a child, we often found ourselves in a foot race with another child, whether on the football field, basketball court or playground. In life, we are called to run the race God has planned for us but sometimes life just trips us up or we allow someone else to trip us up.

I was reading in Galatians 5: 7-8 where God’s Word says, ” You were running the race so well. WHO has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for He is the one who called you to freedom.”

I have read this verse many times before, but I never really noticed the word WHO before. I think we often stumble in this life because of others speaking words of doubt, discouragement, disbelief, hate, anger, abuse, fear, on and on, we have allowed ourselves to get sidetracked from what God originally designed for our lives. This verse says that it certainly isn’t God that has held you back because He is the one that has called you to freedom.

Do you have freedom today or are you still living on the sidelines waiting for someone else to tell you how to reach your full potential? I certainly know where you are at because I lived in fear most of my life. From as early as 4 or 5 years old, I have known fear, anxiety and agoraphobia as well as many horrible tragedies in my life from multiple suicides to the murder of my grandmother. All of those instances of “life” only hindered me more and more. I knew that I wasn’t living up to God’s potential but I just didn’t know how to get from point A to point B because all I had ever had spoken to me or about me was negative. Doubt and discouragement were my best friends along with fear. Nothing I did seemed to break through the bondage of fear and anxiety. I kept pushing forward but never made much progress.

I totally believe that often God uses the simple and the mundane to help someone else see the next step in their own lives. Often God uses the Word that I have previously read but then one day it is like I have totally new eyes. My eyes and heart are open to a new way of reading and understanding that Word from God.

Listen to your own heart. It knows the next step to take and all God asks of us is to take that next step. He understands our fears and our anxiety. Of course, He wants us to be free but HE is not the one holding us back. Often it is the WHO or WHAT that is keeping us held back. Why do you think that is so? Because the enemy uses all things to keep us from fulfilling God’s destiny in our lives.

Today Friend, I want to offer you a word of encouragement. Freedom is possible; even in small, bite size pieces. You don’t have to go to the top of the highest building to beat your fear of heights. One step at a time. One day at a time. You know the way that works for you and no one else can say that they understand your struggle because every person is different. Each of our stories may be similar but there are no two exactly alike. I am praying for you daily. Please leave me a comment or connect with me on FB.

Peace

Peace is not something I have known very often in my life, but over the last 2 weeks I have felt a freedom that I really cannot say that I have ever known before.
Dealing with fear, anxiety and agoraphobia is a problem that most people cannot even relate to and if they know someone that has the problem, they feel like it is something you ” can just get over”, but that is really not the truth.
The enemy sits back and watches where our weaknesses are and what area we struggle with, and that is where he will sink the dirty little claws into.. Then the fight begins to see how it will all play out.
Are you going to stand up and fight or lay down and let it continue?

I know that growing up from an early age with fear, it was normal to me and I really did not know that there was a different life waiting for me. Then, you have parents and siblings that continue to make the situation in your life worse by calling you names such as crazy, weird or the “problem” then it is a situation that continues to snowball out of control. By the age of 16, I had a horrible car accident which almost took the life of my friend that was riding in the car with me. The wreck became a catalyist of more fear overtaking my life which then led to a fear of driving or being away from my “comfort zone.” Over a period of several years, I functioned fairly normal but after the loss of my grandmother to murder and my grandfather to suicide, my life took a turn for the worse.
I began having trouble riding in the car, even on the shortest trips. I was able to function at work but when it came to traveling away from my hometown, it was almost impossilbe. Before the deaths of my grandmother, I had always driven to the next town over; about 30 minutes away, for shopping, eating or visiting family, yet now I wasn’t able to do this anymore. I only felt comfortable if my husband drove and even at that time, it was difficult.
Then in 2005, we had a major break in at our home while we were asleep one night, so this led me to be fearful being in my own home. I did not want to be home alone, so when my husband was gone, this was horrilbe. He had to work often at night or travel for his job, so fear was an everyday occurence in my life. I began not wanting to be alone; ever. I don’t know how to describe the feelings, because they are so indescribable, yet I know many others struggle with these same feelings.
Our marriage was good on most levels, but over time there became an underlying feeling of dissatisfcation. I know now that most of that came from the feeling of me being so needy, yet I really did not know any other way to be. I believe that the struggles we faced in our marriage became less visable over time when I began really working on trying to become more confident and secure.
We go along fine with all of life until 2008 when I had major health issues. This surgery through my body into a huge spiral that I really felt I would never come out of. The levels in all of my chemistry were so out of whack and so far gone it seemed, that life once again became unbearable on many levels. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat which led to me losing about 40 pounds and got me down to about 100 pounds. I was skin and bones for my 5ft 7 inch body, yet it seemed like nothing was helping. I began having more and more panic attacks; sometimes all night long, which once again led to my poor husband having to lose sleep as well. I really felt like I was losing my mind at one point. Finally, I was able to find a new doctor that took me seriously and really did some necessary tests on me to find the real source of the problems. By this time, I had not been sleeping, driving, leaving my home or being alone for almost 4 months.. Crazy huh? That is what I felt like by this point. I couldn’t understand why my life was so out of control and yet nothing I did seemed to make it better. Finally, after visiting the new doctor, I felt like I was getting some relief and finally albe to try to find my way back to living once again. I began working again part time and over time, I felt like I could slowly get out and about more and more alone. Some days, the struggle was almost unbearable, but I kept pushing through. It was still hard for me to travel out of my comfort zone and I still did not go out of town alone, but I was at least able to function in my own town fairly well. This was a huge accomplishment for me after all of the problems with my health as well as the panic attacks and fear being so overwhelming.
This is where I will stop for today but now you know that my story has not been easy, but I hope that you know that no matter where you are at today, God is there walking beside you, holding your hand. Maybe it doesn’t feel that way at times, but please know that you are HIS and He is yours. Continue to fight through the struggles; whatever they may be. Don’t quit. I will post more of my story in a few days.