I went to a women’s conference this weekend in Los Angeles, CA called Ascend. This year’s focus: Fearless Joy.
One of the speakers, Deborah Pegues, said: “You were designed for destiny.” She also shared that in reference to how God sees us, “You are perfect for My purpose.” She encouraged everyone to embrace their uniqueness, not criticize themselves for flaws and imperfections. I loved one illustration she specifically had about writing. She said, “Is there anyone out there who feels destined to write a book?” Quite a few women raised their hands. She encouraged them to sit down in that chair in front of the computer and say, “Lord, I’ll be your typist. What’cha got?” Deborah never intended to be a writer, but kept sensing particular messages she was supposed to put out there, and now she has a book and speaking career.
One big difference with me is that…
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Hope Landon has been rewriting other people’s greeting cards since she was six years old — there’s always a funnier caption. She’s all set to chase those creative dreams with her musician fiance in New York City until he leaves Hope at the altar, deciding he must not really love this girl if he can’t write a song for her. That may give her something to write about.
Hope disappears alone on what was supposed to be the couple’s month-long honeymoon. Upon returning she learns of her funeral — everyone in her life concluded Hope must have killed herself after being jilted. Needing a fresh start more than ever, she heads for the Big Apple only to discover it’s not that easy to rent a place when you’ve been declared dead.
Taking shelter at the YMCA, Hope soon lands a job at a Christian inspirational greeting card company as…
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Do you have anxiety disorder or struggle with fear? Have you ever paid attention to those words that stream through your mind before, during, or after a panic attack? I’m willing to bet a lot of those are lies. Are you willing to look up, to God, for His truth instead?
When we experience fear, why do we tell ourselves we’re weak, worthless, and abnormal? Can we possibly find some new adjectives? (There are dictionaries full of them!)
Do all of those defeatist words build up your self-image? Do they help you? Of course not! Most importantly, they are lies. If I don’t put up with listening to lies from other people, why on earth would I put up with them from myself? And why should you?
When I was in the heat of battling my anxiety disorder, as fear would overtake me, I’d listen to lies. It became such a habit that I believed every word.
How can we rise above anxiety and fear when we don’t believe we can?
Are you a victim of the lies your mind feeds you? Does your fear grow because of the thoughts you are dwelling on? Our minds need to be retrained so we won’t fall victim to the power of our thoughts. This is an important skill to master. It was key to my recovery.
Make a list of all the lies you tell yourself when you are experiencing fear or panic.
Refute the Lies with God’s Word.
Now take the time to look at the lies that stream through your mind, and search the Bible for the truth about the situation. It’s best to rewrite these lies while you are NOT in the middle of an anxiety attack. You can put them on note cards and have them on hand to use in the heat of a battle with fear instead.
I will show you two examples below; I have many more in my book Finally Fearless.
LIE: Everything I tell myself, in my mind, is truth.
TRUTH: Many lies that stream through our minds are from the devil himself, who wants us to be defeated. He is the author of lies.
John 8:44b: “[The devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
LIE: Anxiety lives in me, and I can’t get rid of it.
TRUTH: We may feel like anxiety lives in us because it takes over our whole body. But it doesn’t need to stay there. If we’ve asked Him to, we have a Savior who has taken up residence in our hearts.
Galatians 2:20a (kjv): “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (kjv): “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
If you or someone you know battles panic, anxiety or fear, I hope my story can help you. To order copies of Finally Fearless, visit the links below that go to Amazon, where the Ebook version of the regular book and the paperbacks of both books are available.
Finally Fearless Workbook Ebook:
Now available as a two book set:
Watch the Finally Fearless Video:
Considering the volume of material in the Bible devoted to such commands as “fear not” and “trust God,” this must have been something people struggled with a lot. We are not a unique generation. Clearly, God knew this would be an ongoing issue for generations. Recognize that you are not alone. People in the Bible panicked or allowed fears or a lack of faith in God to drive their actions as well.
Think of Adam and Eve, who, as soon as they sinned for the first time, hid from God. That was the beginning of fear in the Bible (Genesis 3).
Think of Abraham and Sarah, who feared they would never have an heir. Their lack of trust in God drove them to take action into their own hands, which resulted in Ishmael’s conception (Genesis 16).
Think of Moses, who kept asking, “Who am I,” citing his many personal inadequacies to lead the Israelites. When God turned Moses’s rod into a snake, Moses ran in fear (Exodus 4:3). Moses feared public speaking (Exodus 4:10). Moses begged God to use someone else, letting his insecurities overpower him (Exodus 4:13). Doesn’t Moses sound like a man with an anxiety disorder?
Think of Gideon, who feared his limits and doubted his abilities. He questioned if God was going to help him. He was afraid God had abandoned him and the Israelites (Judges 6:13). God counseled Gideon with the words, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die” (Judges 6:23). Then Gideon built an altar and named it “The Lord is Peace” (Judges 6:24). Gideon had the right reaction and became a man of faith. God’s counsel sunk into Gideon’s heart.
Think of David, who attempted to cover up his sin with Bathsheba by arranging the murder of her husband Uriah. David feared the consequences he’d have to face if his sin came to light. It drove him deeper into sinful behavior (2 Samuel 11).
Think of Elijah, who after working so closely with God to take down Baal and his prophets, ran, fearing for his life after Jezebel threatened him (1 Kings 18–19).
Think of Jeremiah, who cried out to God, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child” when God told him He’d appointed Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5–6). He was afraid of the work God had for him.
Think of Peter, when he stepped out of the boat; he was fine until he took his eyes off Jesus. Then, he saw the waves around him and panicked (Matthew 14:22–33). And let’s not forget when Peter feared for his life and denied Christ three times, running away from the courtyard (Matthew 26:69–75).
Some of these illustrations of people from the Bible were legitimate situations to feel fear or panic (unlike most anxiety disorder situations). However, they still illustrate that big reactions to fear have been around for a long time. Our loving God cared enough to leave us these stories about people we can relate to, along with hundreds of verses encouraging us to trust God, not to live in fear. Our fear must be replaced with faith.
And thankfully, many of those people represented here who experienced moments of fear also moved on to have some amazing moments of faith. Some are even listed in Hebrews in the look back at the “Faith Hall of Fame.”
The above was excerpted from my book Finally Fearless. If you or someone you know battles panic, anxiety or fear, I hope my story can help you. To order copies of Finally Fearless, visit the links below that go to Amazon, where the Ebook version of the regular book and the paperbacks of both books are available.
Finally Fearless Workbook Ebook:
Watch the Finally Fearless Video:
It’s only appropriate I post this marriage tip for Wisdom Wednesday about celebrating anniversaries on my parents’ anniversary.
So HAPPY 47th ANNIVERSARY, Mom & Dad.
Now this may seem obvious… marriage advice that says “celebrate your anniversary.” Doesn’t everyone? We are the types that like to celebrate everything. Perhaps it’s because we waited so long for marriage, we like to enjoy the “little things.” No one would be surprised to see “Happy 17th Month Anniversary, babe!” So feel free to celebrate each other, anywhere anytime.
To follow are ideas we’ve collected and done, to commemorate the occasions, like the big anniversaries. Enjoy our anniversary ideas in pictures. Some of them you can do together. Others are photos you should take on the occasion (inspired by Pinterest).
Make a Gift idea:
For more ideas check out my Pinterest Board:
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“Remember to continue to be BEST FRIENDS.” (DM)
“He or she should be your best friend, and you should have interests in common.”
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Chris is, without a doubt, my best friend. I still have wonderful female “best friends” from various areas of my life (from high school, grad school, childhood etc.) But my ultimate best friend is now my spouse. I agree with the advice we were given above, that having common interests is so important. The cliche “opposites attract” is overrated. Having things we enjoy doing together has been one of the most fun parts of our marriage. If our interests were divergent, we’d have less reasons to spend together.
I also see a deeper meaning in the advice to “be” your spouse’s best friend. Being a friend to someone is often selfless and doing things for their sake instead of your own. This is definitely necessary in marriage.