Posts Tagged: fear

Drowning in Lies

Somewhere during the swollen rush of depression,
“Predictable” became the portrait I painted.

It didn’t matter that I survived trauma, death lapped
gently at my soul, testing for weakness.
It found my mouth.
Invisible
Ugly
Stupid
Worthless

I was out of the boat, thinking I
knew God, but lies were
the lifeline my pride gripped.

Pulled under.

“Help” I gurgled, the water of despair
mocking my lungs desperate plea to
calm my flailing panic.

No one assumed I’d walk on water. Depleted.
Held under by hands proving their own power.
Broken, and bruised to marrow. No one
blamed me for fighting life,
but they tired of constant rescue. I drew
oxygen from their attempts like and addict. Desperate
for affirmation.

No expectation I would trust again.

I was born to drown. A statistic, speeding
up the slow drip of life’s faucet. An ocean
of regret would be quick. Easy.

You waited until I drowned my way, reached
into my habitual turning away. My impulsiveness.
Dying was predictable.
Living, eyes fixed on you,
resurrected truth.

Turning Your Page

You may build up twenty or more years of trauma, self harm, and lies in your mind, body, and spirit. You have wallpapered your soul with concepts about God, man, and the value of your life. Scripture says the complete opposite. Going after man’s approval is worthless, yes. But, seeking after a God who loves and wants to decorate your mind, body, and spirit with words like:

But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? Then Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the sea. “Silence!” He commanded. “Be still!” And the wind died down, and it was perfectly calm”

Mark 4:38-39

Lie: Jesus you don’t care about me.
Truth: He cares and has the power to take care of what we fear.

  • How do you develop the ability to recognize a lie?
  • List any lies you believe that came up from childhood. Were they planted through the actions or words or another person?
  • Spend some time looking at scriptures that speak about the lie you struggle the most with. What is the truth? Write these out, and reinforce them outloud throughout the week.

Father, I am still learning who you are. Reveal any lies I don’t yet see. Place in me your spirit of truth. Amen

Run After Me, Not Man

Turning My Page

Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1 Corinthians 1:20 ESV

I wasn’t feeling fearful of Covid-19 at first. After endless days of news updates, cancelations, empty store shelves, battling my own respiratory infection, and my kids home for the next two weeks, I am exhausted. This morning, I was challenged to spend five minutes meditating on the following question:

What things am I running after?

After spending an hour longing for those five minutes, but instead, working on chores, and assisting children with projects, I only found agitation and more exhaustion. All of those things were good but would not refresh my spirit. My mind, body, and spirit do exponentially better at responding to the needs of others when I put Christ first.

My husband very wisely stepped in and told the kids to steer all questions to him and give mom space to settle her spirit. He gave me a breathe. The Lord gave me a lesson.

I settled into my quiet-time chair and opened my Bible and journal. ” Holy Spirit guide my thoughts and help me to lean into your answer. ” This is God’s response:

Answers do not come from the news of today, but the good news of the gospel through my son Jesus. There is no anxiousness in me. Journey towards the eternal rather than the temporal. Calamity is an opportunity to shake off the agitation found in your attempts for short term security. Discover peace and calmness through the longterm practice of keeping your eyes fixed on me.

Covid-19 is temporary. Homeschooling my children is temporary. Shortages are temporary. Work changes are temporary. This life of trouble will come to an end. But the love and freedom of my salvation through Christ is eternal. The love of God is eternal, and his will is done along this short journey. Christ, I choose to run after the things that please you.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8 ESV

Turning Your Page

Fear is easy. It was the first feeling we experienced after the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Fear is the consequence of knowing good and evil, but not having the omniscience to know what to do with either. What are you running to?

  • Take five minutes to sit quietly and listen to God’s answer.
  • Where do you spend the most time, scripture, or the news?
  • What does scripture say about the source of your help in a crisis?
  • Create a picture or collage of all the ways Jesus is currently loving you and helping you to remain calm.

Father, help my anxious thoughts. I confess I have not run to you, and my attitude shows it. Thank you for speaking to me and calming my spirit with the truth of your presence in hard circumstances. Amen

Deflate the Bed and Give Me Life

By Karisa Moore

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Turning My Page

My bed finally deflated. After three weeks of camping out in the living room, post foot surgery, I made the decision I would brave the stairs to sleep in my bed. I didn’t realize until I determined to press forward into healing how crippled I had become in spirit. Two nasty falls had made me terrified of reinjuring my vulnerable foot. Even when my family attempted to help or push me around in a wheelchair, I would grip the wheel or gripe that they were going too fast. I wanted control of the healing.

But I don’t get to determine how long the bone, tendon, muscles, or skin take to heal. I both need to be actively moving my foot to keep muscle weakness from setting in, and keep weight off it. Time, patience, and a willingness to allow others to provide for me are all necessary. Oh, how restless I become while dependent upon others.

God, I treat you with the same impatience. When I hear another person has given in to despair, I wonder where you are. When my own children wrestle with loss and health issues beyond their comprehension, I grow weary. Do something! I scream. I know you have a perfect plan, but this does not feel perfect. I desperately want to know my two remaining children will survive their physical challenges and thrive in life and faith. I want friends and family to know the compassion and grace of God, and I want the tide of despair in this world to turn.

And God agrees with those desires because at just the right time he entered the world in human form. We were sinners, longing for someone to rescue us from the cycle of destruction we seemed set in. Heal us from our sickness! Deliver my child from demons! Rescue us from oppression. Years and years Israel waited for the Savior and he didn’t come. They poured over scripture, neighboring nations heard of the promised one, and paranoid kings shivered with nightmares of a God greater than themselves. People suffered. Still, he didn’t come.

Just as God knew his one and only son had to be born at the exact time in history for Christianity to spread like fire, he enters our pain and reveals his good, pleasing and perfect will. Do some of us hear the message and reject him? Yes. He is nothing like I expected. He will never fit into my box of preconceived beliefs, but he expands my faith to recognize his will is that none perish. Healing came for all mankind.

https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/martyrs/dietrich-bonhoeffer.htmlI may never fully see this side of heaven the result of standing firm in faith when my legs are literally jelly right now. Are you standing in what feels like quicksand? Press into the fullness of God’s good, perfect, and pleasing will. His timing brings us stories like Isaac, Joseph, King David, Ruth, Esther,  the Apostle Paul, Corrie ten Boom, Harriet Tubman, William Wilberforce,  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Kanye West and my own. Add your story to this list. Be patient in affliction and wait expectantly for God’s will.  Deflate the bed of fear and trust God’s good, perfect, and pleasing will.

Turning Your Page

Do you have a fear you need to deflate? Identify any fear that hinders you from moving forward and embracing life. There are so many heroes of faith. Study the ones in scripture, study the modern-day heroes of faith. Not even one of you is alone in fear, alone in circumstances, and or alone in faith. Take courage that you can stand firm even when your heart feels it can’t.

  • What fears are currently plaguing your life and crippling action? List them on paper and then pick one or two verses addressing fear to meditate on.
  • Observe others who wrestle fear. What actions do they take to move forward, what encourages them?
  • What positive habits do you have, or will you have that are not based upon feeling? Pick a few to do every day without fail. These are nonnegotiable.

Lord, I am paralyzed with fear. Reveal the clear next step and help to stand firm when I feel I cannot go further. Amen

Join our Facebook discussion on fear at 7 pm EST.

We’ll talk about the reality of fear and the weapons we have to fight, protect, and take new ground.

In the Lion’s Den of Fear

“Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.” … “So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” (Daniel 6:3. 10).

Join me to study fear at my Facebook page: Karisa Lynn Moore

  • How did things change so drastically for Daniel in the matter of 7 verses?
  • Where is God in all of this?
  • How do we respond to fear and drastic changes in our circumstances?

His Response

The seasick panic of blistered seasoned
fishers of men, uncontrolled swells
smashing faith against wake
of our doubts
and you
sleep
you don’t
care for us
our fear swamping confidence
in your claim to be
I AM is rocked to asleep
By the destruction overwhelming us
Awaken to our insecurity
“Silence! Be still.”
Secure control.
Peace.


Knee-Knocking-Obedience

1 Corinthians 2:1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2For I decided to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5so that your faith would not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
Dear Fellow Page Turners,
Yesterday I took a step to face disabling fear and in my brokenness encouraged others struggling just as deeply.
 
We do not know who is on the edge of hopelessness. It is not in our achieving “Christian perfection” God uses us for the most glory of his kingdom. We become oaks of righteousness in our knee-knocking-obedience. 
Be real with your faith. Be bold in obedience. Be open in your weakness.
Love Always,
Karisa

When Trauma Has You Frozen, Pray

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

I do not grieve like someone who is a slave to my son’s death. Sometimes, just like the Romans, I need a reminder that I can cry out to my daddy when fear is attempting to chain me again.

Yesterday I met a friend to study scripture and pray together. I made it through all the markers of Jonathan’s death and did not break down. But grief is not dictated by routine or schedule.

As I walked into the restaurant two police officers were waiting in line to place their order. I have yet to overcome a visceral response to police officers, since it was a sheriff who had to deliver the news that my son was dead. Every encounter since has been sweaty palms, shaking, and near breakdown.

I want to overcome this reaction, but am not sure how. My friend, aware of my struggle asked if I was okay when I came to the table. I struggled to not completely melt into tears. She assured me, it is okay if I cry, each moment is valuable, even the hard ones. We began catching up, but the officers sat only a few booths away and I was barely holding it together.

Finally I asked, “Can you do me a favor? . . . Oh, never mind.”

But my friend wisely didn’t leave it at that. “You want me to ask them if there is anything we can pray for them?”

All I could do was nod.

They asked her to pray for their safety, and we did just that. She redirected my overwhelmed feeling into meaningful, and purposeful care for these two men. As a result it also brought peace and calm to my soul.

What are you facing right now that causes an uncontrolled, physical response? It doesn’t make logical sense, but you can’t stop reacting to past trauma. I encourage you, just as my friend took the reigns and led me through the dark moment, to find a purpose in your grief. Begin with prayer. Lift up the person, circumstance, or fear to God who loves you perfectly and can cast out all fear!

Love Always,

Karisa

 

Prayer:

Putting On Armor that Fits: Facing Fear With the Tools We are Given

Scripture

1 Samuel 17:8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. 9“If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us.” 10 Again the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. . .

31 When the words which David spoke were heard, they told them to Saul, and he sent for him. 32 David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.”34But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” 37And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the LORD be with you.” 38Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. 39David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them off. 40He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.

 

Thoughts

“Time to cut the apron strings, mom.” The gruff voice said on the other side. It isn’t my apron strings I wanted to use to strangle the man with, through the phone. Until this moment, I lived under the illusion that I do not let my fears, of harm coming to my children because it has happened to me, keep them from something they love, or a calling by God. But for the past two days I have been almost crippled with fear of my son going to camp.

My stomach was in my throat most of today as I considered my 10-year-old being two hours away  with strangers for 5 days and 4 nights. Suddenly he looked so much smaller and the adventure way too big for him. Daniel had saved up his own money for this trip, but was voicing fear of staying the night. Fear that echoed my own. I asked Daniel to pray, which he did and reported that God told him to go. So,now he was settled, but I was not. So I called the director of the camp for reassurance, but instead I felt like I was being pegged as a ridiculous overprotective mother.

When my husband got home I told him what the director said, expecting validation. Instead, my husband agreed with the man’s assessment. NO PHONE TO KEEP HIM SAFE!!! Everything in me was screaming and my voice kept getting more agitated as our “intense fellowship” ensued. (Thank’s to the marriage conference we just attended this weekend, I quickly got a grip, took in a breath, and asked for forgiveness from my husband.) No matter how afraid I was, I knew my fear was now messing with relationships, and I’ve learned enough to know that I had to reassess what was happening.

Once again Israel is facing giants. Egypt, slavery, enemies, and walls had all crumbled before the God who lead them. Goliath wasn’t the reason Israel could not defeat the Philistines. Saul had experiences of deep and devastating losses to the Philistines.This giant had been mocking them for some time. And now a little boy was claiming he could take the giant down? David knew nothing of fighting giants, Saul reasoned. But, Saul also had a lot of experience with victory and the power of God. So why, in this situation did he not equally apply that knowledge? He didn’t because fear of ___________ separate us from the truth about who God is. Even when fears are logical and come from a real, and often very frightening place, being controlled by fear, drives a wedge between, our spirit, God, those who love us, and even reality. So we put on our heavy-duty armor and prepare for battle, even if we think we are facing defeat.

I was preparing for a battle, but I was fighting the wrong enemy. I need to focus on equipping my son with armor that fits.We have big fears, so we try to put on our thick armor, but it takes the faith of a child to teach us that giants can be taken down with a sling, smooth stones, and total belief in the power of our mighty God! Equipping Daniel to trust God, regardless of whether he goes to camp, should be my focus. What God can and will do through Daniel will be spectacular.  In the end, it isn’t just Daniel that steps into manhood, but I face down some of my own giants. As I finish this post my giant fear crumbles to the ground.  What giant do you need to slay? Use the armor that you have been given, suite up and see the mighty power of God!

 

Prayer

Lord, help me to use the armor that you haven given me. You have slayed so many giants in my life, and this one is no exception. I praise you for giving me relief in my weakness. You are a mighty God. Help me to focus on what is possible in your power, and to invite others to claim the same mighty victories.

By the Sweat of His Brow

Depression desperately looks for the exits

from the sweat of our nightmares.

You entered our fear driven world

and sweat blood of understanding

as you stayed, all in, the flesh of our circumstances.

Proving that you can resurrect us from the terror of our troubles.

Love, the Remedy for Second Hand Depression

Job 30:15“Terrors are turned against me; They pursue my honor as the wind, And my prosperity has passed away like a cloud. 16“And now my soul is poured out within me; Days of affliction have seized me. 17“At night it pierces my bones within me, And my gnawing pains take no rest.…

What do we do when loved ones are giving up on life? Is there such a thing as secondhand depression? Yes, I believe that there is. Like Job’s wife, do we respond, “Curse God and die.”? I don’t think she said those things because she hated Job. I believe she had given into fear. Fear of the circumstances, fear of the onslaught, and fear of loss. She was like Ruth’s mother-in-law, telling her people to no longer call her Naomi, but to call her Marah (Bitter).  We are asking, what kind of God allows this kind of suffering?!

The last year with Jonathan was hard! His personality changed so completely that sometimes he said awful things to us. He refused medical care, and he fought mightily with a desire to give up. I was on my knees crying out to God so many times that I was often horse. At moments the fear of losing Jonathan was more tangible than God’s presence, and I struggled to love. Fear and love cannot occupy the same space; fear is a cancer, mimicking normal cells of concern so that we don’t fight its systematic takeover of our ability to love. But fight we must! I don’t mean strive and claw our way out of depression, I’m talking about LETTING GOD FIGHT FOR US. Only when I finally handed Jonathan’s wellbeing over to God could I finally love my son, come what may. Those last few months were the best they could be between the two of us.

Mother Theresa and the Sister’s of Charity ministered with love, to those often cursing back at them as they were dying. I have been studying her character for a while, and I am learning how much depression is based on control and conditions. I want to be in control and I am depressed when I am not. We want to be loved back! But oh the power to change the world, when we love from the vantage point of the cross. Are you in the midst of loving someone who may never love you back? Well God has been doing that since the creation of the world. For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son. That whosoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16) That kind of love is the model for how we are to love those who are struggling with depression. Accepting His love which has no possible repayment is the cure for secondhand depression. Loving like Christ is productive suffering!

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