Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Trumping Fear

Four white trash bags slump beside my front door. Boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape own prime real estate in each room, and the fate of miscellaneous items remains undecided.

Just three days before my family travels to its new home in a different state, fear has snaked into my calm. I silently beg my lungs to accept the air it’s offered and blink my eyes just tight
enough to corral a flow of tears. Stiffening my upper lip, I continue to pack our belongings.

Ironically, it is the calm and not the chaos that frightens me.

As I prepare for this journey, I think about our move last year. Pickle was just four-months-old and my PPD was being managed. I didn’t look forward to a cross country move, but hope dominated my feelings.

I didn’t anticipate that shortly after arriving into our new home that I would no longer recognize myself. Not one of the friends who hugged me goodbye would have predicted that the same woman who joyfully stopped packing boxes so she could to talk about Jesus with the appliance repair man would experience a nervous breakdown a few months later.

Last year’s emotional upheaval caught me off guard and twisted my life into a dangerous labyrinth. Could it happen again? Will it happen again? Those are the anxiety inducing thoughts that trouble me.

My heart pounds as I wrestle with possible scenarios. And I seem incapable of grasping the thoughts I am to “take captive.”

I chide myself and think, In the scheme of life moving is not such a big deal. It’s a stressor, but it’s not cancer, get a grip.

In a manner that is neither gentle, nor rough, I pinch the skin on my arms.

Again, my lungs lack oxygen, my chest aches, and my knees tremble. I yearn for truth, but find it difficult to recall. Yet, I know how to find it, so I search the Psalms.

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.” Psalm 53:3-4 (NIV).

Hmm. I’m still afraid. What if

And then a word thrusts itself to the center of my thoughts…TRUST. Sometimes, fear enters first, but trust in the true God has the power to eradicate the most arresting apprehensions. Just as fire and ice cannot occupy the same space, neither can fear and trust. When one is embraced, the other is cast away.

While I cannot control the universe, I can control my choices. Will I trust or will I fear? Tonight, I choose to trust my Savior.

“Because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Cor. 4:14-18 (NIV).


SmilingSally said...

New frontiers do scare. It's good to remember to trust the One who is in control.

Amydeanne said...

I cant control the universe! Ooooooooo but I wanna! lol

Great post! :) And I understand the fret about moving! It's a hard place , especially with little ones!

Pinkshoelady said...

Hi New Friend,
Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad you found me because now I have found you.

Fear and I are old enemies. Now he is attacthed to my nine year old daughter and we are trying to help her learn to stand on faith and trust.

As I read your post today a book I read back in the 80's came to mind. It is called "The Nevertheless Principle" The author who I now can't remember her name had a terrible time with "Fear" God showed her how to trust using the word, "Nevertheless." It seems that this word is a word God chose to use after bad things are mentioned in the Bible.
My concordance shows it listed 97 times. Nevertheless means no matter what just came before, God can take care of it.

I remember my first move away from home was over 3,000 miles. I was very afraid! But I remember writing down my fears and then asking God for the Neverthelesses to go with each one. It worked!
Nevertheless is a powerful word!

I will pray for you as you move. I don't know what happened to you before now but....Nevertheless God loves you and will go before you.

He does love you my friend.

Pamela R.

Dawn @ simply transparent said...

So this is really want your going through "Surrendering" I tell you those life trails are the best for drawing us closer,eh?

It's good that you see this most don't and are miserable!

Thanks for stopping by don't be a stranger!

Come read this one I just went through ~

Anne Elizabeth said...

Excellent post! I've been struggling this past week with fear. Fear that current situations are going to push me back into the pit. Back to where I was last year! Thank you for the scriptures and the reminder to TRUST in the Lord:) I'm praying for your move!

Anne Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gretchen said...

As a recovering control freak (due to--what else? fear!), I really appreciated how your post spoke to me. I have a situation in my life right now, and I've been saying all the right things, and making all the right choices except this: trusting that God will comfort, provide, and protect.

God's blessings on your move.


Joy said...

When I redesigned my blog I must have lost this blog URL! I'm SOOOOOO sorry! I think there are others missing, too, since I have such a hard time with names/titles.

And in regards to your post about moving--- perfect love casts out fear. God doesn't want us to live in fear. The opposite of fear is FAITH! Keep the faith and lean on Him. It is the ONLY way you'll be able to roll your shoulders back, lift your head high, and keep running forward!

Anonymous said...

I think its pretty normal to be afraid of the unknown - but you're right. We do need to remember to trust God in those times. I'll be praying for you!

dlyn said...

A great post. For me, depression is sometimes just one heartbeat away - reaching for Him puts it off another heartbeat or two. And again. Again. Again. One heartbeat in front of the other unti He leads me out....

Praying that your move goes far better than you expect or imagine.

Anonymous said...

I will echo what dlyn said. My heart goes out to you. Know that even though we've never met, I'm praying for you during this move and in the months to come.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I used to have a debilitating fear of staying home by myself at night. The psalms and prayer have truly helped me to come so far (which is important since my husband travels a lot). I sometimes find myself sliding back into the fear, but we can use the word of God to overcome!

Anonymous said...

P.S. You asked about where I live in Georgia. I actually live in the Nashville area. My friend moved from Nasvhille to Georgia, but I can see how that was confusing on my post the other day.

Karen Hossink said...

You are choosing well, dear sister.
Trusting our Savior; knowing He will see you through this time; believing He is good and is able to accomplish what concerns you - these are all good things.
Keep telling yourself the Truth!

On Purpose said...

As I read your post today, I am truly feeling blessed that God has brought your blog into my life.

I am praying for you today, you see I have moved 5 times in the last 4 years and had one year of really bad PPD. Thank you for your "real" blog today. I feel honored to be praying for you!

Genny said...

I remember the feeling of moving six years ago...and we only moved a couple of miles down the road. When I left our old house, I went into every room and bawled, remembering the times we spent there. My kids came home from the hospital to that house. They learned to walk there... But, looking back, we haven't once regretted our decision to move. It was all part of God's plan. And I'm sure your move will be that same way. Though I can understand the fear, I'm sure it will be wonderful once you are settled. Hang in there!

Lisa Cobler said...

I will keep you in my prayers. Just cast your cares on him and you will get through this.

Shirley Mary said...

Each of us, I suppose, deals with fear and the unknown in different ways. But a number of years ago I read a quote by Amy Carmichael that has been so helpful to me. Just four words, "In acceptance, lieth peace." I have said those words over and over in times of fear and the "what if's" and they have had a calming affect on me. One time I fell backwards going down steps and didn't know how bad the injury to my head might me.
I was very frightened of having a severe concussion but I said over and over, "In acceptance, lieth peace." And peace did come in a beautiful way.


Tracy said...

seems like you received lots of different comments - mine really is YEEEEHHAAAWWWW. You guys will be only 2 hours away. that means some possible visits. too fun! that is, if you don't mind 5 more kids dropping in on ya to visit. we would LOVE to come up & visit or help (if we can) let me know. blessings.

Tales From the Eurovan said...

I am praying for you all and the move. I so wish I could be there and help and go pick up dinner for everyone. Hard to believe that was a year ago! God is so good, isn't He? Take care, Julie

Rochelle said...

This was so beautifully captured. Oh how wonderful it is to trust in Him. And we would never know what that truly meant unless fear snaked into our calm. Thank you for being real.

Kimberly said...

I have a sweet friend who lives in Athens. I will be praying for you as you are in the middle of this move. May His peace wash over you and His promise to work all things together for your good bring you comfort.

Fear truly is so sneaky. Wiggling its way in while we are not looking. But thankfully you recognize it for what it is, a scheme of the enemy, and surrender it over to the Father.

Thanks for sharing so honestly. We ALL struggle with areas of fear. And you are definitely not alone in feeling fears about moving. You are an encouragement and a blessing...for your honesty and for pointing us all back to our Savior.

NotJustLaura said...

You will be in my prayers.

The Pliler Family said...

I have truly enjoyed visiting your blog daily. Your writings have been inspiring and encouraging. Now it my time to try to be encouraging to you. I am 62 years old and last year after living 42 years in the same town in California Rodger and I packed up our house and moved to Tennessee. I was scared and worried if we were doing the right things. After all I had family, many friends and a great ministry in California but for some reason the Lord was opening the doors for us to move. It has been an adventure but it has been full of blessings. We have found a great church many new friends, and a new ministry. Do not worry remember the words of Isaiah 41:13 "I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you. Do not fear; I will help you"

Mindy said...

Can you imagine how it would be if we could control all the things we want to? I predict chaos, or boredom or both, lol. No, its best to leave control up to the Lord, as hard as that is in scary times. Your move will likely hold stress and fear but abundant blessings too! You and your family will be in our prayers.

ExploreColorado said...

I hope your move goes well. I'm sure you'll do fine with the move. Practice makes perfect right? You learned how to manage with the last move, and now you're a pro. I'll be praying for you.
I liked your party. Proverbs says life is a continual feast if you choose to have a merry heart.
Look forward to hearing how it goes.

Susan said...

Beautiful beautiful post. It's so nice to meet someone on here that is so real and willing to share these sorts of experiences. God is good and I pray that He continues to bless you as you bless others.

:-) Susan

Tea with Tiffany said...

You are fighting your fears with the perfect unstoppable weapon: trust and faith. Leaning on his truth is your strength. I am sorry to know you are struggling. I relate to your battle, I've been paralyzed by fear before. It's so tough to feel so weak and sometimes out of control.

Hold on to Jesus, sweet one. He holds tightly to you. He will never let go and He will not fail you.

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful post! We moved back to my hometown state in April after a 7 year absence and I so understand these feelings. It's a really tough choice, journey, and adjustment but HE takes so much of it upon HIMSELF when you let HIM. Good luck :)

Ashleigh Baker said...

I didn't post about this, but I had a bit of a breakdown myself earlier this week. Not something as major as what you endured, but definitely the biggest thing I've ever dealt with. The root of it was a huge irrational fear. This post couldn't have come at a better time... the Lord is reminding me every day that to trust Him is complete peace.

Peggy said...

Angela...YOU can DO this...You hold on...YOUR TRUST & FAITH
are strong...focus on ALL the new friends waiting and what HE plans
for you! This is such a well written and honest confrontation not just of fear but all the rest of reality! It is your REAL & transparent YOU that makes your
Becoming ME SUPER and this will do that ministers and so God will minister back & fill you
with comfort, strength, peace, trust, courage, and whatever as you
call on Him out of this need & seek

Just came over to invite you to visit Friday, it's a special day
(or the weekend if that's better)
but since you are in the midst of things...I'll understand! Blessings
and praying that this too shall pass!

Julie said...

The Lord your God will go with you. He will be your rear guard. He will cover you with His feathers, and under them you will find refuge....

May I be the first to welcome you to the great state of Georgia. I only wish you were in my home town....I would bring you dinner and a big hug....but I'm not THAT far away!

It's going to be awesome. He's going ahead of you to prepare the way.


Trish said...

Thank you for those encouraging words about trust. All I can say is this really speaks to me right now.

Kristi O said...

I am praying for you thru this transition!

Unknown said...

Keep making that choice and know that we are all lifting you up!

Tracy said...

Hi Angela,
My heart goes out, as I remember reading about your heartbreaking struggles after the last move.

Could it be that God gave you the heart and desire to start "Becoming Me" so that this time, you would have supporting encouragers that were going WITH YOU every step of the way?

While it's true...we can't help you pack or move, babysit or bake a casserole, we CAN remind you of God's truth, when fear threatens. We CAN offer words of hope and encouragement when the enemy reminds you of what happened last time. We CAN offer comfort when your heart aches from more good-byes and most importantly, we CAN (and will) uphold you in prayer

You are greatly loved,

"You will keep in perfect peace, all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!"
~Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

Allison said...

Hi! I found your blog through Audrey Caroline's blog. I was immediately drawn to you because like you I suffer/ed from PPD. I read your story and was so thankful that God had put you in my life.

Reading your entries gives me reassurance that there are others who feel like I do. Someone that struggles with some of the same "stuff".

Fear is what I have struggled with for a long time and still do. But, that fear does draw me closer to Him and some of my sweetest moments have been when I was in full panic mode. Thank you, Lord. Thank you.

I hope you don't mind that I put a link to your blog on mine. I kept my blog private for a long time and I just took the privacy off. It took some courage and God gave it to me;)

In Christ,

Please know that I am praying for you and your family. Even though i don't "know" you, we are sisters in Christ. For that I am so thankful.

"I will trust and not be afraid" Isaiah 12:2. I repeat this scripture ALOT:)

Anonymous said...

All I can offer is a prayer, that you will be held tightly in God's all knowing grasp, and that He will get you through this trial.

Many blessings-

Alana said...

I've been out of the loop, but I'm trying to catch up on blogs again. I know you have a lot going on with the move, especially. I will be praying for you. Give your fear to God...He will grant you peace.

Angie said...

Trust trumps every time.

A big hug to you. I just went through moving two months ago so my heart goes out to you. That "what if" thinking is such a trap. We all experience fear, the question is what do we do with it. Do we choose fear, or do we choose trust as you said.

Praying for you to be able to cast down imaginations and everything that exalts itself above Christ. God bless you with strength and grace in all that is before you.

christa jean said...

I love this:
"When one is embraced, the other is cast away."
Yes, that black fear, so subtly growing like a cancer... I know it well, yet am learning (slowly) that ONLY trust in Him will conquer it.
You are not alone.

Lisa Spence said...

Perfect love casts out fear! May you know the peace that passes all understanding...

Misty said...

prayers for you. i'm in the middle of a move myself and i'm not sure what's going on w/ me emotionally or spirituall, so this post just resonates w/ me...

Munchkins and Music said...

Stopped by your blog and noticed you were moving! I just did that last summer. It is hard, but once you settle in your place and start meeting people, it will feel like home again! Good luck!

Monica said...

I have my fair share of reasons to be afraid. I'm definitely working on having more faith ~ it doesn't come naturally to me.

Shannon said...

My goodness, it sounds like you have been through a lot. I don't think anyone can blame you for feeling a bit afraid. I think that you are making a wonderful choice in trusting God. He does see you and he will take care of you.

mattpatt said...

I know that you have many of these - but you're still deserving of the recognition ....

Stop by and get your trophy!

Treasure Seeker said...

wow! i haven't had time to read this post until today.

you are a gifted and moving writer.

thanks for sharing your heart.
i loved it and know when you place your trust in Him He will not disappoint!


White Hot Magik said...

This is my first visit. I stopped by from Wifey's. OH it can be so hard to trust in the Lord sometimes. Last year I was having a hard time and was walking and praying and crying and generally freaking out and I swear God nearly shook me and said, Do you trust me to do what I said I would? I stopped cold. It's hard but I have to because I don't want to go back to those dark places. Good luck with your move and I am so glad to have found your blog today.

Wendi@EveryDayMiracles said...

Since I too have been out of the blogging loop for a while I am just reading this today. I am so glad that even in these rough times you know what you need to do; cling to Jesus and the trust you have in him! Even when your weariness says you can't cling any more, know that he is clinging to you!!
Praying for you through this adjustment!

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