It’s my delight to welcome Tracie Miles, a speaker and author with Proverbs 31 Ministries. She’s the mom of 3 who’s learned about uprooting fear to embrace change that is unwelcome and downright painful. Thank you, Tracie for sharing your heart today at True and Faithful.
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It had been months since my husband of twenty-five years had walked away from our marriage and family, but the emotional devastation was still looming. It was as if a tsunami had slammed into my reality and me and my children were left swimming in the destruction left behind. I felt like I was constantly bumping into debris from my former life, and every piece inflicted new wounds, tears and heartache.
My future that formerly seemed so secure, now seemed just the opposite.
But it was the fear of the future and the weight of what had been lost that seemed to overwhelm me most, constantly pulling me under, making me feel as if I were sinking in swirling whirlpools of loss and unknowns.
You see, everything in my life now felt new – and not a good type of new – because in addition to negative emotions, the future was now a mystery which gripped my heart with fear. Over time, I had allowed those fears and powerful emotions to overtake my mind and in turn my life, and there came a day when I simply broke under the crushing weight of their enormity.
As if a pressure valve released, I lost it. The ugly cry. For three straight agonizing hours.
I was completely spent emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually, and void of any strength. I had been sinking for so long under the weight of not only my problems, but my thoughts and emotions over those problems, that I now found myself pleading to God for rescue.
In the aftermath of my meltdown, I laid there on my bed on a tear-stained pillow, feeling lifeless, hopeless, and more alone than ever. Yet, I suddenly sensed I wasn’t alone at all as God’s Presence floated gently into mine.
I had poured out the cries of my heart to Him, exposing my deepest wounds and admitting my innermost secret fears, and He had heard. I had pleaded for peace and strength, because I simply couldn’t find those things on my own, and He offered those gifts right then and there. He was calling me into a new place, and giving me permission to embrace the new.
The only problem was … I was deathly afraid of the new. It seemed foreign, scary, and unpredictable. That’s when I realized that my fear had become a stumbling block not only in my faith, but in my ability to let God lovingly usher me into this new season of life.
This verse immediately came to mind:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:15 (NIV)
God’s tender whisper reminded me He was with me, and I didn’t need to live in fear anymore. Although I didn’t know the future, I did know He held my future – and me – in His hands.
Over time, instead of embracing my troubles day after day, I learned to embrace my blessings instead. Instead of focusing on the difficulties and letting my thoughts run wild with “what-if’s” and “worst case scenarios” about the unknowns of the future, I instead held tightly onto God’s promises that He was in control and He had good plans for me. And instead of desperately trying to hang on to the old, I finally let go of what was gone, and chose to embrace the newness of life instead, in His strength alone.
We all experience new seasons of life from time to time, with some being positive and some being negative. There will always be seasons when we wish we could go back to the way things were, rather than being forced to embrace the new. But how we choose to look at those seasons will determine whether or not we walk through them with peace, hope and joy, or with heartache, hopelessness and fear. It is our thoughts which determine whether we sink in negative emotions or whether we stay afloat with optimism and holy trust.
When we change our thoughts, we change the way we feel, which changes the way we live. When we refuse to allow fear to rule our hearts and instead choose to embrace the hope and peace found in Christ, we’re able to stay afloat with our heads held high even when the storms of life rage in, because hearts anchored in God don’t sink.
**Tracie’s publisher has generously offered to give one copy of Unsinkable Faith away to one reader. Leave a comment to enter to win. This giveaway will stay open through Thursday, April 20 at midnight and is open to residents with a U.S. address.
Discover how to intentionally make positive living a reality in your life and begin experiencing a total life makeover through the transforming and renewing of your mind in Tracie’s newest book, Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies for Transforming the Way You Think, Feel and Live. The’re also a Companion Study Guide & Journal.
And with the purchase of at least one copy of Unsinkable Faith before April 29th, you can get 5 free gifts worth $60.00! Visit Tracie Miles for all the information and to learn how to claim your freebies.
Pleased to be linking with Holley Gerth, Kristin Hill Taylor, Wise Woman