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
Jude Fricano says
Blessing to you and your family Tracie. Thank you for sharing your story!
Brandy. Dille says
My mom got cancer and within two weeks turned metastatic and died. Inhad just got out of a three month depression episode and no one told me she was this bad so her dying was a shock. My mom was my only support and family member i had left. I had to take on the care of my little brother who is in a wheel chair due to cerebral palsy and i also have two kids one whonis mentally challenged. Knowing i had no one else and no where to go after my moms desth my husband became very abusive and controlling. I have been diagnosed with complicated grief disorder. I would live to have a cooynof the book and journal and study guide it would help me sooo much but i cant afford it.
Leah Levine Brown Cady says
Give the book to that lady. We need to seriously lift her up in prayer sisters.
I feel your pain and know the fear you experienced. My husband left 2 and 1/2 years ago for his much younger secretary. He recently married her. We have one son so I still have to see him.
The pain is unbelievable and the fear can strangle … leaning on God is the only I’m here today. I still struggle but like you truly have to trust Gods plan.
I pray your future will be bright.
I emailed this post straight to my mom as soon as I finished reading it. My dad left our family with no warning after 24 years of marriage to my mom, and it has been incredibly difficult. But God’s grace is sufficient for us and we trust in Him! Thank you for sharing your story!
Thank you so very much for this article. I’m dealing with work instability and fear of job loss. I know God has a plan for me, but some days I get so down.
Your testimony blessed me.
May God continue to bless you and your family.
kathy stephens says
This message came in like a drop of OIL to my soul. Such like that of a bicycle chain. Much needed when it is out of sorts. I lost my husband December 2014 and it has been an amazing journey. God has revealed so much about himself and taught me so much more about myself. I attended a yoga retreat last weekend and discovered ( my take away) that I was living life from my husbands death backwards. Not in a bad way but It seemed that I was frozen. Looking forward without him has been the scariest thing i’ve ever had to do. See he was my game changer, my BIG ending, he was my rock on this side of heaven. I’ve always been a go-getter, dream big and take action but this lose has caused me to question my future. Similar to what you shared. I have clung to HOPE for 28 months now knowing that ONLY IN GOD will I know the next steps. Thanks for reminding me of that.
God is with you Deborah and His Plan for you is Rooted in His Love For You. I know that God will never leave you nor forsake you. Your best is yet to come. Soon when your husband sees you, he will ache at his choice because God will give you a brightness and a Divine Joy like you’ve never know before. You are in my prayers!
Barbara Korey says
I’d love to read your book.
At 55, I’m going back to school at night to become a nurse. It’s challenging, but it’s God’s path for me at this time. Everything is new and scary and fear can overwhelm me when I don’t keep my eyes on Jesus. He is my refuge and strength!
I needed to read this it was like reading my current situation…I have two adorable boys 10yrs and 4yrs…am all the way in Kenya Africa this is indeed Gods doing thank you for posting this…may God continue to expand your territory 🙏
Tracie, Thank you for the hope this gives. Fear of the unknown is so very real and your words were such a reassurance. As you walk through your difficult situation, God is using your testimony in powerful ways. I heard you earlier this week on the Compel podcast. All that you have said both here and there were needed and very encouraging in my life. Thank you! (Lisa, thank you for sharing your space today!)
Robin Huellinghoff says
Though I’m not going through the marital issues as discussed briefly in your article, I am going through great physical affliction right now and it has been hard for me to lean into God as I should. Your comment, “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”. This was an eye opening comment to me. Thank you for sharing and I am thankful I took the time to read.
C. Webb says
I want to have unsinkable faith too! Thanks for sharing your story.
bethany mcilrath says
Thank you for sharing your story and pointing to God through it. Praising Him for unsinkable faith and His presence- no matter what unwanted new we’re stepping into.
Yes please! Fwd’ing this article to friends!
Brenda Hancock says
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for sharing your story. So sorry for your pain and loss too. Our current season of living can be described as “turmoil”. I try so hard to keep my focus and trust on God, NOT the situation, some days are better than others!
Donella Herring says
Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. This testimony will be helping others hurting. God is using you in a mighty way sweet Tracie. God Bless You. My prayers are with you.💜😘
Martha T. says
Even though our loss and new is very different, your words ring true for me. I’m single & lost my home & belongings to the flood in Louisiana, Aug 2016. The uncertainty & fear are very real.
Lisa Devine says
I’ve experienced painful betrayal as well so could relate with how that can thrust you into new places you didn’t plan on going. But God is still working in and through it. Your message was a balm to my scared soul.
Betsy De Cruz says
Love this message about embracing God’s promises instead of embracing our problems. I needed this today. 🙂
Karen Del Tatto says
Tracie, Thank you so much for sharing your powerful testimony of how God redeemed your immense heartache. Your reminders of clinging to the promises of God and the fact that God is indeed in control is so important to remember when our lives feel out of control.
This post ministered to me in my own anxieties and fear.
Linda Gehman says
Thank you for sharing your struggles and precious verses from God’s word to encourage others.
God bless you and your family
From a sister in Christ
Amy boyd says
I also went through the loss of a husband. He left his ministry and his wife and never looked back. I absolutely agree that the way we look at these losses and how we decide to trust God and believe that He is still good is the only way that we can renew our hope and trust in who He is. Thanks for sharing your story!
Lauren Gaskill says
Oh, how my soul needed this today. My next season is full of SO much uncertainty, it’s absolutely unnerving. Trusting in God every step of the way, though! Thanks so much for sharing, Tracie and Lisa! XO
Amy Wiltz says
Give me hope to know that I am not alone in all of this. My husband left me as well after 17 years of marriage and knowing him for more than 20 years. I am sill grieving and praying daily that life will get better. Thanks for being real and helping me know that there is hope to move on. It is all is God’s hands. Thanks for sharing.
I am praying for you and your family. Thanks for sharing – it helps us all to keep our eyes and heart on our Lord and Savior. As you know you will come through with flying colors. I know He will be with you every step of the way as He is for all of us when we are going through times we think we could never handle. The Lord be with you’ll. Choose joy over happiness.
Thank you for your authenticity in sharing your heart. Thank you for reminding us to stand in God’s strength when we are weak. Your amazing post has truly touched my heart and for this I am so greatful.
Love in Christ, Lureta
Martha B says
Thank you for sharing your heart with us!
Thank you for sharing. Isaiah 41:15 is one of the verses that have carried me through. After 21 yrs of marriage, I was divorced. Not only did I have to face the reality that our lives had been completely turned upside down, but that everything was a lie. God protected us (my sons and me) in so many ways. We have to choose to hold on tightly to His promises and rest in His Sovereignty. Thank you for reminding us to embrace our blessings instead of our troubles.
I admire your strength so much. I’ve never been able to overcome my life-long suicidal depression and my 20-year addiction to alcohol. I’ve lost nearly everything- including an 18-year career as a Registered Nurse and the custody of my children. My children live with their father and his new wife now. And rightly so- it all happened because I was never able to let go of my negative mindset, my defeatism.
Lisa Appelo says
Christine, praying now for your heart, for your stronghold. God is all powerful. xoxo
O my. This struck such a chord with me since my husband left me and the kids after 21 years of marriage. It has been some time now, and I have also learned to lean totally on Jesus. He is my all in all. Tracie, I learned also to count my blessings. It is amazing, however, when the pain can come back so quickly by seeing the pain of someone else. I pray constantly for all those in this position, including our children. The Good News is Jesus Christ! He brings resurrection to our lives in spite of the pain.