Unpack That Verse…Philippians 4:6-7 No Worries

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Be anxious for nothing, but in prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

Feeling anxious is a very real thing. I battled anxiety for many years. The one very important thing I learned about anxiety is that I could beat it… with the help of Jesus.

I didn’t see clearly how anxiety was affecting me and my life until very recently. In fact, God revealed to me that this anxiety was actually rooted in fear. And that fear controlled me completely!

Through prayer and supplication, which means simply asking for, I was able to walk to the other side of this fear and break covenant with it. I had partnered with fear, anxiety, worry, you name it, for my entire life, but it was time to be free.

It is true, that once I partnered with God and allowed Him to walk me through this process of freeing me from my fear, peace settled on me, in me and around me.

It was truly amazing to me to see how different I saw things through my own eyes because of this freedom. I became alive, adventurous… fearless.

Once I gave my anxiety and worry, and essentially my fears to Jesus, my whole life began to change. One seemingly little gesture can be the last step into breakthrough and COMPLETE PEACE and FREEDOM!!!

So, in your moments when you feel anything but peace, cry out to Jesus, and ask Him to fill you with peace… then rest in the Father’s Presence as He covers you with the warmest, coziest “peace blanket” you have ever snuggled under! Trust me, you will never want to worry again!

Worry does not empty TOMORROW of its sorrows, it empties TODAY of its strength.            Corrie ten Bloom

My Process – Part 1

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I have now been in California for about four and a half months. And, attending Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, BSSM, for 3 months. Amazing, crazy, beautiful, painful things have surrounded me and covered me, around me and inside me. Not a part of my being, physical or spiritual has not been affected. Not at all what I expected, but exactly what I needed and I think subconsciously hoped for.

God is the all knowing, all seeing Father, also known as omniscience. In this nature of His, because of His extreme love for me, me being here right now is all part of His perfect timing. In addition, my heart was ready in this season to process and receive all of this stuff going on around me and going through me. Any other time in my life, this continually life-giving water would not have flowed through me freely, but rather lay stagnant in a puddle beside me.

Process…

In the Bethel community, this is a word you hear often. Initially, I was not completely sure what it meant or that it was something for me. It was for everyone else, they had stuff to get through, I was fine. After all, I had spent 10 months before coming here dealing with all of my stuff. Right? Ha! That’s what I thought! The Lord knew better, as did the leadership around me.

Within the first 2 weeks in, I realized that God had started me in my process and that I had so much more stuff in my heart that needed processing…

So what is process? Oxford dictionary defines it as a series of steps taken in order to achieve an end result. Makes sense. Maybe? What was I trying to achieve and what steps did I need to take? Or, better yet… what did God want to do in me and how was He going to do that? WOW. I began to see clearly that I had quite a bit of work in front of me.

The journey began. It started with things that I felt I needed to deal with, fear being one biggie for me. Interestingly enough, as I highlighted fears, Holy Spirit revealed to me how basic those fears were and then went deeper with me with each fear. As we looked at each fear, my eyes were opened for the first time in my life… fear had taken root in my heart many, many years ago and from it had grown a tree which had essentially controlled my entire life. My entire life, 40 plus years, had been rooted in fear! So many different moments, emotions, actions and reactions from my past made sense. I was living out of a place of fear.

To those of you who have never dealt with fear, or at least fear to this degree, this might not seem like a big deal to you. But to me and to others who have been there, this is something that is often immobilizing, both physically and emotionally.

I was literally afraid all the time… afraid to talk to someone because they might not like me, afraid to go to a social event because I was afraid to talk to people, afraid of how I looked, afraid to ride with someone because of anxiety in cars, afraid to speak because I might sound stupid, afraid to go place because of fear of heights, afraid to go places outside because of my fear of spiders and on and on and on. Essentially I was a 24/7 basket case full of anxiety and self-hatred who was often in a state of depression.

The crazy thing is, I really did not see this until about 2 months ago. This is when my process began and Holy Spirit began revealing all of this to me. Then, we began the difficult process of breaking all these fears off of me!!! Before the fears began to leave though, the Father and I had to talk about why they were there… I realized that it was really based on my trust and trusting that God was in control. I had no reason to be afraid, because of Him. As I stayed in Him, fear wouldn’t be there, first because in love there is no fear and the Father is love, (1 John 4:18 ) and also because the Father was my protector and He wasn’t going to let anything happen to me. (Psalm 18:2)

In these moments, I also felt His amazing love that was so good… I will talk more about that another time. His love for me was the reason He began to take me through this painful process of getting rid of the fears that had controlled me for so long. The two things that I really thought had been so big, my fear of heights and my fear of spiders, were the first things the Lord and I worked on.

Spiders would freak me out and I would scream and I would usually not go anywhere near a spider. I remember one time when my husband got a spider for me by merely squishing it between his fingers and I said to him, I wish I could do that. Well, crazier things have happened… I actually had one crawling on my couch one night, about a week into school, and not only did I not freak out and jump up, but I reached over and squished it with my fingers! It took a moment for that to process through my brain and when I did, I screamed in victory!!! It was so good. Since then I have had spiders in my apartment, that I have not even killed, because they weren’t hurting me! I release that testimony over anyone reading this who has a fear of spiders.

Now, the heights thing was a bit more intense. There was a moment one time in the Dallas airport when my husband, Roy, and I were going up an escalator, and my body went into a panic attack mode. I froze and my heart began racing just crazy fast. When I finally reached the top, I barely was able to lift my feet to get off the escalator but then proceeded to fall to the floor and crawl over to the side in a corner and was consumed by tears that raked my body. I shook and sobbed for about 10 or 15 minutes. I was terrified for the remainder of the day and filled with anxiety. This was the norm for me throughout my life. God was ready to change that! As a part of our building relationships and trust not only with God, but also within our revival groups at BSSM, each revival group was to spend a day at a ropes course close by. I was somewhat fearful, but not like I expected. The morning of the day we were to go as I spent time with the Lord, I heard Him in that still small voice so clear… Irene when you come home tonight your fear of heights will be gone. I didn’t question, but instead trusted because I was filled with so much peace. Well, with the presence of the Lord and the support of my group, I was able to make it through the entire course, and was only slightly afraid about 3 times. It was the most amazing and freeing feeling ever!!! I actually want to do things up high now!!! I also release that testimony over anyone with a fear of heights!

In reflecting, I see how the Lord is working so close with me in this process. He is slowly and gently peeling of the layers that have covered my heart for all these years. My Father is lovingly showing me things and allowing me to cry, be angry, repent and just let go. I already feel stronger and more sure of His love and my love for myself. I am excited about meeting the true me once the layers are gone and my heart is revealed and fully healed!

In part 2 of this blog, I will go deeper into some of the things that have been revealed to me by the Holy Spirit that were hidden fears and how we are processing through those. I pray that sharing my process will help catapult others into freedom from fears while realizing that no one is ever truly alone, God is always with us and so are the people around you. Thank you for reading… may you feel His love, peace and blessings today!!!

No More Fear

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Fear. That all consuming feeling that has the ability to cover and usher in so many lies. Fear can be crippling, fear can destroy, fear can stop us from moving forward and fear can block LOVE.

I have spent my entire life in a state of fear. I knew I was fearful of heights and spiders as most of us are fearful of something. So, I just equated my hesitancy in life to those two fears. Little did I know that the extent of my fear actually fueled larger fears. In the belief of these larger fears, my pause on life happened. I actually prevented myself from many experiences in life due to this pause. My inability to move forward was present as a result the physical inability ultimately caused by a mental belief and fear. Even writing that makes me step back and go, WOW… ! I truly had no idea that a stronghold like this had a hold of my life and essentially me!

In this revelation, I have come face to face with the INCREDIBLE love of the Father. In His beautiful, gentle way, Papa God has been revealing this to me over the last few weeks. I knew about 3 months ago that He was working on my fears, or at least the two, heights and spiders, that I thought I had. Recently though, as these two fears are being broken off, He has illuminated the layers of fear underneath… layers that He is slowly and pulling back and allowing me to see.

Deep pain has begun to surface and the tears seem to flow endlessly. Father God has been right there with me the whole time comforting me in the pain and wiping my tears away as He continues to cover me in His love. The process is definitely one of the hardest in my life! It’s difficulty doesn’t scare me though, because I am no longer afraid…

Did I just say that?

Yes, I said I am no longer afraid. AND, I will continue to say it.

My fear took seed and grew out of lies that I believed. Lies about myself, about those around me and even lies about God’s love. These lies were the weeds that strangled out the truth in my heart. They yelled above the truths that were whispered. In that place, the lies seemed more like truth.

In this new season, I see these lies as what they are…lies. I no longer believe them. Instead, I now believe the truths… truths that Jesus spoke and truths that Holy Spirit reminds me of often. One truth that is at the forefront to me is that there is no fear in love. This is key. Love is the Father. Essentially, if I am abiding in the Father, in His love, fear is nowhere to be found. Fear will not be present in the presence of the Father. Whoa! All I have to do is stay with my Daddy and I will experience love instead of fear.

The thoughts running through my head struggle with why. Why does God love me so much? Then Holy Spirit steps in halting this circle of thoughts. The Father loves you because you are His daughter. He wants you to feel His love, always. Then, am hit with another thought… Just because He loves me, it’s all because of love.  In taking away my fears, the Father is putting love there instead. Fear goes, love comes rushing in filling me up!!!

In looking back, especially over the last week, I can say with confidence, that love IS what I have felt in those moments where fear would normally be present. In moments where I should have been frozen by fear, I have moved in love. Ha! It is such freedom for me! I actually feel like I want to try new things now, things that I would have never even thought about before, merely because of fear. So crazy and so good at the same time! And this is who my Daddy is!

I am beyond thankful for Father God and His insane love for me! Not only that, in this love, He continues to pursue me so I can feel His love. In that all consuming love, my paralyzing fears are being revealed and broken off… forever! Then my feet will be ready for adventures with a heart consumed with the love of the Father. This breakthrough will launch me into a season of carrying the Father’s love into dark and scary places, releasing light and freedom.

I am ready… I am no longer afraid!

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My Journey to Freedom

My journey has begun. I am no longer the person I was, but neither am I the person I will be. The process has been initiated and I am ready. In this process, I am expectant. The Lord is changing me from the inside out. It has already started. There has been pain, and many tears. The shedding off, the breaking away of all the crap that needed to be gone. I only use crap, because that is truly the best word to describe that stuff the Lord has been digging out of me. Things like fear, fear of everything! In fact, my fear was so intense, that it brought on anxiety and then because of the anxiety, depression. It was a wonder that I was able to function at all throughout my life. His strength was always in me and that is the only reason why. But just His strength is not enough… I needed to break off the spirit of fear that was debilitating to my life!

I had a revelation about two and a half months ago, that fear was the root of most of my issues. Fear was blocking me from receiving the fullness of life the Father had for me. Fear was preventing me from truly living the abundant life! Once that revelation sunk in, the Father and I began working on breaking all of those fears off. All I can say is, it has been difficult but also freeing! I have had some major breakthrough, and in those moments, I have finally begun to believe in me and how God sees me.

So, in this process, I, with Holy Spirit right beside me, have come face to face with many of my fears. There have still been some anxiety in those moments, but more courage than fear. I still have work to do, but I am no longer afraid, at least not like I was. More importantly, I am aware of this side of me now, and am equipped on how to walk with Holy Spirit through it. In the beginning of this process, I received a very profound word which catapulted me into conquering this head first; if I am trusting God, then why would I be afraid of anything, because He is the protector of all. Moreover, just because I am afraid doesn’t mean I can prevent anything from happening, but rather might increase the severity of it because of my fear and anxiety! In that moment, I realized that I was not in control, and so I didn’t need to be fearful. And, the weight that had been on me my entire life, began to lessen. What a feeling!!! It was amazing!

My fears are not completely gone, I know there is still work to be done. But, I am already changed and my walk is so much lighter and more free. My life experiences are already abundant, because I am taking risks and trusting the Father in every step. I have finally embarked on my adventure to a fuller life and I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for me!!!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be
afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be
with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

How You Loved Me…

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I have been bottled up for so very long

so afraid all would be gone.

I always kept it all inside

often feeling the need to hide.

I had no one who really understood

no one to listen and help me feel good.

Now I have found you

and I don’t feel quite so blue.

But I still feel the fear

wanting to turn before you get too near.

It’s my way of pushing away

so I won’t hurt another day.

Please forgive me yet again

you are a gift I have been sent.

You are my star in the dark sky

lighting my way as each night goes by.

I would be lost without my star

I want to always be with you…

 where ever you are!