How to Fight the Storm of Fear

“Hurry, load ‘em up!” I hollered over the wind as my young niece and nephew brought their horses to the trailer.

The temperature had dropped as the wind seemed to come up instantaneously. Everyone at the rodeo was desperately trying to get horses and kids rounded up and to safety.

I was just out of high school and was going to the town an hour north of us each week for the women’s and kids’ rodeo. It was a fun evening to look forward to each week. It also gave me an excuse to have my niece and nephew come stay with me for the weekends. It was also a way of getting them out of the situation they were in even if was just temporary.

I had always been a completely fearless person. Often not even exercising enough self caution to prevent way to many injuries to count. Then that storm rolled in and changed everything.

“Grab your ropes and get in the pickup,” I said hurriedly, “I think we can get ahead of this storm and outrun it.”

The sirens were going off in town and I knew there must have been a tornado warning issued. It was so dark the only way to see any of the sky was as the lightning sparked and illuminated it all. As far as I could tell there was nothing on the horizon so plenty of time to get out of there before it got worse.

My niece was concerned but had spent her whole young life with me and snuggled up beside me trusting my decision. It was short lived!

As we rounded the corner out of town the rain started coming down in sheets followed by hail pelting us in full force. Visibility was almost nonexistent at that point.

My poor niece was terrified. I was fighting my own fear welling up in me to calm her down. I was just trying to stay on the road as we inched along.

It came up so fast I didn’t have any time to react. I never saw it coming just the wind hitting us with such ferocity that fear completely overtook me.

The next thing I knew we were being picked up off the road and moved like a little matchbox car to the opposite ditch.

Something died inside of me that night. That fearless girl who believed she was completely invincible realized her own mortality. Fear had set in and the devil was trying to destroy me in new ways since his old ones had failed.

If there was so much as a cloud in the sky while I was outside, my heart would race uncontrollably. I would make every excuse in the world to those around me on why we needed to immediately go in the house. As rancher’s we work outside for a living and this presented a huge problem over the years.

It was especially bad if we were in a vehicle and crippling if I was the one driving.

It may sound like a logical fear but unfortunately it was a foothold for satan to gain ground in other areas of my life. New fears started growing and morphed into daily worries. I became the epitome of a worry wart.

One day, many years later, I was driving home by myself pulling a camper when a storm rolled in fast. My heart felt like it was going to explode it was racing so fast. Rationale was fleeing. Then I remembered a verse I’d chosen to repeat while I was in labor with my first son.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

I started repeating it to myself as a way to calm my heart. Also to help turn my focus back on Jesus who had always wanted to heal me of this fear.

The fear started to subside. I was fighting back finally and the devil knew he was in trouble. Through the power of the Holy Spirit I was taking ground back that had been stolen all those years earlier.

You know what, the storm didn’t subside. The wind blew hard and it rained and hailed on me for a good part of the way home. It was dark and scary on the outside but my heart had found firm footing inside and there was no way I was going back!

I love what Kelly Balarie reminds us in her book Fear Fighting – “What didn’t kill you yesterday has no real power to kill you today.”

Unfortunately, I had let fear rob me of the power Jesus had made available to me all those years. So, I exhaled all the fear and inhaled life back into those dry bones.

Does that mean fear never tries to rear it’s ugly head in my life? Of course not, but now I know that where the Spirit is – there is freedom!

~I would love it if you’d visit Fear Fighting Writers Contest and vote for me if this post has encouraged you. Go to the bottom of the page and enter 32 in the comments. Thank you!

If you want to learn more about Kelly Balarie you can visit www.purposefulfaith.com or to order the book go to www.fearfightingbook.com.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Perspectives shift in the light of Jesus

When I was young I used to ride a giant of a horse. My dad would saddle him for me and I would shimmy up his leg until I could reach the stirrup. From there I would continue the climb to the top of that mountain I called “Butch”.

Then Butch, my sister and I would head out across the deepest ravine on God’s green earth. It was every bit as wide as it was long. Rough around the edges and full of crevices throughout it. I was sure there were snakes all through the bottom so my sister and I would race as fast as we could through it.

My youngest son with his horse, Spades.

It rocked my world when my dad told me that the horse I had rode when I was 4, 5 and 6 and was sure was over 17 hands tall was a mere 14 hands. What!?! No way.

And that huge ravine, which was deeper than most oceans, you could easily drive a pickup across.

The funny thing is…those mountains that seemed so big when I was little weren’t nearly so big as I grew up.

My perspective changed.

How often are we so focused on the mountain we see in our life we don’t really see the truth of it’s size? We focus on our problem so much that it grows and grows, completely out of proportion to what it is in reality.

We chip away at the situation in our strength somehow believing it will make the mountain smaller. When it reality, God is already SO much bigger than any mountain we see in front of us.  

I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Mark 11:23-24 (NLT)

Now I’m not downplaying the size of many of the problems in our lives. They can be very real and loom large.

But, when we keep our focus on Jesus our perspective changes. You see, our God is still on the throne and no problem or situation escapes Him. We can trust Him to help us speak life into our situations.

Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5:14 (NLT)

As our spiritual maturity grows our perspective changes.

Just as when I was little and Butch looked like the biggest mountain I could climb so were my problems when I didn’t have the maturity to focus on God.

As I grow in my walk and get closer to Jesus the problems are still there. I wish I could tell you they weren’t but they are. But now it’s different because I don’t focus on my problems. I look up at the One who puts all things in perspective. He wants to help us realize that nothing we face in life is bigger than the God we serve.

It’s all part of the process of the growing and we should expect our perspective to change as the world grows dimmer because our focus is on the light and hope of the world.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Fear Fighting: Do you Live Fear or Faith?

Please help me welcome Kelly Balarie to the blog this week. 

Just yesterday, my friend told me her daughter has lice. 

I hugged that girl yesterday!

Would lice go from her hair to mine? Would I be cleaning the entire house, washing every sheet and stuffed animal, and pulling a thin comb through every inch of hair on my family’s heads from now until eternity? I can’t handle this thought. Next time, fist bumps will trump hugs.

Fear is the plumbing of discontentment.
It is the spillage of hesitation and loneliness.
It is the brakes to love.
It is the bulldozer to close relationships.
It is the boundary holding you back from God’s unlimited plan for you.

Fear is the rain cloud that always follows, the homicide to all God has, the breeding ground to insecurities, the shortness of breath that wakes you up at night, the cemetery of faith, and the artery blockage to the Spirit’s leading.  Continue reading “Fear Fighting: Do you Live Fear or Faith?”

Christmas is the Story of Jesus’ Love

I shared my Christmas story of Jesus’ love for each of us over at Crystal Stine’s this week and would like to share it with you as well. Please check out Crystal’s page for many more Christmas stories from talented authors this month.

Do you like to celebrate? How about decorating?

Oh my goodness how I love to celebrate and decorate! I’m quite drawn to shiny objects. My kids always joke if I was a fish I’d be the first one caught since I’d be so drawn to the shiny lure.

So you can see why Christmas is right up my alley.

My family has always gone all out for Christmas. I know what you’re thinking. We must have had tons of gifts, thousands of decorations and went to loads of parties. But, not really.

We always had some gifts, decorated a little and got together with friends and family but we had SO much more.  Continue reading “Christmas is the Story of Jesus’ Love”

Joy is Found in God’s Love

I typed the word joy into my Bible app’s search. There was an overwhelming number of scriptures involving joy. I loved it! What I found interesting was where most of them were concentrated, the Psalms.

I’ve always been fascinated by David. I think because I feel a bit of a connection with him. He was a shepherd who as a child wasn’t even brought in out of the field for Samuel to meet. He was set aside by his family, whether by accident or intention.

David wasn’t simply sitting there feeling sorry for himself. He was doing the work set before him, being faithful in the seemingly small things. He had a warrior spirit!

Then Samuel shows up and anoints him and the Spirit of the Lord came on him from that day on. The boy set aside by humanity was set apart by divinity.  Continue reading “Joy is Found in God’s Love”

How to find peace this Christmas

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (NLT)

I’m betting peace isn’t a word a lot of us would use for this time of year. The chaos of all the gatherings, parties, shopping and endless to do lists can feel downright overwhelming.

It doesn’t mean we can check out of all the events and things we need to get done. But…it does mean we can invite peace to reside in us as we go through each day.

Yeah, I get it, this is SO much easier said than done. All too often we’re given some feel good, simplistic answer that in no way feels like it’ll work in our situation. Seriously, the chaos in our lives can feel completely overwhelming on a normal day. Add in all the extra’s of the Christmas season and peace can seem like a distant fairy tale.  Continue reading “How to find peace this Christmas”

Do we crave God above everything?

Five Minute Friday is so much fun for me. No pressure! Simply a word prompt on twitter (#fmfparty) on Thursday night and then write. No over thinking or editing. There is a linkup on Friday at http://katemotaung.com where we can read other’s five minute free write.

This week’s prompt is: CRAVE

Okay, I have to admit, I WAY over thought this prompt! I almost decided not to write anything as I couldn’t decide which direction to go with it. So, I’m simply sitting down to write and see where the words take me.

We all crave. It’s just in us to do so. We’re created that way.

But how many times do our cravings lead us astray?

  Continue reading “Do we crave God above everything?”

Christmas is a Reminder of Hope for All

I’m excited to be sharing the following post over at www.wearehisdaughters.com

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:8-10 (ESV)

The good news of Jesus’ birth came to the shepherd’s first. Maybe this seems like something completely insignificant but nothing with God is without purpose.

I probably relate to this piece of information more than most as I am a shepherd. Not in the same exact way as the shepherds from the Bible, but still a shepherd. Thankfully I don’t need to live with them 24 hours a day but my whole livelihood is dependent on the animals we raise. It’s not a hobby I do on the side, ranching is our sole source of income.  Continue reading “Christmas is a Reminder of Hope for All”

It’s Safe to Surrender

Five Minute Friday is so much fun for me. No pressure! Simply a word prompt on twitter (#fmfparty) on Thursday night and then write. No over thinking or editing. There is a linkup on Friday at http://katemotaung.com where we can read other’s five minute free write. This week’s prompt is: SURRENDER

I have a feeling I’m not the only one who has struggled with surrender. Am I right? If you look it up in the dictionary one of the first synonyms for it is submit. Also, not a word I ever had in my vocabulary for years!

To be honest, I often cringed when I heard that word before. I felt like it meant giving up and the stubborn side of me wanted NOTHING to do with. Aren’t we trained to not give up at all costs?  Continue reading “It’s Safe to Surrender”

Thankful in the Least Thankful Places

We all have them. Those hard places we would really rather not have in our lives. Those trials we face for a day, a month or maybe many seasons.

They might look different for each of us but it doesn’t change the fact it can be really hard to be thankful for them.

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I’ve struggled with my weight my whole adult life. I have prayed countless times for the Lord to just fix it, please! I have swung the pendulum on both extremes – obsessing about what I eat/over exercising to complete neglect.  Continue reading “Thankful in the Least Thankful Places”