Fear

Finding God in Your Fear

Have you ever been in a haunted house before, or maybe one of those haunted trails?  

 

Every October, without fail, signs go up all over my small town. Even billboards advertise these experiences where we can get the crap scared out of us. 

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I really don’t see the appeal. Maybe I’m strange.

 

I don’t enjoy scary movies either. In fact, I just hate the feeling of being afraid altogether. I guess I don’t see the point in running toward something that will get your heart racing and maybe even your panties wet. 

 

Some of us don’t need haunted houses or scary movies to get a good fear buzz. We live in fear each and every day.   

 

I’m talking about those of us that suffer, year-round, in Anxietyville.

 

Literally, the scariest “Ville” you’ll ever put yourself through. In fact, it’s so scary, we may as well advertise and charge for people to come and experience it. I could’ve been making a fortune. 

 

I’m no gardener. In fact, I have a bit of a pukish-green thumb. Not a black thumb. I don’t kill everything I touch. Just maybe half of it. 

 

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When I planted a seed of fear and anxiety in my heart nearly three years ago, I became a master at babying that little seed.

 

I’d water it daily. Gave it all the sun and fresh air it desired. I sang to it, talked to it, and told it to grow, grow, grow.  

 

And then, when it grew so large, and so healthy, that it began to spill over the little pot I planted it in, I realize that maybe I cared for it a little too well. 

 

When it took over my entire garden, it killed all of the good, delicious foods and herbs I needed to nourish my body. It began killing the other plants. 

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Before I knew it, the plant of fear and anxiety had completely and utterly decimated any signs of life in my garden and it had no plans to slow down.

 

It no longer required my attention anymore. It no longer needed daily watering, tending, or care. It was out of control and I didn’t know how to keep it from growing even more.  

 

When the anxiety and fear in my mind grew out into my body, I would scream and yell and beg God to save me. 

 

I would get angry at Him, wondering why He wasn’t killing this plant for me.

 

After some time, I was convinced that He didn’t care about my trouble. I was convinced that the plant of anxiety and fear was forever to be in my garden, growing more and more rogue everyday. 

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There would be times when I’d figure out ways to make it smaller. I’d spend time pruning or ripping vines from the tangled, mangled mess. I was brave. I was determined. I felt strong in these times. And God was giving me the strength and wisdom to know how best to rid my garden of this mess.

 

Sometimes, I’d feel too weak to care. I’d give in and watch all of my pruning and ripping out go to waste as the vines of my plant grew back twice a long.  

 

I realized that God doesn’t hang out in my garden of fear and anxiety. And when I’m desperately doing the backbreaking work it takes to keep it from going out of control, God is on the other side of the property, in the stillness of a stream, in the falling of leaves, and the soft hum of a bee. 

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Friends, the reason you don’t hear or see God in your fear and anxiety is because He’s not in fear and anxiety. 

 

Fear is loud. Fear is obnoxious and chaotic and toxic. Fear is a life-stealer and a hope-taker. It’s a faith-killer and a death-dealer. God isn’t in that. God isn’t there.  

 

You see, if we want to hear God, we have to quiet our hearts. “Like a weaned child...” we have to calm our souls. We have to seek peace and search for joy.

 

“In Him is perfect Peace.”  

 

I often would wait for my rescuing.

 

I would sit in my garden full of tangled weeds and wait for Him to come and untangle the mess.

I would scream.

I would wail.

All the while becoming more and more bitter as the vines would grow around me, suffocating the death out of me. Notice I said death and not life.

 

There is no living in fear. Just dying

 

Throw down your watering can. Stop taking daily walks out to your garden and go sit by the stream of still waters.

 

Let Him pour His Living Water into your soul. The living water that kills anxiety, fear, and panic and replaces those things with hope, faith, and joy. 

 

The more time you spend on the Living Water side, the more you’ll forget that your tangled garden even existed. 

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So please, stop looking for God in your fear. Because you won’t find Him. 

 

"Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.“ -Deuteronomy 30:15  

 

Choose Life. Choose Joy. Choose Peace. Choose Jesus. 

The Thickness in the Air.

Last Saturday, I had the worst panic attack of my life.  

 

I had been at an oil retreat for the afternoon. I woke up feeling a bit "off" that morning. My car was acting up and it looked as if I wouldn't even make it to the retreat. I was somewhat fine with this because of the way I was feeling.  

 

I felt an extreme heaviness in my chest. I was really down emotionally. Sad. Depressed. Somewhat checked out. But I mustered up the courage to go anyway, once I got the "go ahead" to take my car. 

 

It was about a forty minute drive thru the country. A beautiful drive. Not much to see except a few homes and a church or two. No gas stations. No stores. No restaurants. 

 

I sat thru four back to back sessions that lasted about 4 hours total.  

 

I could feel my anxiety begin to overwhelm me during that last thirty minutes. 

 

I couldn't stop fidgeting, shaking my legs, looking around...it was not a good combo with my hungry stomach.  

 

I have hunger anxiety. I mean when I say I obsess and worry over eating, I don't think I do that statement justice. I am mostly consumed by the thought of getting enough calories everyday. My bought of hyperthyroidism last year has conditioned me to be hyper hyper hypervigilant about eating and not feeling shaky.  

 

As soon as the session was over, dinner was to be served. Except, I couldn't stay. I couldn't. I had to jet out. I wanted to leave before it got totally dark outside. 

 

When my GPS never loaded and my battery life kept draining like a leaky faucet, I was in full panic mode before even leaving the parking lot.  

 

To make a lnger story, shorter, I ended up calling my husband, screamed on the phone to him that I needed him NOW and quickly pulled into a random baptist church parking lot to basically die. 

 

All of those panic attacks I've had before were like child's play compared to this guy. It was so bad, so severe, my heartbeat was just one continuous smash. It was beating so quickly I could not longer distinguish beats. My head was so overwhelmed with panic and fear with being totally lost, having a dying phone, low blood sugar, and the anxiousness that began at the retreat, I couldn't even see straight. Everything was surreal. Nothing made sense except that my death was near.  

 

Ive been on high alert since that moment on Saturday. I've not been able to effectively navigate my thoughts back to sanity except for one hour on Monday evening when I spent the entire time driving to my best friends house, praying aloud.  

 

It's amazing to see how deep and horrible Satan's attacks are. Even throughout the election season, we witnessed so many deep, ugly, disgusting truths revealed. The spiritual warfare in our land has been intense.  

 

I don't know if it's just been me, or maybe you're feeling it, too.  

 

Just like with the election results, I don't want to go backwards. I want to keep seeking truth and holding on to those truths. I want to discard the lies and the hate and the illusion that death has a real grip on me or this country.  

 

We have that opportunity to live in freedom. And we all need to take advantage of that.  

 

Love, Alicia  

 

 

This & That.

Sometimes, I wonder,

 

Maybe it all stems from when I fell off the changing table as an infant. 

 

Maybe I had some sort of brain damage that led to my seizure disorder that was contained during my childhood years. I remember them making me stay up all night long for the next days EEG test.

 

My poor Saint of a mother would keep Rainbow Brite and snacks on replay and would struggle worse than I to keep her eyes open those drawn out hours.

 

They'd hook me up with tiny little octopus suckers all over my scalp. It'd take forever. "Almost done", they'd say over and over to my squirmy, now hyped-up little body. The test took hours and they'd patiently wait for me to fall asleep naturally.

 

All I cared about was defying their coaxing and stared at their faces thru the giant window that separated us. Stubborn.

 

I could tell they wanted to shake me when I never did cooperate and the test never gave the results they sought. Instead, they scraped my scalp with a cold metal "something" to remove all of the glue off of my head. That was punishment enough. 

 

Then, my last seizure I ever had was witnessed by Mr. Mario Brother himself. I got up, mid-seize, walked to my bathroom and watched my face turn into a Picasso painting. I couldn't speak, but I stood and watched my face bend and stretch in a way that I'll never forget as long as I live. I may not remember what I wore yesterday, but that image is forever burned into my brain.

 

Then, at barely age six, I took the proverbial bullet for my sister as she spooked the dog that I was petting. My face was closest, so he decided to punish me, instead. In hindsight, it was like a moment from the Walking Dead. The headline should've been "Zombie Dog Attempted to Eat the Face Off of Little Girl". 

 

Everyone asks me "how bad did that hurt?" Actually, it didn't hurt at all. Don't ask me how it didn't. I thought he had just licked me real good. I didn't even know anything was wrong until my mom screamed bloody murder when she saw my mangled face.  

 

The ambulance ride was terrifying. I screamed the entire way that they do "ANYTHING BUT STITCHES!!!". They listened...they brought me into an operating room and put me under. They inserted three metal, bendable stick things that they had to pull out of my face once I healed. While conscious. Torture.

 

I remember them holding me down before Kindergarten to shoot my butt up with some vaccine concoction deemed necessary for my attendance. Took several nurses and behavioral threats from my mother to complete the task. I hate being poked at.

 

Then there was the time that a model airplane literally went thru the palm of my hand. No, I wasn't a magician. In a matter of a few freakish seconds I went from holding a metal toy airplane to having its right wing completely penetrate the fattest part of my right palm, just below my thumb. I pulled out my best pre-teenage negotiating tactics to convince these professionals that I didn't need stitches again. Wrong.

 

I also recall enduring a blood drawl in my teens that literally landed me on the floor of the doorway to the exam room. I hate needles.

 

After being told and coaxed this way or that during four of my five labors, I've been poked, prodded, and epidural-ed more times than Michelle Duggar has been pregnant.  

 

Then, when last years crazy happened, I began to lose what little hope I had left in my heart for the medical community. A panic attack, an elevated heart rate and they shoot me twice with an adrenaline like substance, to make my heart...well, I'm not even sure WHAT they were trying to accomplish. All it did was made me feel like I couldn't breathe and my heart feel like a giant ice cube...frozen and extremely heavy. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets both times they shot me with this, this "whatever it was".  

 

"You won't die from this condition."  

 

Those were the famous parting words of the Doctor that was consumed with my care that weekend. He said it in his native Slovakian accent which I cannot even attempt to recreate.  

 

But, you see, it did kill me.  

 

While I'm not mortally dead, I am now filled with a ridiculous fear for anything to go wrong where I have to come face to face with these people again. Yes, I know they were just trying to help. I know it's their job and I know that in a lot of ways, they're necessary in this fallen world.  

 

Three weeks ago, I caved and went to a clinic with a sore throat that was slightly extreme in nature and lasted a bit too long. I always cringe when they take my vitals. I know what they'll find everytime.  

 

146.  Her confused, harrowed look completely gave her away. 

"That must not be right, let me do it again." 

 

same results. 

 

"Are you okay?!" She cried, not knowing if she should go find help or call an ambulance.  

 

"I'm fine, just nervous. I always get this way when I'm getting checked out." 

 

Relieved, she continues the exam, but cautiously, almost waiting for my body to faint out of the chair.  

 

She he insists she check my heartrate again before I leave to "make the paperwork look pretty" she said. I gathered it was to cover her own butt.

 

So she happily wrote down 116. "Muuuuuch better, she said. Still not good, but better." 116 is like walking to the car for me...that's nothing.  

 

I left there with a $4 prescription for a bottle of lidocaine and no better off than before.  

 

The only Doctor I've seen in my life that hasn't made me feel like I'm dying doesn't even prescribe medicine. Imagine that. 

 

I go back to my Cardiologist within the next 8-10 weeks for a check-up and I'm seriously dreading it. Dreading the amount I'll have to pay for him to use his stethoscope on me and say "see ya next year". But, I feel that I can't miss it...because, "what if...". What if somethings changed.  

 

And that's where I live most of my moments. Equally terrified and trapped by the very ones who have only done what they know to be helpful in my times of medical need. 

 

Its another fear I wish to be free of. 

 

Is there anything medical that you're scared of?! Any scars you have? I'd love to hear about it.