the fear trap, faith and the importance of self care. part two

welcome to part two.  in case you missed it, you can read part one here.

our pastor's wife spoke last week at a women's event at our church. she said that she has found that most women who have trusted Jesus for their salvation and eternal life, still have problems trusting God for their day to day life. i remember how hard it was for me to keep from bawling because that is what i am guilty of... and why is that? i was just baptized this spring... i felt like a hypocrite. it just occurred to me, that women on a whole, not everyone, but most rely on their emotions. we were created to be emotional people. we use our emotions to gauge situations and how we should respond. both good and bad. so if we cannot see God working in our life, hear Him speak or at the very least feel His presence, how can we trust Him? however the bible says we cannot trust our feelings. and for those who suffer from anxiety, it is much worse. our feelings tend to run away with us until our imaginations for worse case scenarios just became true if only in our minds. fear has a way to trap us there. and the enemy knows all to well how to use it so I could lose my effective God-given power. 

the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. who can understand it?
— jeremiah 17:9

i was fearful of driving, but i forced myself behind the wheel.

i was fearful of being around people, but i forced myself into group situations.

i was fearful of being alone, but i forced myself to stay home when i would rather follow my farmer husband around while he worked.

i was fearful of going to my studio to paint, {still can't figure this one out.} but i forced myself to paint when i didn't feel like it. 

i was fearful of what people would think if they found out what was going on with me.

i was fearful of losing the most important of relationships.

i was and still am a hot mess. even though i didn't see God doing anything to help me at the time, as i look back He is the one responsible for me able to do even though i was fearful. He gave me strength while i was weak.

'Under His Wings'

'Under His Wings'

we must continue to go to God's word for the truth. proverbs 28:26 says he who trusts his own heart is a fool. ouch! this brings me to self care. self care seems like an oxymoron for a christian. shouldn't we just trust that God would take care of our needs? uh....yes, however God doesn't tell us to just sit and wait for Him to move. according to James 2:22~~You see that his {abraham} faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did~~works+faith=made complete. and in exodus 14:14 we see moses telling the israelites that the Lord will fight for them, they only need to be still. however in the next verse God says to moses...why are you crying out to Me? tell the israelites to MOVE! 

do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? you are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
— 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

i use to think that taking time out for myself was selfish. that is not to say that i judged others for taking time out, but just how i saw it for myself. i thought that if i could just squeeze in a 5 minute devotional that would be plenty. if i just walked for 30 minutes once every week or two, that would help my health. and it didn't really matter what i ate as long as it was somewhat healthy. but i suffered. i was always tired, a tad grumpy and felt empty. it wasn't until this summer i realized that i needed to take care of myself. physically. mentality. and spiritually. so that i could continue doing what God called me to do.

i started going on 40 minute walks 4 times a week to improve my heart health and my breathing. saying no to caffeine and sugar. {bye, bye my beloved coffee!} trying to prepare healthier meals, and getting some much needed rest. the spiritual came as having quiet time just sitting with God, reading my bible, doing bible studies, listening to christian music, praying, and saying God's truth out loud in order to fight those lies.

the mental side of self care is harder to figure out. i am a people pleaser. i say yes when i want to say no. i do what others expect me to do. with every aspect of life, including my art. i was blessed by having two wonderful friends visit over the last weekend. we were talking about this battle and how each of us deal with it. one is an artist. she told me that she had finally finished a page in her journal about a very hard time in her life.  it wasn't until it was done that she could finally release the stress and anxiety that had held her captive. i am so encouraged to get back into my art journal. to create just for myself. and do more of my found poetry. i also know i need to learn to say no. that i wasn't created to be like her. or her. or that person. i was not made with a type a personality. i was not created to homeschool my child. work out of the home. cook everything from scratch. have a huge garden and can everything it produces. be a part of that PTA or other committees. or to have a full schedule. God created me differently. i need quiet. i need alone. i need art. 

am i healed? nope. not even close. i still have a long way on this journey. right now, i am at a crossroad. part of me wishes i never had to go through this. but nothing has ever drove me to my knees like this desert place. nothing has ever caused me to dig deeper in my bible like this valley. nothing has ever caused me to seek God quite like this darkness. i know that i will not be the same person walking out as i was being thrown in. and now i can honestly say that no matter what i have felt during these last three months, that God has been with me every step of the way. and that i good enough for me. 

so...if you read through this rather long post, thank you! here is a found poem i tried to create during the last couple of months. i wasn't able to finish until today.