Have you ever felt like your thoughts and emotions were randomly running your life without getting your permission first? Anxiety. Fears. Obsessive worry. Overwhelmed. It’s not fun … not one bit. But what can you do about it?
When our thoughts get going in the wrong direction, we start believing the false slogans they’re feeding us and begin adopting them as truth. Sort of like reigning in pesty gnats on a hot summer night – they seem almost impossible to control.
My friend, Tracie Miles, is all too familiar with how runaway thoughts and emotions take its toll on a person. She faced an unexpected crisis that almost paralyzed her with fear and anxiety. But in the midst of her storm, God taught Tracie His truths, which became her strategies for an unsinkable faith when life felt so out of control.
Tracie shares her personal story and the strategies God taught her in her newest book, Unsinkable Faith, which released this month and has already sold out of the first round of published copies!
I’ve invited Tracie to share on the topic of fear this week. And I’m praying God will personally speak to you through her transparent story. Stay tuned and I’ll tell you how to win a free copy of Unsinkable Faith, along with 5 FREE bonus gifts.
Controlling Our Fears, So They Don’t Control Us
Life had been hard for many, many months. My marriage of twenty-five years had abruptly ended due to circumstances beyond my control, and overpowering negative emotions seemed to be running my life. The day finally came when I was sick and tired of feeling sad and spent, and I knew I needed to retake control of my thoughts. I was tired of letting my feelings boss me around, and I longed to break free from their stronghold over my mind and my life, but also my peace, joy and happiness. I could either control my mind, or it would continue to control me.
I decided to spend some time in prayer, and bowed my head. I began asking God to show me what I needed to let go of – mentally and emotionally – and to equip me spiritually to break free from the negative thoughts consuming my heart and mind. God soon helped me realize that I had been struggling with many negative mental strongholds, but there was that had a life-robbing one chokehold on my peace.
Suffocating fears of what the present day, and the future, might hold would crush my spirit every morning before I even got out of bed, and would rob me of sleep at night. Fears of how my children were feeling and coping. Countless fears that would always morph in my mind the more I thought about them, forcing me into thinking about all the “what-ifs”. Nine times out of ten my what-ifs were followed up with fear inducing thoughts of worse-case-scenario theories that would pull me deeper into sadness, even if they weren’t entirely rational.
So, in my prayer time that morning, as God opened my eyes to the invisible enemy I had been fighting – the fears in my thoughts – I committed to working on my attitude and to surrendering all the fears that had been building up in my head for months.
I got out my journal and began to write down my fears one by one and to my surprise, within minutes, I had written out thirty-three fears that had slid off the tip of my pencil with ease. Thirty. Three. Paralyzing. Fears. Have mercy. I didn’t realize until that very moment how my fears had multiplied or how much they were damaging my attitude, much less that they had such a strong power over my thoughts, emotions and perspectives.
Immediately, I surrendered those fears and all the accompanying emotions to God in prayer. I wanted to break free from fear, and grab onto hope instead. I committed to God and myself to take a stand against letting them slip back into my subconscious. The difference that prayer of surrender made in my outlook and my life going forward amazed even me. Slowly, yet assuredly, as I intentionally captured fearful thoughts before they crushed by spirit or threatened my peace, my attitude began to change. I invited God to help me transform my thoughts, and that is exactly what He did.
Isaiah 41:10 says, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (ESV) These words were primarily directed to the Jews who had been exiled during their difficult captivity in Babylon. God was reminding them they were His, and therefore, had nothing to fear. We are also His. Therefore, we have nothing to fear.
God’s promise to be with His beloveds, to strengthen those who need strength and to uphold with His own mighty righteous hand, is as valid for us today as it was for Jews back then. We won’t always be protected from things that eilicit fear in our hearts, but we can always surrender those fears to God and trust that not only will He will never leave our side, but He is more than capable of handling whatever it is that is filling our hearts and minds with fear.
Although most of my fear-induced emotions and feelings that fretful night were valid, I had allowed them to take over my mind and, in turn, take over my life and my happiness, in addition to robbing me of much needed sleep and rest.
Maybe today you are struggling with fear regarding a difficult circumstance in your own life. Maybe you’ve received a concerning health diagnosis, a termination at work, or are facing living life without someone you once held dear. Maybe the bank account is low, the refrigerator is empty, and the bills are due, and you have no idea where money is going to come from. All valid fears that elicit valid emotions. Yet regardless of the scary unknowns in your life which seem large and looming, many of which you feel inadequate to handle, there is great news, my friend.
As believers, we all have the power of the Holy Spirit within us to break down the stronghold of fear and grab hold of the peace God offers. We can all learn to submit our fears to God if we choose to put our trust in Him, instead of tossing and turning every night under the weight of worry.
How wonderful would life be without the presence of fear? How much happier would you feel if you no longer had to carry the burden of worry? That type of living is possible, as we learn to focus on faith instead of fear. We can control our mind, or it will control us.
I’m so grateful the Holy Spirit can help us control our thoughts and emotions, aren’t you? Many thanks to Tracie Miles for joining us this week on the blog!
Leave a comment below and your name will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of Tracie’s newest book, Unsinkable Faith.
With the purchase of at least one copy of Unsinkable Faith before Apri 29th, you can claim 5 FREE gifts worth $60.00! Visit http://www.traciemiles.com for all the information and to learn how to claim your freebies.
To intentionally make positive living a reality in your life, and to begin experiencing a total life makeover through the transforming and renewing of your mind, consider purchasing Tracie’s newest book, Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies for Transforming the Way You Think, Feel and Live. You can also purchase a Companion Study Guide & Journal and other valuable, faith fueling resources on Tracie’s blog at www.traciemiles.com.