I have struggled with anxiety probably my whole walk with Christ. So, there’s my thorn for you to touch and feel.
And let me tell you, it’s one of those gifts that people just don’t talk about very often. I say it’s a gift because it’s one of the way’s God has answered my prayer for my life to have a purpose. So, as you read today, this is not a lecture friend. This is my life, and I want to tell you that through Christ, God will do for you what he has done for me if you don’t quit. You can overcome the stranglehold fear has on your life and not let it dictate to you how your marriage, family, and career will be played out.
I thought I was broken mentally because I couldn’t see myself being faith-filled, gracious, kind or content. Couldn’t see myself making sound, favorable decisions that helped me rule my queendom with power. From the time my feet hit the floor in the morning, life was a struggle. As I pushed the coffee button, I heard in my mind….
I feel so sad. I hope today I will feel loved. I hope things go okay today with Jay and the kids. I hope I don’t get overwhelmed or anxious today. I hope God provides for me and I can pay that bill. I hope I am in the will of God. I hope my back doesn’t hurt. I hope things work out with so and so. This was my mindset. I hoped for change, but I never committed to it. That’s because change required me to be accountable to someone for my thoughts and actions. The change was RISKY. I didn’t know that learning how to THINK in a faith-based way just required a training and daily action. That it was GROW-ABLE!
I told myself there must be something wrong with me mentally. Maybe I had cancer somewhere in my body. Maybe I had a chemical imbalance. I even had two separate pastors who told Jay that I had psychological problems because of stupid stuff I did because of fear. Imagine that. No one saw in leadership potential in me that just needed refinement or training but rather In the very place in the body of Christ I am called to minister in, (coaching, equipping and releasing) I was told I was damaged by significant authority figures. I share this because this might have happened to you also and you need to understand….
The enemy will always find a vessel to reinforce to you his plans for your life. WATCH OUT. Be sober; it’s unrestricted spiritual warfare! But here’s the truth. I didn’t have mental problems. What I had was an internal identity theft that had been going on since I was a child. Probably for multiple generations in my family. And the old Becky was so accustomed to being a victim of my disappointing thoughts about who I was and what God could do through me, that I simply couldn’t see myself in any other way other than as someone who had a constant struggle. I performed for love spiritually, physically and emotionally with my closest relationships. I was comfortable with pain. I deserved pain. The pain had been my best friend for many years, and it saturated my physical body. The more freedom I tried to walk in, the more manifestations of anxiety I went through.This is normal. You will have PHYSICAL signs when you have an assignment of fear in your life. You have to train yourself to respond robotically just like the military trains you in boot camp and with a system in place, or you will not win.
Here are some of the daily symptoms I had and you might too:
- Couldn’t keep a thought straight in my mind. Super jumpy and sound sensitive. Terrible headaches at a migraine level anytime I went to confront anything in my life that overwhelmed me.
- My heart would race, I would get tunnel vision and stop being able to process. I couldn’t hear or make a decision. It would take me a full day to recover and think straight.
- I was exhausted to the point I had to go to bed but then couldn’t sleep. Cried constantly.
- I had no energy and was out of shape. Was a chronic asthmatic. Always coughing or chest was tight.
- Felt disillusioned with life and people. Had no vision and couldn’t formulate one.
- Woke up constantly at night and tossed and turned.
- I was moody, demanding and impatient with people. No contentment, constant drama.
- Didn’t want to go hang out with anyone who had joy. If I walked alone, I would be bombed with thoughts someone was going to attack, rape or harm me.
- I was cynical and sarcastic. Always second guessed people’s motivations. I couldn’t love sacrificially because I was saturated in FEAR!
- Had to drink alcohol to decompress or relax.
- Over processed every decision I made, struggled with perfectionism, taking action and what people thought of me. I was saturated with idolatry.
Boy wouldn’t that be a popular doctor to go to. Doctor Deliverance:) Hi, I would like to make an appointment to see if I have the sickness of idolatry. Sure, that will be $250.00 for the initial consult and be here 15 minutes early to fill out the paper work on how many generations in your family has been rebelling against God with perverseness, rebellion, gluttony, fornication, and drunkenness. Here’s your prescription: Pray for one hour a day, exercise instead of eating or drink, memorize the word of God, worship him instead of your needs. Spend any extra money on someone who is more destitute than you are.
Insert Crickets. Nope, that’s way too easy.
Here’s the truth=> If you are not advancing daily into what you believe is God’s will for your life, what your heart desires, moving where you think God has called you to move and doing what you believe will bless not just yourself or others, then fear is defining your identity not Christ. If you are going forward because of finances or what other’s may think of your decision, waiting for permission, fear is defining you, not Christ.
What I found is CHRIST makes a way where this is no way WHEN YOU DECIDE TO OVERCOME THE FEAR. Not before. Why? Because he wants you to be dependent on him.
I had to go in my weakness and people see me “needy”. To training for speaking when I was melting down with migraines. We moved to Atlanta with a team to church plant when we lost THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS to do so. I decided to train for a marathon in the middle of a fear of cancer because of rectal bleeding spasms. I launched a business during the recession and after a million dollar ID theft with no resources financially. Nothing my friend. NOTHING has come to me without a fight. And most likely it won’t for you either. Get used to it!
I dreamed bigger by the grace of God because I wanted to be a giant slayer in my generation and break free from the idolatry of fear. Now, I had people suggest medication, but my personal decision was that I wanted to press through it with the word of God, herbs, vitamins, and exercise because I knew what I got the breakthrough it would help others. When I was dealing with thoughts of harming myself I promised my friends and family I would tell them if I considered following through and would be willing to go on medication if it came to that point. Which it never has. God has used this weakness to minister to many people now, and I want to encourage you that if you will choose to look at where you are weak as an INVITATION for Christ to be glorified in your life then whatever your giant is, your weakness will be the stone that brings him down. I have noticed now over decades that so many leaders will go down massive self-sabotaging roads just because they won’t admit they are stuck in fear-based thinking. It’s more socially acceptable to say you’re an alcoholic and call that at a disease than to say you’re fearful. Why don’t more people just admit,
I NEED DELIVERANCE FROM FEAR, PEOPLE PLEASING AND NARCISSISM!
I can tell you why I didn’t for the longest time. I didn’t want to admit I was saturated with ANXIETY and negativity and that I had control over it. Seeing myself as fearful was a real eye-opener because I had built up so many walls of “cool-ness,” self-sufficiency and what I wanted people to see me as. I had to admit all my relationships needed to change and boundaries had to go into my life to raise my leadership level. And then I began to learn how to practice the presence of God which was life changing for me and one of the main things I teach to those who struggle with fear. Friend, there are PRACTICAL actions you can take without attending a fire-walking seminar, listening to self-help audio’s, running to conference after conference for a religious high. The first step is admitting this is you and you want to be conformed to the Lord’s identity and not the plans the enemy has for you. Another is understanding that you will have to let God work this through your life in his timing and not your’s. And that feeling out of control makes you HUMAN not broken.
Also, if this is something you struggle with also and need support, I want to invite you to join my community, it’s free. There you will be challenged to break out of this idolatry in a supportive, focused way.
Faith forward my friend because God has a POWERFUL and BOLD plan for your life that is filled with righteousness, peace, and joy in the HOLY GHOST!
Love, love, Bec:)
Becky Harmon is a coach, speaker, and entrepreneur. Her success in these arenas has placed her in demand as a personal advisor to ministry and marketplace leaders world-wide. To discover how you can build an influential life and reach people for Christ out of the most sabotaging of circumstances, order 4 Phases of Spiritual Warfare. It breaks down the individual strategies and prayers you need at each phase of your walk to remember WHO YOU ARE and stay faith-filled through even the most difficult challenges. Purchase it today on Amazon and Kindle.