Overcoming the Paralysis of Fear (Guess Blogger

I am Sharon Fletcher, and I am so grateful that you took the time to stop by and fellowship with me!  I am a sinner saved by His grace.  I am a daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.   I am a wife to a courageous, loving and selfless man, a mother to 3 bright and beautiful children.  I am a pharmacist. I love helping and encouraging people, and all things pretty (home decor) somewhere in between.  I hope that in sharing my journey, others may be inspired and encouraged, find rest in the word of God, and experience times of refreshing.

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So…I have noticed from talking to my sister friends and from statuses on my timeline that an old unwanted “friend” (enemy) has been hanging out a lot these days.  And he is rearing his head as fear and anxiety.

Constant anxiety about bills.  Insurmountable debt.  Definitely more going out than coming in.

Constant fear of losing another loved one, or yet another family member becoming ill.

Constant anxiety from an overwhelming amount to tasks to accomplish in what seems like not enough time to accomplish them.

Strained and difficult relationships.  Fear that someone will take more from you than what you have to give:  Your peace,  your joy,  your sanity.

Fear of not being good enough.  Or, that you will never measure up to someone else’s expectations.

Fear of the unknown.  What’s going to happen as a result of my actions, reactions, or decisions?

All of these fears.  All of this anxiety.  It was all created to stop you.

To paralyze you .

To keep you in bondage and to stop you from moving forward.

To keep you from living and being effective.

To keep you from raising children of destiny.

To keep you from being a warrior.

Sometimes, he goes as far as to tell you that you would be better off dead.

The truth is, YOU are a mighty weapon.  And satan wants to do everything in his power to stop  YOU from stopping HIM in his tracks.

That’s right, you have a very real enemy.  And his job is to make everything look so big, so impossible, so insurmountable, so unachievable that you feel like it is useless for you to even try.

So you become paralyzed.

We see this as the Israelites were about to cross over into the Promised Land.

In the bible, while Moses and the Israelites were in the wilderness, God spoke to Moses and told him to send a group of men to explore the land that He had promised them.  The land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey.

So, leaders from each tribe went to explore the land for 40 days.  At the end of that period, they gave a report.

“The people are too powerful!  The cities are fortified and large!  There are even giants in the land!  We can’t attack those people: they are stronger than we are!  We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them!”  (Numbers 13th and 14th chapters).

This is exactly how our fear and anxiety speaks to us.   “It’s too big!  I can’t do that!  It’s too hard! What if it doesn’t work?  I couldn’t possibly get that done!  The report from the doctor was not good, I won’t be able to bounce back from this!”

The more we think on it, the more we focus on it, the more we believe it instead of the promises of God, the bigger it gets.  And the bigger it gets, the more it keeps eating away at our peace, our joy, and our sanity.  It makes the issues look like giants and us feel like grasshoppers.  And the bigger it gets, the more we forget about God’s promises and provision.  And we become paralyzed.

We won’t move because we believe our fears more than we believe God.  We shrink back.  We become prisoners in our own mind.  We become hostages to our own thoughts.  At that point, the enemy has done a might fine job of keeping us from being all that God has created us to be.

The Israelites grumbled and complained.  They would rather stay in the wilderness or go back to slavery than walk into the abundance that was promised to them by God.  They did not want to move forward.  All because of fear.

But there is an anecdote.   It may not happen overnight.  It will take some effort.  But, just like in every other situation, if you consistently apply it, it will work.

That anecdote is rehearsing the Word of God, and praying with confidence that He hears your prayers.  It is our greatest weapon against the enemy, who works so hard to make your fears and anxieties look so much bigger than your God.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.””

— PHILLIPIANS 4:6-9

I am going to share with you some key points that may help in overcoming the paralysis of fear and anxiety.

  1. Please realize that EVERYTHING BEGINS IN YOUR MIND.  This is such an important concept to grasp.  If the enemy can speak to your thoughts words that are opposite of what God says and get you to not only meditate, regurgitate, ruminate, and rehearse these lies, but also to believe them, then he has a leg up in the battle.  Instead, meditate, regurgitate, ruminate, and rehearse the Word of God.  My pastor always says that the devil with tell you a lie about the truth.  So, whatever comes into your mind that is negative, that is condemning, that is demeaning to yourselves or others, quickly combat that thought with a thought that is opposite.  Be intentional about your thoughts and what you allow yourself to dwell upon.
  2. Pray with confidence, knowing that He hears you, and that you can cast your cares on Him. When praying, it is so important to believe that He hears us and will answer our prayers, according to His will.  We have to believe that His word is true, and that He is a promise keeper.  He is not like one of our friends or family members.  He WANTS us to cast our cares upon Him.  He WANTS you to tell Him about all of your worries and troubles.  He doesn’t get tired of us calling on him, sis. (1 Peter 5:7).  It is amazing how much peace you experience just by doing this.  The situation may not change immediately.  It may not change at all.  But, oh the peace that you experience and the grace that He gives you to go through it is PRICELESS! And you will find in the end, that YOU will be changed.  And through this, you will find the strength to make it, and the courage to take another step.
  3. Know that you are in a battle, and know WHO your REAL enemy is.   It is not your spouse or ex-spouse.  It is not your boss or co-worker.  It is not your child.  It is not that mom.  It’s not your sister or brother.  It is not your bank account.  Your REAL enemy is satan.  And he is out to steal your peace, your joy, and your sanity.  He is out to keep you paralyzed, so that you will not move forward.  So that you won’t take that job. So that you will stay in that toxic relationship or friendship.  So that you won’t take on that project.  So that you won’t do what God has called you to do.   Don’t let him take anything from you sis!  And if he has already stolen it from you, then take it back!  The best weapons that you have are prayer and the Word of God.  At the end of the post, you will find Scriptures to meditate on and to help combat your enemy against fear and anxiety.

You’ve got this!  Be strong and courageous!  Walk in your God given authority!  It may look too big.  It may seem too hard.  It may look like it will never work.  But one thing is for sure, it won’t work unless you do.

You have to take step.  At least one.  And then take another.  One step at a time.  And each step will get easier and easier.

Fight for you!  Fight for your peace!  Fight for your joy!

There is so much in you.  Fear and anxiety have dimmed your light for too long.  It’s time to take action.  Rise my sister!  Awaken the Warrior!  You’ve got this!  Take the job!  Open the business!  Start that ministry!  Mend those relationships!  Be that awesome wife and mom!  Whatever it is that He has put in your hands to do, do it!

He has given us all the tools and weapons that we need.  It is up to us to use them.  You are an overcomer!  Nothing can stop you, not even fear and anxiety…unless you allow it.

Love you all with the love of Christ.

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Be Uniquely You (Guess Blogger)

Let us all welcome Sharon today to Quiet Moments With God Blog.

Hey you!!!!  Thanks so much for coming to join me!  I am so honored to have you here!

I wanted to take this time to introduce myself and tell you what this blog is all about.

My name is Sharon Fletcher.  I am the wife to an amazing husband, mommy to 3 uniquely gifted, precious children, and a part-time pharmacist.  I am a lover of coffee, new experiences, being a tourist in my own town, and all things pretty!

Most of all, and I am lover of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  My heart is sold out to Him.

This blog was birthed from my trials and triumphs, tribulations and victories. It is my prayer that as I share my journey, others with be inspired and refreshed.  My purpose is to point others to Christ.

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Hey Hey Hey!!!  Rise and Shine!!!!  Rise to the occasion!  Shine on to greatness!!  God gave You a light that is unique to YOU and only YOU, and there is someone out there that needs you to let that light shine!

And that is what this blog post is about today.

I am a transparent person, a bit of an open book.  This is almost to a fault.  So I share a lot of my struggles, past and present, in hopes that the lessons learned from them will help someone else.  So, with that being said..

Growing up and into adulthood, I struggled with identity.  I wanted to be like my friends, my cousins, my siblings.  I wanted privileges that others had that I, at the time, was not afforded.  I wanted to go where they went and do what they did.  I had the mindset that what I had was not good enough.

I tried hard to be like my friends, especially the ones that everyone liked.  The beautiful and popular ones.  This was because I didn’t realize the precious jewel that I had within MYSELF, the jewel that He placed in me.  I never thought I was good enough. I never thought people would like who I was, but I desperately needed their validation.

Then Christ took me on a journey.

As I began to study Psalm 139, I learned how precious I was to God.  How He took the time to knit me in my mother’s womb.  That in itself makes me special.  Not more special than anyone else…just special.

I learned that He knew all of my words before they were formed on my tongue.  I learned that there is no where that I can go that He will not be.

I learned that my frame was not hidden from him.  My body. He shaped it.  My eyes, the way I talk, my teeth, the way I walk, my hair… He created it all.

I learned that His thoughts toward me are AMAZING, and I couldn’t number them if I tried.

I learned that His works are wonderful… and that includes me.

Through studying this Psalm, I learned that God took his time and carefully fashioned me.  He created me to be exactly how He wanted me to be.  And I am fine just the way that I am.

He did not create clones of Himself or others.  Although we are made in His image, He created unique beings that, together, form one great body.

I don’t have to parent like my friends that I admire.  God put something in ME that is unique to what my children need.

I don’t have to speak or act like my friends that I admire in hopes that others will like me.  He gave me my own special sauce and flavor that only I can add to the mix.  Validation from others is no longer needed or relevant.

I don’t have to look like the next woman, look how she looks in a bathing suit, or wear my hair the way she does to make me beautiful.  I am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.  I have a certain finesse, style, and class that He gave only to me.  That makes me beautiful.  And I love it.

He gave each of us specific strengths, gifts, and talents that are unique to share with the others.

He put a special Light in you, that will ultimately draw others to HIM.

So I challenge you today, my dear sister!  Embrace your uniqueness!  Allow God to cultivate it!

Cherish yourself as much as He cherishes you!

Embrace what He has put in you!  You strengths, weaknesses, talents, flaws, charisma, and quirkiness.  Embrace it all!  It all makes you beautiful.

Be your own kind of Beautiful!  Own the finesse, style, and class that He gave YOU!

And the things about you that you know are not of God, submit it to Him to place on the Potter’s Wheel.  He makes all things new. You don’t have to try to do that in your own strength.

Rise and SHINE!!!  You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden!  God did not give you that light to be put under a bushel, but on a candlestick to give light to others! (Matthew 5:14-16).

Thanks Sharon, you can find her site at www. refreshingmomentswithsharon.com

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay (Guess Blogger)

Welcome Back Victoria

Featuring an Ann Voskamp devotional video.

“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8
Worn. Drained. Over spent. Bone tired. Every waking second consumed with endless tasks. Sinking. Stressed. Drowning in appointments, work engagements and family obligations. Battling your own body- perhaps your own mind too. Battle after battle back to back with no time to recover.
Not okay. It is okay to not be okay to be in dire need of rest in the Saviors arms. Take time off from the chaos to reconnect with the Source of Life. Pour out your heart to Him, sweet friend.
“It’s okay to not feel okay because you have One who made you His one. You have One who left the clamor of the ninety-nine, to find you, remind you, remake you, rename you, and release you. It’s okay to feel whatever you feel because you don’t judge your feelings; you feel your feelings—and then let your emotions — move your toward God. You may feel ready to just forget what you’ve done, but you have one is who more than ready to forgive you. You may feel ready to just give up — but you have one who is more than ready to give you Grace. You may feel like you aren’t enough — seen enough, liked enough, heard enough, wanted enough, loved enough — but you have One who is an even greater Lover, an even greater Advocate, an even greater Friend, an even greater Savior, than you have ever imagined Him to be even when your love for Him was most on fire. Whatever the story is today, it is abundantly okay. Because the Writer of The Story has written Himself into the hardest places of your story and He is with you and He is in you and He is for you and He will not leave you until your story is made into abundant and amazing and forever glory.” Ann Voskamp

 

Lord,
I have neglected my time with You. I have become consumed with wordy things, things that are quickly fading. I am over burdened and over spent. I am drained from trying to take control over things, make things okay, and do it all. I try to appear like I have it all together which is so far from the truth. Oh Lord, I need You now more than ever! Give me rest. Renew my bone weary soul. Remind me of who I am in You. Remake me to reflect Your heart. Give me the courage to pour our my heart to You. Let every breath move me closer to You.
Thank You for all You have done for me. I praise You for knowing me fully and allowing me to pour my heart out to You. Thank you from the depths of my soul for Your grace. Thank You for loving me where I am and reminding me that I am enough. Thank You for writing my story and allowing it to bring honor and glory to Your Mighty Name.
Amen

 

 

 

 

 

Your Identity

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Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.                   John 1:12-12 NIV

It’s extremely easy to lose our identity, furthermore, to find ourselves searching all over to find out who we are. We hear stories on the news and we see it in the people we associate with. Additionally, we certainly deal with it in a very private as well as personal way as we hear voices, voices which tell us and then are projected into the world. We tell the world what we think about ourselves and don’t think for a minute we’re fooling the entire world. We may fool some people, but overall, we aren’t fooling everyone.
We hear the voices in our heart, spirit and mind telling us good and bad. We hear the good from those who really love and care for us, we hear that good from God — yet we tend to believe the bad which comes from Satan and from those who don’t care for us. We hold onto that bad stuff.
We hear things like . . . you’re
Not good enough, Not smart enough, Not attractive enough
Not skinny enough, not rich enough, not smart enough, not athletic enough, Not from the right family, We’re told we’re not enough! And countless other lies. Hearing those lies long enough and your identity will be formed by it. You feel rejected. Eventually you believe you’re not enough. The voices which shape our identity begin early in life, from the moment we are born. Those words and thoughts stick! Don’t they? They play like a broken record. I know I’ve heard them. I was reminded I wasn’t good enough too many times.
As much as we think we can overcome them, they come back and haunt us. You remind yourself, they were right, I’m no good, not good enough.
Then we begin a relationship with Jesus Christ. We realize in our heart, spirit and mind we need Jesus to help us through life. Yet we sin. We know this fact and the world knows it, and we think we’re worthless; unlovable. I’ve committed too many terrible sins. My sins exempt me from God ever loving me. So, I question if Jesus would die for me. Maybe He’d die for a Saint but certainly not a sinner. I’m not good enough.
That’s where we get it wrong friends. You see, there’s nothing we’ve done which is so bad that God cannot forgive us and bring us into His family. Humanly speaking, some may never forgive you, divinely speaking, we have a God who is not human! Thank God for that!! And He can and will forgive you . . . if you ask.
So, whatever you’ve done in your life up until this very second, know that God wants to be in a relationship with you. He loves you, He died for you. In 2 Peter 3:9, as Peter wrote about the return of Christ, he said, The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
That’s God’s desire for us. God doesn’t want you to think you cannot be loved and embraced by Him. Peter tells us repent, turn away from your sin. Turn to God and God will embrace you in a life changing relationship, he will change you and I from the inside, out. He wants you in His family. There is not a wall which is meant to keep you away, the door is always open, the lights are always on. But, we must receive Christ.
To receive this blessing from God, we must except Jesus for who is truly is, the Son of the Living God, the Messiah, the “Great I Am” What Paul wrote to the church in the book of Ephesians was readily understood but is often missed by us. Paul tells us in the book of Ephesians 1:5-6 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us the one he loves. Paul wanted the Ephesians to remember their identity. He wrote, in love he predestined us for adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.
It was God’s great joy to adopt us into His family. God didn’t have to, He wanted to. What is your primary identity? God adopted you — do you understand that? If you believe in Jesus, you understand you don’t earn God’s love. God loves you because of who you are and who you will yet become in His kingdom. In Ephesians 2:4-5 Paul tells us, but because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved. Also in the same chapter 8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift from God- not by works so that no one can boast. John Wesley the founder of the Methodist Movement summons up grace in three parts-Prevenient Grace, the grace that surrounds us: is the grace that comes to us before we know God. God showers it upon all people whether they are aware of it or not. Justifying Grace- The Grace that makes our brokenness whole. Justifying Grace brings a big change to the relationship we have with God. We come to acknowledge our sinfulness and trust that we are forgiven by God’s grace. Justifying Grace is when God reaches out to a person through Jesus Christ with accepting and pardoning love.
Sanctifying Grace- Smoothing out the rough edges. Prevenient Grace is God meeting you at every corner, Justifying Grace is God reaching out to you with love, you turn a corner in your faith journey. Sanctifying Grace challenger’s believers to go deeper in faith, to love the world energetically, and to keep growing in the knowledge and love of God.
So, Paul was telling the people this — — If you have come to know Jesus, your most defining moment isn’t who threw you out BUT who took you in. God picked you out, picked you up, and took you home. God did that for you!! He was willing to die for you, so you would never again have to face rejection from the world. He wanted you to be part of His family, even when nobody else did!
There were so many issue facing the churches then as well as so many different problems we face today. Paul tells them as well as us of today, we need to change our ways, he reminds them they belong! Their most defining moment is not who threw you out, but who brought you in. If you heard the call of God and responded to Christ, you need to know He picked you out, picked you up, and brought you home. He adopted you. You’re family! Let that sink in. Remind yourself, God adopted me. Hold onto those words, believe them! The term redemption was also a trade word. In Ephesians 1:7, Paul wrote ~ 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.
Jesus paid the price for you and me by his suffering on the cross. That was the purchase price. Christianity is not about doing enough for God so he finally loves you. No, God buys us — redeems us — through the blood of Jesus hanging on the cross: “In him we have redemption through his blood—the forgiveness of sins.” God doesn’t need to punish you for your sins, somebody else was already punished for them.
In Ephesians 1:13, Paul wrote, In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were SEALED with the promised of the Holy Spirit.
Paul is reminding them, when they believed in Jesus – – – they were marked with a seal of the Holy Spirit.
We need to know and believe our identity in Christ. Whatever happens that is not good in your life. You name it! Maybe you’re in it right now. Know that you are His! You are the King’s child! The Lord of life, the God of all Creation, the Lord of the Heavenly Armies . . .
He loves you . . . He adopted you, He redeemed you, He sealed you. You are His! That my friends are your primary identity . . . You are a child of the Highest God, Jesus, the Christ!
And that is freeing. I don’t have to earn my way in, I don’t have to buy my way in, when life is a struggle I don’t have to buy junk to satisfy me, because I am the Lord’s.
When I remember that I’m loved, I serve differently. When I remember that I’m loved, I love differently. When I remember who I am, I give and live differently.
When I find myself in one of those moments when I’m buying something I don’t need and I think, What am I doing here? Why do I do what I do? Chances are, I’ve forgotten who I am.
When I find myself leaving a conversation and think — Was it necessary to rip into that person and bring them down? Chances are, I’ve forgotten who I am.
When I find my blood pressure rising over something really, really stupid and think, You don’t understand me! Why don’t you agree with me? Chances are, I’ve forgotten who I am. When I remember who I am, when I settle this identity thing, and when I remember it, I’m free to give grace, because I’ve received grace. I’m free to give love, because I’ve received love. I’m free to serve, because God has served me and lavished His mercy on me. When I remember who I am, I live differently. Just as the people of Ephesus needed to remember their identity, we too need to remember who we are. Knowing our primary identity as children of God, bought by the blood of Christ.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends