Did God Really Say?

I don't think I ever went into great detail about my life as of lately here on the blog but over the past nine months I have developed rather severe anxiety, which has especially escalated over the past two months.  This anxiety that has recently plagued me comes in the form of hypochondria.  Nine months ago, almost overnight I just started to question everything about my health.  Any terminal illness you could come could come up with, you name it and I have diagnosed myself with it.  It has compelled me to take two trips to the ER, two trips to urgent care, and several trips to see my primary care doctor and each time I have left with resolvable concerns but nothing life threatening.  But still I return home questioning my vitals.  I consistently check things like my weight, breathing, and other things about my body to see if I can see any abnormalities (EVEN THOUGH I AM NOT A DOCTOR!) and I am constantly seeking reassurance from my family and friends.  OH! and don't even get me started on my googling symptoms.....

It's almost embarrassing to share but I'm just being honest.  It has become quite weighty, a burden that I was never meant to carry.

fear has washed over me.

Even though it has become difficult for my mind to tell myself that my body is healthy I can pinpoint why this was brought on.  As a wife and a mother it has become really easy for me to imagine my family having to go on with life without me.  It terrifies me because my husband and two daughters are my team and I want to be a part of this team for a very long time.  The more nights that my husband Bryan and I lay awake late at night talking about our vision for our families future we feel more and more like the Lord is calling us into a specific purpose.  We feel like He has laid certain desires on our hearts and you know what?  To me, they are SO exciting!  I am giddy for our family to serve the Lord through these desires but wait, what if I never make it there?

que the panic 

It's really funny because over these past nine months or so even though I have been so full of this anxiety and fear, not once have I felt like God has stopped speaking to me.  Every prayer in which I have cried out in fear I have felt the Lord tenderly whisper, "I know the plans I have for you."  and each time, these desires continued to circulate within my heart.  I knew without a doubt that they were from the Lord.

I was struck even deeper a few weeks ago when my mother asked a family friend of ours to pray over me.  I was sitting in my dads office at his church and this wise woman walked in and laid hands on me and began praying over me.  My tears became uncontrollable because I knew that she was spirit filled and I was just in awe that once again my God had chased me down.

Once she was done praying over me my mother left the two of us alone so that we could talk.  I opened up to her about everything that I was experiencing and I tried to best explain my biggest fear: God giving me passion, desire, and vision and then stripping it all away.  Is God going to place all of these things just beyond my reach and the snatch them right before they enter my grasp?  

She responded by telling me that she firmly believes that God does in fact have a plan for my life and the life of my family, which really confirmed what God had already been speaking over me.  I think that God knew that I needed her, that I needed this confirmation from someone who hadn't been witnessing first hand this anxiety that I was experiencing day to day.  There was no bias or frustration, her word for me came in the pure form of love and faith.  Sometimes it takes an act of someone else's faith for us to act on our own.  I am so thankful for community and for others willing to lift up others!

The one thing that stuck out to me the most during our conversation was that every time fear left my lips she countered with truth.  Truth always out lives fear.

"but what if God...." 

"That is not who God is.  That is not who God is.  That is not who God is.  Why are your trusting in things outside His character?" 

Wisdom in it's simplest form.  Thank you, Christle (if you are reading) for your wisdom, your love, and above all for your confident faith in our Jesus.  Thank you for sharing it all with me, God knew I needed you in that very moment.

I kept dwelling on her words and a few weeks later God lead me even deeper into a place of peace.  I had been studying in the book of Genesis for several days and on one particular day I was lead to Genesis 3:1 and I stopped in my tracks.

This is what it reads:

"Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, 'You can't eat from any tree in the garden?'"

That's it.  That's all I read and then it was like this lightbulb went off in my heart.

Side note:  this is what I love about the Word of God.  It's amazing.  How many times have I read through Genesis in my lifetime?  A lot, and yet on the particular day God had something to say to me in a new way.  I am telling you, plain and simple, the Bible is living and breathing.  God is always waiting to speak to you through His word.  You just have to be willing to open it!

"Did God really say?"  I realized then that this was the voice I was listening to, a voice that takes what God says and contaminates it with doubt.  I let this voice fill me with anxiety because suddenly I was unsure that God was really speaking certain things over my life.  But God stopped me in my tracks and really challenged me.

Who's voice are you going to choose to listen to?

John 10:27 says this:  "My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me." I love this because it paints this beautiful picture of intimacy between us and our Father.  He knows us and if we know Him then we know His voice.  

Something about sheep is that they only listen to their master's voice.  Any other voice comes along and they ignore it because they are so in tune with their master.  Seriously.  Don't believe me?  Click here for proof.  It's absolutely amazing.  Not only do sheep know their master's voice but they also trust that their master's voice is true.  They know that their shepherd is for their good.

"Did God really say?"

This is a voice that has been around since the garden and somehow we fall so easily into its devious and calculating efforts.  But we have to remain diligent because that enemy voice just needs us to become fearful enough to give up on the things that God has really called us to.  That's really all it takes is fear.  It's fear that makes us believe that God isn't really who He said He is or that God isn't going to do what He said He would do.

But when we are bold in faith we can hear that voice of deceit and say, "That is not my Master's voice and I refuse to lift my eyes to it!"

"Did God really say?"

"Yes, God really did say..."

This is how we walk in freedom from anxiety and fear, we memorize our Master's voice and then we learn to ignore everything else.

He is good

He is for you

He has a plan for you

and what He says is true 

Tune into His voice, memorize it by getting in the Word and studying what is true.  Because when we start believing what God says...sweet, precious freedom lies just beyond.

"Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, 
Just to take Him at His word 
Just to rest upon His promise, 
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord!"