Throughout the month of October, I’ll be sharing my ongoing journey of overcoming anxiety, and how the Lord has been working on my heart. It’s my prayer that the Lord will speak to you during this time, and draw you closer to Him, as we walk this road of life together. To follow along, and to catch up on any posts you might have missed, you can join me here at Fear or Faith, You Choose ~ A 31 Day Journey to Overcoming Anxiety.
Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it its true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ. Leave the irreparable past in His hands, and step out into the irresistible future with Him. ~ Oswald Chambers
As I began my journey of choosing fear over faith, I new I had to travel back in time and examine my past. Not only were present day problems a source of angst for me, so were things in my past.
I grew up in a home filled with love and chaos. The cause of the chaos was choices made by my father. He was an alcoholic.
As a write this my heart still starts to race a little at the thought of letting the cat out of the bag so to speak. We grew up in a home where, “Don’t talk don’t tell”, was the motto, family secrets were never supposed to leave the house, especially not one like this. But, keeping quiet for all those years changed all of us. It placed a monkey of shame, anger, fear, and worry on our backs. It had a direct result into making us who we are today.
Don’t get me wrong. Because my father was an alcoholic, it didn’t mean he was a bad person. It meant he made bad choices in dealing with the stressors of his life. I loved my father immensely, and I know he loved me. He was a very smart man that could do just about anything. Towards the end of his life he was a changed person. When he laid dying in his hospital bed, of esophagus cancer, he told me, “I’m a different many than what I used to be. If the Lord heals me, I’m fine with that, and if the Lord wants to take me home, I’m fine with that too.” It was just a few months later that he went to be with the Lord.
I feel the reason my father made the poor choice of turning to alcohol was because of how he was raised. He grew up in the 1930’s on a dusty wheat farm in Kansas. My grandfather was a very strict man, sometimes too strict. He put up with absolutely nothing. It was hard for my father when he came from a home like this.
When the time came for our family, the vicious cycle continued. The turmoil in our home was where my feelings of fear and anxiety began. It was a cycle that I knew I wanted to break.
For me, the breaking of this cycle comes in forgiveness, giving it over to God, and leaving the hurts of yesterday in the past.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~ Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)
This was the beginning of my journey. Sometimes, it’s still a place I have to come back to and lay it at the feet of Jesus. But, He’s always there, ready to take my hand and calm my fears. Always assuring me that there is a different way of choosing faith in him, instead of listening to my emotions and the ghosts of my past.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9 (NIV)