I went for a walk this morning on the paths by my house. I love going for walks this time of year, admiring the foliage and breathing in the crisp morning air. I went to my favorite spot by a little bridge over the creek, where I always seem to end up on these walks, and I realized something. It has been a year since we moved here, since I packed up with my family and moved to a place that I knew nothing of and nobody in. I remember going down to that exact spot by the creek shortly after we moved in, sitting on a rock, and crying to God to please just let me feel at home here, and to not make me move again. I was angry about leaving my old home, I was hurting because of a broken friendship, and I was confused. I felt more alone and lost than I had in a long time. But I remember as I sat there with my journal, I gave it all to God. I told Him that even though I couldn’t feel the good in this, I knew in my head that He is good. I asked that He would help me not only know it, but believe it, and surrender myself completely to Him.
The next few weeks were a battle. I struggled with anger and bitterness, I struggled with a lot of fear, and surrender was a constant battle, something I had to do over and over again every day. I would go for a run every afternoon after work to pray and get rid of stress. I would take my journal down to that faithful little creek and write my thoughts out. I hesitantly started attending the Sunday School class and Bible study at our new church. And the more I took those little steps and prayed through the fear and frustration, my stubborn heart was softened to God’s leading. I met some amazing people, I began to be challenged in my faith once again, and I started to realize that we often grow the most when we are uprooted from our comfort zones.
And one year later, I look back and realize that God is so faithful. God is so good. And I don’t always see that, but I am learning to recognize it daily. I am learning to lean on His steady hand and fall into His arms when I cannot walk on my own. When everything around me is whirling and dark and terrifying, my God is constant. His love is for always, and His grace is sufficient. Things have not been easy, but God has been faithful.
He has brought some incredible people into my life this year. I have been challenged, I have been encouraged, and I have grown through their love and friendship. He has brought me through situations that were gut-wrenching and seemingly impossible, and He has taught me (and is still teaching me!) that my worth and my satisfaction can be found in Him alone. He has given me contentment with the season of life that I am in, and He has given me excitement about the future. He is shining the light on the legalism that I struggled with and didn’t work through for so long, and He is breaking down the lies that I have believed about Him in the process. He is showing me what it means to truly follow Him, listen to His voice, and claim Him as my own. He is teaching me that I am in desperate need of Him. He is teaching me to be burdened for the world that is full of lost and broken people in need of Him. He is giving me a love for others, a passion to go and get involved in ministries to serve Him, and a confidence in Him that I never knew before.
I’m still learning how to live abundantly in the here and now. I’m still learning to be satisfied in Him. I’m still learning what it means to have a true, deep relationship with Jesus, not just head knowledge based on what I’ve heard. He is guiding me on a path that leads me to Him, and I can look back on this year and be truly thankful. I can be full of joy as I remember His faithfulness. And I can look forward with excitement because I know that His promises are true, and His plans for me are perfect, no matter what I feel.
And I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
Yes, you. I hear you…in fact, I am you. I have heard the lies more often than I ever thought I would, and so many times, I have fallen into the trap. It’s a grueling cycle, really. There is a voice that drives us, the voice that fills our head with all the reasons why we need to change.
“Her hair is always so put together, and mine looks so frizzy.”
“Look at her outfits, I should really figure out my style, my clothes are awful.”
“Wow they have such a great personality, why am I so awkward?”
“I really need to take better pictures like everyone else.”
I understand because I have told myself every single one of these lies and more. And where do they lead? We put on makeup, re-do our wardrobe, and try to change ourselves over and over in an attempt to look like, talk like, and BE someone else. We tell ourselves that we will finally be happy if we could just change a few things. But those few things turn into more and we become burned out, exhausted, and spiraling down into the painful, never-ending trap of comparison.
I’m not here to tell you that you just need to learn to love yourself. I’m not here to say that you are perfect just the way you are. Because the truth is, loving yourself will not bring you joy or satisfaction, and nobody is perfect, not even the people who seem to have your dream life. But I am here to tell you that there is a perfect Creator who made you on purpose, who designed you uniquely, and who loves you endlessly. And that in itself should be enough. Because He is enough.
Here is the hard truth: You will never be “good enough.” You will always find someone prettier, smarter, or more talented. And that’s ok. Because your purpose on this earth is not to be just like her. You are not here to have a great friend group, a perfect Instagram feed, or a dream wardrobe. God has placed you here because He wants to use you to bring Him glory and shine a light in the lives around you. He has placed you here for a specific reason, given you specific and unique gifts and abilities, and He has a purpose laid out for you that you cannot begin to imagine! When we compare ourselves to those around us, it is a direct insult to our Designer and Creator. When we question the way we have been made, we are questioning the wisdom and knowledge of God. When we question why we are in the place that He has put us, and deny the purpose He has given us, we are assuming that we know better than the God of the universe. Hear this now: God is perfect, and He does not make a mistake. He created you specifically and intentionally. You are created on purpose, and for HIS purpose. What more could you ask for?
Dear friend, I don’t know about you, but I am tired of living in comparison. I am tired of questioning the wisdom and love of my perfect Father. I am tired of mentally tearing myself down because of the things I am not and never will be. I am ready to throw out the lies and become rooted in truth. And I’m sure you are too. Let’s begin today with a heart of gratefulness for the lives we have been given. Let’s dig into His word, learn who He is and meditate on what He has done for us.
Pray for a heart that sees life with a heavenly perspective. Stop comparing, and start complimenting. Stop searching for flaws, and start intentionally thanking Him for His perfect plan and design for your life. Search for the color, keep a record of His love and faithfulness in your life. Grab a journal, write it down! It’s there, if you will only search for it. He has given her a beautiful life, but he has also given you one. And He knows what He is doing. Can you rest in that?
You are breathing, you are living, you are loved, and you are His. Nothing can change that timeless, beautiful truth.
Fear is something that so many people deal with on a daily basis. It has been one of my biggest battles, and for a long time, I allowed my fear to hold me back and keep me from pursuing the opportunities that God had given me. Friends, that is exactly what Satan wants. One of his favorite tactics is using fear to keep us from our God-given purpose. There was a conference that I attended where the speaker was talking about fighting spiritual battles. God opened my eyes to the fact that I had allowed fear to have a foothold in my life, and I realized that allowing fear to control my life was not bringing Him glory. It was then that I saw how important it was to fight this fear. I had simply been playing offense, trying to keep myself afloat, trying to keep others from knowing how freaked out I was. But we are constantly in a spiritual battle, and it was time for me to get in the fight.
One of the biggest tools that has helped me fight the battle of fear is the Word of God. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this is such an effective weapon. God’s Word is mentioned several times in the Bible as a sword. (And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. -Ephesians 6:17) God’s Word is powerful, a fact that I learned through the seemingly hopeless situation of fear. One of the most frequent commands in the Bible is “Fear not.” God knows our tendency as humans is to be anxious and fearful about situations that seem difficult. But instead of leaving us to figure it out and “get over it,” He goes with us into every situation, with the promise that He has already won. We serve a wonderful, powerful, victorious God.
Always remember that God is bigger than any fear you face, He always has the final say, and He never, ever leaves his children alone. Through Him, we have victory over fear. It is incredibly powerful to have God’s word memorized and hidden in your heart for the times when those fearful thoughts creep in, or Satan tries to convince you that you are alone.
I put together this list of 30 verses that talk about fear. These are 30 times in the Bible when God has given us a reason to trust in Him instead of surrendering to the fear, and there are so many more that I could have listed. Pick a few to memorize, and declare the truth of God’s word over your fearful thoughts. Never underestimate the power of God’s and His word to transform your thinking!
1.) Isaiah 41:10 – 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.
2.) Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
3.) John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
4.) 2 Timothy 1:7 – for God gave us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.
5.) 1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
6.) Psalm 94:19 – When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
7.) Psalm 56:3-4 – When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust, I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
8.) Isaiah 43:1-3 – But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
9.) Joshua 1:9 – 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.
10.) Matthew 6:34 – Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
11.) 1 Peter 5:7-8 – Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
12.) Isaiah 35:4 – Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”
13.) Psalm 27:1 – The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
14.) Psalm 27:5 – For He will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock.
(Actually the entire chapter of Psalm 27 is incredible. Go read it!!)
15.) Psalm 55:22 – Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
16.) Mark 6:50b – But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
17.) Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
18.) Isaiah 41:13 – For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
19.) Psalm 118:6 – The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
20.) Proverbs 29:25 – The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
21.) Psalm 34:4 – I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
22.) Psalm 34:7 – The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
23.) Deuteronomy 3:22 – You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.
24.) Mark 5:36b – Jesus said…”do not fear, only believe.”
25.) Romans 8:38-39 – For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
26.) Zephaniah 3:17 – The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
27.) Psalm 91 – (This whole chapter is amazing, so I highly recommend reading it. I’ll put in a few of my favorite verses from it on here.)
28.) Psalm 91:1-2 – He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
29.) Psalm 91:5-6 – You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
30.) Psalm 91:15 – When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
It makes such a difference when you can stop the fear dead in it’s tracks and preach the word of God to yourself. He is powerful, and He has given us His word is to crush the lies of the enemy and fill us with the Truth of the Gospel.
—– LET’S TALK! —–
Have you committed any of these verses to memory? What are some of your favorite verses for combating the enemy’s lies?
//Live with purpose. We are not promised tomorrow.
//You cannot make everyone happy. If your life and decisions are controlled by the opinions of other people, you will be kept from listening to the Lord’s direction and seeking His will for your life.
// You can be a kind person and still say no.
//You are in control of what you think about. You can choose to dwell on the Truth.
//Read more books. Don’t forget the delight in a good story on a page.
//God’s goodness does not depend on your circumstances. Our circumstances are constantly changing, but the faithfulness and goodness of God never does.
//Never seek your worth in your appearance, or in others’ opinion of it. You are more than what you look like. Appearances are never permanent.
//God’s timing is always perfect. God knows what you want, but he also knows what you need, and He will provide it when the time is right.
//Love people. Remember the love extended to you, and let it overflow to others.
//Make time for little people. Invest in the kids in your life. They are looking up to you whether you realize it or not.
//God is greater than your feelings. As terrible and overwhelming as a situation may seem, God is holding you, and He is bigger.
//Worrying about the future never helped anyone. God is in control, leave it in His hands and trust that He knows best.
//Don’t be too busy to take care of your physical health
//Nothing you do can change the infinite amount of love that God has for you. He loved you when you were His enemy, and as long as you are His child, your sins are covered in His blood. Stop trying to earn His favor.
//Find your people, and love them. Surround yourself with friends that encourage you, but who also challenge you, and the people who are honest enough to tell you the truth in love because they know it is for your good.
//Do not listen to Satan’s lies–cling to the promises of God. Memorize Scripture–immerse yourself daily in His truth.
//God has given you gifts for a reason. Don’t ever allow distraction to pull you away from your purpose.
//Look to Christ for lasting joy and fulfillment, not to another human. People change, and people are broken. Only in Christ can you be made whole.
//You will never regret living 100% for Jesus, because this life is only a moment, and you exist by Him and for Him only.
“I have one desire now–to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.” -Elizabeth Elliot
when i am fearful
He is my Courage
when i am weak
He is my Strength
when i am hurting
He is my Healer
when i am anxious
He is my Peace
when i am heartbroken
He is my Joy
and no matter what this wandering child does
He is always, always Faithful
Romans 8: 38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.