Believing Big #10: Faith when fear tries to run you over {{giveaway}}

On Day #10 of Believing Big When You Feel Small, author and speaker Kelly Balarie joins us. You may have seen her recently released book, Fear Fighting, listed as one of Kathie Gifford’s favorite things on Today Show!

Kelly has graciously offered to give away one copy of her book (just leave a comment), and in today’s post she shares what faith looks like in the face of fear. Thanks, Kelly! ~ Suzie

Fear . . .

It’s like a snowball. You look uphill and begin to worry. . .

What if my kids grow up and don’t like me? The ball begins to roll . . .

What if that mole on my arm is skin cancer? It grows larger . . .

What if I never amount to more than a dish-washing woman? It gains steam . . .

What if I never change?If I never stop feeling worried or anxious?

It’s pummeling right towards you . . .

Run!!!

Your head looks back at it, then forward, looking for safety. But, with fear, there’s never a safe place to hide. The ball of anxiety follows, reminding you – you’re sure to be ruined. You can’t stop looking. You keep tabs on it. It’s all you can think about.

I’ve lived like this – running.

Running from friends who might hurt me with a misplaced word. Running from invitations to events, because my clothes weren’t “cute enough.” Running from dreams because I believed they’d fail me. They’ll all laugh. Running from calm because the threat of germs, other people’s sickness or accidents was too great. The world is scary.

I’ve noticed, through all this, if you’re in the throes of fear, it’s very hard to rest in the arms of God .

One is like oil. The other’s like water. One is anxiety. The other is peace. One pushes you away from God. The other sits you close under his wing of protection. One makes you feel guilty. The other makes you feel empowered.

The stark contrast is obvious when viewed from afar. But, when you’re in the center of agony, running in fear, it is so very hard to be centered on God’s truth, life and resurrection power.

Where are you running from fear? Where are you quite certain you might be flattened like last Saturday’s pancake?

I wish I could give you a big hug, friend. Because, from one fearing gal to another, I know the pain is real, tangible and horrible. I know walking around with a huge weight chasing at your heels is no small thing. I know you probably try to seek God, like I do, but still, you get nowhere.

I understand. I’ve struggled this way too.

Yet, recently, I’ve started to look at that snowball differently. Rather than seeing that ball’s high-pace avalanche power, I’ve chosen to see Christ’s grace-extending power. It stops fear. It implants the cross on top of whatever is coming against you. It melts the burden of fear, guilt and regret.

This is how I do it.

I say to myself: Kelly, Jesus forgives you right now for taking your eyes off of him. He does. Now, you can move close to him again, knowing: You are loved. You are adored. For, Jesus is not angry at you. He is not surprised you are scared. He is not far away. Let him hold you and he will help you. You don’t have to beat this huge snowball alone. He will give you strength.

Usually in this place, God reminds me of something like this:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

He reminds me of the prodigal daddy, who loves a child’s grand return. There’s no shame in my coming back, but celebration.

How might you need to run back into the arms of your prodigal daddy?

What words might he speak to your tired, weary and fear-saturated heart?

We serve not a God who is distant, but a God with such all-encompassing strength, he can push back whatever is trying to roll us over. He can move mountains and calm seas. He can heal heartaches and our pains. He can reroute burdens and problems.

God is our answer and resting in him is our way. When it comes down to it, no matter what appears to be coming against us, always, we are safe in Christ.

Kelly

About the book,Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears.

Author and Speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day.

Buy Fear Fighting today! Or, Join the 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

About Kelly Balarie:

Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear here.

 

Day 10 of 21 Days to Believing Big When We Feel Small

On Day 10, write down a fear that you have experienced (or are experiencing).

Q: Where do you run when you are afraid?

Q: Isaiah 41:10 offers encouragement. Based on this scripture, what might you gain if you run to him?

Join me at 3:00 CT for this week’s Facebook Live broadcast. The topic is “Where do I run?” We’ll look at where our fight or flight wants to take us, and how faith can help us run in a new direction. If you can’t join me live, the recorded version will be on the Living Free . . . together! FB ministry page.

Suzie

Believing big #9: Is blind faith bad?

 

Is blind faith bad?

When I think of blind faith, the negative aspects of blindness comes to mind. My mom struggles with her eyesight. She she can’t drive anymore. Things that were once easy for her, are now frustrating.

I don’t want to put blind faith in a contract, or a person. I don’t want to put blind faith in a position, or an opportunity. I want to see the details. I don’t have to have it all spelled out, but I need a clear idea of what to expect.

That’s why Hebrews 11:1 can feel a little overwhelming.

It feels a little like blind faith (the bad kind). [Read more…]

Believing big #8: Does faith affect the way we see ourselves?

 

I used to hide from other women.

It’s kind of a joke in my family. We laugh about how God chooses people who seem like an extraordinarily bad fit for a job, and he knows all along that it’s going to work out. Like, when he chose a woman that used to hide from other women to minister to women.

Ironic, right?

When I say that I used to hide from other women, I mean that I used to hide from other women. If you’ve hung out with me for any length of time, you know that about me.

If I saw you coming toward me in Walmart and you were not my very best friend, I sought shelter in the detergent aisle. It’s not that I didn’t like you, but I wasn’t sure that you’d like me. That sounds so far-fetched now. I wish I could scoop up that young mom who had a pretty great smile and something to offer, and let her know that she didn’t have to hide between the Downy dryer sheets and Tide detergent.

Those smells still make me feel safe. ♥ [Read more…]

Believing big #7: When you are doing everything right, and nothing’s working

Today’s post is revised from an older blog post. I chose it because this topic is close to my heart as we talk about faith. Sometimes we shy away from the harder conversations. In order to live free, we need sacred space to talk about them together.

Bills stacked up like accusations.

The white envelopes shouted as I held them in my hands. It seemed like they were filling up my mailbox quicker than I could collect them.

If only you’d worked smarter.

If only you had started smaller.

What were you thinking?

The shouts were in my head, and they were lies. We worked hard. We were as smart as we could be as young parents and dreamers. [Read more…]

Believing big #6: faith in hurtful places

They say words don’t hurt, but they do.

Last night I was putting a puzzle together with Elle, my 6-year-old granddaughter. Her long blond hair hung in her eyes as she searched for a corner piece. Without looking up, she said, “Gaga, has anyone ever been mean to you?”

My first thought was that maybe she was learning the hard truth that people can be difficult or even bully you, and I asked about that. She assured me that it wasn’t about her, and that she was just curious.

If you knew my sweet girl, you’d know that this isn’t out of the norm.

There is not a single person reading this who hasn’t been impacted by hurtful words or actions. Whether we are six or sixty, we can point to times when hurtful words or actions or people impacted us. It might have even shaped the way some of us see ourselves. It may have affected the way you view God. [Read more…]

A free listen just for you and a fun {{giveaway}}

Hey friend!

All this week we’ve been sharing and praying with each other. I know many of you by name. Some of you I’ve had the privilege of sitting across a table, and sharing and laughing. For others of you, we are brand new friends. I don’t know a lot about you, and you may not know my story.

That’s why I’m sharing this recent episode on the Shaun Tabbatt show.

He asked me to share my story as well as more about my Come With Me Adventure. It’s been a long time since I shared how I started as a believer, and sharing it brought tears as I listened to how far God has brought this once broken girl.

Take a listen, will you? Then share one thing about your faith story. I can’t wait to get to know you better!

There’s also a giveaway. Check that out after you listen.

 

Suzie

Did you know that you can lead a study in your own home using Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads?

Maybe you will invite two or three friends to meet a coffee shop. Maybe you’ll share it with your small group. Maybe you and a couple of co-workers will do this over lunch.

Perhaps you’ll sit alone with God, and discover where Jesus is leading you one-to-one.

On the Come With Me study page, we share resources — teaching videos, jpgs, downloadable journals, and a Come With Me prayer book. It’s all free and just for you or your church or small group.

Giveaway

I’ll choose one person who has commented on this post, or any other this week, to win a free “Come With Me” message necklace. It’s gorgeous, and it’s a reminder that Jesus calls you to follow him daily on a faith adventure.

Believe big #5 – Put on your dancing shoes

I was whining

Until I realized that I had cause to celebrate instead.

This changed everything for me — for that day, in that new place, in the way that I responded to my loved ones. In the way that I talked. In the way that I viewed this challenge. [Read more…]

Believing big #4 – Striving faith is exhausting

When did faith become a competition?

Did Jesus ever put the early disciples on a starting line and say, “Hey, let’s see who can outshine the other?”

Did our Heavenly Father ever pit Noah against Moses, or Deborah against Hannah? I know, I know. For those of you who are sticklers for details, that was impossible because they were born in different times but hear me.

Striving and competing was never intended to be a motivator in faith. Instead, our God intimately knows each of us and our role is to simply be and do what he asks. [Read more…]