A lesson on how to deal with fear

For as long as I can remember I’ve been afraid of bees, wasps, and hornets. It has a big long fancy name even: Apiphobia. I live in Canada and we have six months of winter, three of spring and fall, and three months of summer. Every summer I have to deal with relearning how to not scream in my yard. It’s a process….

When you come from a colder climate you get a little stir crazy by the time the warm weather starts to come around. You wear saddles when there is still snow on the ground, shorts with winter boots, you go to the grocery store and shiver in your sun dress.

If it’s a nice day outside you will put off whatever work you have inside the house just to weed eat the yard.

Every year my phobia gets in the way of me enjoying our short time of bliss….

This year my family decided to put up a greenhouse. It’s something that we’ve talked about for years and we finally did it! Shout out to all our neighbors and friends for helping us put it together.

I love flowers and every year I put together some planters. This year we went wild. It had been so long since we had something to feel joyful about. It was a lot of work but worth it.

This is not a picture of my greenhouse. Ours is a bit more redneck.

Going into a greenhouse when you are afraid of pollinators is a challenge. I loved the idea of it but actually having to stand there and water….I was shaking in my boots. I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to face my fear. I joked that the greenhouse is my shock therapy.

Now a couple months later I can say that I can go outside and be at peace with the bees, wasps, and hornets. It’s not that I’m not afraid because I still am it’s just that I’ve gotten to a point where the fear doesn’t consume my mind. I still feel myself starting to panic at times but I’m able to mange my thoughts and calm myself down. I’ve been able to really enjoy this summer.

How did I get here?

Step one: Figuring out what was triggering me. Now there are multiple triggers but I’m going to focus on one just to make my point clear. The sound of their buzzing can give me goosebumps. It’s still the thing that sets me off the most.

Step two: Pray. I prayed for help a lot and also started using the time to pray for everything and anything in order to calm and distract myself. I will admit this alone didn’t cure me but it helped.

Step three: Focus on something else. Since sound was a trigger I started to focus on the sound of my hose spraying water. As long as the hose was on I could calm myself down. It worked but only when the hose was on. It was a step in the right direction. I love music and would hum to myself or sing if no one was around.

Step four: Take every thought captive. This was a big one for me. Where was my head at? Was I thinking of good thoughts? No I was thinking of the worst thing that could happen. I had to turn my thoughts around.

Step five: Trust God. I wasn’t trusting God when I was in a fearful state. Now fear is natural, I’m not saying that feeling fear is bad. What I was doing in my actions was relevelling an area that I didn’t trust God in. My worst fear is that I will get stung and die. I’m not allergic but I still fear this possibility and that is the root of my fear. I had to understand what this was all about. Then I had to reassure myself by being honest with myself.

Okay, so I get stung, what is the worst thing that could happen? I have an allergic reaction. Well, I’ve had those before, God has always been there for me. The nearest emergency room is twenty minutes away and I don’t drive. My cellphone is close at hand, I live with my parents, and I have friends in town that would drop everything to help me. Also God is with me. What if I die? Well, then that’s the way I’m meant to go. Make sure you are right with God every day and focus on Him. God loves imperfect people. He loves you and He wants you to get over this fear. Trust Him with your life, all of it.

And now I can go outside and face one of my fears. Which means that God is going to bring in a new challenge for me so I can overcome it to. As long as He is with me, it will be okay.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8(NIV)

I Love You, Anyway

My Dad is a hard topic for me. He moved to the small town I live in this year. I’ve had more contact with him this year than I have in seven years at least. It’s caused me to have to deal with a lot of issues. I’ve had to look at what it means to forgive but also keep him at arms length… wondering the whole time if I was doing the right thing.

It’s been hard to know how to deal with someone who is clearly not mentally well. How do you forgive someone when they are clearly not the same person that hurt you? I pray a lot for help. How do you know what was intentional? You don’t. How do you care for them? I don’t know. That’s the truth. This is one of those times in life when there is no simple answer.

Dad has a hard time communicating. The one thing that he keeps telling me is “I love you, anyway”. Even when I don’t visit as often as he would like. When I don’t meet his expectations. When I feel like I’ve failed. It’s hard for me to feel like he loves me. Dad didn’t tell me he loved me until Mom told him by not telling me he would mess me up. I was eleven.

He told me “You know I love you right?”

“Yeah Dad I know.”

I don’t know if anyone ever told him they loved him simply for him being himself. Well, Dad I love you, anyway too.

But I was never really sure. Not when I was young, he didn’t behavior in a way that made me think he loved me. I wasn’t able to see that he was trying, doing the best that he could. At times I think that he could have done better but he couldn’t understand how his actions affected me. I don’t honestly think that he understands the long term affects of any of the actions that he’s taken.

It’s hard to explain what my Dad is like…He’s just so different. His actions often lack any logic that I can follow.

There were many times that I have to thank those around me for taking care of me. For teaching me things that he should have taught me that he didn’t have the words for or didn’t know himself. I can say looking back that God watched over me and kept me safe. I would like to think that I’m more empathic for what I’ve been through. I can honestly say that sometimes being normal still eludes me. That is both a blessing and a curse.

I try to remain grateful for how peaceful my home life is these days. At least it truly is a place where I can be myself. Sorry to my family that I live with, I know that I’ve been a lot more on edge these days.

Sorry for the silence online it’s just that most of what I’ve been writing about these days is just between me and God. For all those like me who have to live with mental illness and the lack of knowing what to do about it. I don’t have any advice expect to lean into and on God. If only to keep yourself somewhat sane.

God has lifted me out of the worst parts of my life in the past. He will do so again in His timing and in His own way. Until then I will keep holding on to my Heavenly Father, His son who died for me Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit that is my strength in all storms.

The Other Side

I’ve been working on a novel for what feels like forever. I’m currently having a hard time writing it because I have to put my main character through hell. I know that on the other side she’s going to be a better person. She’s going to learn and grow. I just find myself unable to write the pain that she’s going to have to experience first.

I found myself wondering if that isn’t how God looks at us sometimes.

“Yes, my child it’s going to hurt but you are going to be so much better for it, if only you would trust that I have the other side of this figured out.”

Hope Again…

I have found that I have hope in Christ again. Not that everything will work out how I want it too. Things may get much, much worse. We may never get back to normal, not at least how we once knew it. That’s okay because Christ is still with us. No matter what happens if we reach out to God with sincerity He will reach back.

For me it’s important to remember how much God loves me. When I fill up my cup then it can overflow to those around me. To my family, friends, and coworkers. Even in these trying times He was not forgotten me. It just took me awhile to find my hope again. To remember that I’m not the only one going through a hard time. We are all going through something right now. Kindness is easier for me to show to others when I remember where my hope comes from.

Not from the easily corrupted leaders of this world. Politics are a dirty game. I know that God is in control. I know that He has a plan and He will use bad leaders and good leaders to bring about what He desires. Even if it means life may get really uncomfortable for those that believe. We know that it`s going to get worse before it gets better. One day it will be dangerous everywhere.

I believe that we are closer to the end than the beginning of times. Even if I’m wrong in this, I know that it is right to draw closer to God in all times regardless. It’s like the hymn goes:

Turn you eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace

Remember your first love my fellow believers, we will get through this. Hold onto your hope.

Inner Self

I’ve been trying to figure out what your inner self actual means. I wasn’t sure what all it covered. I’m just going to break it down bit by bit.

your old way of thinking– So much of what we do is a reflection of the way we think. I’ve been thinking about the way I think. Even though I’ve grown a lot in my nine years of walking with the Lord I still have a ways to go. In twenty-twenty I found more old thought patterns that need to be re-routed. I need to focus on what God says about me more than what others said in the past.

regret past sins– Yes, I do regret my past sins but I need help with the sins I keep repeating. We often think about not committing adultery or murder, thinking that those are the gravest sins. What about not coveting what we don’t have? I know that a part of me wishes that I had kids. I don’t and I feel like I’m right where God wants me to be. I’ve struggled with not having kids a lot over the last couple of years. It’s only when quarantine hit that I really looked at my life and became grateful for what I have.

proves repentance– Does my life prove repentance? I don’t know if I’ve changed enough. When I fall into the same old patterns what does that prove? It’s not something that I even want to think about.

seek God’s purpose for your life-This is a hard one because everyone’s purpose is so different. I think I’m getting closer to figuring out what mine is. I just want to remain open enough that as I age and enter new seasons of my life I’m aware of God. That I can keep my ears open to Him.

believe in the GOOD NEWS– I do believe and I hope to have more opportunities to share the good news this year.

I know that the world is crazy right now. I don’t know what to say about everything. I have a lot of opinions on what is happening just like everyone else. I debated putting this out there right now. The truth is that in life you are only responsible for your actions and reactions.

I don’t know why I do the things that I do sometimes. I’ve found that we have to make up our minds about who we want to be. Focus on that, focus on what YOU can do. Know that I’m writing this as much for me as for you. Don’t give up, finish the race set before you.