Thursday, December 21, 2017

Anxiety & Fear ~ Brave Moms, Brave Kids

I got an amazing opportunity last night!  Being a part of the Brave Moms, Brave Kids Launch team, I got to be a part of a live book discussion with Lee Nienhuis, author of the book.

If I ever get the chance to hear her speak at an event I would sign up.  She is inspiring, honest, and speaks to the heart from her own experiences.  She is very relatable and as I read her book, I find myself nodding my head in agreement, seeing things from a different perspective, and gaining a stronger foundation of understanding. 

To have this amazing opportunity, to have this moment where I got to be a part of this discussion with her and 25 other moms.  We all connected in some way last night, knowing that we aren't facing this mom journey alone.  Knowing that there are other moms out there who can help guide and mentor us through their experiences and their wisdom.  It is a very powerful thing.  It was a blessing and an eye opener for sure.

We talked about the first part of the book, part one.  It is all about fear and anxiety.  These are two big emotions that I have been dealing with, even more so with addition of second son two years ago.

I was raised learning about God, going to church, and praying at dinner time.  But after confirmation things changed.  We would go once or twice a year as busy teenage lives took over filled with sports and school.  God, well he kind of took a back seat for many years.

It wasn't until college when i felt drawn back to God more and began seeking out worship time, time with other Christians, bible study groups, and more.  In an impressionable time in my life I sought to be with and learn more about God.  As time went on I slowly began to lean to and on God.  But I was still young in my faith and understanding.

Adding in kids hasn't changed that and I hope to raise kids who know and trust God and will follow him too.  In the meantime, fear mixed with anxiety and guilt fill me more than ever.  And when that happens, dynamics change around me and so do relationships.

I am slowly learning more about it all and beginning to recognize it more now.  I don't push it off, I accept it for what it is, acknowledge it, then try to figure out what is causing it.  Then I let it go and lift it all up to God.

I could let it consume, eat me whole.  I have done that.  But it isn't healthy and it needed to change.  But now, I am trying an active approach to it all.  Knowing it is there, always, and it will come back.  Knowing a different perspective I learned from the book and listening to Lee, has also helped gained a stronger understanding.  God created fear for a good we would be obedient to him.  To not hide away.  It is the enemy that takes it and twists it, make it crippling.

Like Lee says in her book "What God meant to be a tool in our lives to bring order and create in us awe, worship, and reverence, the Enemy uses to send all manner of destruction into our lives."  By giving into the fear and anxiety, letting it consume us will completely undo us as moms.  But taking that healthy version of fear, the one God gave us, and using it as a tool we can become more aware, and to live in awe, worship, reverence.

These first few chapters may feel pretty heavy.  They are real...real and honest.  When we get into talking about emotions, especially the hard ones like fear and anxiety, it touches deeply in our hearts.

I have been lingering longer in these chapters because they resonate deeply within me.  I can relate.  But I also need the time to let it sink in, to change my thoughts on fear, to learn to deal with it.  Because if I can deal with it, then I can help my kids deal with it. 

If I want my kids to follow and trust God.  I must first follow and trust God.  Through him, I can be brave, I can be strong.  Then I can teach my kids how they too can be brave, and strong.  But so much is learned by seeing.  If they see me...if they see me facing my fears, standing strong, and trusting God, then they too will follow.

It is a lot to take in, it really is.  I am just in the beginning stages of the a lot of this, but have learned so much.  This path I am on, this path that God is leading me on is winding in ways I never imagined.  Through it all, he is remaining steadfast and listening, ready when we are. 

Lean into God.  Find other moms who can be a mentor for you.  Ones that can help guide you as well and help you see things from an outside perspective.  We are not meant to go at this alone.  You too can be brave.  You have it in you, I know you do.

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