Mar 25

Not an Easy Start~Chapter 1

I wish this study had an easier beginning. But it doesn’t.

Here is today’s suggested assignment:

Monday– Read the Introduction and Chapter 1 of An Untroubled Heart. Highlight in your book anything that stands out. Share it with the girls on my blog. Write this week’s memory verse in your notebook and also on a few notecards . Place the notecards around your house, in your car, at work, etc.

Words of the Week:

Usually we just have one word of focus for the week, but this week, we have three…all taken from our memory verse of the week (below).

Power~Love~Self-Discipline

Memory Verse:

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7

 

So ladies, it’s time to dive in. It’s not pretty. Micca’s story that she shares in Chapter 1 is messy. Read it and soak it in, but don’t let it bring you down. Let it encourage you. If she can survive that…..you can too.

Begin to memorize this week’s verse to help you. Do you realize how powerful God’s Word is?

 

Yesterday was hard for me. I knew it was coming. I even talked to my family before it got here. I asked them to just leave me alone. Allow me to have my time of reflection and grief.

You see, 2 years ago, I lost my mom to cancer. She was only 63 and I wasn’t ready to let her go. I still need her today. But she’s not here. Still, I’m ok….because God is taking care of me. That’s the only reason why. Read here how God willed me to grieve my loss in “God’s Will For Me to Grieve.”

As life would have it, my grief and reflection was also interrupted by a mouse. Yes, we had a live mouse in our house that sent me screaming with fear up to perch atop a chair in my den….where I remained throughout the day! How ironic that the day we begin a Bible study on fear, that one of my fears confronts me head on.  Yes y’all, I’m afraid of critters in  my house! I know that may sound silly and pales in comparison to some of your fears, but it was big to me.

We haven’t caught the mouse, but my family has sure had fun with my fear:

Just FYI, this is a fake mouse. Not funny.  (if you receive my blogposts via email, you probably can’t see the picture. Visit my blog to see it. Click here.

 

For those who don’t have the book yet, Jennifer Rasor, one of our Bible study sisters, found this link where you can actually get the full introduction and Chapter 1!!!  http://davidccook.com/catalog/resources/samples/105953.pdf  For today, there is no excuse for everyone not to get started :) Thanks Jennifer for sharing this!

I also have a very special treat for you. The author of An Untroubled Heart, Micca Campbell, has a message for all of you on her blog today. Make sure you stop by her place, check it out, and leave her a note. She is ultra sweet and how often do you get the gift of personally hearing from the author of a book you are reading? It’s rare. Thank you Micca <3

And speaking of Micca, she is the first guest on our conference call series that begins tomorrow, March 27th.

 

Ok ladies, I know it’s not easy to face your fears, but it’s time. Today I encourage you to read Chapter 1 of An Untroubled Heart.  Digest it. Soak it in. Pray for the Lord to speak to you where you are…He will.

Y’all, let me know how you are feeling.  How do you feel about what Micca went through?  How are you feeling about your life? Do you think God is speaking to you in this study? What’s He saying?

Share your thoughts with us today in the comment section about all this and our words and verse of the week. We need to hear from you! Your thoughts matter.

Love you so big.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Praying for you big time!

 

Melissa

Comments

  1. Oh my goodness! What a powerful, beautifully written chapter. I cried & cried. It certainly brought up past grief for me. But how God was there with her through it was so precious.
    Can’t wait for the next chapter, but unfortunately, the christian book stores here in Australia don’t have any copies of this book. I read the 1st chapter thanks to the link you left on your blog.
    I am definately going to try to order this book in though.
    May Gods peace & hope be on everyones heart xxx

  2. It’s taken me a long to to even realize that I have a problem with fear….many childhood issues and loses. I’m realizing that the fear can cripple my effectiveness in ministry. I really connected with the comment that our past is the fuel for our fear.

    Thanks so much for this study!
    Blessings

    • This is so true I have big fears and small fears, especially of stepping out of my comfort zone and ministering to others like i know i should!

  3. Fear has ruled my life far too long
    Now that I have kids of my own I want them to have a fear free life and the can only live that if I show them how ….

    Can’t wait to break free !!

  4. I am greatful for this study, I have never lost someone very close to me and that is a very real fear for me, however what I am praying and seeking God is that througout this study he will reveal fears to me that I may not even realize are actual fears. Also, for those fears that I am very aware of that steal my peace and joy that I will come to a place that those things (example: fear of something happening to me and not being around for my daughter) will not torment me and steal my peace and joy. I believe that we sometimes get so good at learning how to live with our fears that they become a part of our day and life. I do know that God has not called us to live a life like this or settle for this type of life and I am excited about what he will reveal to me personally througout this study.

    • Jennifer,
      I was JUST telling my friend over email that tonight at dinner I was confronted with a fear that I didn’t know I had. The fear that smacked me in the face was about my children growing up and leaving the home, leaving my husband and I empty nesters. Funny thing is, my kids are only 8 and 5 but I was brought to tears about being an empty nest parent TONIGHT when my 8 year old son announced his excitment about turning 9 soon. The last 9 years have went by so quickly I can hardly believe it, and knowing that the next 9 aren’t going to slow down had me picturing him at 18 and gone from our home. It was heart wrenching to me! The beautiful thing though is that I prayed exactly what you did, that God would reveal things in my life that are unknown fears. He did that tonight by showing me that my fear of being an empty nest parent, the feeling of abandonment by my children (not intentionally from them of course-just life’s, “spread your wings and fly” motto), emptiness all are things I fear terribly. His timing is so perfect! I hope that you will be shown where you need Him to fill you as well! Bless you!

      • Leah, praying for you, that you will NOT allow satan to steal your joy in your sweet babies!! Praying you’ll enjoy them, not worry about them leaving the nest, and raise them to be the individuals God has called them to be.

        10 years ago the LORD moved us to a small, small town. I hated it. Little did I know, that it’s now smack dab in the middle where our children “would fly away from”…our son is 8 hours to our east and our daughter is now 10 hours to our west!!! Empty nest syndrome is nothing to fear, and I’m praying for you that the LORD will take away this fear. We experienced it last year, and the first few months were a little difficult to get used to (we both also turned 50, felt led to leave our church home AND a new job for me!!)…but as we allowed God to fill us up with new things for the season we are going through, He has been so good in His provision!!

  5. So this is not what I thought I would be writing about on my comment….. This past Friday, a student who graduated in 2011 from Mount Pisgah Academy, the school I work at, drowned in a rock quarry on the property of Oakwood University in Alabama. I was one of his class sponsors. Our school is a small, tight-knit community of staff, students and alumni. Many are reeling from this tragedy. I not only teach at the school but I am also a counselor. I’m trying to be strong and encouraging. This young man leaves behind a mother and an older brother. I am so sad. Apparently he had just recently been focusing on his relationship with Jesus. He had deleted his Facebook account and told his mother he wanted to pray with her each day. He is from Florence, SC and both he and his brother were attending school in Huntsville. If you click on my link, it will take you to my Facebook page where I have posted a couple of articles/videos. This situation has re-awakened my fear as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend of losing loved ones. So I guess, this study is coming at the right time for me. Love and Prayers, Beth

    • Donna Bostick says:

      Prayin for you Beth, your family and the school kids affected by this tragic death. Praying that others see Jesus in you. Praying for God to comfort all of those involved and that He will fill each one up with His peace and love.

    • Beth-

      I’m from Alabama too. Is this the student that I heard about that was on the swim team?

      Kasey

      • Thank you, Donna. The home funeral is tomorrow (Friday) in Florence, SC. We are taking a busload of our students. The family has asked for students from the acro (gymnastics) team to be pall bearers. Justin was on the acro team at school.
        Kasey, Justin was from Oakwood University in Huntsville. He was swimming in a rock quarry with some friends, just a bunch of guys out, somewhere where they shouldn’t have been, enjoying a sunny afternoon….
        Thank you for your prayers. I’m glad I’m participating in this study. It sure has come at the right time. I’m so glad that God has a plan! :)

  6. I am excited to start this journey with you. FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). For me…my fears have been all in my mindset….not real…but afraid they would become real. I want to learn to GIVE it ALL to Him and leave it with Him. I want to walk a life of Faith…not Fear.
    Thank you for this study.
    Blessings and Prayers to all of you. xo

    • I love the acronym! That’s awesome! I too have fears that are all in my head, some from the past but most of which are made up, realistic but something I shouldn’t dwell on.

  7. Thank you for this Bible study. I have been wanting to get into something and this works perfect for right now. I obviously have small fears I could list out here but I am praying God will show me fears I am hiding deep down that is preventing me from moving forward.
    I also know being in a Bible study is different than my daily quiet time, I pray I can connect with some different people also doing this Bible study. I feel you get a lot more out of these if you are in a group and hear about others experiences. Thank you for providing this opportunity.

    • Tara,
      Thank you for commenting and for joining me in Bible study. Hopefully you will be able to connect with the ladies here. I want all of you to share your experiences and ask questions too! We are here for each other!
      Blessings,
      Melissa

  8. I know God called me to this study to help me through on my family’s current journey. About 20 months ago, during the most difficult transition of my life (divorce and moving out) one day when my fears were haunting me and my faith that I was going to be able to get through it all was wavering, God sent me a message through a wall hanging at the Dollar Tree (yes, trust God to send me this message just when I needed it and at a location/price where I could afford to buy it) that says…”Faith is not believing that God can, it is KNOWING that God WILL.” This hangs in my bedroom where I see and read it about 4-10 times a day, but even with that, sometimes it is not enough. Being a divorced mom is never easy, but our situation is a rockier road than most others traverse due to the nature of my previous marriage, their father’s and my relationship, and the logistics of our parenting agreement. I know I am about 5 miles into a marathon, and my biggest fear is not making it to the finish line with all my children safe, healthy, and well adjusted. I know God is reminding me through this study that He is here with me and will bring us all through.

    • Hi Marti, I can relate to your situation. I to am a divorced mother. I have three kids. My ex husband abused my son and myself. It is always scary when one road ends and you begin another. I often times worry and stress my self out when my kids are with their father. One of my biggest fears is that my kids dad’s will take them from me.

    • Lord, Jesus… please keep your Big Strong Arms around Marti and her children. I pray for peace and comfort for them as you build their faith. I ask that they would recognize You in the midst of these trials. Amen Hugs to you, Marti <3 Pam

    • Allison S. says:

      Marti – I, too, am a divorced single mom with 3 kids – losing my marriage was like going through a death – all the stages of grief – the roller coaster of emotions – and fears I never knew I had. God has been so very faithful in His provisions, proteciton and faithfulness – I love the memory verse for this week – Peace, Love, Self-Discipline – only through His spirit in me – daily!!!

    • I understand completely! I have lived in fear most of my life and right now it’s multiplying! I am going through a divorce. I have 3 kids that are not from my husband. We have always been alone due to my ex husband being abusive and I really thought that this marriage would be different. It was in one way but it ended the same. It’s hard to remain strong and hand all of my fears to God. During all of this….my youngest child has been homebound due to several diseases and I’m having to carry all of the weight. How in the world do you not fear when everything is falling apart around you? I’m excited about this study! I’ll be praying for the ladies on here! We can do this…ALL things are possible with God!!

  9. I love the book so far. Yes, it is hard to read for someone that struggles with fear, but I believe that God has a huge message through this book for me and every other person reading it. The study will help us dive into the Word, and through all of our honest struggles and posts on the study, we can help each other stay accountable and look into the real “root” of our fear. I know where mine come from, but now comes the hard work. I pray for each person doing the study and hope to make some great long time friends.

  10. Sandra Smith says:

    I am so ready for this study. Yes and of course on the first day of this study my oldest son gets his drivers’s license…Talk about fear, but you now the Lord spoke to me and calmed me and I gave it over to Him.. I LOVE MY JESUS!!! I’m so ready for this change… Thank You Melissa for starting this journey and to all the ladies I will pray for you… Happy Day :)

    • Barbe Wolfe says:

      Sandra, I can so relate. My oldest son is planning on taking his test for his driver’s license in a couple of days. Great timing for me too!

  11. Question 5 asked How do you view trials in your life? Are you fearful? Joyful? Angry? I think that we can say we feel all of these when we are first presented with a difficult situation, we are fearful because we do not know what the final outcome will be (could be death), and maybe angry because it might have been a situation involving a child, spouse, or parent and we think enough is enough. Then as we come to grips with our feelings and emotions we turn to our heavenly Father for His strength and comfort to bring us through this and in Him we can be joyful.

    My precious Heavenly Father I praise you for where you have brought me from so that I can stand before those ladies that are bound by the bondage of abuse and present to them a freedom through your precious Son. I praise you and thank you for always being an ever-present help in my life. In Jesus precious Holy name AMEN!

  12. This study is so right on time for me. It is reminding me that God is all there really is in this life and the life to come. I personally believe that we can only know Him to the extent that we have to rely on Him. I am 53 years old. I lost my mom when I was 24, my dad in my 40’s. I have been divorced twice. The economy has taken it’s toll on me and I am waiting for Fannie Mae to come and take my house. All of this has taught me to be content in whatever circumstances I am in, Philippians 4:11. I would relive all of it again if it meant that I had this deep relationship with my Abba to look forward to. Fortunately I do not have to do that and I can continue to grow in my faith. Here is a hug from me to all who are doing this study. We have an awesome God! Be strong and courageous, Joshua 1:9. Love you my sisters <3 Pam

  13. michelle says:

    I am so happy that I decided to join this study group. One major fear has ruled my life, for long enough, the fear of abandonment, generally associated with men/relationships. My father left me as a young child. There was never any other male role model to take his place. I grew up without the knowledge of my Heavenly Father. I sought love and acceptance, my self worth, through the only means known to me, sex. I became a mother at 15. My son’s father left as well. Needless to say, I developed a very skewed understanding of men and their roles in life. Generally, that they were not to be depended on for anything. My self reliance was built upon that knowledge, that if I didn’t do for me, no one else would. God was as far away from and unknown to me as my earthly father was. I am now learning the truth about my Savior, my Father. He never left me and loves me unconditionally.

    • Donna Bostick says:

      Michelle, I so get where you are coming from. My Dad left too when I was 6 and there were times where I wouldn’t see him for years …. I think the longest I have gone without seeing my Dad was 15 years. And I too tried to find my self worth in the sex thing and in so many other ways … and truth be known … I probably still do ….. but most of the time …. 99.9% of the time, those things didn’t work out so well in the end.

      I did come to a point in my life on July 1, 2011. Through a series of events, one of them being my friend’s Dad’s death come to realize that I needed to accept my Dad for who is was, cause I sure couldn’t change Him. Before the death of my friend’s Dad, I actually saw what a daughter/dad relationship was suppose to look like … not that their’s was perfect but it was definitely better than mine. When my friend’s Dad died, I kept asking myself, what would I do if my dad were to die tomorrow? I had no answer … I didn’t even like my Dad at the time or much less love him, so I thought! I know … I had developed a hard heart towards my Dad …and it wasn’t so much the “like or love” factor for me, is was the not really knowing who my Dad was. So I made a call to my older sister and told her that I wanted to go visit my Dad while I was back in Texas for vacation. Yep, my family about fell out …. cause I normally stay as far away as possible from him. But it was during that visit where I felt God was speaking to me and telling me that I couldn’t “fix” my Dad and that it was my job to just pray for my Dad. So that’s what I’ve been doing… thru that visit that God softened my heart some … not all the way … just some … I have now come to a point and choice of acceptance with my Dad. He is who is and yep, his actions set in motion 75% of my fears for my life. But I know choose to accept my Dad, my past, my short comings and have released him to God.

      It was also at that point of acceptance that God simplified things for me. He gave me the term CHOICE. No matter what happens, He has given me the choice to either live in fear or not live in fear. And I have to make that choice 24/7/365 days a year … whether it’s the fear of rejection, abandonment, not being good enough, fear of telling my family that I was molested as a kid the fear of facing cancer, and you can throw your own fears into the mix…but for me … it’s still a choice to either fear or trust and believe that God is who He says He is and that He will never leave nor forsake.

      Sorry for being so long winded but for me, it was when I was able to simplify things with the option of choicing to believe God or not to believe God that has made all of the difference in the world to me.

      Will be praying for you!

      • Melissa S. says:

        Donna, I am so sorry that you have had to go through so much. You have such STRENGTH to face everything head on and put your trust in God. Saying a prayer for you!

  14. I really enjoyed answering the questions today and digging deep into James Chapter 1. I feel like sometimes I forget that God is my ever-present help and that at all times, not just some of the times he is there to help me overcome. I am really enjoying this book so far and can’t wait to continue reading. I hope this book is blessing you ladies as much as it is blessing me.

    Blessings,
    Rosa Perez

  15. While Chapter 1 caused me to cry and was hard to read, it was such a great beginning to a study on fear. As I said yesterday I have premie twins (born at 27 weeks). They are now 9 months old and are perfectly healthy. They are a little behind motor wise and receive PT. I keep fearing that the other shoe is going to drop and a doctor or someone else is going to tell me that there is something else wrong with them! I know it is irrational fear and I keep giving it to God. I loved James 1 talking about troubles being a joyful time. That when my faith is tested me endurance grows. I remember times in my life when the going would get hard and I’d lose faith. I’m happy that today I have my faith, while sometimes it waivers, to grow my endurance!

    • It’s not too irrational you just have to be optimistic (so says a very pessimistic person)! Praying for them and you!!

    • Kara-

      I was a premie too. I was born at 24 weeks in 1978 before all of today’s medical advances. I was left to die. They thought I would go quickly, but God had other plans. While I do have cerebral palsy and epilepsy, I also went to graduate school…haven’t got to finish yet (I got interrupted by a hurricane). My parents had much to do with my success. They were told not to expect much out of me, but they decided to wait and see what I could do. They expected my best, whatever that was. I’m not an athlete like my brother, but I graduated 3rd in my class with a 3.8 GPA!

      Don’t worry so much about your children, enjoy them! Expect their best, and they will do their best to give it to you.

      • Thank you for sharing those words, Kasey. I needed to hear that encouragement to stop worrying about our kids, and enjoy them. I have a daughter with challenges and I worry, worry, worry about her future. I sense God telling me to relax. Thank you!

    • Thanks for the encouraging words. I’ve been trying to enjoy each and every day. I cannot believe they are nine months old already. My two year old amazes me every day too. They are definitely miracles from god. I need to hear these comments as an affirmation. Thank you ladies!

    • Anonymous says:

      Kara, I totally understand the fear of the other shoe falling that you are referring to. I didn’t think that I would ever be a mother; my husband did not want any other kids (he has two from his first marriage) and both my husband and myself had physical issues that alone would make becoming pregnant difficult, but together would be almost impossible. After several year, I did become pregnant with my oldest, who is now 11. We adopted our second child who is now 7. I was a mom, and loved it. My children were wonderful, healthy, and I loved them to death. Every day I thanked God for them. Imagine my surprise when I found myself pregnant again, about 4 years ago. My joy quickly turned to fear when ultrasounds indicated significant health issues. In fact, I was encouraged to terminate. No way was that even a consideration for me, considering how I had longed for so long to be a mom. For the remainder of the pregnancy, we monitored my son’s health frequently, unsure of exactly what his health would be. I was induced about a month early as he was not gaining weight and he was whisked away to NICU as soon as he was born. Consults were brought in, and scans were done. It turned out that there was nothing, NOTHING physically wrong with him, despite numerous tests done during the pregnancy that indicated otherwise. He was a little slow hitting his milestones, but today he is a healthy, very intelligent little boy who is absolutely a joy. Despite everything, I have a little nagging voice that whispers in my ear that something will happen, he will hurt or taken away from me. Not only him, but my other kids as well. I have such a strong love for them, at times I am almost overwhelmed by the fear that something will take them away. The fear of losing them is there every day…. I pray that this study will let me conquer that fear a little and that I am able to let them live without suffocating them.

  16. What spoke to me today was how God’s help is always present. I’ts not just for the future. It’s not just in the past. It is available right now, when we need it.

    It reminds me of the time I saw a picture of what God’s grace is like. It’s like a huge, deep, surging river, wider than the Mississippi. It is always flowing. Always coursing downstream. And always available. All it takes to meet my need is one little thimble full. See how much water is leftover after I get my fill? God’s grace is SO MUCH MORE than I could ever need. So there is no need to delay in asking for it. Even when we are at our worst, such as I was on Sunday evening.

    As I sat on the loveseat downstairs with my husband, the argument escalated. I was ready to increase the sarcasm and attack! But, not wanting to go to that defense mechanism in my new marriage like I did in my old, I cried out loud to God, “God, we need your help RIGHT NOW!!” It wasn’t polite. It wasn’t gracious. And it definitely wasn’t spiritual! But God’s help came. And we were able to resolve the disagreement a short time after that prayer. I am so impressed with God for giving us grace like that. What God is so good as our God? Thank you, Lord! Now help me to be able to RECEIVE more of that grace!

  17. So I boo hooed through most of the first chapter, and thanked God that Micca has been strong enough through her faith to share with us her circumstances. My biggest prayer is that God will change my Want To in regards to several issues in my life. Don’t get me wrong–I REALLY DO want to serve God with all my heart mind and soul. Right now my big issue is being overweight and discontent about it, but not being 100% willing everyday to do what is needed to have a better temple with which to represent my awesome God. I’ve failed at losing weight before, and I know that it is fear that is keeping me from success this time, too.
    My prayer for this study is that I will overcome my fear and be able to be content with life where I’m at now–fully enjoy each moment that God gives to me!

  18. I desperately need prayer right now. I cant say much about the situation except to say that my “step-grandson” is in danger and we are desperately searching to find a way to help him. I have a call into the Texas Rangers as of today and am hoping that they can help. I need prayer lifted for us and our grandson that someone will take us seriously and help us find a solution to this problem. His initals are CH.. Please pray for us. We have beat every door down that we can to find some help and this is really our last hope. I know God has all of this in His view and I know He wants the best for our grandson.

  19. Tanisha Grant says:

    I am so excited about this Bible Study!!!More faith than fear!!!! Thank you Melissa I love and appreciated you!

  20. The most fearful attribute that I carry is that of trying to live a “perfect life” through motherhood, working full-time, as a wife. Through adversity I tend to have a pessimistic outlook instead of God’s wish…to be joyful during this time. I know I need to TRUST in the Lord and he will take the worry off of my shoulders. I would be able to truly enjoy life more if I can accomplish this

  21. I am very excited about this Bible study and am hoping to truly realize what my fears are. I have the general ones about something happening to me and no one knowing, not knowing if I’m doing or ever will do all that God has planned for me, etc. I fear losing family members and close friends as well especially with all the crazy mean stuff in the world today! Praying for you all during this study and excited to see what God does through it!

  22. Tiffany Bell says:

    As we start this study, I am dealing with the loss of a friend of mine who was just killed this past Saturday evening in a motorcycle accident. I am facing a new dilemma, as this friend was not a believer in Christ….we weren’t close, but we hung out occasionally through mutual friends and he worked in my school district. I’m not sure what words of comfort to give or how to comfort a nonbelieving family. My heart aches for them and for my friend who lost his life. Please lift me and them up in prayers. Thank you.

    • Tiffany, what a hard loss. I feel nudged to suggest, just tell his family that you know how special a person he was, and you understand how losing him has created an empty space in their lives. We can’t make the pain go away, but acknowledging the loss and its effect on them is huge for someone grieving. As to him being a non-believer… God knows what was in his heart, and I’m learning to trust that God’s understanding is more profound than mine. Praying for you all to find peace in this storm.

  23. I just had an epiphany. I was looking at our memory verse and realized that I do walk in timidity quite often. However, God did not give me that spirit. Now I know how to pray!

  24. I just want to thank everyone for sharing their fears and personal experiences! It is so comforting to know that I am not alone in my fears and that together by God’s power we can overcome this! I am praying for us all as we embark upon this journey!

  25. Micca’s story of her husband is my greatest fear!!! Also losing my children…My husband and I are youth pastors at a church in CA. We see and hear of tragedies everyday. It’s all around us. The situations are heart wrenching. Now that we have children, I fear so many things will happen to them, all the way down to fearing the day they grow up and leave our home. I feel like time is flying by and since I am working everyday, I feel that I have missed some good times with them. I just turned 30 last year and it seems like something went off in my brain to start fearing disease and tragedies happening in our family. Obviously things I cannot control. So, as you can see, my mind is clouded with many things that are on the fearful side. I do know that the Lord is with me and will take care of myself and my family in whatever way He thinks is best and I know I have to learn to trust in that. I feel that this study is going to be a springboard and accountability for me to get to that point.

  26. The what ifs sometimes are the ones i struggle with and alll over a sudden i am overtaken with fear

  27. It is so amazing how God directs us. Several months ago I visited Melissa’s blog because I wanted to see what the on-line bible study was about .. there was one going on, so I added it to my favorites and forgot about it. This past Sunday I was doing a routine favorites clean up and there it was! When I checked it out, I found that the study was to start the very next day! So.. my book is on order.. I have read the first chapter on-line.. and I am writing my first comment.
    I came to know Jesus at age 21, over 30 years ago.. and you have to know.. He is faithful! I am facing some new fears these days and know that my being in this study is a God thing! Thanks for offering it.

  28. This study and Micca’s story really hits home for me. Almost three years ago (I was about to turn 36) my husband died. It was not a sudden death and his illness had been off and on for years. I was in and out of hospitals with him for weeks at a time and had two young boys caught in the middle of it all. There were mounting medical bills, our relationship was very troubled and my boys were very busy with sports and school and I feared how I would make it through it all, be everywhere I needed to be. When I found out he was not a candidate for a transplant and we would be taking him home to die, I felt incredibly alone and afraid, but God had been with me through the whole thing and had made Himself very evident the whole time. I always seemed to have this feeling, faith that everything would be okay. God wouldn’t put me in a situation that He didn’t give me the tools to get out of. I knew he would carry me (and my boys) in his loving hands until I could walk through it on my own two feet. I repeated my favorite verse over and over, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” Phil. 4:13 and I believed it with all my heart. God brought us through that terrible experience and friends and acquaintances always commented how strong I was and they couldn’t believe my attitude through it all. It was absolutely the Spirit of God shining through me and holding me up at times. That experience was not something anyone can make it through without God. I have since remarried and he’s the love of my life and a man who loves and cherishes me and my boys, and loves God most importantly, and I have a wonderful life with him. My boys have flourished and adjusted so well. I still have fears, fears of the future, fears of my teenage son now driving, fears of something happening to my boys and my husband but God calms those fears and when I draw near to him, in prayer or reading His Word, I know that no matter what the outcome, everything will be okay! God has put so many people in my path since then who have gone or were going through similar problems and I have been able to help them and lift them up, or because of my experience they were more prepared for their own experience. I know God allowed that trial in my life so that I can help other people and be an encouragement when they can’t see the light at the end of the dark tunnel. I’ll count that pure joy!

    • kim johnston says:

      Amy,

      Thank you for sharing your story. I am in a little different situation, but am having some of the same feelings that you felt. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and am a single parent. There are many days when I don’t know how I am going to make it through the day, as of right now I am still working. I worry about, How will I provide if I get to sick to work, how will I pay my bills, Will I ever be well again.. and the list goes on and on. Thanks for sharing your verse..I often say that verse over and over again. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” There are days when I do not believe it though, and that burdens me. I don’t know what the future holds, but God does. He is walking with me through this pain, and I am so glad that He is a PRESENT God!

  29. Good morning, Melissa

    Thank you for your desire to reach us who live in fear, sometimes not even aware that we are, a way to work towards turning our back through your study and experience on our fear. Sometimes, right now for me, fear cripples and covers that which we know through God’s word and I ask WHY? I so want to be free from crushing, crippling, consuming, anxious-filled fear on all levels. Fears of childhood experiences that have crept into my adult life, which I’ve given to God more than once, but still saying “I’ve got you again.” I so look forward to your study, the conference calls, and talk about ‘perfect timing’. Thank you.

  30. I lost my mom 26 1/2 years ago, a week before turning 18. I was in my first couple weeks of my first year of college. Just a few months after that my father remarried and sold our house and my 3 older brothers went their own ways. My father’s wife was never at all nurturing or inviting to me and my brothers and so I have felt without a home. Since that time I have struggled with who I am and where I belong in this world. Without a mother I feel like I have had to blaze a trail through the woods with a machete instead of walking with my mother’s leadership. I have made so many stupid mistakes because of lack of support and her love, (and sometimes I even think I have sabotaged my life!) the biggest being that I married someone I knew wasn’t right for me and who is so often very hurtful to me and domineering over me. I have 3 kids who I love and am so grateful for, but I am extremely unhappy in my life. I think God is calling me to a better life. I want to be able to hear God clearly, and be able to trust where he is leading me, where ever that is, and whatever that means. I think there are dreams in my heart that he wants fulfilled. I think I fear making more stupid mistakes. Strange as it seems, I think I also fear being happy. I think I fear having happiness and losing it. I’m looking forward to digging deeper into this study. Thank you for having this available on line as I work full time and am extremely busy! This is something I can pick up and do any time, and I think it will work well for me.

    • Alaura I’ll be praying for you sweet lady. God definitely has dreams for you, His plans for you are GOOD(Jer. 29:11). I’m praying your spiritual ears are opened so you can clearly hear the Lord, understand Him, and retain what He says to you. Praying that God directs your path as His Word promises and that you take the leap of faith to follow that path. Praying for the healing of your mariage and that He blesses you with a godly mentor who can also be a mother-figure for you. In Jesus’ Name. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path”. God bless you!

    • Alaura I lost my dad 25 years ago and made so many errors due to that tragedy. Wow, I will pray for you and yours. I’m glad we are in this study together.

    • Alaura, praying for you that the LORD will provide ladies in your church to come alongside you and help you grow in His wisdom. Titus 2 speaks of older women helping the younger women, and I’m thankful to have had some good older mentors to help me in my Christian walk. Praying this for you.

  31. This study as been such a blessing to me and we’re only on chapters 1 and 2! As always I’m grateful to God for this POWERFUL P31 team of amazing ladies, to Micca Campbell writing this book and to Melissa Taylor for putting these studies together. I think fear is the number one issue I deal with and that holds true for many people I know including men. Spoken and unspoken fears need to be dealt with and praise God for His help!

  32. Donna Bostick says:

    I would have to say the Christlike quality that I have gained, but need to gain more of, through the losses in my life is weakness. I know … sounds weird …but it’s in my weakness that my daily dependence on Him increases. He becomes my “Fixer” of things – not me.

    “9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corithians 12:9-10

  33. Holly Peck says:

    I realized today that fear has been such an integral part of my life that I don’t always recognize it now! My prayer is that I recognize when I make decisions based on fear and get out of the boat!

  34. Standing down fear takes intentional trust and faith in God and His promises to us. This first chapter is challenging me to confront a deep rooted fear i’ve had for a long time regarding death and my loved ones. I too have lost and fear losing again. Micca gives us hope in her words, weaving faith through her story that reaches beyond and grabs a hold of our very souls. Thank you.

  35. Stephanie says:

    I have struggled with fear for oh about the past 13 years! My daughter just turned 13 and 11 years ago her father and I divorced. I have been a single mom since. I bought my first house 1 1/2 years ago and struggle financially to make ends meet. All this bundled into one huge snowball that I am now facing but I know through God I will conquer! I have had a perfect “plan” for my life and when things don’t go accordingly I get upset. I have to stop and realize that it’s God’s plan, not mine, that matters. It is so encouraging for me to read everyone’s posts and to know that I am not alone in struggling with my fears. I have so many people tell me how “strong” I am but I don’t feel strong. Most of the time I feel alone, scared, lost, etc. Many times it is easier said than done when it comes to turning things over to God but I know this bible study will help me with that. Let go, let GOD!

  36. I have been reading the other responses, and this is where it starting to truly starting to “get real” to me. I have “faked” having confidence and no fear for so long that it is hard to get out of that pattern. I am a perfectionist, and I expect a lot of myself … notice that I say expect it of myself. My biggest problem is trying to handle everything myself and not just letting go and letting God – not only is it wrong, but it is just plain exhausting. It is time to put that mentality behind me and let God love on me just for being me …

    • I can relate Di, I call myself a recovering perfectionist! I have to keep reminding myself that God loves me just the way I am because He made me just the way I am. I do have to hold myself accountable in some things and remember to just love me for me in other things. Check out something that was recently shared with me – Imposter Syndrome, google it. Interesting stuff.

  37. Sadly, I start this bible study with a loss – my grandmother, the 94 year old woman who helped raise me, has passed. Through my tears, I feel so blessed to have read Chapter 1 of An Untroubled Heart today. Thank you to the author for penning this, thank you to Melissa for offering this study (which I came by accidentally through an internet search), and thank you to God for His PERFECT timing. He is an awesome God.

  38. For the last 1 to 2 years, I find myself further and further away from God. I find that I don’t trust God as much as I did when I was a young Christian. I struggle a lot with unanswered prayers and a lot of whys. Many a times I do think of ending my life to end the pain of disappointment. My desire is to experience the reality of God again…

    • Melissa S. says:

      I’m so sorry you have felt distance from God. Please know that ending your life is not the answer! When that happens, Satan wins. Know that God is always with you…I pray that you experience His love in a way that opens your heart to Him again and helps you realize he’s there.

    • Sweet Child of God,

      I am praying for you and emailing you personally. I understand how you feel and I’m on the other side now. I want to encourage you to HANG ON TIGHT! Never let go. Trust God, even when you don’t feel it.

      I’m thankful that you desire to experience God again. Keep doing this study and memorize the verses we give you on this blog. God loves you deeply.

      Love,
      Melissa

  39. Stephanie Pederslie says:

    Years ago I did another bible study and we talked about Satan. Maybe it was because I was new to the whole bible study thing but when I read the one chapter I was like “Oh so that’s who’s voice I am always hearing!” It made me think of all of those TV shows and movies where the person has the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other and ther person is battling between the two. It made me start to realize that those negative thoughts were not real and that it was Satan trying to corrupt me. I would like to think that after that study I am better at ignoring Satan’s voice. I am sure at times I still let those words enter my mind but I think I am better at telling myself “Those are false words! Don’t listen!”

    • Melissa S. says:

      I have felt the same way…all this time, all these years, not understanding why this voice is so loud and keeps preying on my worst fears. I’ve noticed a pattern with Satan—when I’m at my weakest, when I’m most vulnerable, he starts talking away and puts thoughts in my mind that are always based on my worst fears…if it’s not one thing, it’s the other. I tell him to go away. I tell him that I REJECT him in Jesus’ name. Lately I find myself saying that a lot.

  40. I think I live my life in fear. I am afraid of everything and almost everyone. It is my comfort place. The problem is being across keeps me from trusting anyone and doing anything. I think my fear keeps me from hearing Gods voice and knowing his will for my life. It keeps me alone. Funny thing is being alone is scary also especially when I feel I will never be able to love or feel loved.

    • Kelly K,
      I understand because I live the same way but maybe this would be a good reminder for both of us that we are loved!

      Every time doubt threatens to cast a shadow over our hearts, let’s run back to Jesus, turn toward the Light of His Truth, and stand in the shadow of the Cross. In the shadow of the Cross – everything changes:

      When you feel inadequate, God says: You are CHOSEN.
      “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he’” (Isa. 43:10).

      When you feel afraid, God says: You are REDEEMED.
      “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isa. 43:1).

      When you feel unloved, God says: You are LOVED.
      “You are precious and honored in my sight, and . . . I love you” (Isa. 43:4).

      When you feel forgotten, God says: You are REMEMBERED.
      “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isa. 49:16).

      When you feel insecure, God says: You are SECURE.
      “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders” (Deut. 33:12).

      When you feel unable or unstable, God says: You are ABLE.
      “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights” (Hab. 3:19).

      When you feel worthless, God says: You are CALLED.
      “You are a chosen [woman], a royal [priest], a holy [daughter], God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9).

      Shawna

      • Thank you, Shawna.. the scripture really ministered to me. I think we can all say that we all feel the fears that each of these verses address. These days I am not allowing myself to feel any of them. I do think we all need to feel the fear to an extent, to realize how great our God is. Thanks for reminding me to feel. My husband was diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer in May of 2011. He has been doing radiation and chemotherapy, and there is progress…

        • Beth,
          I’m so sorry for what you are and your family are going through. I pray for complete healing in the name of Jesus for your husband!!
          I’m going through a divorce right now and my youngest child (14) is homebound due to what initially was diagnosed with Crohn’s and now they are leaning towards Mitochondrial Disease. My life story is so long and complicated that I could not even begin to explain on here but I will say this…My son is very sick, I’m mom and dad, I am the full financial provider and struggle with being with him at home and having to be at work. Some days I just don’t think I can make it anymore. Have you felt that frustration? I bet…most of us have. I have to make an EFFORT to remember that God is with us and for us! Those scriptures are awesome but they don’t come easily to me…it’s hard for me to digest on most days ….but with this study and scriptures…God’s Word…and all of us supporting each other…I think we can strong against the Devil!
          I truly am praying for yall Beth!

          Shawna

  41. Ok, I am having what I’m calling wow moments and what I call aha moments. A wow moment is when I read something in the book that I can only say wow I heard God say these very same words to me. A aha moment would be when reading something in the book that I am final able to understand and gives an answer to a question I been asking God for years or helps me to under the why when I ask, Why God.

    Now God has been trying to get me to do a women’s Bible study/ministry for sometime, but I have been fearful of doing so. But God has kept pulling on me to step out of the boat like Peter and to keep my eyes on Him. But I was still fearful and would not go. My son is homeless and has been living in a boat, so God is talking to me about getting of the boat and my son is living in a boat. I was at Taco Bells when I read the page in the book that talks about how Peter got out the boat a wow moment happened. It was as if my eyes and heart was opened and God showed me why I am being faced with this trail I’m facing and why God had to finally kick me out of the boat where I would have no choice but to trust him. Major aha moment and Wow moment came together. While this is happening I having this feel like something is going to happen, and the Spirit has always warned me when something is happening to my son. So when I got home I was told that the Police came and told my he had get out of the boat, he could not live on the boat. I don’t know how to describe all of this, but I know God is at work, my fear is being dealt with and my prayers are being heard and answered by God. The same time God opened my heart and eyes to understanding why I needed to out the boat, the police is taking my son out of the boat where is was living. I just want to kiss Jesus feet right now,I just want to sit at Jesus feet and worship him. I so praise Him and glorify Him. I so needed to share this with you all. I am Lead by the Holy Spirit to do so. Thank You my Abba, Father. I did not choose this study, I now see that God choose this study for me. Now I truly understand James 1 2-4 when it says,consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kind, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Praise God. I now also understand what it means and feel like when you just want to be in the presence of God just to worship Him and praise Him. Please pray for me,I am out of the boat and may my eyes remain on Jesus always.

  42. I pray that God will help each of us conquer our fears through Him, and to trust Him with any and everything always.
    Love you,
    M.

  43. Michelle W. says:

    I’m playing catch-up today so I just got finished reading Chapter 2. I highlighted so many passages in this chapter. The biggest thing I got out of this chapter is this: “Those who live with anxiety are living below the mark of what they were created to be. Worry and its accompanying emotions ARE NOT and NEVER WERE part of God’s plan for His children” (I added the emphasis) and “We were created to live by faith, not fear”.

    She hit the nail on the head for me again talking about living independent of God’s presence – the old control issue again. A lot of the time I do find myself thinking “I’ve got this” “I can take care of this” – when we were never meant to live this way! It’s hard for me – because of past issues – to let go of my perceived control over my life & let God be in control. But like she said, that leads to feeling like I’m over my head, worried & fear filled.

    Satan is a liar & the father of lies – and for too long, I listened to his lies. I’ve been using John 8:44 to speak to him when he tries to tell me a lie for the last few months, so I love that it showed up in this study. Sometimes people probably think I’ve lost my mind when, out of the blue, I’ll blurt out – “Satan! Get that thought out of my head & back to Hell where you & it belong!” LOL

    I will take the False Evidence Appearing Real test with me from now on to try to gauge what is real or not. One very real fear that I would ask for prayer for is that my son, Zach, is leaving tomorrow morning at 1 am to be deployed to Afghanistan for the next 7 months. This is his 2nd deployment & while I don’t have the paralyzing fear this time that I did last time, but it will be a daily struggle not to let Satan overtake me with fears for his safety – especially with things over there taking on a new level of crazy in the last few weeks.

    Thank you in advance for anyone who will stand with me to pray for a hedge of protection to be around, not just my son, but all the son’s who are over there doing a very difficult job.

    • Melissa S. says:

      Prayers for your son and you!

      • Michelle W. says:

        Thank you, Melissa. Struggling tonight as he is getting ready to get on the plane to take him over. He called earlier & sent me 1 last text message. I know God loves him more than I do & will be with him.

        • Melissa S. says:

          :( Just keep praying for him…Thinking of you….
          Here is a prayer I found:
          Prayer for the Safety of a Soldier
          Almighty and eternal God,
          those who take refuge in you will be glad
          and forever will shout for joy.
          Protect these soldiers as they discharge their duties.
          Protect them with the shield of your strength
          and keep them safe from all evil and harm.
          May the power of your love enable them to return home
          in safety, that with all who love them,
          they may ever praise you for your loving care.
          We ask this through Christ our Lord.

  44. Melissa S. says:

    There are two major parts of Chapter 2 that really hit me today (sorry I’m behind!)
    “It would be easy to give in to my fear and allow Satan to stop me but I would feel defeated. God didn’t intend for you and me to live defeated.” (I paraphrased that a bit.
    Wow. Have I been living defeated lately. February was a difficult month for me. My great Aunt died (she was my grandmother’s sister) and was the last link I had to a grandmother. After my grandmother died and I gave birth to my daughter, I felt as if I was still writing my grandmother when I would write my great Aunt. 6 days later, my sweet and beautiful Chocolate lab passed away. We were together for over 10 years. My heart was broken. 2 days after she passed, we received a call that my husband’s godfather would not make the weekend because his cancer had returned and he didn’t respond to the chemo. So we rushed to see him. I hate hospitals—they fill me with such anxiety.
    Sorry for all that information! I noticed that towards the end of our visit with him, my depression started up—that voice—it started to fill my head again with fears I had dealt with and finally had put to rest. There they were again. When I got a handle on it this time, another fear would spring up in my mind—some I haven’t thought of in years. That’s when I realized that it had to be Satan. Since he couldn’t conquer me with one fear, he was going to use another. This time has been so hard for me. SO HARD. As soon as I wake up, he starts—if I wake up in the middle of the night, he starts. He just preys on me. And I have lived defeated on and off over these last few weeks. There were mornings that it took everything within me to get out of bed. There have been times where I start questioning my plans of having another child. Again, Satan is trying to get me to not live my life. He taunts me with what ifs.
    Then I read, “We were created to live by faith, not fear, we were made for greener pastures, where God’s mercy and goodness dwell with us, provide for us, shelter us, and enable us to do whatever God is calling us to do be a parent, a school teacher, a musician…” Wow. It’s as if God was talking to me. I read this chapter just a week or so ago and didn’t pick up on it…but I’m a parent…I was a school teacher, and I’m a musician. It’s as if he’s telling me to step out and live life and he will take care of me and my family. His mercy washes over me, His grace forgives me of my sins, and gives me a chance to show His love to others through my life. How can I do that if I’m balled up under a blanket in bed? “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.
    Thank you for reading. I know this is long. I hope you’ll pray for me as I will pray for all of you. God bless and fill all of your hearts with His amazing love and grace.

  45. I am playing a bit of catch up this week but taking things in stride.

    Micca is so strong to have gone through what she did. I know it was God’s strength ultimately, but she had the strength to choose to allow Him to help her. Wow!

    God is working in my life by showing me that I need to let go and let God in so many areas of my life. Anything from finances to something happening to our son to really and truly living my life as a devoted follower and not a fan, of Jesus.

    A big fear of mine when it comes to truly living my life as a “full” Christian is whether or not my husband would leave me because of it. He’s already made comment twice in the past that he has big concerns about my growing closer to God and becoming more involved with church and Bible studies and feels I have “no common sense” for believing the Bible is true. He feels the more I grow toward God, the less he wants anything to do with it and what that might mean for us. I therefore find myself walking a fine line of trying to grow without dishonoring Him because to do so dishonors God, but I don’t want to continue only being partially authentic – if that makes any sense?

    I love my husband and I know God has placed me in this marriage with my husband as my gift for a reason. I just feel God telling me to step out more in faith and trust in Him and that it will all be OK if I do. It’s just such a scary step!!

  46. I cannot say it enough that God’s timing is perfect! I need this study in my life at this time.
    In my quiet time today it talked about breath prayers( hmm.. again God’s timing). I had forgotten about how effective they are. When you are challenged or struggling just whisper prayers like ” Help Lord”, “You are with me”, “Help me to trust You” “Be still and know I am God”. I need breath prayers today- help me to practice Your presence today Lord so fear will be gone and faith will grow.

  47. I know I am so late and behind in this study, but better late than never. I am doing this Bible study to be obedient to God, but it seems like the devil is doing everything he can to keep me from being obedient…….from my dad being in the hospital to that voice in my head telling me “it’s too late! I knew you couldn’t do it! Just give up!” I’m making a decision today that God has a purpose for me and my family and even if I am late, I AM BEING OBEDIENT! My family & I are going through some very difficult struggles and seeking God for his guidance and wisdom. I worry everyday & I am sick of what it is doing to me & my family. My first fear to overcome is this Bible study and I’m looking forward to what God is going to do in me through this study!

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