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. I haven’t got a chance to read the intro and first chapter yet, but I was THRILLED when I read the memory verse. God has given us a spirit of self-discipline! Today that really resonated with me becaue I’ve been really struggling lately with self-disclipline. I’m ready to accept this power!

    • Brenda, I struggle with self-discipline also. I too am ready to accept this power! Best to you

  2. Sarah Rose says:

    One of my favorite points that Micca brought out is that God knows the number of our days already. Even if we have lost people way before we think they have died, God knew the number even while they were in the womb. That humbles me, helps me, and soothes me….

  3. Sarah Paige says:

    Chapter one was very emotional, I work in an emergency department and see similar stories of loss. It is hard sometimes to imagine the stories and families behind the traumas or severe illnesses. This Bible study could not have come at a better time for me. I am currently 33 weeks pregnant and am on strict bed rest for high blood pressure. As a nurse I lay awake thinking of all of the side effects and things that could happen to me as the patient. I had just finished Lysa’s “Becoming more than a Good Bible Study Girl” last week and was introduced to this ministry by our group leader, I truly felt God pulling me into this study addressing fears and things we cannot control.
    I liked the questions at the end of the chapter and found that Psalm 46:1 was comforting. Because even if we don’t earn it/ deserve it God is our refuge and strength and an ever present help in times of trouble.
    I have found how to persevere in adjusting to staying at home in bed and accepting that I cannot do things I used to do. And I felt like once I let go, God has given me grace in handling this trial.
    I am so grateful for this online study and look forward to what God is going to teach me at this point in my life.

    • Donna Bostick says:

      Sarah, praying for you and that little one that you are carrying. Praying for His protection over you and the little one. Thanking Him for His perfect timing of the study for you and for so many.

  4. Melissa Spaulding says:

    I finished the book last week and just re-read the intro and chapter 1. WOW is this online study going to help me notice the things I MISSED!!! There are two statements that hit me today and I can’t believe I didn’t notice them the first time! 1: “God doesn’t want us to go through the rest of our lives justifying our fears.” That is such a STRONG and meaningful statement. I had a terrible nervous breakdown years ago and just recently was diagnosed with clinical depression. I’ve noticed when I am depressed, I spend time justifying all of my fears. I look at every single thing and just spin it out of control. Today, when I read that sentence, I realized that is TOTALLY me. My fears start to enter my mind and then I begin to build on them.
    2: “Even if we don’t have all the answers, our past will never make sense until we invite God into our present. Then we will see He has been there all along.” Another amazing sentence. I’m sure we’ve all looked back and wondered sometimes why certain things happened the way they did. I have always found myself saying, “Well everything happens for a reason.” But that doesn’t really bring closure or peace…it doesn’t give an answer. I think when we look to God today and then reflect on past experiences, things will make more sense to us. Maybe not at first but with time.

    • Melissa, this is so true. I so am with you on the 2nd statement and I loved what you had to say. I do need to bring everything to him for closure and peace. And this process will take time.

  5. As I was reading the Introduction and Chapter 1 last night I was struck by the Scripture verses from Psalms 139. I thought I knew that particular psalm pretty well but I felt the need to share it on my FB wall for a family I know who buried their 20 year old daughter today. Heartbreaking, I know, but I was glad I could at least share one of God’s promises with them.

  6. Christina R says:

    Chapter 1 was emotional for me. Eight years ago this week (Thursday), I held my baby girl as she took her last breath. Six months later her daddy was diagnosed with cancer and 2 years after that he died. I found myself thinking of them both and that time as I read this chapter. Powerful memories! Yet, I am healthy and able to be an encouragement to others because of God’s healing and His comfort.

    I love the memory verse and remind myself of this truth often.

    Psalm 139 speaks volumes to me and the reference (Psalm 139: 13-16) is etched on both my former husband’s and my baby girl’s headstones. I’m so thankful God prompted me to join this online study!

    • Christine, you are an inspiration to me for all that you have gone through. Thank you for sharing. Sometimes I just need to get my eyes off myself and see what others have been dealing with. I’m sure the Lord has been and will continue to use you to minister to many.

  7. Brittany jacobson says:

    Well I can Relate a alot to Micca Campbell
    when she says in chapter 1 pg 19 I burst through the door to the throne room of grace, shook my fist in the face of God, and bodly questioned WHY why did you do this to me? you could have saved him! your God! why did you give me that baby and take his father? Oh God I need to know why !

    I can relate a little bit to this secne cause when i lost my best friend who died in a mental hospital I did the same exact thing i shook my fist at God and i said the same thing GOd you could have saved her but you didnt .

    and now are familys facing death again my grandpa who im very close to is in congestive heart faulire and my aunt says he dosent have much time to live i dont want to see him die right in front of me im kinda scared to go see him

    GOd has defentily brought words of comfort to me through this book just by reading chapter one i cant wait to see what God does with my life

    • I felt a similar loss in 2010. 2 months before my college graduation my roommate passed away from heart failure and then later that year another really good friend of mine also passed away. I didn’t know if I could handle anymore grief, it was so much to bear, but surprisingly I felt such a strength and peace that only God could give. It was amazing. I live psalm 139 it speaks to the depths of my heart. God is so awesome!

      • I understand your fear of seeing your Grandpa die in front of you, but I hope you will be able to be courageous and do go see him and even be with him as he passes. I encountered the same issue when my Grandmother was passing away…she had been hospitalized for a brain tumor, and after nothing more could be done, her wish was to pass away at home. When my father called one morning telling me that Grandma was near the end, and we should go be with her, I was so afraid and torn. I had never seen anyone die, but something, and now I know it was God, urged me to go. I spent, along with many other family members, hours sitting beside her, holding her hand, just looking at her face. She did die, right with all of us by her side, and I will forever be grateful that I was able to witness her passing into God’s hands, and to see the peaceful look on her face…not the fear I thought I would see. Please don’t be afraid, because after…when you are left with memories, you will be grateful for sharing that special moment with him. I feel honored that the last moment I spent with my Grandma was to be with her when she entered God’s kingdom!

  8. Chapter 1 brought back many issues for me. Losing loved ones, disappointment in EVERY area of my life, emotional and physical abuse which had left me feeling hopeless. After each negative circumstance, I would again question “who are you?” “How can you make a difference without________?”

    I felt like I had to give up sooo much over the past few years. I had always wanted to be a pharmacist and had worked diligently to realize that opportunity. And, then, my health began to go downhill and so did my financial situation. I’m slowly picking up the pieces but it HAS ONLY BEEN WITH GOD’S HELP. I can truly say that my dreams are no longer mine but His. I may be “tired” of moving and being single but those are small things especially as I see God truly working in my life.

    Still, it took time and a faith that God didn’t bring me through all of that to leave me. Even when I felt as if he wasn’t there, I can look back and see that he was. There were many nights when I wasn’t sure if I would wake up the next morning and all I could do was sing “Amazing Grace” and hold onto my bible. But, God did provide even if at the last minute. I still find myself putting on that “mask”…For many years and even now, I still don’t know if I recognize myself without the different masks that defined my life at different moments. I got an A on that test so I’m ok. I have a boyfriend so I’m not lonely. However, many times, I was placing a mask over the mask. My boyfriend wasn’t kind but I would pretend he was and pretend that I still didn’t feel lonely.

    Thankfully, I can meet God in my pain and in my finances and in my living situation-He provided before and He will provide again as long as I trust Him. Faith may not make sense at times but He will never leave you alone-in fact, I truly believe that the blessing was that He rescued me from a completely hopeless situation. I have to remember to step out of that boat daily! I pray the same for everyone else!

    • AMEN!!! I remember as I was learning to rely on God there were times in past years when I was numb and felt rooted with fear that I reflected on:
      Daniel 3:25 NLT
      “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire. They aren’t even hurt by the flames! And the fourth looks like a divine being !”

  9. I have been struggling so much the past 4 years with fear. I broke my ankle and it didn’t heal properly and I live with the fear that I will fall again and do even more damage and not be able to walk. I know that God is in control of my life and I know that I am only here by His grace. He put a friend in my hospital room with me 2 nights after the surgery on my ankle or I wouldn’t be here today. I need to trust that if He watched after me then He will be with me everyday.

  10. When I read about this study I thought about fear, and my first response was that I have been in a lot of fearful circumstances throughout my life, but I have also come through them so fear is not a big issue. I could not think of any present fears that I currently struggle with. I then prayed for God to open my heart and hear his message for me through MIcca. I especially connected with Micca’s words “Our present fears are fueled by our past experiences. Nevertheless, God doesn’t want us to go through the rest of our lives justifying our fears.” Many thoughts and memories began to flood my mind, reminding me that I do have fears-my fears are just more subtle, the kind that one can justify and then dismiss; this is Satan’s stronghold because I then tend to excuse my avoidance. I have been fortunate to have never lost someone close to me and have not had to deal with any life threatening illnesses. I have not feared dying. My fears are wrapped up in loss of control, which I know stems from trauma suffered in my child and adult life where control was taken from me and I felt powerless. I have masked my fears and justified my motivations as a desire to be an involved/attentive parent, a responsible/ dependable/self-sufficient adult, an overachiever- all good labels right, but the bottom line a controller. My fear led me to rely on my own understanding and to believe my circumstances were completely in my control and I could “fix it”. My justification was “don’t worry God I just freed you up to worry about others because I can handle it all on my own.” In the past five years all the fears I experienced in my early life were all touched on, and I eventually lost my careful, composure and dropped to my knees crying out to God and being forced to confront all the pain I had tucked away. I had to learn that God wanted me to trust him completely, no exceptions no matter how big or small, and to not be self sufficient. I still struggle with being an immediate fixer versus immediately turning whatever dilemma over to God and laying it at his feet but I am getting better. I am looking forward to digging deeper.

    • Michelle says:

      Well said, Linda – I can relate to a lot of what you said – particularly about being a fixer. That’s me! I am anxious to learn how to consistently lay everything at God’s feet – and not take it back! Thanks for sharing

      • Anonymous says:

        Me too. This is a HUGE struggle for me right one as I feel as though I have lost control. I guess it wasn’t mine to have in the first place so I wil sit back and let God show me the way.

        Thanks for sharing!

        • This is also my stuggle area-I have a hard time in giving everything to God. I want to hold it back and say I’ll handle this one Lord and you can go on to something more important. But to him it is all important! The one that knows the number of hairs on my head, also knows all of my struggles and pain.

    • Wow Linda. I read what you wrote and actually wondered how you got into my head and wrote down my thoughts!!! I have totally taken over God’s role in my life! I’ve told him “it’s cool, let me do it, I’ll fix it”! And let me say, it’s not working for me! I look forward to handing over control of my life and learning to trust Him again. I’ve realised these past few days that I really do live in fear – fear that God can’t handle my problems like I do! I’m digging into the Word again for the first time in years and I WILL TRUST HIM again. So grateful for this study that I “accidentally” stumbled across on Sunday after church when God tapped me on the heart.

  11. Bonnie Weissmann says:

    i read the introduction and Chapter 1. My heart went out to Micca. I know her pain and fear. I kow God has us we just have to believe in him. When life turns upside down it is so hard to believe and have faith. Out of the pain and suffering comes a new light. You just have to wait for it and believe.

  12. There were two statements that really gave me comfort.
    1. “Even if we don’t have all the answers, our past will never make sense until we invite God into our present. Then we will see He has been there all along.”

    Isnt that so true! It seems like I have to re-learn this lesson over and over again. Everytime I go through something that I think is sooo big and hopeless I have to apologize to God for doubting that He had His hand on the situation.

    2. “No matter what our emotions or circumstances may say, the truth is there is nowhere we can go to escape God’s presence.”

    What a powerful and comforting statement! This statement can be used for anything we go through!

  13. Kristy R. says:

    I was so moved by Micca’s story in Chapter 1. I have never lost anyone that close to me, but I have had those same feelings of helplessness and anger toward God over other events. And I do have a deep-seated fear of losing someone like that.

    My greatest fear, though, is my doubt. I struggle with my faith and doubts so much. Someone else posted “I believe. Please, God help me with my unbelief.” That is my constant mantra. Sometimes my faith is so strong that I just feel so at peace and comforted, and sometimes my doubt is just as strong. This is my biggest fear. That my faith isn’t strong enough to win, and that I will die without it and lose my chance.

    I cry out to God to please strengthen my faith and give me opportunities that will help it to grow. I think this study might be one of those opportunities.

    • Stephanie Pederslie says:

      Kristy,
      I am like you. I haven’t had anyone besides grandparents pass away so I haven’t had to deal with the loss of a parent, spouse, close friend or child. But I do deal with day to day junk that sometimes just frustrates me and I am like “Why God! I am a good person! Why do you let these things happen to me?” Usually afterwards I feel a bit selfish, especially when you hear other people’s stories.

      I am just a worry-wart and it scared me the other day because my daughter was worrying about the silliest things and I was like “Oh no! I am passing it on to her!” Really looking forward to this study.

      • Stepanie,
        It was comforting to hear another mom worry about “passing it on”! I have always suffered with anxiety. but the past few years my anxiety as increased so much. I sometimes find myself watching my children, looking for signs of anxiety. My adult daughter now takes anxiety meds and I have a hard time not suffering from the guilt that maybe she “learned it from me”. Though, in my heart, I know that she was made by God, and this is all part of his plan. It is a fear that I haven’t been able to conquer though!

    • I know how you feel Kristy! I struggle with doubt too. It’s funny, I made it all the way to my 30’s without ever really doubting my faith and now I find myself doubting everything I’ve known and believed! It’s awful b/c it can completely un-nerve me at times and paralyze me with fear. When I am most fearful and anxious is when I am really struggling with unbelief. I’ve always heard that “Fear is the abscence of faith”. For me, this hits the nail on the head! I’m looking forward to this study as well. Glad we are all in this together. :)

  14. “The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.” Oprah Winfrey

    I love this quote and it is so true.

  15. What a tragic story. I can only hope that if (when) i experience such a loss I will find comfort in my God. I realized a couple of things and they actually are related now that I think about it. When Micca quoted the scripture where we are told that God has our days numbered – I know intellectually that “I can’t stop the rain”, but emotionally I am always trying to. Control is NOT mine. I am a constant worrier, especially where my daughter (23) is concerned. (she is currently looking for a home to buy so she still lives home with me) Like Micca, if I don’t get that phone call when expected and when I try reaching her and can’t, I about lose my mind :-) I get on the internet and check for accidents, blow up her phone, start calling friends etc. It really gets crazy. I have this anxiety in all areas of my life – fear of losing job (although I never have), fear of financial distress (God has always blessed me in finances) and don’t let me have to have some type of medical test – I am a nervous wreck until results are in :-( I am not sure of the source, because nothing “terrible” has happened for me to think my past will repeat itself. I wonder if I keep waiting for the ax to fall because i have been so “blessed” thus far? Always waiting for something bad to happen….. I pray this Bible Study gets me out of this place.

    • Hi Kelly, Maybe it has something to do with our name!! :) You sound just like me, thinking I have been so “blessed” waiting for the ax to fall – but I am learning God does not work like that and if the “ax” does fall we are to still praise and thank him. Praying for you!!!

  16. Wow, not the beginning I was expecting. Cant wait to see what the rest of this book holds. Anxiety is something that I have struggled with all of my life. Now my daughter is struggling also…I hate feeling like I have passed this curse onto her. I pray that I learn from this book and study so I can teach my girl.

  17. Jennifer Goodwin says:

    One line that stuck out for me in chapter one was on page 21. “The Lord is, indeed, attentive to our whereabouts and the circumstances we face on earth.” This is very difficult for me to type and to grasp it. I am having a very hard time at work right now with things happening. But, after talking to a great friend, I realize that I can’t let one person take control over me. I am taking this issue to God and leaving it at His feet. I know He can and will give me strength to get through this.

  18. Wow…what an emotional chapter for me. My heart went out to Micca and could picture what she was going through. I have always lived in fear to some extent, more along the lines of stepping out of my comfort zone, making friends etc. I always felt (and still do from time to time) that I was not good enough so I settled. I stopped trying. It was better to play it safe than to keep failing again. To some degree…I also felt God gave up on me. Through a series of circumstances last year (my mom’s passing, my cancer scare and my condo flooding)- I definitely saw God’s presence. He pulled me through each circumstance and in some way…I had no power or control in each circumstance but God did. It’s still scary but knowing that God is always with us and in control gives me a sense of peace.

  19. Jessica Jackson says:

    Chapter 1 was awesome! I really feel like God is telling me that he is in control and there is a plan!

    • Donna Bostick says:

      Jessica, loved her take-aways from Chapter 1 and yep to both of those, He is in control and has a bigger and better plan that we could ever imagine!

  20. So blessed to be with Melissa and everyone at proverbs 31. You ladies are changing hearts and bringing us closer to Jesus!
    Very emotional chapter and all my doubts are covered with fear and anxieties.
    I hope over this course, I can let go, let, God.

    Prayers and blessings to everyone ~

  21. My heart goes out to Micca. That story hit so close to home. I have lost people so close to me and thought I wouldn’t survive. My biological mother passed in January after a battle with cancer. Sadly, we hadn’t spoken in five years or so. I’m still grieving in my own way. Mainly by holding it in. I lost my older sister in a car accident 6 yrs ago and still miss her. I have struggled with anxiety all of my life and coped with it through alcohol. Been 6 yrs sober and learning with the help of God that we can do anything! He says he doesn’t give us more than we can handle! And I read that verse daily! Thank you Micca for this book, and Melissa for this Bible study!!!!

  22. “Even if we don’t have all the answers, our past will never make sense until we invite God into our present. Then we will see He has been there all along.” Love this!!! I feel guilty because I know my Father has “got this” but I doubt…I worry…I’m scared of His plans for me even thoug He works for my good. What if getting there is painful? What if I have to go through something like micca or Melissa? I know in my heart that He is so faithful and has never left me…but that creep Satan slips in and says…”what if you can’t handle this?” it sends me in a tail spin of worry. Lord, keep working on me and I’ll keep turning to you and your promises!!!!! Micca and Melissa ….thank you for your stories and sharing your journey & heart….really looking forward to this!

  23. Jennifer Rasor says:

    The things I highlighted from the Intro:

    “On the other hand, realizing our helplessness isn’t as bad as you might imagine. It’s often the beginning of a new thing–a new dependence on God who is sovereign over all…there’s nothing to fear when you and I are certain that God is in control and on our side.”

    “The truth is we don’t have to go it alone. Jesus has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. By putting my trust in this promise, my life has been transformed. I’ve developed a faith stronger than all my fear. I’m certain you can too.
    “Whatever you and I face throughout the year, we need not worry. God has broken the spirit of fear and given us the assurance that nothing can snatch us from His hand. As God’s children, we can go to Him without hesitation and cry out, “Abba, Father,” which means “Daddy,” confident that He will hear and answer our cries.”

    I feel very sad about what Micca had to go through, but hopeful because of the incredible peace that she experienced from God and how He carried her through and brought her healing. I have never been married, but I have experienced intense loneliness, many fears and doubts, and I long to know that I can truly overcome and find peace and joy. Recently God calmed some of my fears when I went to an Encouragement Extreme event (Carol Davis, one of our conference call speakers was there and she is awesome!) and He spoke to me saying, “MY victory is complete in you–NOT partial!” This is something I’ve struggled with for years. It is hard work to rewire my whole way of thinking because I so easily go to the negative thoughts, but it’s getting easier and easier as I remember His comforting reminder to me and just CHOOSE to TRUST Him!

    I’ve been in and out of hospitals from the age of 10 for depression and suicide attempts, and it’s taken me a long time to overcome the stigma of it all and believe that I have a hopeful future. Sometimes I still struggle w/ that…fearing I will be alone forever, I’ll never be completely free from depression & anxiety, that I’ll never be able to truly live worthy of my calling..whatever it is. In addition to lifelong struggles and other things that have been out of my control and hurts caused by others, I have made some horrible mistakes in the last couple of years, too, and have had a very hard time forgiving myself and moving forward. I know with head knowledge that I am forgiven and that I need to forgive myself, but it is a regular battle to leave it in the past and truly forgive..others as well as myself. I’m hoping for continued healing and to completely let go of my fears and insecurities so that I can walk in the victory that He’s already told me is mine. I have always, for as long as I can remember, longed to help others and make a positive difference in their lives. While I don’t want to give the enemy too much credit I do think Satan knows this and wants to leave me in an unusable state…crippled by my past and by fears of never measuring up or being able to keep it together long enough myself to help others. But I hope that I can overcome and that others will see that hope and victory are possible for them, too, and then they will overcome as well. There’s a quote that says, “For every person who climbs the ladder of success, there are a dozen waiting to follow.” I think that when others see us overcome adversity then they are inspired and encouraged and completely moved…able to accomplish what they thought wasn’t possible. This is my dream.

  24. Stephanie says:

    I read the introduction and I really liked what she said about control being an illusion. It’s kind of Ironic I was just talking to my husband yesterday in regaurds to my 16 year old son about controling the things we can and not trying to control the things we can’t, but rather to trust God with them. Ironicly one of the words to focus on this week is self-control and I lost it with the same son just before I started the study today. I could look at that as Satan attacking or as God showing me where I really am and how much I have to learn, and how much I need him. I choose to give God the credit and look forward to growing. I also like what she said about helplessness I often find myself lately telling God I need his strength because I don’t have any of my own. The other thing that impressed me was in the accknowledgments section how many people she had to thank that were part of her support system. One thing God has really been impressing on me is getting over ny fears to reach out and form more relationships and growing my community of believers/ support system.

  25. I knew this study was for me when I read the memory verse! I just memorized that verse a little over a week ago! That verse has helped give me strength. I pray the Lord works in all our hearts!

  26. Nancy H. M. says:

    I put the H. Back in my name because before I became M. I feared little because I lived closer to God. I’ve been M. For 39 years, most of which I have lived with social fear for about half of that. So I have prayed for a year to be led to the women I need in my life. God is leading and again I am following just as I was when I was just H.

  27. Tonya Ellison says:

    I’ve read through chapter 1 and am in the process of answering the questions. I have to admit that when I first started reading the chapter I felt that I couldn’t fully relate. I work as a Bereavement Counselor and can relate to her struggle because I hear her story almost daily. But as I read I broadened my view on the words. I have had the unthinkable happen; it hasn’t been in the form of a close loss, but I have experienced many other losses. These losses have turned me into a “what if” person. There were a few points that stood out to me in this chapter: Psalm 139: 7-10, mainly verse 10 “even your hand shall LEAD me, and your right hand shall HOLD me”. The two words lead and hold touched my heart. At times I feel lost and I need to be lead, to be reassured that I’m going in the right direction. And hold, I need to be held, especially when I feel lost and alone, when I feel scared. Another thing that stood out to me was Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my SUBSTANCE being yet unformed. And in your book they were all written. THE DAYS FASHIONED FOR ME. When as yet there were none of them. I have substance, we have substance. In my eyes substance is important, worth something. And my days were fashioned before I even lived them. He knows my troubles and he knows how they will be resolved. I have faith that my days despite their content will benefit me.

    I can’t say that I’m 100% satisfied with my life today, but I have been truly blessed and am 100% satisfied with that. I have a lot of growing to do and the first chapter has brought with a lot of questions about a lot of things.

  28. Angela H says:

    I have struggled with fear all my life. I have constantly asked God why I’m not good enough for the people around me. Then I lost six family members in two years, and my marriage ended because my husband decided God had told him he should be with someone else. Everything I feared occurred at the same time. I thought my support system was gone forever, until I realized God was my support system and He was with me though everything. I’m trying to take one sentence to heart – God doesn’t want us to go through the rest of our lives justifying our fears. I’m praying this opportunity will help me move past my past and look forward to everything has in store for me.

  29. When Melissa first announced the study about fear, I thought I don’t really have any fear in my life right now. But over the past couple of weeks, I have learned of some major changes taking place where I work that will really rock the entire organization. And then within two years there will be another one. The more I think of these things, the tighter my neck gets and the more “concerned/worried/fearful, etc.” I become. I think the Lord brought this study to me BEFORE all this happens so I can handle it better. My mind just keeps trying to imagine how all this is going to play out at work — and yet I know how crazy that is, because God never does anything like I or anyone else thinks He will.

    Then the Lord called to mind something He asked me to do several years ago, and I have totally been dragging my feet on it. I thought I had finished the final step just before this past Christmas, only to find out the college had misplaced a grade on one of my courses. Learning I had to take the course over again really upset me so I once again put it off – I must be the queen of procrastination! Why do I do this? After reading this assignment, I see it’s because I fear what the next step is, because this is out of my comfort zone and I can’t imagine why God has asked me to do this. Part of me knows well that He never asks anyone to do something that He does not equip them to do, and then the other part of me realizes that it’s me that He’s called to do this, and with my lack of self-confidence, WHY would He choose me????

    Oh yeah, I need this course!!!! Ladies, I’m praying that each one of us will step out in that power and self-discipline and love that our memory verse talks about, and we’ll all be ready to take on our next Godly mission, whatever it is He has planned for us.

  30. I wasn’t going to take part in this study. Oh I have fears and challenges, but I am AFRAID to face them. I am afraid of the changes that I need to make in my life. I am afraid of what they mean. I suffer from anxiety and maybe that’s why I was afraid…but I kept being drawn to the study. Each time a post came across on facebook, I read it. I have not purchased the book, but I will on Thursday. I read chapter 1 online tonight and answered the questions. I must say, it was much easier than I thought it would be. Maybe it’s because I sat with my laptop, read the chapter, copied the questions into a word document and then let my fingers dance across the keyboard as my answers flowed from my mind and heart. I love the idea of journalling but my mind often works faster than my hand can get the words written on paper. But my fingers were able to dance freely across the board and my words were put onto paper. I know that this study will not be easy for me and I know that I am going to want to stop, but I am going to work hard not to get behind and not to let my fear of the unknown stop me from conquering my fears.

    • Just wanted to let you know Wendy that I’m praying for you to get throuht this study.

  31. Just read chapter 1 and all I can say about Micca is WOW! I can’t imagine experiencing something like that… how amazing that she is able to share God’s glory through her story. I fear being inadequate a lot… and I’m so glad that God is willing to be strong for me. Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your time with us. <3

  32. I can’t imagine the pain that Micca felt as she lost her husband, and even more than that, the fear and uncertainty that she faced as she raised her son alone. I think that resonates with me because I have an 8 month old son and 2 year old son. My husband works in a very dangerous field and one of my biggest fears, other than something happening to my children is that something might happen to my husband. As Micca talked about the fear she has everytime someone is late, that is also what comes to my mind – that something is wrong.

    I liked the statement, “This is the God that gave life to you and me. Why would he do that and then leave us alone?” What a powerful and true statement!?! It is hard in our darkest hour to remember that God is ALWAYS with us, but this statement confirms that!

    I am so thankful for this Bible study and I know that the Lord placed me in this study and this is exactly what I need right now in my life!!

  33. Jeanette Perez says:

    HI! I’m very blest. God keeps opening opportunities to show how much He loves me. I’ve got problems, yep yes I do, but my God is bigger than them all. As I write this I come back to a problem how. “It really annoys me that James says I should be joyful instead of fearful in hard times. I’d love to ask James, “Where’s the joy when…” I love that she is being real. I also ask how. How do I claim joy when I can’t control my life? If you continue to read the next verse 5-“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting.” **Wisdom…I can’t control my life because it is an illusion.
    Studying the idea of “sacrifice of praise” and I think that in the midst of turmoil of whatever kind- praising God for who He is, what He has done, and His love is hard-a sacrifice to count our blessings and praise.
    I struggle with fear of the unknown, the future, dreams unfulfilled, God’s voice not saying, “Well done”. I pray that by the time I’ve read this book, given my heart a good bathing in Scripture I will be able to say that my fears are laid at the feet of Jesus. I just have to keep remembering to stop picking them back up and going home. Praying for all of you.

  34. The first chapter was hard. I can’t even explain in words how I felt or feel right now. What stood out to me is the part where she explains that our past experiences fuel our fears. I have never wanted to believe that I live my life that way,but I do everyday with my kids. I made some unwise decisions when I was 18yrs old. I realize that what I’ve been doing with my 18yr old nowis fearing secretly that he will lose his way and make those same mistakes. When he has given me no reason to believe otherwise. I want to live fre efrom the fear of my past mistakes.

  35. I literally found out about this Bible study last night and am SO glad I did and was able to sign up! I ordered the book online this morning and am hoping I’ll get it by the end of the week, but in the meantime was able to read chapter 1. I am going through a difficult season of my own right now…my husband left me 4 months ago and after 1 week of being “separated” announced he wanted a divorce and was unwavering in his decision. Our divorce will be finalized this Thursday, and I just can’t stop thinking about the fact that after this day I will be a 23 year old divorcee. I had been fearful of the new title I am soon to be issued, but this week’s verse served as a great reminder that God has not given me a spirit of fear and through Him I CAN and WILL get through this. Thank you, Melissa, for allowing God to use you in leading this Bible study. I am so excited about what He is going to do through it!

  36. Wow! The Intro and Chapter 1 totally blew me away! You will also need a box of Kleenex. Very powerful beginning. I’m writing my cards with the Bible verse on them. I will be putting them around the places I will need them. I even went onto the questions. I’m very excited about this study. I’m looking forward to reading this book!

  37. Micca’s statement “Our present fears are fueled by our past experiences” really hit home for me. As hard as I try I can’t seem to forget the painful experiences of the past. Oh, I put on the brave face & pretend everything is ok but inside is worry & fear. I can hardly wait to move past the pain & have an untroubled heart

  38. What an amazing study! I wasnt even sure about doing this study, but I decided to join in, I dont even have my book (ordered online) but I read the intro and ch.1 on my iphone kindle app…I stayed up till 2am reading last night and just reread it again. Very emotional for me, and I now know that I know why I am doing this study. Psalm 139 & Josh 1:9 keeps coming across my path at church/bible studies/etc…how amazing is God to meet each of us where we are!
    I can relate to the part where she talks about “bursting into the throne room…” as I also had questions of why…I also didnt even realize I had fears, (cancer survivor/I also went thru an unwanted divorce/ so the fear of my future/finances/health/my two young children being raised by myself/my career/my desire/dream to be a stay at home mom/trusting again/ afraid of being abandoned again/the shame and embarrassment that I didnt ask for /trusting that God is with me and the kids when they are with my ex and his girlfriend…that is very hard for me lately…and on and on) so wow this really has touched me, and so I guess there are fears there (even though I may not have acknowledged them before), and this study will help reveal them so I can move forward to what God’s plan is for me and my family. I just subscribed to the online conference calls, and Im in a group on FB, as I dont want to miss anything! Thank you again for this study! I cant wait to see how God will use this to change and help so many women! God Bless! :)

  39. Three things stood out to me as I read today.
    1. Control is an illusion, the only person in control is God. I have dealt with control issues all my life. Growing up, my dad was verbally abusive to my mom. This left her broken and relying on me to be her support. I felt I had to be the fixer! even today, when my family is facing problems I feel this need to control the situation and fix all the problems. With God’s help I have come along way in these feelings but sometimes I still feel the need to be in control!

    2. Our present fears are fueled by our past experiences but God doesn’t want us to go through life justifying our fears. Again growing up with an abusive father taught me to expect the unexpected. It was like I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Today I have those same fears. I live in waiting, wondering when the next bad thing will happen to me. No good thing can last forever right? In the past I made a lot of excuses for my present fears. “I have a right to feel this way considering what I experienced as a child”. How wrong that thinking is. God never intended me to live like this! He has given me a spirit not of fear, but of power, love, and self discipline.

    3. God knows the number of your days. This comforts me because it shows me that God is in control and that when I lose someone it won’t be because of God’s punishment on me or any other reason,rather God’s will.

    Two and a half years ago I almost lost my sister in a domestic violence incident. Her husband shot her in the back and then took his own life. I can honestly say I have NEVER felt God’s presence so much in my life as I did going through that horrible ordeal! I came out of that situation feeling confident in God’s peace and faithfulness in my life. However two and a half years later I am seriously struggling with the fear of losing a loved one, more specifically my husband. I often wonder what God must think of my fear and doubt. I feel as if he is saying “wasn’t I faithful, why can’t you just trust me”? I pray that through this bible study God will speak to my heart and help me to learn how to honestly have a faith that is stronger than all my fears!!

  40. I know that this will be a great study because the teacher is being tried by that little mouse. Whenever there is a test there will be a great testimony to go with it. The first chapter is an excellent place to start, as I get older I am wondering what I will do if I were to lose my husband of 36 years because he has always been the one who takes care of the household financially. I had a scare once when he had two heart attacks so it weighs heavy on my mind. Through this study I will learn to rely on God and not on my own understanding. Thanks Melissa for having this study.

  41. 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.

  42. The biggest standout for the Intro and Chapter 1 was “Even if we don’t have all the answers, our past will never make sense until we invite God into our present. Then we will see He has been there all along.” I’m 100% sure my worries & fears pale in comparison to others going through tougher stuff (i.e. what Micca went through), but it doesn’t change the fact that my worries & fears stalled my life for the past 6 years. It also doesn’t change the fact that because of my worries, fears, & anger, I have kept God from my life these past 6 years. I am so thankful for this Bible Study & Micca’s wise words; helping me to realize that what’s missing from my life that would turn everything around for the better is the very thing I turned away from & shut out. My God.

  43. Robin in VA says:

    Chapter 1 – “Our present fears are fueled by our past experiences.” What an amazing thought! *A time when you felt afraid and alone? – I have felt that way very often in the past few years. *Psalm 46:1 – Present Help – This comforts me when I truly believe; I am not comforted by this when I have doubt. *”God’s help is available the moment we humble ourselves and cry out to Him” – this made me think about Peter walking on the water with Jesus. Matthew 14:29-31 -> With our eyes on Jesus we can walk on water; with our eyes on the circumstances we will sink; when we start to sink we simple need to cry out to Him as Peter did “Lord, save me” Jesus saved him and said “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” I know for myself, when I am sinking in my life, I am doubting God really cares. I have to decide “Either I truly believe and trust in God or I don’t.” I am current finishing the Hebrews Study by Wendy Blight and I just finished Chapter 11. Faith is to trust in God’s promises. To trust in His promises we have to KNOW the promises. God promises to be with us always (Psalm 139). I know I have trusted Christ as my Lord and Savior, but everyday in everything, I have to make that decision to trust and obey or doubt and disobey. I also try to remember that he gives us mercies new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23) God gives us what we need when we need it. We just need to cry out to Him. I pray everyone has a blessed and joyful day!

  44. Michelle W. says:

    The study this morning brought another moment of understand what a big old control freak I am. Micca’s statement that God’s ever-present help is available to us the moment we HUMBLE ourselves and cry out to him hit me big time. I seem to always think that I should be able to fix anything & that if I can only get everything “under control” – all will be right in the world. What an illusion! Like I’m EVER in control of anything!

    In just the few minutes of thinking through all this, I can see where all my biggest fears are about things that I have no control over – what if my husband leaves me? What if my son dies whiles he’s deployed? What if my parents get sick? What if I don’t get a chance to develop the kind of relationship I want to have with my grandchild? What if I make some of that come true because I drive people away with my need to be controlling???

    Lord, I need to learn to let go & depend on YOU – not on some illusion that I have that I’m in control. To keep my eyes on YOU and not my circumstances & fears. Thank you for this study, which I believe will help me with this. Thank you for all the ladies doing this study & praying with me. In your precious Son’s name, amen.

  45. I can appreciate how Micca felt. I lost my mom to cancer and I still have moments that I find myself grieving. Ever since I got engaged, it’s been worse cause she’s not hear to share in the joy. I’ve asked God why but I’ve never gotten an answer. I think it’s great that she went screaming at God and that He comforted her!

  46. marie hartline says:

    The first chapter was very moving and powerful. I understand the anger at God because I too did that when mom died. My problem is ear I am labeled an agoraphobic. I find my biggest problem is lack of trust and feelings of unworthiness. I hope this bible study can help me as well as the people in it.

  47. Brenda J says:

    In answer to #5, Chp 1; I view trials as punishment for mistakes, wrong choices or others trying to harm me. I stay in a fearful state because I’m living in an unredeemed state of divorce from 28 years ago. I fear rejection on every level because of rejection from a parent, husband, children, Church, friends, coworkers – every group of people in my life. My prayer is that this study will help me to keep God’s promises on my heart and not the enemies lies in my mind.

  48. Thank you to Jennifer for finding the introduction and first chapter. My book is supposed to arrive tomorrow! I am very excited to start this Bible Study.

  49. Hi everyone–
    Not only do I worry and fear alot but I have a VERY creative imagination and I tend to play out these “what if” scenarios…. what if something happens? And then I sit and dwell on it– sometimes crying as though it was real. It ridiculous really. I have always been afraid of tornados! (Shucks for me I live in the midwest! where they are a common occurence!)

    But my latest and very paralyzing fear is that– I am recently married– two months almost three to a farmer. And I am scared to lose him. To a farm accident or anything else (my dad died 12 years ago to a slow disease that there was no cure for and very little is known about it) I think alot of my fear comes from this experience with my dad–

    Now that I know how wonderful it is to be loved and hugged and held –I cry when I just think of losing my husband and losing that love and being held…. And yet I know God is in control. It was very hard for me to read chapter one— I sat at my computer and cried– this is a very real fear for me and I could feel Micca’s sorrow.

    I am looking forward to this bible study- I hope to conquer some of my fears– and live the life God intended for me to live!

    One last thought- recently in church we studied this exact memory verse and they used this analogy:
    F- false
    E- evidence
    A- appearing
    R- real

    • Kristy R. says:

      You aren’t the only one who plays this “what if” game. I do it, too. And it does seem real while it goes on in my mind. It’s torture sometimes, but I can’t help it. I’m hoping this study will help alleviate the fears I allow myself to be drawn into. I pray it will do the same for you.