Last night we started our Ladies Bible Study back up at church. We finished studying Romans in November, and took off the month of December. Our new study is a topical study – we are going through the book “Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety” by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I am really looking forward to seeing what the Lord has for us in this study, as I, like most women, deal with many of these issues in my life.
We have only begun with the first chapter, but I wanted to share just a few of the things that have impressed me and encouraged me already. Some of these came from reading the book and some of them from our discussion last night, which is always a blessing as the Lord uses other believers to minister to me from their own experiences and by sharing what the Lord has taught them.
– One comment that was made was the fact that so many of our fears are based on “what if’s”, and we imagine having to go through so many things from our present point of view. What really hit me was when someone reminded us all that God gives us grace for those times at the time of need, not before – so it is needless to worry about “what if” something happens, when we really need to spend that energy trusting the Lord to give us that grace when it is needed. This has been such a comfort to me, as I tend to be one who thinks about these “what if’s” more than I should, and I am trying to remember this truth whenever I find myself worrying in this way.
– Another comment that was shared that really impacted me was in relation to parenting and perfectionism (eek!). Someone shared something she had read that stated that our focus in parenting is not to make perfect children, who make no mistakes, but to teach them to recognize their sin and lead them to the Savior with a repentant heart. I totally agree with this, but realized that – in practice – I probably lean more toward the former rather than the latter. I expect to be able to teach them the right thing to do, and then expect them to just do it, and then I get frustrated when they fail over and over again (as I do!). It was further pointed out that parenting this way actually drives them away from God, rather than towards Him – in realizing their need for Him – which was a huge wake-up call for me. There is a chapter later in the book on perfectionism, which I can’t wait to read (and may not wait to!)
-One final thought comes from the final paragraph in this chapter, and deals with the truth that trust in the Lord is the antidote for the harmful fears and worries that beset us – this will be greatly delved into throughout the course of the book, but these words really touched my heart –
“Look deeply also into the heart of the One who loved you so much that He walked into the jaws of death and His enemy’s grasp for your sake. Love like that just demands to be trusted. So whether your fears are real or imagined – whether you’re just beginning to understand them or you’re too familiar with them – you can throw yourself on the mercy of God, the one who loves you more than you could possibly know.”
I’ll try to share more insights as I work through the study over the next 6 months.
Have a wonderful day!