I Won’t Worry My Life Away

As I slept last night I would suddenly become awakened and start singing “I won’t, I won’t, worry my life away…” Strangely, I don’t remember hearing this song lately.  I don’t listen to Jason Mraz normally, so I was surprised that google revealed the song stuck in my head as Remedy, I Won’t Worry by Jason Mraz.

Some of the lyrics are: I say the tragedy is how you’re gonna spend the rest of your nights with the light on So shine the light on all of your friends  When it all amounts to nothing in the end I, I won’t worry my life away I, I won’t worry my life away I, I won’t worry my life away

As I read that line in the song, “So shine the light on all of your friends”, I knew God wanted me to shed some light on “Worry”.

I used to be a big time worry wart.  I even had a worry stone that I used to love to rub. When Christ’s Spirit took up residence in me back in 2006, He started to move out some junk.  My Worry got so bad that it was not until after my dad was hospitalized for 2 years on the brink of death and during that time I also suffered a stroke at just 38 years old, that I was desperate for worry to take a hike.  I can’t tell you the exact moment all my worry went away, but I do know that I was filled with Peace, that I had never known before.

 As John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

The world can offer us worry stones, but only Christ offers and delivers True Lasting Peace!

Here are some more Promises to cling to when you feel like worry is taking over:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 NIV

They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.  Psalm 112:7 NIV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

And one of my all-time favorites that helped me through my stroke and some really dark times.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.   1 Peter 5:7-10 NLT

So what about Worry and what is the big reference or revelation I got from this song stuck in my head? 

 2 words-SOCIAL MEDIA.   

First let me say, I love Social Media, I think it is such a brilliant creation.  I love the whole concept of connecting and encouraging each other.  I love to be able to see pictures and hear about my friends and family near and far.  I love to connect with people that I have only met online and never in person.  I finally get the whole # hashtag thing and twitter after I got to rap with Grammy winning Gospel Singer Mandisa in front of almost thirty thousand peeps, and learned that just tweeting an Instagram picture of Johnny Depp fishing in your hometown will set off a reporter frenzy and you can become quite “Uber Famous” as my son likes to say.   I am all self- taught at social media and am no guru or expert by any means.

I know that Social media can be used for good and bad and sometimes just the good ole ridiculous.  I admit I am a Nash Grier fan.   I prefer to keep my social media pages less ridiculous and more positive.   Some days it seems that fear and worry are plaguing the news feeds and death and doom and gloom keep filling our view, and all the negativity is drowning out any of the great good stories.  The new thing is these fake news stories, made to look like real news and people just keep getting worked up and re sharing them.  Or they take the real news stories and keep posting them and talking about them and opinions get heated and people will be fighting and cursing each other.  It just stirs up worry and fear and more hate.  People are voicing opinions and complaining on all sorts of crazy stuff and spending precious time and energy on this junk.  I scroll through the feed some days and I am just saddened at how many people are buying into all this mess of media fear, worry, fake news stories, real news stories, and horrific images that people love to just keep re sharing and re sharing over and over.

I miss the old Facebook, where you could just see what people were doing. Check out some pictures of their adventures or families.  Share in their excitement or pray for them in their time of sorrows. I like when the recipes and decorating or DIY ideas stayed on Pinterest.  The play by play actions of what people were doing were kept on Twitter, (or Facebook had a daily limit on how many times you can post).  All the cute and funny baby and animal pics were kept on Instagram, the ice bucket Videos kept on YouTube, and the big rants, revelations, or opinions were kept to WordPress on their blogs.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that you can connect all your different social media accounts, but sometimes Facebook does get just a little too much.

So what do I do to not let all that junk offend me or get me worried or worked up?  I cling to the Promises above, and when it gets too much and  people rant and rant or get too political or judgmental  I just keep scrolling by and singing  “Great Peace have they that love Your laws and nothing shall offend them! “  Psalm 119:165

I don’t get upset that friends had lunch or got together without me, I don’t get offended that someone doesn’t have the same religious beliefs I have.  I don’t think anyone has a bigger house or better car or better husband or children or ministry than me. I am content and secure. I don’t love my gay friends any less than my Christian friends.  I don’t hate Obama, even though I did not vote for him. I don’t count likes for my pictures or posts,  ( I do count them on my Facebook Restored Ministries Page so be sure to check us out on Facebook and Like Restored Ministries ) Seriously, in all honesty and joking aside, I really am unmoved by it all. Why?  I serve the God of Peace.  I serve the King Of Kings.  I have kicked worry to the curb. The Spirit of Peace resides inside of me now. Whoever is president does not affect me.  Jesus is still King regardless of who is in the White House.

I love love Love  that I have a choice not to buy into all that worry and fear or hate and complaining so I choose to just keep on scrolling and praying for all the hurting, scared, and worried people.   

 I try to live my life on this great Promise.   Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable. ~  Philippians 4:8 GWT

Won’t you let Christ fill you with real lasting Peace and stop letting the world and all its News Feeds keep you worked up and worried.  Life is too short to “Worry” it away.  ~  XXOO Michelle Bollom

Here is proof of my Uber Famous Social Media Moments below.

http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2013/aug/27/cc_johnnydepprockport_082713_218156/?print

A Dangerous Trap

 

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety. ~ Proverbs 29:25

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:7

 

Fear n. noun 1. A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger. 2. A state or condition marked by this feeling. Living in fear. 3. A feeling of disquiet or apprehension. a fear of looking foolish. V. verb 1. To be afraid or frightened of. 2. To be uneasy or apprehensive about. Feared the test results. 3. To be in awe of; revere.

WOW! That first verse really gets me. I love the straight forwardness and simplicity of it. What I love even more is how God used that verse to speak to me in some areas where I was caught in that trap of fearing man. I would not consider myself fearful. My family and I used to love the show Fear Factor. We used to laugh and say we could win as long as we did not have to eat the cockroaches. I also had people call me fearless and brave because I rapped in front of almost 30,000 people with Grammy Winner Mandisa. 

(You can view video proof on About Page at my website http://www.restoredministries.org)

I really felt no fear doing that. I am however, a recovering Approval Addict.  I spent a lot of my life performing to gain approval and did not speak up for myself or rock the boat and pretty much operated in a false self; most of my early life.

The characteristics of a False Self person are: limited ability for love/ intimacy, Needs to be in control, lives in illusions, not in reality. Birthed in fear; very insecure, unable to express needs, and prone to addictions and compulsions. Yep, that described me well. It wasn’t until my life was out of control and I finally surrendered to God and allowed God, The Holy Spirit and His word to transform my life did my True Self began to emerge.

True Self, Characteristics are: Great capacity for love/intimacy Does not need to be in control, gives other people freedom, rooted in God’s truth, identity is in God; trusts in God, lives according to personal values/beliefs and is peaceful. I am pretty much all of those True Self characteristics now thanks to God and Recovery; but I still honestly sometimes have a problem trusting God fully, which when you don’t trust God, you essentially are living in Fear. I didn’t feel fearful about situations or life in general, but God specifically wanted to show me some lessons on Fear of Man and that type of Fear, what I thought was a thing of my past; was indeed still keeping me trapped. He used two situations in the last year to bring that lesson home.

The first lesson He taught me on Fear of Man was on tithing. I have prided myself in being a cheerful giver and for almost 10 years I have followed the Biblical rule of at least 10% is given back to God in your tithe each month. I would increase the amount from time to time so I knew I did not just give 10%. Then God started showing me that I was giving out of pride. Really, God? Pride? God we can never give enough back to you… Really? God you would never asks us to adjust our giving, only to keep increasing it, Right? …Wrong!  God was asking me to review my budget and to lower the amount of my giving so that I could save for a better safeguard for my family in case of emergencies or repairs. I really thought that could not be God speaking or asking anyone to ever lessen their amount of giving so I shared this with my close friend, one of my Iron Sharpens Iron girlies that God likes to use us with each other to help us get some big God Lessons. As we talked about it, I got some clarification, and when I took it to the Lord, I got an even bigger clarification. I looked at our monthly budget and found that I was giving 18.5 % each month. I was not putting anything back for my families safeguarding. The bible instructs us to give 10% and I practice that with my children also. Some think it is harsh to make your child give 10% of all pet sitting, Birthday, or Christmas money they earn back to God, but I know in the 4 years my children have done it, that it has made for much better kids, I just wish I would have started earlier in my life and in theirs. They don’t always have to give to our church in the offering, sometimes they choose a charity, or they like to bless strangers. I think God loves all ways we give back to Him and He honors cheerful giving. So I took this knowledge I had uncovered to my husband. I told Him that this was what God was speaking to me about. He thought it should be a simple decision to lower that amount to ensure that we are paying ourselves also so that we can have a safeguard in case of emergencies and to simply obey God. I wish I could say that I did obey my husband and even God right away, but, No, I dragged my feet and wrestled with God over this decision for six more months because I was fearful our church and pastors would look at us differently if we lowered our tithes. God made it unbearable for me until I finally wanted to Obey God more than be trapped by my Fear of Man. God has blessed that decision so much and I am so happy to have God decide what He would have us give and not what I thought I should because of my pride.

When I thought I had no more problems with fear, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart and told me that fear was indeed crippling me. The fear of man, the fear of their reactions, fear of opinions, all were hindering me from stepping into God’s full plans for me. God was asking me to take some great big steps for Him. I was so excited, but not everybody was as excited, encouraging, or happy for me. Many did not understand. Some had strong opinions, some began to distance themselves from me, and it started a wave of unfriending when I started posting on social media what I was doing for God. I wasn’t so much bothered over the unfriending’s and unfollows as I was that out of almost 1000 friends, less than 100 had actually supported me by “liking” my new Ministry Page.

(Yes, Liking a page is showing support for someone in the Social Media world & Yes I break the so called experts rules and solicit likes for my page.  How else can it grow and reach people?)

Well, that nasty fear of man, as God’s word says, is a trap! I found myself fearful of posting what I felt God would have me post, or write what I felt He wanted me to write, I was unsure of what I should do, so most days I did nothing. I had committed to God months before that if He wanted me to step out and trust Him, I will do it. I wanted to be totally obedient to Him, no matter what that looked like. So now after I had declared that and stepped out for God, I was bound by this trap of fear of people’s opinions, counting Likes, unfriending’s, unfollowing’s, comments, lack of comments etc…? I was allowing the enemy to plague me with fear. I had stopped being a warrior for God and became a worrier.  I want to be a warrior, not a worrier.  Was I going to embrace each step that God would give me on this journey and not get bound to the vicious trap of comparison and competing? Guessing and second guessing God? I spent many days and nights taking it all to God. This is what I felt God spoke to me about this 2nd Fear of Man lesson.

The world would be much better off if we would collaborate more and compete less.

God’s garden is big enough for us all. We need each other and God designed us to work together. We all have different gifting’s and abilities and strengths that are needed to advance His Kingdom and share Christ with this dark world. Some people just won’t support you, in life or with Likes. Keep Asking, Keep Seeking, And Keep Knocking. Don’t let the voices in your head and the voices of the crowds of naysayers discourage you to not fully step out for God.Don’t let the fear of people’s reactions keep you from taking action. Trust God. Obey God in the small things and everything. Keep going even when you don’t understand.  Your success is not defined by Likes & Followers, It is defined by God. 

 

I so want my hearts cry to the Lord to reflect what the song Oceans by Hillsong United, says.

 

You call me out upon the waters… The great unknown where feet may fail… And there I find You in the mystery …In oceans deep My faith will stand …Your grace abounds in deepest waters… Your sovereign hand Will be my guide ..Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me …You’ve never failed and You won’t start now ,,So I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves ..When oceans rise My soul will rest in Your embrace …For I am Yours and You are mine …Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders …Let me walk upon the waters …Wherever You would call me… Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith will be made stronger …In the presence of my Savior

 

I want to trust God, to rest in His embrace, to answer His call out upon the unknown waters. Where His promises to never leave me or fail me are so believable that I will trust without borders. My faith will be made stronger when I stay in the presence of my Savior.

I want to Trust God so much that there is never any room for Fear.

Here are some amazing affirmations that I choose to keep reminding myself of when I start to let the doubts of others discourage me.

It is not the crowd that calls you but God that calls you. And when you get to heaven you’re not going to have to answer for the crowds you’re only going to have to answer for yourself. Don’t get so hung up on the fear of what people will think that you let it paralyze and keep you from your potential and purpose for the Lord. Not everyone will understand why or how God calls you. It is ok. You don’t have to justify what God has called you to for anyone. You only need to worry about an audience of ONE! The Heavenly Father! If He called you, He will carry you through.

I leave you with this great quote.

Fear of the unknown is a dream killer. It causes people to freeze in time and one day they will wake up and realize that their opportunities have been seized by someone who was willing to look fear in the face and take the leap of faith. ~ Adonis Lenzy                                                                                                                                     

  I hope you are inspired to look fear in the face and take that leap of faith. Don’t let Fear be a dream killer anymore; remember you are fearless in Christ. Step out Big! Be Brave! XXOO ~Michelle Bollom

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