Hello, Fear. I’ve Been Expecting You…Five Tools to Combat Anxiety

dixie1My journey over the past two years has been one of disbelief, then shock, then denial, then fear, then acceptance, and finally, faith.

But maybe that is wrong. 

Faith had to always be there or I wouldn’t be sane right now.  I have watched God sustain us on very little work for my husband for at least the last 2 years and before that we slowly watched our work source disappear due to California’s changes and cutbacks.  We literally live with no savings and only Him to provide for us.

(You can read about this journey in my new book, 50 Ways to Meet Your Lover, in the “Warfare” section of the book.)

Manna from Heaven.

Well, not literally Manna…yet.   

But envelopes on the door step.  Acquaintances walking up and handing us money.  The givers, giving as my husband speaks at various church gatherings.  And my own income from coaching keeps me floating.  It is so supernatural I can’t even tell you where it all comes from.   

My journey as a Life Purpose Coach is amazing too.  God seriously brings in the clients and it has been this way since the beginning of this career.  When my clientele gets low, I pray and ask God for more and He sends them.

All you have to do is let God know you are ready to reach out to people and He will send them.  No stress in that one.  He just sends them.  So, be watching or you will miss the opportunity.

thumb_colourbox1908348What one usually fears, at the root level, is a kind of death. We fear a death of a part of ourselves, the death of a job, the death of a move, death of an income, death of ourselves….and the list goes on.  When we think of certain big transitional periods in our lives, we often experience a lot of change.  Change invokes the death of something in our minds…the ending of something.

A change usually requires some letting go of old thoughts, behaviors, people, situations, and ways of being.  And then we can experience the new and fresh.  But if we let anxiety take over we become paralyzed and defeated.

The truth is that we won’t actually die, but somewhere within our psyche, we feel as though we are LITERALLY going to die.

Once we get past that initial fear and insert a healthy comforting tool, we can move towards the new.  We must, in turn, accept what we most fear.  You have to ask yourself…what is the worst that can happen?  

And within that answer comes reality.  I won’t die!

Here are 5 tools for you to begin to gain ground in this fight against fear.

1.  Admit to yourself that you are experiencing anxiety because if you deny it…it only gets worse.  Face it head on.  Make a decision to not react to it.  Instead focus on deep breathing.  Focus only on the breathing and Jesus.  Picture Him right beside you and breathe in His all encompassing peace, and breathe out the anxiety and fear.  Make sure the breaths are from your diaphragm and not your chest in shallow puffs.  Take a deep full breath in through your nose, making sure your belly expands on the inhale, and out through your mouth, and the belly contracts.

2.  Listen to sweet worship music and focus on the words. Drown out the fearful thoughts.

3.  Whisper the name of Jesus…the bible says that at the mention of that name, every knee has to bow, in heaven and in earth….this means that when you say His name, the enemy of fear can’t stay around…it has to leave…

…fear and perfect Love cannot dwell together.

 4.  Learn to train your mind to be on guard against the thoughts that come from–THE VOICE–and that voice usually comes from our enemy or just our own minds (and past voices that spoke negativity into our lives) where the enemy has planted his imagery of death.

 5.  When you feel the thoughts coming of impending doom, immediately start the breathing, the name of Jesus, and a favorite verse you can say over and over again.  And if you need it, put on that music!

Shoulder-Angel-and-DevilTwo thoughts cannot dwell in your mind at the same time.  One or the other has to go.  I choose to eradicate the fear thought.

Trust that, no matter what, within your new heart lies the ability to get through anything.  Trust Him–He will walk you through it.

So, that is how I have gotten through this death of the old in my life.  I still don’t know what the outcome of all this will be.  But I do know Jesus has a plan and it will unfold when He is ready to show it to me. 

Meanwhile, I can’t afford to let my mind wander into the unknown valley of fear for it will lead to a certain death of my peace.

426__550x413_jesus-and-peter-walking_on_waterThis is a battle with the principalities and powers of the air, the warfare for my life and the fight is not mine but His.  As long as I envelope myself in Him He will not let me sink into that raging sea.  

It is not complicated though we try to make it so, don’t we?  

There is no formula, no works, no traditions, nothing that we can fall back on that will move us out of anxiety and into the peace that passes all understanding…except His love.

He is Love itself, and He promises that He will NOT ever forsake us.  

….for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not,  [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]  Hebrews 13:5b Amp.

I will announce the winners of the free books on my next blog.  Read the last blog about the release of my newest book, 50 Ways to Meet Your Lover, and comment if you want to enter the drawing!

 

50 Ways to Meet Your Lover!~~ New Book Launch!

50-ways-to-meet-your-lover1-e139710312732150 Ways to Meet Your Lover, An Invitation Into a Captivating Daily Walk of Intimacy With Jesus, the Lover of Your Heart and Soul

My new book is launched today on Amazon!  Free book giveaway drawn from comments on this blog below!

The story of my life has been the story of a long and passionate pursuit for God.  He always came as the King in my story, and it was always to rescue my heart so I could live as a woman fully alive and completely captivated by my King

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1My most Intimate Stories Written For You. 

Because of a long childhood shrouded in pain and abuse, I pursued my King with all my heart from my earliest years because, somehow, I knew that He held the answers for my worth as a valuable human being.

Did you ever think Jesus could occupy the role of your lover?  Well, this book shows you 50 ways to do so.  What do you long for Jesus to do for you?  What places in your heart are crying out for healing and restoration and beauty?  Have you lost hope?

I see my journey through life as an adventure; a wild, passion-filled, full of love, full of many valleys and deserts, kind of adventure.  I refuse to see my life as mundane and I refuse to allow myself to think of myself as a victim of circumstances.  I don’t care how  hot the fires of a trial may be.

The reason we identify with fairy tales in some deep part of us is because they rest on three great truths: The hero really has a heart of gold, he is usually a Prince or a King, and his beloved possesses hidden beauty and greatness fit for royalty.  I want you to have a glimpse of Jesus’ golden heart.  I want you to know you possess greatness and honor.  This is how He sees you.

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nThe King is enthralled with your beauty! Ps. 45:11

This Jesus, this playful, fun, extravagant, and total lover of our deepest desires is enthralled by our beauty.

Imagine it!!

50 Ways to Meet Your Lover, is what I humbly share with you as we pursue this King, Prince, Friend, Redeemer, and Lover in a very real and personal way.  I hope you find it spiritual, deep, honest, transparent, vulnerable, inspirational, and humorous.

If you want to know how much you are loved by God, and if you want a closer walk with Him, I pray that my walk–with all of its peaks and valleys–can inspire you to know these very things, and truly give you joy and laughter along your own personal adventure with God.

I’ve written this memoir-driven devotional — with chapter by chapter daily stories from my own personal walk with Jesus~

~  in soul searching stories of discovery

~  find the real you : explore what feeds your soul

~  discover vulnerability and transparency to heal

~  understand how your personal story can be used to get you to the plans and purposes of God in your life

~  be inspired with faith and hope in never being alone on your journey

535697_353910861338135_812640802_nLet’s Celebrate!

FREE BOOK GIVE AWAY!

I WILL DRAW A NAME AT RANDOM FROM EVERYONE WHO COMMENTS  BELOW IN THE COMMENT SECTION OF THIS BLOG.

THE DRAWING WILL HE HELD A WEEK FROM THE DATE POSTED.

THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON MY NEXT BLOG

(I will notify you for your address)

 

The Woman Who had No Self Esteem, No Hope for the Future, and No Idea She Even had a Gift…..


50-ways-to-meet-your-lover1-e1397103127321 It is my story.  MY story!  We all have a story.  This is mine.  I  am  getting ready in a few weeks to launch my 2nd book, 50 Ways  To  Meet Your Lover, An Invitation Into a Captivating Walk With  Jesus the Lover of Your Heart and Soul.  

 A SECOND BOOK!   How crazy is that?

 Who knew this would happen in my life.  I could not have  dreamed that the little girl who was a victim of incest, abused by  her spiritual leaders; the woman who endured seeing her  own sweet little girl become a victim of the same travesty; the  woman who had no self esteem, no hope for the future, and no  idea she even had a gift to use for God could be here today  proclaiming to you that God has made me into an Author and a  Life Purpose Coach,

….and yet here I am.

Don’t tell me God can’t use you because of your past.   I am a walking miracle and living proof.   And He uses my past to set others free now! 

Amazing!

You are a walking miracle!!  You may not know it yet, but you are.

After writing my first book, Climbing Out of the Box, My Journey Out of Sexual and Spiritual Abuse Into Freedom and Healing, I learned that it is in our vulnerability and transparency that others can truly relate and be transformed by our stories.   I learned to let my story go for the good of mankind, so to speak.   For I knew if my story could possibly change the life on one person it would have been worth it to me and to Jesus.

climbing-out-of-the-box-by-dixie-r_-diamanti-300x300-e1397103388170

Then I went a step further and realized that even if it was just an act of obedience and I was writing just for Jesus, it still would be more than worth it.  

The surprise was that in writing my story….

I FOUND HEALING!!

And this is why I am such a promoter of journaling your story and thoughts and prayers to God.  If you have coached with me you already know that.   In getting it all out your story begins to make more sense, your life purpose comes into focus, and you find a cleansing of the past like never before.

So, I moved forward in my writing at first never really knowing if it was real.  At first  I had no idea what I was doing.  It was blind faith.  We use the tools and gifting God has given us….sometimes without seeing the completed plan.  He grows us up to reach outside of ourselves to see others walk in the same freedoms.

And that is my goal, really;  To make a difference in the lives of others.

I love to write but I’m not really patient to wait for the plan, the dream, to unfold.  Especially if I have a vision of what I want to put down on paper.  I can see it.  I can feel it.  I am excited about it.  I want to do it now and see it published next week.

But then I wait and write.

And wait and write some more.

And then I don’t want to let go if it, again, and wonder why anyone would want t o read my stuff.

Looking at my motives I realized it is not just about whether my book will be a best seller or not, though that would be wonderful.  It is about being me and being true to who I was created to be and to my calling.  God has a plan.  Then I had to face the fact that even if I knew it wouldn’t be a best seller, I would write it anyway, if only to reach that one person who thought there was no hope left.

jesus-christ-widescreen-wallpapers-04There is a divine journey assigned to just me.   There is one assigned to you too.   It is a journey about reaching out, touching lives, healing hearts and being vulnerable enough with my story that it will truly make a difference in the lives of others. 

I want to flow in His plan and not get ahead of myself.  At least in my heart I do.  My head is a different matter.  It wants everything yesterday.  It’s because I have this dream, and it is not going away.  I have more stories to tell.  They are not going away either.  But when I am writing I have need of patience and I always learn in the process.

Maybe it simply means validation.  When my books make  it into print, it says to me, “Yes, you are doing this right.”  I am doing what I’m meant to be doing.

So, here I am with one book published and one about to be published in a week or two; waiting for them to get in the hands of the right people through social media and word of mouth,

..and being okay with it.

My soon to be released book, 50 Ways to Meet Your Lover, A Captivating Invitation Into a Daily Walk Of Intimacy With Jesus the Lover of Your Heart and Soul  is a compilation of my own personal journey– stories of faith, trial and temptations and humor.   It amazes me that many of you will be reading about my very private times of intimacy with Jesus, and actually growing in faith to the place that if He can do it for me, He can certainly do it for you.  At least that is my prayer.

It’s not as though I have a choice.  I can’t control it, this walk of faith –not if I want to continue upward.  And I can’t control the outcome or the wait.  But God knows and His timing is always best for our journeys. 

He zigs while I zag……I must continue to walk in the light of Him on my journey. It is all about surrendering to the process of growing.

Both books can be purchased on Amazon in a few weeks!!  You can get Climbing Out of the Box right now!

dixie1

Do You Want to Be a Celebrity? …..5 Things to Consider!

jesus-christ-widescreen-wallpapers-04Are you frustrated and feel as if God isn’t using you the way you think He should be?  Is it not happening fast enough?  Do you watch other ministries and find yourself envying their positions and wish you could be them?

I always thought that because God had called me to write and teach that I needed a growing audience to validate that calling.  I was so driven to find myself a platform or audience worthy of my calling and found myself sorely frustrated that God wouldn’t bless my efforts the way I thought it was supposed to happen. 

It just wasn’t fast enough. 

It is exhausting promoting yourself. 

Where do we draw the line in losing ourselves and our energy in self promoting, and just allowing Him to get our gifts and talents out where He purposed for them to go? 

50-ways-to-meet-your-lover1-e1397103127321Here I am at the cusp of another book being birthed to the multitudes.  “50 Ways to Meet Your Lover”  is in proof stage now and in a few weeks will be ready to be presented to the world.  

This is my 2nd book and I have to say I have learned a few things along the way. 

I have given myself permission to breathe…. and trust Him to guide me to the next step.

These are some of the things I have learned in the last few years of trial and error in my writing and teaching.  This is not an exhaustive list because I am certain there are still many things He will open my eyes to!  

 But allow me to share a few points that I have learned now:

1.       Being seen as a celebrity in any sense of the word is a deceitful ploy of the enemy.  We have been brought up to admire and envy people who have celebrity status.  Many times celebrities in the church world perceive their value as a human as usually based on a need to be recognized as a person of value. 

Jesus let His disciples know that His kingdom works very differently.

2.       It is often true that those who make such big jumps into perceived celebrity often get twisted by them, and end up crushing others when their influence exceeds their personal character.  Perhaps that’s what Paul meant when he warned us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, whether we aspire to a place of influence or already have it and think it gives us a place above others.

climbing-out-of-the-box-by-dixie-r_-diamanti-300x300-e13971033881703.       Whatever we do for God must be just that.  For Him.  What He does with our works or service or gifts is up to Him.  We want our message out there, of course.  But according to His purposes, not our own perceived purposes.   When I wrote “Climbing Out of the Box”, I had to give it to Him.  I still do.  And even if my story sets one person free from a life of abuse and into freedom in Jesus then it will have been worth it.  And, to date, it has set many more than just one free.  

4.       Instead of looking for what we don’t have, Luke 14 invites us into responding to God’s working right where we are in life.

Rather than having to make something happen by our own wisdom, the path to God’s life comes by loving the people He has already put before us, applying our gifts to their needs and trusting the rest to Him.

I’m convinced that will create opportunity enough for whatever God wants to give us and what He desires us to share with them.  Yes, marketing a book is necessary so that people will see it and buy it and see their lives changed by it.  But if it isn’t in His timing and it doesn’t sell fast enough, then I have to accept that He knows what He is doing.  He will make it happen.  Not me.  I just do what He tells me to do.

5.       Most of our questions to Him center around how to make ourselves known to the world and usually focuses on our abilities, wisdom, or connections.  He works so differently than we do.

We try to find that one key to open big doors, rather than allowing ourselves to live freely in what God has already given.

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1It’s easy to miss His whispers when we’re more focused on our own desires for ministry. He knows how to draw us into relationship with Him and it’s not by following someone else’s steps.  We are unique and what He does for one may not be what He does for me.  

In the end, we are only asked to follow him, not to build an audience or to produce our own transformation.

Whenever you are frustrated at God for not opening better doors for you, that might be a sign that you’re focused at the wrong doors.

I am learning that growth of simple relationship with Him is more trustworthy than the substitutes of self-promotion, manipulation and begging favors from others.

So how do you find ministry, find fellowship, or live transformed as you seek Him?

Simply accept the invitation to live deeply in Jesus and love those around you the way you are coming to understand how He loves you.  Listen when He nudges your heart.  Step out in faith in what He whispers to you. 

If you live in His space you will find His power transforming you, His Spirit connecting you to others and everything He wants to do in you will be fulfilled by Him.

If the disciples had set out to change the world outside of waiting on Him, don’t you think they would have failed miserably and become lost in their own reasoning and ideas to accomplish so large a task?

“We are intimately linked in this harvest work.  Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you.  Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me.  Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger.  Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help.  This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it.  It’s best to start small.  Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance.  The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice.  You won’t lose out on a thing.”  -Matthew 10:41-42 (The Message)

Jesus knew the most amazing things could begin with a cup of cold water.

 

“Church Lady”…or Devoted Lover?

allthatineedI love the church.   If you know Jesus then you are the church too;  One of the many members of the Church, the Body, of Jesus, who is our Head.  But I was brought up spiritually in a church building for many years, and I loved it. 

Somewhere along the way I lost the mentality that I was there to grow in Jesus. 

Oh yes, I was taught that I was the temple where Jesus lived, but I was also taught I had to be in a building to truly walk with him.   It took me too long to realize that being a ‘church lady’ didn’t mean I knew anything about the heart and passion of God.

Oh, I yearned for it, so put on the face that I already had that passion filled relationship with Jesus, and had the pious face down pat, as if I had it together. I had the Christian-ease language down pat, too.    For many years I was very involved in just about everything that was happening in the church building.  

I was involved in potlucks, gospel sing alongs,  committee meetings, bake sales, car washes, retreats, conferences and any other spiritual sounding activity that was advertised in the church building. Then I started a women’s ministry and it grew and grew.  I absolutely loved it.  I had a place and felt loved and accepted.  I loved the people, the busy-ness, and the routine.  I was really good at doing church and I looked the part, too. Busy-Woman-1147825

I had a good heart. 

I was so drawn to God and yearned to serve Him and thought that is what I was doing.  But over time, more serving, and more ministries later it all became a checklist or a substitute for a deeper passion.

It became a “doing” instead of a “becoming.”

I still love the church.  I just missed the whole point God was yearning for me to see for many years.  If you have read my book, Climbing Out of the Box, you will see where it led me.  However, I digress.

Somehow I loved becoming the church lady and mistook that title for becoming godly. 

It felt so good to be in the church clicks, though. And I saw others left out of those groups to which I turned a blind eye.  

So, I busied myself in  those good works of bringing food to the sick, planning baby showers and helping at funerals, and teaching Sunday school.  It can feel so good to be needed that it can become a substitute for a passionate pursuit of God.

Don’t get me wrong; Service, fellowship, and giving are wonderful and a part of the calling for every believer, but serving and doing do not equal a relationship with God.  They do not get us closer to the mark,  and sometimes can become a wall we hide behind. And so we pretend we know what we are talking about and every Sunday we sit in a pew, staring at the backs of heads, listen to a sermon, and go home.

And wonder why that gaping hole in our hearts is still there.

Every Sunday morning parents hand their babies over to the good people who work in the nurseries.  Then they go serve in hundreds of places within the building.  They may never even make it to the service, but it is okay because they have been to church.  Some have hidden there for years.

So many of us are “doing” like crazy.

Not many of us are “becoming.”   Women Bow And Pray

My coaching business over the last few years has been full of women and men, who were dying on the inside.  Service and hospitality was not cutting it for them.  Hearts are broken and lives are hurting.  They longed to know that Jesus really loved them—somehow they missed that part while they were busy doing.  They are worn out with good works without realizing how to have a one on one with Jesus. 

Yet we keep signing up for one more thing. 

Hoping we will find Jesus there.

When we get the church lady thing going it is easy to pretend we have it all together.  I did.  Everyone thought I was so together and many wanted to be me.  I dressed fashionable, and had a sweet smile on my face.  My kids were impeccibly dressed, and we were the ‘perfect’ family. 

But inside; well that was another story.  

My marriage was falling apart.  I had been molested as a child and had not told a soul yet.  I had not even begun my healing and was convinced I would go to the grave with my secret.  So, I had to get even more busy to outrun the ugly truth. 

I had no self esteem.   376692_405449249517629_858305305_n

Soon I learned I could fill that need to be validated by being in the church clicks and there was always a need for one more worker to keep it all going. 

I became addicted to ministry to fill my gapping hole of need.

Ministry took the place of a passion filled relationship with a very real Jesus.  It wasn’t until I lost it all did Jesus finally break into my religiosity and reveal Himself  personally in all His glory. 

And when that happened?   I was doing nothing in the church– I had lost it all.  It was in the wilderness of my life that I met Jesus face to face…when everything and everyone else was gone.

Only Jesus didn’t leave.

That is when I learned that I am the Church.  You are the church.  We are all the church body.  

Getting off the merry go round of hiding behind our good works is about laying down all pretense and facades.  It is about stepping outside the lines you have drawn around your spirituality and seeing what God has for you.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When we only ascribe the term ‘church’ to weekend gatherings or institutions that have organized themselves as ‘churches’ we miss out on what it means to live as Christ’s body. It will give us a false sense of security to think that by attending a meeting once a week and work ourselves to the bone;  then we are participating in God’s church.

But if the church is something we are, not someplace we go, how can we leave it unless we abandon Christ himself? We can’t.  We may join other believers anywhere, but it doesn’t define our personal love relationship with Jesus.

If we think only of a specific congregation as our part of the church, haven’t we separated ourselves from a host of other brothers and sisters that do not attend the same gathering that we do? Are we not called into the market place?

If you have hung your spirituality on inward files with neat little answers for every situation, hang on, because God is probably getting ready to blow the lid off of your box. 

You may need to allow Him to restructure your thinking a bit of why you do what you do; with all the strong essential elements of your faith still there, just rearranged to reflect to you more clearly the heart of God.

Scripture does encourage us to be devoted to one another not committed to an institution. Jesus indicated that whenever two or three people get together focused on him, they would experience the vitality of church life.  Out of that body life, of course comes service.  But if that is what defines your relationship with God, you will soon become a “church lady” too…..Or maybe a “church man.” 

I pray that we all are renewed in a passion for Jesus no matter where we find real fellowship with other believers; a genuine concern for each other and a willingness to serve the world with God’s love, which can only come from, not service, but relationship with Jesus Christ. Out of that relationship we will be His hand extended to a lost world.  praying-woman