About the Author

Jessica Turner is the author of Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter and Thrive, and blogs on The Mom Creative. Every day is a juggling act as she balances working full-time, making memories with her family, photographing the every day and trying to be...

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  1. I loved watching the intro video and hearing what struck YOUR hearts! I also have sections underlined but not necessarily all the ones you ladies mentioned. One quote you mentioned that really jumped out at me this morning was the quote from page 13 (on the enemy loving our silence). It’s fairly easy to talk ABOUT God for me, but to share my heart and ask that of others is a lot scarier. What a great reminder that as the BODY, we don’t just DO things together but that we are REAL and OPEN with each other. Again, thank you for sharing YOUR hearts with us and I am truly looking forward to the rest of this study!

    • Lisa,
      I agree with you. It is also easy for me to talk about God. But to be open about my life and be real with other people is scary and challenging.
      This is something we all need to work on….especially me.

      I am excited for this study!

  2. I love the analogy of the story you tell with Santa! It’s so great!. Page 13 “We have a real enemy that thrives on our silence. He doesn’t want us to be in fellowship, sharing our hearts seeking wisdom on how to live lives that glorify God in spite of the darkness we feel.” This so spoke to my heart. Sometimes I will not speak because I feel like nobody wants my insight, or I don’t want to share that because nobody would be able to relate to me, or just simply because the fear of man. But that’s what Satan wants me to think. It really opened my eyes that God can be glorified through that kind of fellowship.

    • Ally – hopefully here you will see that your insight counts and there will ALWAYS be someone that can relate to you!! Glad you are here! πŸ™‚

    • Ally,
      I can totally relate to you about not speaking. I think the same things – no one will be able to relate or I will be judged. It’s something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember. You’re right – those are seeds of thoughts planted by Satan. Hopefully we can both begin to overcome that fear!

      • And I too am right there with you both. Isn’t it funny how we can convince ourselves that no one will be able to relate or that no one cares to hear what we have to say. I often find myself thinking up something great to say while in a discussion, but them totally psych myself out and end up not speaking up. I am so excited to be a part of this study. It’s my first time reading a book along with everyone else here (although I’ve popped in from time to time even when I wasn’t reading the book) and this time I want to be fully engaged and take full advantage of what this community has to offer. I’m so excited!!!

        • Wow. I can really relate to all of you guys. I do the same thing. I will have something God laid on my heart to share and then back down because I am too scared.
          This is my first time being a part of the book club. I am excited too!

  3. The first thing that really stood out to me and spoke to me was the statement “We learn that Satan doesn’t have to force us to do anything sinful; he merely needs to plant a seed of doubt and let us tangle ourselves up in it.” That’s so true.
    The tightrope analogy also really spoke to me.”The more we tap into a life balanced by Christ, grounded in knowing Him and His word, the less we have to worry about falling off.”
    The Santa analogy spoke to me, it really opened my eyes to what I think is the root of all of my fears…. I see myself feeling that way about God, fearful of Him being mad at me, and I’m always fearful that something bad is going to happen, and it’s gonna be my punishment for what he’s mad about, or that he’s not going to answer my prayers, because my name came up on the naughty list.
    Now that my eyes are opened to that particular fear, I can pray about it and work through it with Him.
    I am loving every page of this book and I”m so thankful to have it in my hands!!

    • Lisa,
      The part about Satan planting a seed of doubt spoke to me also. It practically hit me between the eyes, it rang so true. I struggle with anxiety, which most definitely is a doubting disease. My life is full of questioning and second-guessing.

      • Rebecca,
        I too struggle with anxiety and am constantly second-guessing and questioning everything. This is not something I’ve ever dealt with…it kind of hit me in the last 2 years, beginning when I got pg with my 2nd child…nothing but fear and anxiety and worry ever since.

        • Lisa,
          My anxiety struck a few years ago after a devastating loss. I think it made me realize that I am not in control of life going on around me. I knew that of course, but this made it real, and it was a terrifying thought. My way of “managing” the anxiety was to try to control as many aspects of my life as I could. I imagined the worst case scenarios, and did all I could to try to prevent them from happening. It didn’t work. The more I tried to control, the more helpless I felt. I also struggled with the idea that this might be some punishment, but I know it’s not. Only recently, have I been able to relinquish some control to God, and it’s happening bit by bit, It’s still a fight everyday. I just have to remember these are God’s things to handle, not mine. I’m not equipped to deal with it all. And as I go through this process, I become closer to God. Just remember, you aren’t alone. He wants you to bring your fears to Him.

          • I am so sorry to hear that Rebecca! I struggle with not being in control, I worry constantly about someone close to me dying…it’s always in the back of my mind.
            Praying for you! Thank you for encouraging me.

          • Rebecca,
            I can relate to your story. My anxiety started after I suffered a loss as well. I struggle will imagining worst case scenarios. It’s hard to relinquish that control to Him, but it gets easier every day with constant prayer and faith. It’s nice to hear other women’s stories and how they struggle with fear.

          • Thank you Rebecca and Lisa for sharing. I also struggle with anxiety and I have a similar response…trying to think of the worse case scenario and trying to prevent it . Everyday I try so hard to entrust each and every situation to God. It’s such a struggle.

          • I also struggle with anxiety. After some counseling, mine is more manageable now, but it is an every day battle. After going through 3 cycles of IVF and an adoption loss, my husband and I were blessed with our own son a year ago. I am terrified that something bad is going to happen to him. But, every time my train of thought starts to derail, I remind myself of the promises of God. Memorizing scripture has become very helpful to me. I replace Satan’s lies with God’s promises.

          • Lisa, Cori, & Melanie,

            It was hard to share my experience, but knowing that others are struggling with same thing helped me to open up. Like it said in Angie’s book, we shouldn’t sit in silence. I’m going to pray for all of you. Thank you for encouraging me!

          • Angie,
            Thank you for your prayers, and thank you for this wonderful book! It is an inspiring and stunningly candid book. Thank YOU for sharing your story!

        • Rebecca,
          I feel exactly the same way! I am struggling with anxiety and depression and all it takes is one little word and I can doubt everything I’ve ever done! Mine comes along with some PPD so it often has to do with my children, but not always. I can all of the sudden shut down with fear from one little thing or nothing at all! God has really been working in me to rely on Him and realize my power as a parent to my children and a child of God.

    • Lisa
      I lived for many years believing that the struggles my husband and I were going through were a direct punishment from God for the sin of getting pg before marriage. While our choices put us in a situation we weren’t really ready for at 22…I know today that God wasn’t “punishing” us…but rather we had walked so far from God during that time that we were just living “in” the natural consequences of our sin and choices! Today my “view” of God is one of love and compassion…when I see that He was there all along…we were distant. I love how as we journey we can see clearly how much we are loved. Praying that you too can see that God isn’t ever “mad” at you or out to punich you…but truly loves you and wants His perfect plan for your life!

      • Kristin,
        Thank you for being so open and honest. Thank you for sharing. I also got pregnant before marriage. I am trusting God and trying to rely fully on Him. My husband has been struggling with why challenging things have happened due to getting pregnant before marriage. We have gone through challenging times but I know that God does not punish us and He loves us dearly.
        So nice to know I am not alone.

        Thank you πŸ™‚

        • Melanie – doesn’t it seem at times too that “we are the only one”….so then it easily justifies that God MUST be out to teach us a lesson. While I believe that he wants us to learn and grow I don’t believe anymore that He is “out to get me” and I used to feel that way. I still need to take ownership of the sin in my life – but I can do so now with a freedom where it doesn’t have to hold me in bondage anymore! So glad you are here Melanie!! πŸ™‚

          • Thanks Kristin. It’s so nice to “meet” you πŸ™‚
            I love how you said that you don’t have to be in bondage anymore! I feel the same way πŸ™‚

    • definitely share the seed of doubt insight. I also struggle with anxiety/depression and it never once occured to me that Satan worked like that (maybe because i’m a relatively new christian idk) because i always thought Satan just ‘attacked’ us then God helped us through the situation. How very wrong! God is always there and we always have the power to turn to Him when satan brings in doubt.

      • Yep, anxiety/depression seems to be my ‘thing’ these days…I never understood it and didn’t have any compassion on people who said they were going through it. Now I realize you can’t just “get over it”. I believe it’s definitely a tool of satan that he uses to keep us at a stand still…or to make us think that if we were really right with God, we wouldn’t feel this way, so there must be something wrong.

        • Its rough sometimes, yet i’ve definitely learnt to manage it more since becoming a christian. It’s definitely hard to understand if you haven’t been there and tough to talk through with people who haven’t been there.

  4. I actually teared up reading on Angie’s childhood and analogy of being fearful that Santa will not reward us. As innocent as we are as children, we still know in our hearts what is right and wrong. I tend to think about my wrong doings and how I can possibly measure up to what Christ wants from me. I just cannot fathom ever being good enough for entrance in to his paradise. I know that God knows our hearts, so I hang on to that and pray that on my, Christmas morning, I am showered with his love. I love the ending of the intro that says we may be surprised to find we get those pom poms! It’s all I ever want!

    • laura, you hit the nail on the head…we all struggle with this…just wanted to say thank you for sharing. let’s keep pressing on together til we get the pom poms!!!!

      • Thank you so much for the validation, Angie! It’s so reassuring to be understood. It means the world to me coming from you πŸ™‚
        Amen, Melanie πŸ™‚

  5. When I first heard about the book selection, my initial reaction was ‘should I do this book study? I love these book studies but what to do, what to do, I don’t have ‘fear’, it doesn’t apply to me, should I take the time to participate? what to do (I swear, that’s what my conversations sound like). Well, much to my surprise, even after after simply reading the introduction, boy was I wrong… I am so excited (and a little fearful I must say) to read this book and follow along with the videos. I absolutely LOVE this style of book study.! Thank you so much!!

    • I also felt the same way. I honestly felt like I was a person who didn’t fear at all. But just fro reading the introduction and being honest with myself, I now see that I have hidden from my fears.

    • This was also me! I was like, “I am really brave and outgoing and sure of myself” I started reading and had a stomach ache by the end of the introduction because it felt like the book was written for me!
      I am too fearful of what I might learn about myself and the hurt I may have to go through to find out my mistruths and misbeliefs about God and myself.

  6. LOVE! I have been sick for the last ten days – no morning workout before work, no cup of tea, or early morning quiet. However, I was SO excited for this morning’s video that I couldn’t fully REST last night and I got up 30 minutes early this morning to make sure I fit it in BEFORE I head to work! Love that God gives me the energy I need for the things I actually NEED! Yay! Anyway – I, too, love the net and the Santa speak, but the first line that REALLY hit me is on page 4: “I believe fear is the natural response to the question Satan whispered, and I find that every day I have to adjust my footing consciously to move toward Jesus.” I get the “adjust my footing” but I had to have some seriously reflection about whether I adjust my footing to “move toward Jesus” or to “hold on to control”? It is a perfect little sentence for me to hold on to daily as I continuously adjust my footing…. as the others have said, I am SO excited to be part of this study! Happy Wednesday, everyone!

    • Yes! That statement really spoke to me too…and the phrase that stood out the most was “…every day I have to adjust my footing…” Every day. It seems silly but I have one good day and then feel like “woo hoo, I’ve conquered this!”, only to be back in the same boat 2 days later….the ‘every day’ part really hit me. It is an every day thing.

      • TOTALLY an everyday thing. And, if I could get my mind to embrace it as an hourly thing (which isn’t a bad thing, but actually would be a blessing to keep me engaged), I think I would be in a much sturdier place! πŸ™‚

  7. Angie – I’ve joined with some other ladies and we are all reading your book together. We are on chapter 3 -4 and loving it. It is so good that your friends nixed the skipping of the intro…because I know each of us have been SO blessed by the net/balancing pole metaphor.

    • you are so sweet, melissa!!!! i haven’t seen you forever!!! hope you’re doing well and that i bump into you one of these days…

      much love,
      a

  8. I section of the intro that really spoke to me was the part at the bottom of page five that spoke about “He’s there if I really need Him, but at this moment I just need to figure out how to get myself straightened and keep moving.” I am this person…this is how I think. I enjoyed the introduction…really enjoy the way Angie writes too. I just finished up a book study with some ladies that covered parenting in grace and now I’m getting ready to birth my sixth child in a couple days…so this book and y’all doing a “study” available via internet is timely for me. I look forward to walking through this book with you. I’m thankful for your hearts for women and for your love of our Savior!

  9. Also the video was great! Very down to earth. I also enjoyed the discussion about God being our net and trying to balance. When times are status quo, I tend to go along with life. Careful not to tip but not using God as the pole to balance. Instead, he is the back up plan when things get very difficult. Everyday struggles, I use myself to get through but when I am scared from a difficult circumstance, it is then when I drop down on my knees to pray to Him. To relieve myself of the weight of the world. I am guilty of using him as the net if I fall. I am slowly learning to use Him as part of my balancing act. I love him so very much and I want him involved in every detail of my life.

  10. Thank you so much for bringing “real” straight into my kitchen this morning. Praying many lives are touched through Angie’s book and this study πŸ™‚ I loved the analogy of the woman on the tightrope with the pole, how many times I falter on that rope! I love that you brought it all back to what we have right in our hands, He is enough. I was also struck by the section on the garden and God saying, “Where are you?” It was like God was asking me the same question.

    • “Where are you?” spoke loud and clear to me as I read that in the introduction as well. Very powerful question that I feel God asking me.

      • Me too! It seems I’m always “hiding” thinking God can’t see me! Then I try to justify it when I know good and well it was my decision to sin, to turn my back on His Word!

  11. How the enemy thrives in silence-when we are not communining with and engaging with our Father. How the fear doesn’t go away-but how the mental perceptions of what we are falling back on-and how quickly will bring us back to a place of peace.

    Looking forward to more!

  12. Ladies, thanks.
    I really thank you for entering my kitchen here and now and speaking
    some honesty into the dark areas of our lives. It’s like a fresh wind of reality
    in our world. I am so blessed to receive a book and be able to be part of the
    dialogue.
    I also related to the tightrope analogy. I am making a conscious choice today
    to turn to Jesus (fixing my eyes on Him) and let Him provide the balance. And freedom
    from fear.
    your sister in Christ,
    Jen

  13. I am grateful that we are challenged to be honest with ourselves and God. Choosing to run TO HIM – holding onto Him tight – instead of trying to do things (including overcoming fear) on our own…..

  14. I was so excited this morning. I was pretty jazzed that the parts you picked out this morning were also some of my fav parts. I had written a note next to the section about the balancing act that came to mind when I was reading it. I tend to focus on the “when” I fall and God wants me to focus on the fact that He will not let me fall. I guess that would be focusing on the net instead of the pole. I’m going to share more thoughts later today at my blog. I’m so excited about this book…thank you, Angie for sharing your heart.

    • I like that a lot Deborah. How often I focus on the “when I fall” and my prayer of thanksgiving today has been He would never let me fall to begin with!

  15. Loved the video and I had all of the sections you discussed underlined and then some. I have read this section 3 times and each time I find another nugget, I think what struck me the most was the section talking about the 1st question, and the thought that ” We learn that Stan doesn’t have to force us to do anything sinful; he merely needs to plant a seed of doubt and let us tangle ourselves up in it.” (pg 2)

    This is at the very heart of where all of my fears stem from. I second guess myself…my feelings. If something IS from God or if I am making it be about God because it serves my purpose. I want so badly to seek and do God’s will but at times I feel like I am just not hearing the answer. (Or maybe it isn’t the answer I want so I don’t listen?)

    There is this Steve Martin movie from the 90’s I believe called LA Story about this guy who has one of those big electronic billboards that is basically “talking” to him…and somehow at the end the billboard helps him find true love. Practical in every sense of the word right?!

    While I don’t remember the whole movie I do know that a few years ago I saw one of those Amber Alert billboards go up on the interstate and the thought crossed my mind that I wished that God would just use that billboard and speak to me. I mean how cool would that be?!

    “Kristin – take this job….or don’t worry about this situation because it will end well”. Just clear messages in BIG letters ought to be enough for me right?

    But even then would I still struggle with doubt? Did I read it correctly..did I interpret it right? I think what I love about this book is that even though we will continue to face situations that cause fear to well up….we don’t have to succumb to the storm. We can find a way to hold tightly to the pole in our hands and have balance regardless of the “weather” around us.

    I feel blessed to be walking on this journey with all of you!!
    Kristin

    • I wish the same Kristin. To have God send me text messages or that we could hear him as clear as Adam and Eve did.

      • Kristin and Rosario – I too have often wished for Billboards from God or to be able to hear his audible voice as those in the Old Testament did. Then I did a study of the OT and realized how badly each person that heard his voice STILL messed up! Even Adam and Eve, who had the PERFECT relationship with God still chose wrong. I think you hit it on the head, Kristin, when you said “But even then would I still struggle with doubt? Did I read it correctly..did I interpret it right?” It doesn’t matter how clearly God communicates with us, we still have the ability to ignore, misconstrue, or dismiss His words. As with so many others in this community, I think the part about Him being our balancing pole AND our net is how we deal with those struggles of searching for His direction.

    • Kristin – I am right there with you sister! Looking for signs, overthinking an interpretation, lost in doubt, and in the end just paralyzed. I always think to myself, I’ve failed so many times ’cause I was wrong, I can’t afford to mess it all up again. If you hadn’t written this post first, mine would have looked very much like it!

      I pray that through this we overcome fear/doubt and gain confidence to take steps in confidence since we are blessed with a balancing pole AND a net. (When God is for us, who could be against us?)

      • I too am right there with you ladies! I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have said, if I only had a neon flashing sign from God. But then I think about the fact that if I did have that, I still would fear and doubt that maybe I had heard or interpreted things wrong. I struggle hard every day with the fear of not being a good enough wife, daughter, sister, friend, RN and with that comes the fear of not being in control. God answered my prayers because the peace I have found in reading this book and your comments and realizing I am not alone in this struggle is unbelievable. Thank you Angie for writing this book, thank you ladies for your prayers and comments, and thank you God for being with us every day and loving us despite our fears.

  16. Angie,

    I loved how on page 6 you said ” He wasn’t asking them to identify their location, but rather their condition” Am I ready to be transparent and indentify my condition before God and as you said “confess their transgression” when the world expects me heed that “everything is okay”.

    • Heidi – isn’t that a struggle?! The “world” wants us to look perfect and be perfect…people don’t like to hear the truth when they ask you how you are…they want to hear “fine”…because I think transparency is difficult for so many people….it causes me to look inside myself and sometimes I am not ready to deal with what I find there. So I would rather everyone just keep to themselves. But I too have found that sickness dwells in silence. I love that we can come here and have true transparency and receive love and acceptance on the other end!! πŸ™‚

      • So true. It is such a struggle to be transparent and real. I agree, people don’t want to always hear that we aren’t fine today or I don’t always want to hear if someone is struggling. It is such a blessing to be here and to be real and honest.

      • That line spoke to me too….made me realize that although I know God knows all of my thoughts, feelings, mistakes, etc…I have never really gotten completely transparent with Him and confessed those things to Him, it’s like I think “Well, He knows it anyway, and it’s painful and uncomfortable for me to vocalize those things, so I’m just gonna ignore it, b/c he knows it all anyway.”
        I’m really trying harder to be transparent with Him. That’s what He wants is our honest, raw confessions.

      • That line spoke to me too….made me realize that although I know God knows all of my thoughts, feelings, mistakes, etc…I have never really gotten completely transparent with Him and confessed those things to Him, it’s like I think “Well, He knows it anyway, and it’s painful and uncomfortable for me to vocalize those things, so I’m just gonna ignore it, b/c he knows it all anyway.”
        I’m really trying harder to be transparent with Him. That’s what He wants is our honest, raw confessions.

  17. Will there be further discussion in the blogfrog community? I just want to keep my eyes open for any possible posts πŸ™‚

  18. Hiding behind trees – it’s kind of like us hiding behind a pole with our eyes squeezed tightly shut: if I can’t see You, You can’t see me, right? How many times have I wished to be invisible to God? Love this!

  19. I was in tears as I read Angie’s recount of Christmas Eve. Especially the part on page 9 when she asks a question that I think most of us wrestle with as women.. “what if I haven’t been good enough?” So many times I question myself as a Christian, wife and mother.

      • It’s funny to read these comments from Sarah and Steph because my first reaction is to tell you, “Oh, honey, don’t worry! If you’re seeking Him them it’s not about simply being ‘good enough,'” but when I think about writing down that I fear the same thing, I just that I would not be consoled by my own words!!! Anyhow, this is a long-winded way of saying neither of you is alone because I often think and feel the exact same thing.

  20. What stood out for me in the introduction is Angie’s memory from her childhood. It maybe search into my own childhood to find if there was something in my childhood that triggered my own fears. I also like how she talks about others examples in scripture concerning fear and how God dealt with those people. I’m looking forward to the next discussions of the book, and learning from others experiences.

  21. Good comments all! I love reading how the HOly Spirit is speaking to each of you through this book. Some same, some different. God’s Variety!!!!

    pg 12. 4th paragraph: where Angies says she won’t hit us over the head with the bible and say if we truley love God we will not fear. That’s not realisitc. that it doesn’t take no fear to be a good christian.

    That hits me alot. I’ve been a black and white girl, a right or wrong. I’m learning to live in some grey because this is a grey world and God gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us and He created varitiey so there isn’t a one box fits all christian. It’s hard and it’s humbling and it’s scary and it’s tiring. But He is faithful and this book is just what I need to let go of my fear of not having God say to me “Well done good and faithful servent” because I didn’t get the right/wrong list perfect.

    I loved the discussion, nice and short and a good way to start. Thanks Angie, Jess and Brandi for journeying with us!

    • So thank you Angie for saying it doesn’t take no fear to be a good Christian and thank you Jess for saying we may not erase fears with this but we will learn to balance them with His word.

  22. Page 13 came to life for me yesterday. I work in a 2 person office, small community large phone traffic. A client called and I could hear something was off in her voice. I asked her what was going on and she opened up a bit. I then asked for permission to pray with her over the phone. She was amazed at the Lords provision. I was truly humbled. I am teary eyed as I think of the way HE has already used your words to equip.
    Until HE shouts
    Celeste

  23. I received my book, What Women Fear, just in time to start this book study with you. I am thrilled the Lord led me to it. I look forward to the weeks to come, reading, sharing, and learning together.

    “You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Psalm 73:24

    Faithfully,
    Pamela

  24. The enemy thrives on our silence. That point stuck out to me too. The more open I am about my fears, the more Christ can work them out of me. While I often feel silly and more vulnerable when I speak about them (especially to people who cannot understand), that’s okay. I’d rather be honest about my brokenness and have opportunity to heal, than to suffer silently.

    • That spoke to me as well. I am learning that is is good to speak the hurt out, as I am such an introvert. But He can use my hurt to touch someone else’s life. I have honestly learned that through (In)courage. As women right their stories and open up, and I just relate so well to them- it hit me. God was saying “look at these women being vulnerable, and look how you are so touched by the work I have done in their life. Let me use your hurt, your brokenness.” And He is. He is so cool! Romans 8:28

      • I agree with you Ally. I feel the same way, that God can use my story to help others. He will use yours too.

  25. What stood out to me was the truth that God accepts us even though we have fears and often time it’s our own doubt of Him that stands in the way of our ability to fully trust. The fears don’t fully go away sometimes and He uses them in amazing ways.

  26. What caught me was the “seed of doubt”. I kept reading over, a paragraph at a time, as the thought kept screaming in my head, how different would my life have been had I not allowed that seed to take root and influence my decisions. Already this book is so much more than I expected and we’re just in the Introduction! Seems almost crazy to me that now, after 50 years, I’ll finally be taking a step back and really thinking things through before executing – anything. Have to check with my kids. I hope I didn’t mess them up to bad.
    Thanks ladies, for letting me in to your intimate group.
    (p.s. I’m new to all this blogging stuff and I just want you all to know that you’re awesome! God bless you all.)

  27. I am so excited about doing this book study!! The part that really got me was the santa analogy! “What if I wasn’t good enough?” I feel that almost daily. What if I’m not good enough for my husband to love me, what if I’m not a good enough mom, what if my friends don’t think I’m good enough? I know that God says I am good enough I just need to trust in that! I can’t wait to read more and discuss more and learn ALOT more!

  28. I can’t believe how true this is, β€œWe learn that Satan doesn’t have to force us to do anything sinful; he merely needs to plant a seed of doubt and let us tangle ourselves up in it.” So many times I sin because I’ve tought on something so much that I’ve worked it out so that maybe just maybe it’s not really wrong. This fuzzy logic always gets me in the end and like Adam and Eve I want to hide my sin and shame from God but there is no where you can hide. I know this book will be so very helpful in my life because I am my own worst enemy due to my fear. Thank you so much for such an amazing start!!

    • Hannah-
      I have that same ‘fuzzy logic’….satan will plant a seed of doubt in my mind, and before I know it I am convinced that what I’m about to do is “the right thing” to do…it’s amazing how clouded my mind can get sometimes.

    • Yes – the line about how satan merely plants the seed – he asks the question and we go from there – ugh. And not being in community makes for so much more room in our heads to hear his suggestions and then what. The whole intro was good – love the Santa part too and the balancing act but the source of fear – this is it for me.

  29. I really appreciated the idea that we have to get the mental foundation of knowing who’s balancing us. That is the one area that I have struggled in for much of my life…my thought life! As women, I truly believe that our thoughts are quickly attacked by Satan (we so clearly see this in the life of Eve in the Garden), and it’s so easy to believe something that’s completely untrue! I have had to keep in the forefront of my mind Philippians 4:8 as I struggle to think thoughts that are really true. Knowing that God is the one that balances my mental foundation truly encourages me to rely on Him more! Thanks for a great start ladies πŸ™‚

  30. Angie,
    This book is so amazingly written! I feel so connected to you through the way you tell your story. I am soooo glad you did not skip the intro! Good call ladies =) It spoke to me in mighty ways!
    One of the things that really stood out to me was when you said satan doesn’t need to force us to do anything sinful…just plant a seed and watch us entangle ourselves. It reminded me of something my dad used to tell me growing up. He would tell me that he would give me just enough rope to hang myself (make good or bad decisions) and it was up to me…My dad didn’t give me freedom because he didn’t care what I did. But he knew that I had to learn and he had to let go.
    And of course, like everyone else, the analogy of depending solely on the net instead of making use of the pole in our hands was HUGE! What a wake up call for me that I didn’t have to wait until I felt like I was falling…
    The best part….My word from the Lord for 2011 was “Balance”!
    I am halfway done with the book, even though i am trying my hardest to take it really slow, and it is soo amazing! I keep re-reading chapters so that it penetrates deep down where it needs to. God is doing a work in me, meeting me in the dark places. It is not always fun, in fact, sometimes quite painful. But the freedom that I feel in not having to “hide” anymore is unbelievable!
    Thank you Jessica, Brandi, and Dawn for blessing my morning! =)
    May God bless you in all your endeavors…

  31. The whole introduction really spoke to me, but where I heard God the loudest was the part about Adam and Eve hiding, and God asking “Where are you?” Even as I type those three words, tears fill up in my eyes. “Where are you?” I have really been struggling the last 5 years and tried to find other ways to cover that up. And I have to admit that I found myself in those fears trying to find ways to make myself feel better. “Where are you?” While I have moved away from those things, now I find myself hiding in the shame and fear that Angie was talking about with Santa. And as I am not quite sure where to go from this point, it is definitely a first step in dealing with this fear.

  32. I love how God always orchestrates learning for us! What you said about the enemy “thrives on our silence” resonates with me, as I have always stepped back from conflict, hiding behind the wall of silence, and God has been showing me why……………. and then this today. He is so good……….
    Blessings,
    karen:)

  33. I think as women, if we can get ahold of what Angie is saying here… we will be able to have a greater understanding of God’s profound love for us, which in turn, will cast out our fears.

    Looking forward to learning more….

  34. Thank you, Angie! I always felt so alone in my anxiety. A neurologist told me when I was young that it was just the way my system was wired – and I would have to live with it. The Santa story…I FELT your fear because I have been there so many times. I know this book will forever be on my “keep and reread” bookshelf. Thank you SO much.

  35. Wow, there are so many heart-challenging things in the introduction!

    Like so many of you, I love Angie’s statement: “We learn that Satan doesn’t have to force us to do anything sinful; he merely needs to plant a seed of doubt and let us tangle ourselves up i it” He has had me fooled for so long, using me as his puppet. I’m so grateful to start seeing things differently. Another profound statement was Angie’s thoughts after seeing the gifts Santa left her, “He thought I was good enough. Maybe I don’t need to be afraid anymore” How many things have negatively influenced our view of God in our lives since we were children?

    I’m just so grateful for truth!

  36. I love this part, Angie – “We have access to Him here, in the moment, in every situation that arises.” There is such peace and hope in knowing that, no matter how hard life is, He is there to help me stand, to help me walk that narrow path, and to calm my fears. I think of the story of Peter walking on the water. When His eyes were fixed on Jesus, he walked.on.water! But, when he started to look at the storm and focus on the fear, he lost his balance and started to sinking. Just as you said that reading about other people in the bible who have failed miserable takes the pressure off you, this story is kind of freeing – because if Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends, could doubt so easily, and then God still chose to use Him to spread His truth as a leader of the early church…oh, I know that He can use me, no matter how much of a mess I am. Thank you, Angie. This study couldn’t have come at a better time for me. πŸ™‚

  37. “I’m not going to beat you over the head with a five-pound Bible and tell you that if you truly loved the Lord you would never fear.”

    I don’t know how many times I’ve been told, “Just stop worrying.” It’s not always that easy. The amount of guilt that I’ve felt because I believed the line that I wouldn’t worry if I really had faith…

  38. I love the freedom that comes from being reminded that we don’t have to “get past ” the fear, that we are not trying to “fix” something, but that God is there THROUGH it all, keeping us balanced and leaning on Him. So looking forward to this study! Thank you all! πŸ™‚

  39. The Lord has been pushing me to deal with my fear and anxiety. So when my friend asked me to read this book with her I couldn’t say no. I had a very dysfunctional childhood filled with abandonment, emotional abuse and on a few occasions physical abuse. I have always done my best to cope. But 4 years ago I had my second daughter and fear and anxiety took on a whole new meaning. My daughter has Congenital Heart Disease. 2 open heart surgery’s, 6 heart catherization’s and many sicknesses and many many tests later here I am waiting for the day our daughter will need a 3rd open heart that we can’t avoid. When she turned 1 I spiralled out of control with depression and panic attacks eventually needing medication. I have tried to cope without medication but my anxiety take over and I can’t function. This book could not have come at a better time in my life. I know the Lord has done a huge work in my life since my daughter was born but I know he is not done. The thing is I’m ready now to take the next step. Page two brought me to tears. It reads ” I certainly don’t think that it is requirement for Christians to forego fear in order to be a good follower of Christ” I have always thought this but most people I have shared with always tell me to let it go, move on, why worry, you’re a christian your not suppose to worry. The word of God never tells us that we will not worry, have fear or be anxious. The word tells us what to do with it! I am looking forward to reading this book. My prayer is that all who read will be ready for the Lord to move in their heart like he is moving in mine.

    • Faye – I am praying for you and for your daughter. So very glad you are here on this journey with all of us. I can’t imagine what it has been like battling with the uncertainty of your daughter’s health…but I am praying that this study brings you a newfound peace!!

      • Thank you very much. I do praise the Lord that her heart health is great right now. It’s the not knowing when that will change that is the hard part. The Lord is good no matter if things don’t look the way we hope.

        • God bless you and your daughter, Faye. Take heart that he is walking this journey with you and your family.

    • Faye- I have felt the same way. When my daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis, I made myself lots of questions, Why me? Then when her surgery was needed. I kept asking, Where is the miracle promised? I kept thinking it was all my own fault that my daughter was not receiving her healing. Then fear took over me, I felt like I was loosing all hope. And I heard those same words from my Mother. Why do you worry? you are always praying for others and encouraging them, why do you doubt? You are not alone, Faye. We will pray for you and your daughter.

    • Praying for peace for you Faye. I can relate with the anxiety and depression. I am praying for your daughter. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

      • You ladies are amazing! Thank you for thinking of me and my family. I think one of the most encouraging things is knowing that you’re not alone. Bless you all.

  40. As someone who has been told too many times that if I was just a good enough Christian, I wouldn’t feel fear, I can’t tell you how emotional seeing that, “I’m not going to beat you over the head with a five-pound Bible and tell you that if you truly loved the Lord you would never fear,” made me feel. I was so excited when I read the intro to this book because I felt like I could really relate to the examples used and I think I’m going to learn a lot. Sometimes things in life do make me afraid, and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one.

  41. My favorite quote from the intro was “All that to say, my deepest longing is for you to run after tomorrow like there is something waiting for you, possible through the kind of love that sees past our fear” (pg. 14). I read this late at night, and kept reading it over and over, like a prayer for the next day πŸ™‚

  42. As I read through the intro, (which makes me REALLY excited about the rest of the book) I came across several points that stuck out to me. To begin with, I found on page 5 “We (mistakingly) believe that at some point we are going to find the solution, learn to balance the pole exactly right in every moment so we don’t ever have to tremble anymore.”
    To me, that was comforting to know that when I feel like a failure for not conquering fear, there are others dealing with it too. The Bible does say we are more than conquerors. Can someone please explain that verse to me?
    Secondly, on page 6, “We all want to live lives that rely on the power of Christ, but we don’t necessarily know how to get to that point where we are doing that” I feel stuck when I try to deal with fear the majority of the time. Sure, for a time I might feel like I’ve gotten over my fears but they ALWAYS come back.
    The last paragraph on page 13 really stuck out to me! Two years ago, my husband and I lost our firstborn baby at 37 weeks of pregnancy. There was nothing to indicate something was going wrong the whole pregnancy. I gave birth at the start of my 38th week. Coming through that, I didn’t see how God could use it..well, I could but a HUGE part of me thought ‘why couldn’t you have found someone else?’ I’ve learned that I have no choice but to trust the one who created my sweet Ella Grace and holds her in Heaven. Along with that, I could relate to the woman on page 13 who had been afraid to speak up but when she did, she admitted her fear of something bad happening to her. I have had that same fear since my daughter died. The feeling is sometimes stronger than others but its there. In my way of thinking “Ella died suddenly. She was in my body, that means the same will happen to me.” I know that may be a warped way of thinking and because its “warped” I feel embarrassed (to an extent) to think like that. I have felt that if I worry about things, I can keep them under my control. Because if I expect it to happen then I won’t be surprised when it does..
    Lastly, I found it a good reminder that God isn’t unaware of our fears! And he loves us! We don’t have to act like we aren’t afraid of death for example.

  43. The Holy Spirit is so mysterious.
    I have never been apart of an online Bible study but my husband and I just recently moved and I have not yet plugged into a church or a group of women. I found the study and thought the book wasn’t for me as I am “just so confident.” When I started reading my stomach was seriously in knots and I felt sick by the end realizing the book was written for me. I know this will be an incredible book but will also cause many more of those uncomfortable feelings!

    What struck out for me:
    Page 13: “We are responding to the lie of Satan each and every time we run. “are you sure?” Are you really sure? Because you are staking your life on a claim you might have just misunderstood”.
    I can look back on my life and realize all the AMAZING opportunities I missed because I was afraid. Afraid God did not have my best interest at heart and would not provide or protect me. Afraid I could provide a better life for myself.
    With this move I am not in a situation where an amazing opportunity just opened. A life dream. A real huge once in a million years life dream. Too often though I feel myself either retreating and thinking I won’t continue to pursue it or getting so anxious I can’t sleep thinking God will let me down.
    Today before a meeting on the opportunity I just prayed about the fear and the seeds Satan has planted. It was INSTANT the rush of peace I felt. The meeting went great and I am seeing…. I am one of these very scared women who is waiting to fall and waiting for the net to catch me. Instead of realizing… He won’t let me fall. He is the perfect pole used to balance with.
    So excited for chapter 1.

    • Bryn, My family has just moved as well and this study is a great way to “fellowship” with women as I find my way in a new environment. Blessings to you on your “opportunity” and your new city and the possibilities it brings.

  44. The five pound Bible really hit me as well. I’m a worrier, so much more now that I have children. My worry is sometimes completely unrealistic and causes anxiety as well (such as someone might break into the house while I’m asleep, what if I don’t hear them? Who will save the children??). I am learning to lean on God, not to take these fears away, but…I’m not sure how to put it…but I think fear is a good thing because it draws us closer to Him. Not worry, necessarily, but fear. I’m so bad at saying what I’m thinking. But I’m excited to get to the next chapter.

    • Oh Kelly, we are in the same boat! I have a lot of worries and fears that are just a product of an overactive imagination, and I often wonder what would happen if I seized those thoughts when the happen and redirected them to prayer or reading my Bible what would happen. I totally understand the leaning on God part, not to take away fear but to rely on Him even when you’re fearful.

  45. I shared page 16 with my son-in-law, who is struggling with these same issues. A few days before I read this, he was talking to me about some medical test he was worried about. He said that his faith should be strong enough so he wouldn’t be afraid and worry about the test. He also said that he shouldn’t have to take medicine for his anxiety. I think it made him realize, that he is not alone in his thinking, and I pray that knowing this helps him in some way. It seems as if this part of the book really touched alot of people. I’m really looking forward to reading more!!!

  46. I am so thrilled to be reading this book along with you ladies! I can so relate to so many of you who said that you weren’t sure whether this was “for you” because you didn’t feel like you were one to fear. I actually came to the Lord as a little girl out of fear – my father had passed away suddenly in a traumatic way and I was TERRIFIED of dying. I had nightmares every night. Eventually, that led to my mother teaching me about Jesus πŸ™‚ I can honestly say that in the past almost 20 years since then, I’ve not been afraid to die. And since that’s the “big” fear – what else could I possibly fear? However, the Lord has shown me in the past few months that my fears are much more subtle than that – fear of not being in control, fear of failure and not living “up” to whatever I think I’m supposed to be. He has been working those out of me and I am so glad.

    I think what spoke most to me in the intro was the very beginning, where it talks about Satan’s planting the seed of doubt and letting us do the rest. Recently I’ve felt the Lord calling for big changes in my life and just when I get excited about them – the enemy steps in with his whispering “are you sure God called you to do that?” I’m just thrilled to dive into the rest of this book with you ladies!

  47. Thank you, Angie, for your willingness to write this book on a subject that certainly impacts everyone in one way or another. God obviously knew it would be an area where many would, if not struggle with it, at least be touched by it in some facet of their lives — He mentions it so many times in His Word. I am already reading Chapter 4 and have found things to underline and think about ever since I started with the Introduction. I am looking forward to continuing to gain new insight and to let God speak to me directly through your words. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  48. May God continue to bless this!

    I was reading recently about how prayer can end up simply being “another place for us to worry”. Definitely put me in check for how I spend the time in God’s presence…

    • I’ve never heard this before but what a thought-provoking statement… I’ve got to say, I spend a whole lot of my time in worry with God and not in worship.

  49. I am so excited to be here! I actually haven’t started to read the book yet. My sister sent me the book for my birthday and I got it in the mail today! My husband checked the mail on the way into work and took the book with him into work tonight. I was so excited to get it that I packed the three kiddos in the car and drove to his work to pick it up. I am back home and ready to read before I go to bed.
    I feel so blessed to be apart of this online community. Still working on finding a church and trying to find some accountability and friendships in the meantime. I feel so blessed!

  50. I have lots to say but I’m going to write down my comments first (so if some of this has been repeated above in previous comments, please forgive me!).

    One of the things that stood out most distinctly to me in this chapter is on page two, where Angie writes, “We learn Satan doesn’t have to force us to do anything sinful; he merely needs to plant a seed of doubt and let us tangle ourselves up in it.” This is so spot-on with much of the sin in my life that is shrouded my fear. When I look back at most of the choices I’ve made, it’s so obvious to me that many of them began with just a seed… Which I also find interesting because as some of us know, faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. I have to ask myself, what it is it about the seed of doubt that Satan plants within me that grows so much larger than the seed of faith? Why is it so stinking easy to water that seed and not faith?

    Another part that just resonates with me so deeply is on page six, toward the bottom: “He wasn’t asking them to identify their location, but rather their condition.” I’ve never thought of the events of Adam and Eve in this light, but in doing so, it really brings an entirely new perspective to me — of course God knows my condition, but He wants me to acknowledge it before it. Does God know I’m fearful? Absolutely. And yet I really try to hide it from Him by not allowing my thoughts to ever fully go to those fears or by not letting my guard down enough to admit I am afraid. I feel like as a Christian, I should have my act together, and that I’ll embarrass God or fail Him if I let that Krista, the fearful one, show. This ties in to the third part of the chapter that I just read over and over again and then highlighted and underlined: right at the very end, on page 14: God knows our fears, yet he doesn’t make fun of us or think less of us in those moments where we are overcome. And that’s a truly, truly comforting thought to me, because there aren’t many people in my life I feel like I could come to and just lay it all out there and have them accept me at face value, with all of that.

    Excited to go on this journey together. This is my first real, committed Bloom participation, so I’m looking forward to the fellowship of others and to getting to re-read the book at a much slower, thoughtful pace!

    • Krista
      Thanks for sharing your heart here and I totally β€œget” you!! Hopefully as we go through this you will also find a community of women that you can just β€œput it all out there” and find acceptance and friendship!!

  51. I have almost finished the book already! Love it! So it is good for me to go back and review the beginning. I had almost forgotten the truth Angie brought out with being afraid of community. I am a co-leader of a Mom’s group at my church and have recently taken a bit of a step back due to some insecurities I am having with my place in the group. It was all about fear that caused me to step back and not join the next Bible study that was starting up. I felt that I had no leadership place in the study, that the girls didn’t need me to be there, and that the study would be better off without me. I know now that it is just my fears coming to the surface. Fear of not making a difference in this life. Fear of not having friends. Fear of failure.

    I will say it has been good to take a hiatus from some of the structured parts of the group. I am focusing on me and God with this book, taking care of my family with my two little ones, and learning how to support my husband more. Not bad lessons to learn! I don’t think I would have been more focused on these if I was still in the same leadership position I was before.

    Excited to see what God has in store for me! A very fearful person when it comes to other people…

    Thanks for all the comments, ladies!

    • Christina – isn’t it sad that as adults we still struggle with feeling like we won’t have friends? I thought that was just for teenagers….and then it followed me into adulthood. YUCK!! Hoping that through this study we will all start to find confidence in God and not feel reliant on man(woman) for our happiness and security!! But it is sure comforting to know that there are other women here who get it too and I am excited to see where that leads!! πŸ™‚

  52. Krista
    Thanks for sharing your heart here and I totally “get” you!! Hopefully as we go through this you will also find a community of women that you can just “put it all out there” and find acceptance and friendship!!

  53. I was so excited to get this book (preordered on my Nook) because the title and subject matter really resonated with me. It has not disappointed. Angie, thank you for such an amazing read that has truly touched my soul. I am excited about the videos and “being in fellowship” as we share our struggles, our fears, our doubts, our insecurities, our joys and our wisdom with each other.

  54. I am part of this study for the first time thanks to receiving a free book! THANK YOU! I have just had a realization strike me while reading through these comments. I tend to be a control freak, and yet long ago I learned that I have no control over my future and finances etc. and I am great at letting God control that and not having fear about it. But I have been struggling through mothering my daughters, and I just realized that it is largely a control issue for me and that instead of praying everyday that God would help me be a better mother, maybe I need to pray that he help me to stop living in fear for how my girls are going to turn out. I need to trust that God is molding them into the people that he wants them to be and I need to stop trying to maintain control!

  55. A sentence that has both blessed and challenged me was on p. 6″ “I believe that fear is the natural response to the question Satan whispered, and I find that every day I have to adjust my footing consciously to move toward Jesus.”

    I got married 2 1/2 years ago, and since then, I find that fear has become a frequent way that they enemy tries to attack — crazy irrational fears that have no basis in truth, but yet these thoughts keep flying through my head. I was blessed to hear Angie say that fear is a natural response — sometimes I think we beat ourselves up for having crazy fears. We think that no one else could be as crazy as we are.

    I was challenged to “take up my pole” and consciously try to stay balanced by clinging to Christ. Since reading the first few pages of Angie’s book, I have made a conscious choice to just speak truth out loud whenever the fear strikes. I know that God is not the author of fear — so I just say that out loud and cry out asking God to help me to dwell on what is true and good.

    I am so excited about digging into the rest of the book. πŸ™‚

  56. Something that Angie pointed out in the book that I had never really thought of before-God did not forbid Eve to touch the fruit of the tree. He only stated not to eat from it. Just a little detail that I had missed before….

    • Totally a different subject (grace) but it also says that God said that on the day they ate from it, they’d die. I know there are various interpretations of that but I’m of the mind to believe that God meant actually physically die and He extended His grace and covered their sin instead by killing the lamb for their clothes. Which is great foreshadowing. But like I said, a whole other story! πŸ™‚

  57. The thing that really stood out to me was that essentially, it’s all about trust. Even in the Garden didn’t really trust that God had what was best in mind for them and that’s really what the heart of a lot of fears comes down to. Do I trust that God has the best for me in mind? Am I going to trust that He is there for me and that He knows what I’m going through? It’s not so much that I don’t know whether or not He’ll be there, it’s more do I really believe it and act on it, or at least try to act on it.

    The one quote that I really liked was on page 6, “He wasn’t asking them to identify their location, but rather their condition.” And it’s so true. God asks us the same thing, He’s not asking where we are, He’s asking how we are. And it’s not that He doesn’t know, like Angie said, it’s that He wants us to acknowledge it ourselves.

    (And I really like how you capitalize references to God like “He” and “Him”, I’ve read books by pastors who don’t do that and it bothers me. They may be pronouns but they’re referring to God and they need to be capitalized. But that’s a whole other story!)

  58. This book has already been so meaningful to me. I’ve struggled with fear and worry for practically my whole life. It was especially important to me to read your words on page 12 about how we can truly love the Lord, but still struggle with fear. And on page 13, your prayer that the readers will come away from the book trusting God fully and seeking Him in the midst of fear. This is what I am learning to do…..seek Him continually in the midst of fear. Thank you for writing this book. Your realistic, heartfelt words truly will touch so many lives.

  59. I am loving this book and looking forward to the discussions and lessons based on God’s word. I am almost through my 1st reading of the book & can’t wait to dig into it even more. I can see myself in so many of the Bible stories – so many lessons to learn as we do this crazy thing called “life”. So thankful to be able to have wonderful “sisters” in Christ in the journey!

  60. I love reading the questions that cause me to self-reflect. And I LOVE that you are giving examples right out of God’s Word to show how He has interacted with His fearful children throughout history. He doesn’t change, so it is encouraging to look at them and see myself and then know He is going to give me the same grace. My fear can turn to frustration quickly, so I don’t always see it as fear. Sometimes it turns to performance (quick, control everything so I don’t end up getting hurt!) … but, I have a dear, wise mentor (my spiritual mother) and a wonderful sister in Christ who is my prayer partner of 14 years and other good friends (my “twalking” buddy … we walk and talk on Thursday mornings) who are trustworthy and I can let them see the real stuff — you know, the stuff that’s there when we lift the rock and show what’s squirming around in the dirt. Yuck. I am so grateful that God has given me women who don’t run when they see my uglies. It is through them that He is revealing His persistent love to me. Thanks for this book, Angie.

    • Hi Patty,
      A kindred spirit of sort sharing the same name ~ what a great word “twalking” ~ I used to walk with a friend and we never considered it exercise, because we literally talked the whole time and were surprised when we rounded the corner for home that we arrived as quickly as we did..I miss that walk..

      • Patricia,
        I hope you get to walk with a friend again soon. Something about walking that brings out the freedom to let our hair down because we are in our own bubble together and committed to “go the distance” of the walk together. Doing it consistently keeps an ongoing conversation going — we just put in the bookmark and pick it up right where we left off the next week. And, as you say, bonus: we are exercising! Good all the way around. Thanks for the kindred-spirit comment. I appreciate that. Looking forward to getting to know you better …

  61. Jess and Angie ~ I’m so thrilled to be with you all studying yet another book. Love the live videocasts.. I have just started reading and I’m im love already, Angie..I like how you talk about balance in the intro. The paragraph that resonated with Brandi also resonated with me ..by the way – Hi Brandi! Welcome to (in)courage bloom!! It really is all about wanting that balance and when things get out of wack knowing that we can go to Him and seek His wisdom and guidance…Fear is such a hard thing to wrestle with. I don’t think it will ever go away ~ but am learning that we have help dealing with it and that we’re not alone. Have to tell you about a fear that has haunted me in the last few years…Maybe this started as early as 9 yrs ago, when my mother passed away. Fear of losing someone close to me…I went through such a time when my mother died. I fear God is preparing me for another loss – I often have dreams about making sure everything is in order, papers, wills, etc. – crazy, but if something happens, I want my house to be clean and tidy and not the dishevelled (sp?) state it usually is in…Fear of hubby having a heartache, or myself (we both need to get serious about exercising and losing weight), fear of a terrible accident where one of my kids are involved. I know it’s haunted me for more years with my husband as he’s a police officer and my worries when the kids were young was getting a knock on the door that my husband had been killed, and I had 3 babies to look after on my own. Now my oldest daughter is a police officer, following in her dad’s footsteps,,,I don’t think a mother ever stops worrying or has fears of losing someone intimately close to them.

    • Patricia,
      I think it is so normal to fear more loss when you have been through such a huge and devastating loss. And, having family members who are police, it is realistic that something could happen to them, so of course you consider that potential. But, of course fretting over these things shows a level of fear that isn’t healthy. I sure have been there — lacking the ability to trust God to shield me from pain and knowing I’d do anything not to have to go through that kind of pain ever again.

      Like you say, this fearing may never go away, but He is there and He will abate our fear when we go to Him and share with Him and others.

      Fear can be like a weed in the garden. We pluck it and then another grows. So, we deal with it as an ongoing part of life. But, when we are injured or have big losses, sometimes we have to go deeper into the roots (pain and past injury) and grieve our pains in the context of loving, supportive relationships and then the fears coming from that pain come less often and less intensely. I hope that makes sense. God has done that for me in my life. I still have fears, but they aren’t as intense in certain areas where He has walked me through a deeper processing of grief. God bless you as you let Him into those painful places.

  62. I read the book two weeks ago and loved it. I have struggled with anxiety over the last year and a half and I could relate to many, many things you wrote about. I am drawn to this online community because it feels like a safe place to be a little more out in the open about my fears. I do not feel that others would want to hear about it, and many times I feel ashamed to tell those around me anyway. Thanks for going through this book – I look forward to hearing your video discussions and reading the comments too.

    • Beth – glad you are here and hoping that you find a sense of community of women that maybe don’t “know” you IRL – but support you and want to hear what you have to say!! There isn’t shame here!

    • Beth,
      So glad you shared, and as was already said, you are safe here to post and share your heart. I’m not on the (in)courage team of writers, but I post and join in and can tell you that it is a great place to tell the truth and be accepted as you are. We are real women reaching out to one another, not face-to-face, but still really sharing our hearts and helping one another grow in Christ. Thanks for taking the risk to share about your anxiety here.

  63. UPS delivered the book at 9 p.m. Wed. night – so I’m reading through all these beautiful comments, tearing up at the thought of so many of God’s beautiful creations are sharing the same doubts, struggles and have been beaten down by seeds of doubt in some cases before we were even beginning to grow.

    I chuckled when I looked back in my bible to confirm the addition ‘neither shall you touch it’ to God’s word…also wanting to be the rule-keeper and trying hard to obey – and please. But truth known, also wanting that knowledge, the recognition and desiring to ‘be in control’.

    I’m in a growth sitution right now – and I feel really blessed to study this book with such wonderful women of insight. We have relocated south to a new job for my husband – which means I am now looking for one. Logistically, it’s a tough location – a long commute to any major metropolitan area where I would have more opportunity – but living nearer to a city would have been extremely draining on my husband – so we’re learning to live a quieter, simpler life. I didn’t think I was a material girl – finding out that there is much I need to work on – thank you God for the opportunity and the time to finally learn to know myself and you. There have been many amazing answers to prayers in the last years as I have tried to ‘let go and let God’ and I have found that He is indeed faithful – even though I have not been. And I seek now, in my 50’s, to find the balance that I’ve always been looking for and to move forward in life, certainly with regrets, but with this group’s guidance and prayers, I pray that I can walk on the path that God has created for me to know Him, love Him and serve Him knowing and trusting that He always has our family’s best interest in His heart. Looking forward to getting to know all of you. God bless.

    Debbie

  64. I just want to share with all of you this song, I heard on youtube. The artist is JJ Heller. “Have Mercy of Me” is the title. I thought it was like a prayer in song for my fears.

  65. I know I am severely late on this but the intro for me kind of reminds me of being a new mother. I hope this makes sense.
    I had all of this fear and doubt inside of me that I was not being a good mother. Then, once I had the courage to start talking to other daycare mothers, I find out I am normal, my son is normal and made some great bonds throughout it all.
    What was it that held me back from ever talking about it? My fear. My fear of others would look at me like I was a crazy person. Which I am but, never mind that.

    I read the book as soon as I bought it at the Selah/Angie speaking engagement in Montgomery, AL I have been looking forward to this since it was announced.

  66. I am late in joining but am “forcing” myself to be part of all of it…speaking of fears. πŸ™‚ The whole idea that we, as women, can really hear and understand what we all go through in some way is a true gift. This is fellowship…Jesus is our host.
    Loved the intro…getting into chapter one!

  67. “an enemy that thrives on our silence”.

    ohmy. that hit me hard. that is exactly why we have to find our safe places to share. so important!

  68. Every chapter of this book has ministered to me greatly, but since this post is about only the introduction, I will say that the sentence that struck a major chord with me is on page 14 – “….. you don’t get a failing grade because you have moments of doubt”. What an encouraging reminder that was for me when I’m tempted to beat myself up for not having enough faith…. I’m reminded He knows and understands that I am human.

  69. Hello from France Angie ,
    I hope to have this book for Christmas! Living in France , I hope to start it as soon as I get it! I’m so excited!:)Thanks for sharing your heart with us!:)
    Blessings ,
    Becca

  70. I’m way behind in this study but I will post anyway! πŸ™‚ What struck me was the first sin. When God asked Adam and Eve “Where are you?” and they answered Him as if He didn’t know. God will ask us questions that He knows the answer too because we need to step out and accept that we have sinned. He will forgive us, but only when we confess that sin. This really struck home for me because I need a “safe” place to confess my sin. To the One who will forgive me and I’ll never have to hear about it again. Even thought Adam and Eve had to face the consequences of their sin, He was always there with them.

  71. Hi Angie , just started the intro , I loved it , so excited to read the rest all the way to France , the videos are great to have too!:)
    Be blessed and thanks for blessing me and so many other women!
    In Christ,
    Becca