Fight Debilitating Fears With These Solid Truths

Untie yourself from this common knot of shame.
Untie yourself from this common knot of shame. (Ben White)

So, after months and months of allowing God to deal with my inner heart issues, my thought processes and my idea of whom He really is, I had a massive mental setback. The effects of this setback have lasted for at least a month. It's actually a little hard to write about because it is so incredibly lame.

I had just had a mini-writing retreat where I committed to write one blog every day. I did not have mommy duties, so I woke up every morning, had a nice quiet time with Jesus and coffee. I listened to podcasts, sermons, worship, and I wrote. This was a real time of breakthrough and progress for me. The Sunday following this little fantastic time, we were visiting a church out of the area and seeing some friends. Those friends were guest ministers at this church and consequently had meal plans with the church after the service.

We were on our way to quietly saying goodbye and exiting so we didn't interfere with meal time when someone on the church staff invited us to stay—they had plenty of food. As we walked into the room where everyone was seated and eating, I had the most terrible bout of anxiety hit me that I have experienced in a long time. It was as if time slowed down.

I looked at all of these people I did not know, already seated and quietly enjoying their lunch. All of a sudden it was my first day of second grade again. I was lost, and no one could see me. I started sweating, having an insane hot flash and my throat felt like it was closing. I'm pretty sure I had a full-on panic attack. I convinced Clint that we really just needed to go home, and he was polite enough to comply. On the way home, we swerved into a Sonic, and I drowned myself in a cheeseburger, fries, cheddar peppers and a large drink. I spent the next couple of weeks struggling with depression, fear and a feeling of absolute invisibility.

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So what the heck happened? Well, I had a minor relapse. There was a moment in that room where the devil whispered the lie of invisibility to me again. Just like he did when I was a child. My physical body responded to the emotional trigger. Only instead of being a lost little girl, I was a grown woman. I was aware of what was happening to me, and I did recognize it as fear trying to grab hold of me again.

The solution? I asked Jesus for help, and I absolutely refused to allow myself to wallow in a shame spiral. I began talking to myself, reminding my heart, my head and my body who I really am. I was created in the image of the Creator. I have a story that is valuable and belongs to no one but Jesus and me. My worth is not in who knows me, or who loves me on this earth. My worth simply is because I am His. No good thing has been withheld from me.

I know this all sounds so silly. But, I learned a great lesson that day. The enemy of my destiny would love to talk me into giving up. But, he is full of lies, and has no authority unless I choose to believe those lies. The way to deal with setbacks is to look them square in the face, and then move on. Never give a temporary setback authority to put you out of commission. The joy of the Lord is my strength. His joy, the delight he takes in who I am and who I will become is the strength inside of me that moves the mountains, and slays the giants.

Adapted with permission from NextGen Worship. Hayley Kahler is a proud mother to three boys and wife to Clint Kahler. She loves Jesus, coffee and chocolate. Hayley has led worship with her husband for 20-plus years.

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