The Key to A Worry-Free Life! 

By:Christine Varichak

If you have ever had a panic attack, or know someone who has, it’s a pretty terrifying experience! You feel like you’re trapped in a prision that’s your own body, ridiculed by fear.  Panic attacks come in 3 Phases:
Phase 1) Sumpthin’ Just Ain’t Right…

You struggle to fall asleep but wake up early, trouble focusing on the tasks right in front you, possible stomach pains or trouble with bowel movements (constipation or diahreah), headaches, possible facial ticks, overall feeling of unease.

Phase 2) Something is definitely wrong! Queasiness, light-headedness, feeling of being trapped, migraine headaches, overwhelming feeling of indecision, panic, and unease.

Phase 3) Possible fainting, constant feeling of distress or nausea. Incapacitated, unable to move or function.  You may be unable to get out of bed without feeling faint, Abnormal breathing, heart palpitations, hair loss. The above phases 1&2 magnified.

After reading all of these horrific symptoms, would you believe me if I told you your mind is TRYING very hard to tell you something?  And your body is simply reacting… Well believe it or not, these symptoms are NOT to be ignored! Or medicated!!! They are the smoke billowing from the volcano…Indicating serious combustion is on its way!  The phases listed are based on my personal experinece, so I know first hand how horrific it is to experience any and all of the listed symptoms. I am pleased to say I am now free from experiencing Phases 2 & 3, and rarely experinece even Phase 1.  If you want to be free as well…read on!

Ok, so first of all, pat yourself on the back for reading this article!! I remember feeling hopeless and depressed as a result of not getting the help and understanding I needed.  I learned that stress is the #1 killer in the U.S and if I kept going down this crazy road I would eventually check myself into the looney bin, or else just hop on the crazy train…We can all imagine our own version of what that looks like.  For me: self medicating with alchohol, and who knows what else…Not caring for my kids, walking away from my faith, etc. We all know what our own version looks like, for some people its over eating, over exercise, video gaming, working overtime, binging on Netflix, or vacationing.  None of these things are helpful because the underlying problem that’s causing the panic is lying dormant…much like a volcano…ready to blow!

So how do you stop these symptoms from attacking you?  Start with the source by asking yourself these 3 questions:

1. What am I fearing?

2. Is this a valid fear?

3. Who can help me?

For example:

1. I am fearing I do not have money to make my bills this month.

2. Yes.

3. God, and His representatives.(Brothers or Sisters in the Lord).

I used this example because it was my biggest fear…”lack”.  Not having enough, my mind would immediately travel at lightening speed to: food-stamps and homelessness, and my kids being taken away from me.  What’s your lightening thought?  Is it that if you mess up again at work you’ll lose your job?  Then end up disappointing your family, losing your house, wife, and kids?  Embarassed that you couldn’t cut it?  All of the lightening thoughts are presumptions…The fact that you may lose your job may be valid, but the lightening assumptions that follow are NOT valid.  We cannot presume what’s going to be the result of our faults and failures at every turn. That would make YOU God, last time you looked in the mirror, were YOU the creator of the Universe?  If yes, go ahead and call that looney bin now…

Be sure you are actually writing down the fear to see if it indeed really IS vaild (something like 80% of our fears are completely invalid to begin with); making us feel ridiculously comforted when we write down that we think secret agents may be following us, or we are living in a house that’s haunted! Lastly, list  2-3 supporters who aren’t going to critisize you, or your choices, but lift you up and give you the tools you need to minimize the panic, not feed it!  You do NOT want a sympathizer like your Mom who is going to encourage you to go get on pills to help you. But rather, a Christian who has seen a battle or two and has scars to prove it! This could be a Pastor or Christian Counselor, a friend, or leader in your local church. You probably won’t have to look far to find someone who can overcome panic as it affects more people than we are willing to admit in the church.   

Ok, you have written down your valid fear, and a couple of people who can help (with God’s help)…now what? An expert on panic attacks, Patrick Doyle (check him out in YouTube) says to “conquer whatever is knocking at your door first“.  The Holy Spirit will show you one fear at a time, and as you get quiet before Him, the root of why you’re fearing that thing;  and how to trust God that He will help you (The Holy Spirit is our helper) will become clearer.  Remember Jesus is the Prince of Peace, not the condemner.   He will show you how to  Cast Your Care on the Lord. I had a valid fear…several actually, over and over again, usually first thing in them morning, tapered off throughout the day, then again in the evening. As I continued to do this simple ten minute practice (I even closed my eyes and pictured the care being given out of my hands and at God’s feet) I got free-more and more every day!! I stopped waking up with heart palpitations and began waking up grateful to be alive and excited to spend time in the Word of God. He doesn’t want us to have fear, He died so we wouldn’t have to experience  fear ever again.  Jesus said:  “The thief comes to steal, and to kill and destroy, but I came that you would have an abundant and rich life.”(John 10:10)  Experiencing panic is on no level, by any means abundant, or rich!! So why not lift up that volcano, see what’s under there, and get FREE!!!

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That’s What Being A Single Mom’ll Getcha…!

 If you are one of those people who thought (or said) “I’ll never get a divorce, I could never do that to my kids!”…Join the club. I, too was a participant in judgement concerning divorce, re-marriage, and…well everything and everybody who lived a life I felt was shameful.  The saddest trait about a judgemental person is the one person they judge the strictest is themselves.  And that’s what I did when my Parents divorced. I remember judging my mother (mostly) and feeling betrayed that she didn’t ‘try hard enough’ for my brother and I.   Low and behold a mere eight years after voicing my judgement, I was the one;  with head in hands, trembling with fear every night, wondering how I was going to make it. How could I protect my kids?  How was I going to work, when my youngest (9 mos) was still in diapers; and my oldest (4 years) was more confused by the hour?  

After separating from my husband, I began taking kids into my home for a little cash, and assessing my finances. I was in $20,000 debt (all in my name…groan).  I had no college degree, no clue of how to pay a gas bill, or even change a flat tire. I had gone from my parents home straight to a man who took care of all those things. How would I know car insurance has to be paid or you can’t drive? I remember getting so anxious because I had so many bills.  Not only did I have no way to pay them (I was broke) but I couldn’t even if I had the money!  I didn’t know much about money at all.  Like how much it cost me to live with such commodities as: healthcare, a cell phone, or reliable tires.  Talk about clueless and over-reliant!  

Fast forward three years and not only do I manage my own finances with ease, but I now help other women with theirs.  I have steady income, and a place to live comfortably with my happy, healthy children who are thriving. I’ve learned to set and maintain relationship boundaries, and communicate effectively. However, not unlike all breakthroughs, are the “nuggets” you can pass along to other single moms in the same spot you were in:

Nugget #1

Trust God, Leave the consequences to Him.

Psalm 118:8 says: It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans.”  Clearly there is a BIG warning here that there will be times a leader, priest, parent, spouse, sister, or trusted friend will be contradictory in their advise to you. They will think they are “helping” you. But in fact, the only place our trust should fully be given to,  is God.  The next verse further warns: v9: “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”  

Nugget #2:

Your body has physical limitations.

I wish I could be the soccer mom that totes my kids in a mini van to ballet, baseball, dance, flute lessons and the like- every week day…But it’s just not gonna happen.  In addition to working a couple part time jobs, I am responsible for my two kids, keeping my house in order, driving to Dr’s and dentists appts, homework, laundry, dishes, trying to keep us all happy and healthy, pay my bills, manage time with my family who lives an hour away, and the list goes on. All by myself I do these things that are made for TWO people. I’m doing TWO people’s jobs…every day and night. When the kids get sick, we single moms dont have a partner to hand us a puke bucket or change Billy’s bed who just vomited, and bathe Suzie who just had diahreah all over the bathroom the floor.  You cant do it all, but what you can do is really amazing.  Create a fun, easy going, loving atmosphere at home.  A place where laughter resides, and warmth grows. A place that’s nice to come home to after school. A place the neighbor kids wanna come. (They don’t care if your meals are from Pinterest, frozen pizza is better!) 

Nugget #3

Don’t compare!

I remember feeling like the kids who lived with their biological parents (married, normal) were so much better off than my brother and me.  But in the end we have so much character, and gratitude for the small things in life that others don’t appreciate. We didn’t take vacations very often, and I really appreciate getting to go places, now. What others see as a necessity, for me it’s special and unforgettable. I also remember feeling when my divorce finalized that my kids were getting jipped out of the father-child relationship every child yearns for.  But now, in truth they have grown to depend on God as their Father.  Pslam 68:5 says “A Father to the Fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”  My children can go to God with a need their earthly father cannot meet, and recieve from the hand that created them.  They wouldn’t have known this relationship except through the loss and disappointments their dad brought them. 

Be encouraged, woman of faith!  Look to Ruth, Naomi, Sarah, & Mary as your examples, and know that the God of all creation says you are worth more than rubies!

Standards In Relationship

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In the past year my friendships have revolved, evolved, and dissolved. So much of what has happened has been the result of my asking the Lord to edify me, and my relationships. I am in shock of the changes that ensued as I continue to pray for this. Every single relationship in my life has changed in some way this last year. How I see relationships beginning, how I perceive them to continue, and how I have directed them to end, in some rare cases, has been the result. If you have ever had to “break up” with a friend, or change the demands a friendship had, you know how this feels. If you’ve never had to do these things that I’ve mentioned, you might be asking yourself where do I stand in my relationships? How does the Lord perceive each relationship in my life, and are these relationships lifting me up, or pulling me down? I’ve listed a set of questions that can be answered with a simple YES or
NO… although for women this might be an area where we want to answer “yes but… ”  Adding an explanation as to why we feel that way; but try to just answer briefly and honestly. This simple yes or no should be what matters. Every relationship in your life, whether you want it or not, is either lifting you up and pulling you to the destiny that God has planned for you… or it is pulling you down to the pit of delusion and destruction. For example, I used to have several friends who gossiped on a consistent basis. I’m not talking about sharing their heart in an effort to seek God’s will, and receive God’s counsel and wisdom, I’m talking about “did you hear…?” Things that had absolutely nothing to do with me.  People that did not concern me, and events that were none of my business to know. Many of the things that these people told me poisoned how I viewed individuals in my Church, and my ability to love them as Christ loves the church. I had to make a decision to cut them out…To say “Yes!” to God (in the case of relationships) often means telling people NO.
Here are the questions every Christian should ask themselves about every relationship they have.

Does this relationship…
Help you to meet the potential calling God has for you?

Edify you, or sharpen you in a gentle but firm way?

Meet your needs spiritually?

Qualify as a friend among other friends? In other words are you proud to call this person friend?

Does this individual seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance on a consistent basis?

Does this individual lead you in the right direction or the wrong direction?

Does this individual hold the same standard that you do in…
Purity
Prayer
Fasting
Church attendance
Loving others, and forgiving our enemies?
Tithing, and giving?
Serving?
Parenting?

Is this individual quick to receive correction from you in cases that you have approached them in a loving way based on the Word?
(It’s okay to disagree on some minor issues, but the things but I mentioned in the question above on the major issues such as: (purity, prayer, church attendance)… Does your friend hold you accountable in these areas?

Is this individual hypocritical? For example: Do they claim to be pure, yet they will date unbelievers? Do they claim to chase after God, yet go to bars to have fun? Do they claim to have a heart after God, yet consistently criticize you? These are all examples of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a big red flag that this individual is double-minded! James warns us that the double minded are unstable in all that they do- (James 1:8)

Does this individual sow into your life? You might think that this is a selfish request, but I have friends who are single moms, with no savings, and living check to check, who sow financially into my life.

Do you see this individual opening their heart to you; not just to vent but to really seek wisdom?
How does this individual honor and respect their authorities? EG Parents, Pastors, Elders in the church? I cannot stress this enough, because how this person treats their Elders… is how they feel about God! I have personally seen people who call themselves Christians, slander, gossip, and even get Pastors fired, because they did not like receiving correction. I understand that in some rare cases of spiritual abuse we must consult a trusted Christian elder to seek advice on how to move forward, or possibly move away from a church that’s not administering the Word correctly…IF that’s the case… but in NO case should there be a disrespect spread to other members, or blatant offense being spread about your authority. I knew a couple who went from church.. to church… to church…and eventually just got a Pastor fired, then decided to plant their own church!  The damage that was caused was astonishing.

Does this person protect you loyally? A friend is always loyal.( Proverbs 17:17)

If you have found that the answer to any of these questions are NO, or perhaps several were answered with a big NO, I caution you to follow what the Word teaches : “Above ALL else, guard your heart, for out of it springs life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Step back from this relationship in order to protect the most essential element God has entrusted you with…your heart… Understand that when we separate from unhealthy relationships, God… if we allow Him, will replace, and replenish those bad relationships with healthy ones. They may be few, and far between… but I would rather have one or two amazing girlfriends who I can trust and love, and they will stand in the gap, and pray for me, then to have 20 girls going behind my back and gossiping about me, never lifting me to the place I need to be.. but rather Tearing Me Down.

How To Be A Crappy Christian..

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Being a Crappy Christian takes work. Let’s face it…you’re going to want to spend all your energy focusing on other people’s issues pretty much all of the time in order to be a successful “Crappy Christian”…Focusing on people’s problems rather than your own sin before the Lord is the ‘KEY’ to any successful Crappy Christian. But lets take a look at the steps to accomplish full Crappy Christian status:

1) Judge everyone...Not just people who come to church, but really…judge everyone who isn’t like YOU!! Because being different is just weird…and their sin is way worse than yours!! Right?

#2) Don’t give. Being generous is for losers. Why should you have to give to those less fortunate when you work really hard for that paycheck? Don’t believe that you’re giving is ‘unto the Lord’, just consider yourself fortunate to not have to share anything with anybody!

#3)  Hate. Hate people….like homosexuals and the homeless…and be disgusted that they’ve got problems you don’t understand.  Post remarks on facebook about how we need to make real change in this country by hating others. Loving others in the midst of their sin is silly and pre-historic.

#4) Give your opinion to everyone you know…and don’t care about how it affects your witness. I mean…this country is at an all time low economically…lets keep talking about how terrible Hilary Clinton is, and how excited we are about Trump.  That’s what Jesus would want! Besides, it shows people how much we trust God when we try to influence unbelievers’ vote-by tearing down his opponent. 

#5) Share your offence.  When another believer offends you, feel free to immediately share what they did to you with others. Especially people outside the faith. This will deter them from ever coming to your church because they now see how hypocritical Christians can really be, and will be delighted to take up your offence. Spreading your offence, and talking constantly about your hurt feelings will win you more friends, and sympathy. It’s not like you have to forgive anyone!

Post any other suggestions (in my comments section) about how to Be A Truly Crappy Christian.

What I Learned From Leaving The Church — entermyfuture

DSC_7163-2Written by: Christine Varichak In 2011, I accepted Jesus as my Savior, and thus began my rigorous church routine just like so many new converts. I attended every service available to me, coming early, and staying late. I strived to surround myself with the strongest believers I could receive wisdom, and insight from. I believed […]

via What I Learned From Leaving The Church — entermyfuture