I have worked hard to become aware and undo particular patterns in my life that are not healthy, honoring God, or helping me in any way. One of the biggest patterns I have tried to deal with. is the pattern of feeling fear, and then trying to out smart or be one step ahead of, whatever or whomever, I am fearful of. It's not a faith issue for me; its a control issue. I have faith. I know God is bigger than anyone or anything that I could ever fear. I live my life trusting in God's perfect will for me. I realize this sounds contradictory, all I can say is...imagine walking in my shoes!
I have learned that this particular pattern within me started in my childhood and continued persuasively into my first marriage. I do not blame anyone, however, when you combine alcoholic parents, divorce, and dysfunction, etc, into the heart and mind of a five year old, it sets the stage. Then years later you combine a marriage that was riddled with emotional, verbal, and physical abuse; you create ways to cope with your fears. You try to be one step ahead of your fear. You try to figure out the best way to pacify someone who may be angry (not necessarily at you, but, you feel the wrath anyway), you walk on egg shells (and hope that the noise doesn't irritate someone), you may even find yourself agreeing with something that you do not agree with, simply out of fear, or you wont confront a liar with the truth, because you know if you do, it will make the liar more mad to be confronted with things they are not ready to acknowledge or confess. So, you search for a safety net in your mind. That safety net is a "plan" that has many different scenarios and endings so that you are prepared for anything.
I know there is fine line in using wisdom and making a plan, however, I confess I have wasted a lot of time and energy with worry, second guessing, and wishing I could control certain responses, words, or behavior from others.
These patterns of fear and planning usually stem from a person or situation that I wish I could control. Maybe it's someone who is bullying my child, maybe it's a family member that I love and care about, but has no interest in the truth, hope, or healing, maybe it's someone that I know has anger issues, maybe it's someone who has proven loud and clear by their actions that they are not trustworthy, maybe one of my children are sick, maybe I catch someone in a lie. This list can go on and on, as this pattern was deeply rooted within me.
Now that I am aware of this pattern I am able to catch myself and stop before I allow too much time and energy into my fear. I really don't like that I do this, however, now that I am aware I am able to focus on the issue in a healthier way. I am learning to not be a afraid of fear itself. Every now and then a situation arises and I see how easy it is for me to step into the well worn patterns of my life. Once I recognize this I immediately pray and ask God to help me see the situation for what it is and not what I feel it is. I have to be aware and catch my thoughts.
I have grown a lot in this area. I know that I am not where I was,.however, I know I still have room for more growth. It is one day at a time, one moment at a time, there is always HOPE!