caroline holzberger

Keepin' it real about motherhood, Jesus, life, and everything in between.

Calling It a Spade

I am so fl-ipp-ing tired of hearing story after story after story of people living in fear.

I mean it, y’all. I’m eff-ing over it.

Not because I am a jerk and have no ephathy for people struggling with this issue. Beause, trust me, I do. And then some.

But, wow, you sound pissed!

I am!!

I am sooooo over it because I am tired of the power that fear gives to the enemy. It genuinely pisses. me. off.

So much so, that I have left my completely comfortable, snuggly bed at almost midnight to tell you about it. I have to get all this out of my brain and heart and soul. I need you to know this.

I lived a great deal of my life gripped by fear. And, I don’t just mean an over-protective mother or cautious driver. I mean g-r-i-p-p-e-d by fear.

Terrified someone was about to break into my house.

Imagining, with more details than I’d like to admit, the phone call I’d receive saying Ryan has another wife and family somewhere.

My infant dying from SIDS in their sleep.

A car wreck taking my entire family at once.

And of course, the coup de gras is the infamous — me dropping dead from a sudden heart attack – oh ya, in front of my kids, too.

My friend, those aren’t examples I read from a book. Those are real live, personal moments of my life I’ve handed over to fear. I’ve hand tied the bow and gifted them to my enemy. Well, that party’s over, satan. No more gifts for you.

I’ve done this time after time after time.

Have you?

For the past decade or so, I’ve been dealing with this off and on. I have roots of mistrust, the need for control, desire for approval, fear of sudden change, etc. that have led me to this. And for years, I tried so many methods of getting rid of it, masking it, and pushing it down deeper into my soul.

Tip for the day: the harder you push something down, the more fiercely it springs back up to the surface. Can I get an witness!?

If I sound a bit more upset than you’re used to, it’s because I am.

I am currently walking through this with someone dear to me. Someone more dear to me than most people. Someone I love and thank God for often. This person is so deeply gripped, they can’t get out from under it. It has affected their family, their job, their health, their everything. Um, been there, done that.

So, my darlings, I just wanted to shed some light into this very dark world. This isn’t a world most Christians like talking about, because clearly if they are afraid, they aren’t faithful. The Bible says that, right? (THey are talking about 1 John 4:18 – Read them. Then read this commentary. You will understand.) But, I believe the Bible is chock full of people who were afriad and still faithful. With one breath they say “I believe’ and in the next breath, they say “Help me in my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

I feel, with 100% certaintly, that fear is one of the most powerful weapons the enemy uses to wage war against us. Why? Because it packs quite a punch.

So, let me go ahead and clear a few things up I’ve learned in my years of fighting this battle.

Ahem.

1. You will die. As my pastor says, “Ain’t none of us getting out of this thing alive.”

2. You neither make the earth spin nor keep it from spinning.

3. Your life is a vapor. (James 4:14)

4. Those around you, whom you love, will die too. (see #1)

5. Planes crash. People get robbed. Guns kill people. Storms come. Hearts stop. It’s just the truth.

Sheesh Caroline, you should really be a motivational speaker.

We live in a completely screwed up world governed by sin and death, and ruled by the prince of this world, not worthy of the title at all. (John 14)

We, as humans, by nature have an insatiable need for control. We must be boss. We need to have it all planned out. We have to have proof. Stats. Verification. Answers. NOW.

And, when that doesn’t come…when we get thrown a wicked curve ball before we realize we’ve even stepped up to the plate – we. freak. out.

We’re pretty good at it, actually.

I know I am, at least. This crap can literally cause physical symtoms in my body that ‘feel’ exactly like, and I do mean exactly like, a heart attack.

You may think this is for people who are mental. You know cuckoo birds? (And my confessions may have just confirmed that to you.) But, it really isn’t just that. I agree that people have chemical imbalances. Actual mental diseases. I believe that science and medicine can understand and help this issue in so many people. And for that, I praise GOD…you know, the One who like invented the concept of our DNA. I thank Him that we know so much about this body or ours. This brain of ours. This heart of ours. But, aside from that – I want to call a spade a spade.

Fear. Is. From. Satan.

Period.

Mental disease isn’t what I’m talking about. I can’t stress enough the importance of seeking professional help for those of you dear ones in this category. But, tonight, I’m talking about the millions of us who suffer – and I mean suffer – from the little fears of life. The ones that, when added up throughout our day, equal a life governed (as in ruled by) by fear.

We know so much about all of those physical parts of us, but we need not forget to focus on knowing SO MUCH MORE about who we are fighting against and why he keeps attacking us.

Here’s the deal. Satan sucks. But, he ain’t dumb. In fact, he is crafty, cunning and persistent. If he kept going after the actual Son of God, then what makes you think you get a Get Out Of Fear Free card?

Satan has nothing else to do with us Christians but make us useless on this earth. He can’t have us for eternity – he knows that. But, he can use all his power to make us completely ineffectual for Christ while we are here. He can keep us quiet, alone, hungry, scared, intimidated, and embarrassed. I know, because he did this to me – for far too long.

So, tonight, I simply want to reassure you that FEAR is not from God. Fear is from our enemy. Every single time. No exceptions. (Romans 8:13, 2 Timothy 1:7)

Prayer is a powerful weapon against this attack…and there is NO better way to pray, than using the Word of God. After all, my friend, it is our only offensive weapon in this spiritual battle. (Eph. 6) And, I’d love to quote my BFF even though she doesn’t know who I am Priscilla Shirer, from the Gideon bible study I’m currently doing (check it out!) — and tell you, “We are not human beings having a brief spiritual experience. No. We are spirtual beings having a brief human experience.”

So here are some real-life valid tips to combat this assault. First, some practical-ish ones for your brain that helped me. Then, some powerful Scripture – without which, I’d be hopeless.

1. Keep your mrain occupied when you can. Down time is devil time when it comes to fear. A trick I used was to sit and do math problems. I would engage my left brain in difficult math problems that I actually had to sit down and figure out. My right brain (emotional side) was on stimulation overload due to fear/anxiety and so I had to wake up the other half. And with a Momof3 brain – math sure does the trick. I started with 2+2.

2. Serve someone. If you are sitting at home alone thinking about how not to think about being afriad. And then getting caught up in the fear that you can’t fight the fear of being afraid, then you lose. If your health permits (which mine did not for so long – half the battle) then please get up and serve someone. So much mental focus is spent on us, our fears, our problems, and it truly does help to get up and do something for someone else. You will be SHOCKED at how engaged your mind can become when you let it. It won’t cure this – but it’ll help fill a fearful afternoon.

3. Tell people. Now, I don’t necessarily mean you have to mention it to the guy at 7/11 when you’re getting a coffee, but if you feel led, go for it. You never know who you might meet at a 7/11. But, truly, tell your loved ones. Confess to a few close friends. Have someone to call in one of ‘those’ moments. Make up a code word (the sillier the better!) which means “My mind if racing with fear! Talk to me about something. Anything but this. Movies. Bra shopping. Royal baby. Anything. Go.” These people will create a special place in your heart like no one else ever will. Thank Jesus for them now.

4. Get help if needed. I did all of the above and then some. I had massages. I changed my diet. I was prayed over. I excersized. And so on and so forth. And then the time came for professional help. I tried meds. I had counseling. It wasn’t easy. Pride is a nasty second cousin of fear. The two are linked by their mutual famly member – control. We need it. We can’t get it. Our pride keeps trying. Our fears sink deeper each time we fail. Then rinse and repeat.

And lastly, BUT NOT AT ALL leastly – pray a lot. Somewhere. Anywhere. Everywhere. Here are some fantastic Scripture bricks to stand upon. I’d have been washed away otherwise. Memorize them. Write and re-write them. Post them all over your house. Tattoo them to your body. This IS my foundation. This IS your foundation. This IS absolutely where I believe you should start. Because even if you have valid reasons for your invalid fears (which most of us truly do!) and even if we have valid excuses for our behaviors – fear is from satan. We are of God. If you belong to him then that’s just it – you belong to Him. You are His. Let’s live like it. Let’s claim the victory Jesus died for. Let’s live our life NOW as Christ desires – free from the grip of fear. Not free from ever being afraid again – but free from it ruling our lives.

I leave you with a lovely quote from my BFF, Priscilla again – this was a perfect way to describe this – (read it twice!)

“Every physical reality contains a spiritual root. So if you deal with only the natural reality, using natural resources, you will never drill down to address the spiritual reality. You may be able to patch up the symptoms for a while, but the real problem will remain unsolved and simmering. That’s the enmy’s plan — to talk you into ignoring the divine reality occuring beneath the surface of your difficulties, leading you to downplay the significance of your spiritual weapons.”

Amen sister, Amen!

So I will leave you with a little conversation I am about to have out loud on your behalf. Ok, now she’s really lost it  I love you, friend. You can do this. Ok, lie. You can’t. But, HE CAN.

satan,

You suck. I hate you. You are a loser and you know it. May I be the first to remind you that you will never, and I mean never be in heaven. You will never have the power of God. You will be forever, for all eternity in hell, where you belong. As long as I have breath, I will tell people of your schemes. I will share every gory detail of my past with you and your stupid weapon of fear. Because, I know that with every breath of my praise of God and hatred of you, your power weakens. And I gotta tell ya, I love that!  You know I am sealed by the Holy Spirit and you. can’t. have. me. I’ve been bought. It’s a done deal. I belong to God. For all time. I can’t wait to see your worldy ways demoted and His lifted up. I can’t wait to see all the abundant and remarkable glory God receives because you have lost some of your pwoer over His people. I choose faith. Not your stupid fear. So take your demons and hit the road. In Jesus’ Name, be gone. In fact, GO TO HELL! It is where you belong and where you will forever be. Oh, and while you’re there, mention the Name of my Jesus – it’ll make your demons shudder. (James 2:19) Ha. Ha. Ha. Take that.

Forever His,

Me

[6] Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. [7] And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phl 4:6-7 NIV)
[6] Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. [7] Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1Pe 5:6-7 NIV)
[5] We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2Cr 10:5 NIV)
[1] For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. [2] Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, (Psa 46:1-2 NIV)
[6] Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deu 31:6 NIV)
[9] Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Jos 1:9 NIV)
[4] I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (Psa 34:4 NIV)
[4] Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psa 23:4 NIV)
[27] Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (Jhn 14:27 NIV)
[13] For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (Rom 8:13 NIV)
[7] For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2Ti 1:7 NIV)
[7] They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. (Psa 112:7 NIV)
[8] In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. (Psa 4:8 NIV)
[3] When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. [4] In God, whose word I praise– in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psa 56:3-4 NIV)
[23] Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. [24] See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psa 139:23-24 NIV)
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6 thoughts on “Calling It a Spade

  1. Rebecca on said:

    Caroline. Wow. I did not know I needed to read this right now. But I’m so glad you posted it when you did. Just minutes before I clicked to read this blog post I was praying for help with my unbelief.
    Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your vessel-ness right now. Like, RIGHT NOW. God is crazy good. Thank you.

    • I love how He shows off. YOU (Whether I knew it was ‘you’) were who I was praying for when i sleepily hit the ‘post’ button. I knew clearly that God said ‘Write this now!’ and I submitted (whish so often I don’t do)- and begged for Him to show HIMSELF off in a big way. So thankful He did. Thanks so much for sharing. Love, love.

  2. Leslie on said:

    My very favorite scripture having to do with fear is John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” It brings me such comfort and peace. Every trial, every fear I have, He has been there, and taken care of it. Good will win because He has paid the price! Love your words, friend.

  3. Angela Wilson on said:

    Carrie you are an awesome writer!!! You always make me laugh and cry….but even more dig a little deeper into my soul and become closer to God. Thanks for keeping it real and reminding us that we have nothing to fear. God is our stronghold not fear. I love you so much and what you do to better His Kingdom. No doubt He looks down on you and thinks….wow that Carrie is something special. 🙂

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