Head On Collision {Part 10}

This is part 10 in a series on my struggle with fear, worry, and anxiety – you can read part 1 here.

I did not understand this at the time, but my goal each day was to stay safe.

{Photo Credit: Maria Small © 2014}

{Photo Credit: Maria Small © 2014}

While my desire was not inherently wrong – in fact it kept me from doing things that would have caused me harm – it was a wrong goal in my life because it had become my controlling desire.  Every choice I made was based on what option made me feel safer – not necessarily what really was safer!  For example, I would plan my day by mentally processing the question, “Would I feel safer today being at home or in the truck with Justin?”  While stats might show that it was technically safer to be at home than do 500 miles on the road, or hang out in the woods, or be walking around big machines, that didn’t matter to me.  How I felt, not truth, drove my actions.

But there were days when things did not always go my way.  The hardest moments were when my desire for safety got in between Justin and I.  This happened when my plans and his plans did not agree.  Just like James 4:1-2 describes…

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” – ESV

…I would become agitated and try to talk him into changing his plans.  If he couldn’t change his plans I would get angry.  Looking back, I realize most of the disagreements we had in our first year of marriage were probably rooted in my fear.  My problem became very frustrating to Justin, and in turn, that frustrated me.  The cycle continued like a bad amusement park ride.  There were times when I seemed to be doing better, but it never lasted long.  All my Bible reading, verse memorization, and prayer wasn’t helping me overcome this problem.  I’m sure there were moments that Justin wondered what he got himself into.  As tears streamed down my face, I would cry out to God and remind Him that this wasn’t supposed to happen.  We had been told that the lady who had hit me wasn’t even supposed to be at work that day, and when she did work, she usually took the highway home rather than route 11. There were so many things that could have stopped this from happening…why did God allow it?

How I Felt, Not Truth...

Then in February 2006, hope appeared on the scene.

Justin and I had gone out to the Biblical Counseling Training Conference in Lafayette, Indiana, and as we soaked in the teaching from track 1, God opened my eyes to how His Word really did have answers for me and that there was true hope for overcoming this controlling fear.  In just about every session I felt as if light switches were being flipped on in my brain as I began to connect the Bible to my problem.  For 5 years I had been memorizing and quoting verses that said, “do not be afraid”, and expecting them to somehow make the fear go away. But what I was doing was no different than someone taking two Tylenol for a bloody, gaping wound.  I did not need a band-aid, I needed surgery!

Over the next few years, God began to slowly and lovingly do spiritual surgery on my life.

 To be continued…

{If you’ve missed a post, you can find them all here.}

2 Responses to Head On Collision {Part 10}

  1. Trina Holden May 12, 2014 at #

    your story is helping me make sense of some of my own journey. The whole ‘scripture as a bandaid’ when we need surgery is all too familiar. I thank God for the work He has done in both of our lives, and for the truth Scripture is more than a topical placebo. It is capable of so much more!

    • Mandy J. Hoffman May 13, 2014 at #

      Love the thought of how we sometimes use Scripture as a placebo. Thanks for your encouraging words as I keep writing. Sometimes it’s so hard to know if you make sense to others when a topic is so familiar to yourself.

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