Fearful Thoughts Are A Train Wreck

Walking Through the Fear

Walking Through the Fear ~ A View From the Top

Thoughts. When I looked at the beauty all around me, I shook my head and sighed, thinking about how I might not have made it here to enjoy this part of God’s creation. I hiked up this hill located in a nearby state reserve and looked around in awe, grateful that God had found a way for me to be here. It wasn’t illness or a broken car that almost kept me from coming to the beautiful central coast of California ~ it was, and is, the fearful thoughts that seek to sabotage what God has planned for me.

You see, last week I was out of town, in the Midwest visiting family. It was a long week, and if truth be told, a bit of a stressful week. We arrived home on Sunday and my nerves were shot, my emotional basket drained but I didn’t have time to pause. Instead of unpacking, I began repacking to make the trip to Central California where I was scheduled to speak at three separate luncheons. The week in the San Luis Obispo area had been planned many months before, and when I think about it, was an answer to prayer from God for some quiet time to write and reflect. I was provided a lovely place to stay during the week, a refuge complete with a beautiful garden.

When my father heard that I was heading up here and had a place to stay, he decided to join me for the first few days of my trip. What a wonderful opportunity to spend some time with my Dad! And an added bonus was that I would only need to take the train to his house and he would drive the balance of the three hour trip. I would only need to take the train to his house…

That was the fearful thought that almost ruined it. If you can keep a secret, I will tell you something about myself. Sometimes I suffer from anxiety. Many years ago it was relentless and I was plagued with panic attacks. It hasn’t been that bad in a very long time, but there are times when I still struggle; especially when I am tired and emotionally drained and need to go outside my comfort zone. Like Sunday night.

At 1:30am I woke up. I can’t take the train, I thought. What if I have a panic attack on the train? What about transferring at Union Station? What if it happens there? What if? What if? What if? Until the alarm went off at 6am and it was time to continue packing so I could catch the train in a few hours; a train that my fearful thoughts had convinced me I couldn’t ride.

I ended up not taking the train and I am a little disappointed in myself for not, this time, pushing through the fear. Instead, my sweet husband made arrangements for a friend to drive me to my Dad’s. I’m not proud of this. I wish my story had a really great, dramatic paragraph about how I boarded that train with my luggage in tow and even shared my story of triumph with some other poor soul while we clackety-clack made our way to our destinations. But even so, God is so good and so gracious that He made a way for me to be here, in spite of my fearful thoughts.

I know I made it here on the prayers of friends and family. Their prayers brought me the peace and presence of mind to share my story with a sweet group of ladies at my speaking engagement yesterday; and their prayers will continue to carry me through the rest of the week.

I am feeling more rested, my time here with the Lord is refilling my basket. And that is why this morning I decided to walk up the street and hike up that mountain, in spite of fearful thoughts ~ mountain lions, the boogey man, my own anxiety. It was glorious! When a fearful thought emerged, I replaced it with a thought about the Lord. This thought thing is a process. It will take time and practice ~ and come Saturday I will have an opportunity to put the practice into play since I will be taking the train home. I am already imagining the dramatic and victorious paragraph I will write!

“Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them;  for the Lord your God is He who goes with you…” Deuteronomy 20:3-4 NKJ


9 Comments on “Fearful Thoughts Are A Train Wreck”

  1. Mary says:

    It is funny, the way God speaks to us through speaking to others. I desperately needed this message today. Thank you!

    • Thank you for blessing me with your comment! Sometimes, for me, the blessing is knowing there is someone else out there who understands. Praise God that He allowed our paths to cross!

  2. Janet says:

    Lynne, thanks for your honesty! Great to know we are not alone in our fears and all struggle in different ways! I love hearing how God works in your life. Love you friend! You will LOVE the train ride home. The view will be spectacular 🙂 I would love to ride with you and share God’s beauty with you and also your conversations. You always encourage me when we get together 🙂

    • Hey friend, now you did it! Next time I am taking that train ride, I know who to call! I would love you as my train buddy ~ time would fly by! Thank you so much for being one of those people in my life who just encourages me so much that I feel like I can go out and do what God has called me to do. That is definitely one of your many gifts! Love you, Janet.

  3. Lisa L Keck says:

    That little creature named An Xiety has a mighty strong voice. I’ll be praying for a long lasting case of laryngitis so you can ride the train home in peace. For me An has taken up residence in my writer’s market guide which explains why I have talent but no agent and no prospects for traditional publishing. Don’t ask why, but I’m fine entering contests. Not sure if I’ll ever be able to ride the traditionally published train or if I’ll pursue self-publishing. Thanks for sharing today.

    • Lisa, I think that we need to send out an eviction team to your writer’s market guide! Seriously, there is no reason you shouldn’t be represented. I will pray for removal of the anxiousness regarding approaching a traditional agent or publisher. HOWEVER, having said that, you and I both know that times are changing in that industry anyway and I believe you don’t need them to be successful. People think they need them for validation, but you know the talent God has given you. I think self-marketing and self-publishing will be more than norm as time goes by. Just my two cents. Either way, and I know you don’t need to hear this, you are one of the most prolific people I know ~ KEEP WRITING! You inspire me so much when I see where you are in your writer’s journey on FB. xoxoxo

      • Lisa L Keck says:

        you’re so right—guess i want the validation but i am leaning more towards the conviction that i have a message to share as a means to spur me on. During my FB fast for Lent I’ve been doing some extra reading looking for material for a devotional i wrote a few years back that i want to publish. Thanks for the support. A way to self-publish my book on caregiving just popped into my head. It has a journal that goes with it and that was stumping me. Better go jot down the idea.

  4. Sharon says:

    Oh Lynne. Such honesty. And you know that I TOTALLY understand this anxiety/fear issue. As much as I would love to also have those incredible *Red Sea* moments when my fear supernaturally disappears – (and sometimes that does happen) – I find that more often than not, God has a way of just getting me across the stream. And that, on many occasions, is the miracle.

    As I always say, faith is not the absence of fear. It is trusting God and moving forward on shaky legs and wobbly feet. Faith is faith, even when it’s scared.

    Proud of you. Clickety-clack.


    • Hi Emma…I know you know, and as I shared with another gal, sometimes it is just knowing that I am not alone in my struggles that gets me through. In this together, sister, and blessed for it to be so! Thankful we can celebrate walking over small stones in streams and the running across the dry ground of a parted sea. It is all for His glory ~ even our weaknesses are used, and for that I am amazed and grateful. Love you!! xoxoxoxo

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