Thursday, 26 April 2012

Intimidation....

Intimidate:   (definition from thefreedictionary.com)
To make Timid or frightened; scare
~  To discourage, restrain, or silence illegally or unscrupulously, as by threats or blackmail
                                   

For anyone who knows me well or has been following my facebook antics, you will know that a few weeks ago I signed up to Bootcamp.
Two weeks ago I started phase one which is a big detox diet where I cut out all wheat, dairy, caffeine, sugars and alcohol for atleast 5 weeks. Apart from suffering with horrendous headaches for the first week, I have to say I am actually loving the change to my eating habits, and will definitely continue following a wheat and dairy free diet once the initial time scale is up. I feel less bloated, refreshed and healthy from making these changes to my life.....but when I first read my membership manual from the Bootcamp trainers which detailed the foods and drinks I could and couldn't have, I felt INTIMIDATED!
I couldn't imagine eating ever again and wondered how on earth I could implement such a drastic change to the way I was living. I knew I wanted to achieve it...but that little nagging voice we all have at the back of our minds, just kept telling me "Stacey, you have had an eating disorder your whole life, you are a quitter, you are weak, you won't and can't do this!" That voice along with the manual made me feel hopeless before I'd even started!
So...what did I do? Well I prayed. I asked God for peace, wisdom and confirmation that this was the right step for me. Despite not actively having bulimia for around 7 years, believe me, everyday I have to face it head on and pray against any lies and plans Satan will try to throw my way. I never take for granted that it is by Gods grace and love for me that I'm delivered from an eating disorder...but it's hard...it's a journey....and one that not many people understand. By giving the situation to God, I was able to go back to the manual a few days later with a new perspective and clearer vision of the words, advice, and lists in front of me. I didn't look at it negatively but instead chose to focus on the positives, like the list of foods and drinks I could have, the yummy sounding recipe ideas on the back page, the nutritional advice and promises of feeling and looking healthier. I decided to choose FAITH over INTIMIDATION!
Fast forward to this week, and I started phase two of Bootcamp, the actual work out sessions. Tuesday saw me feeling nervous, excited, and raring to go all in one. I had great encouragement from friends and family leading up to the evening and went off to class with great anticipation. Walking in, I was welcomed by a very friendly fitness instructor, but looking around at some of the other campers, I felt INTIMIDATED! Lycra shorts and leggings surrounded me...people mingling, chatting, looking fit..."what have you done Stacey?" whispered that little voice in my head....then "Hi, I'm Lyn...haven't seen you before, this is my second month of camp, it's great, you'll love it. Are you following the diet? Wow, well done, me too..." Thank you God for sending Lyn at just the right time. "devil" I whispered..."pee off!"
I had a great time at that first session, it was major hard work and today (Thursday) my legs are killing me, I feel like I've been run over again and again....but after some prayer, and encouragement from my fitness instructor, today I again I chose FAITH over INTMIDATION and will be heading off for session 2.... God help me ;-))

Some of you may be thinking, well this is a lovely story Stace, but what's your point...why are you sharing this with us? Well, frankly, it's because I believe feeling INTIMIDATED is something we all experience regularly. Whether it be that group of women (or men) you'd love to be friends with...but they just seem so "clicky", whether it be the size of someone's house, car, job title, other peoples success in ministry...whatever the circumstance...the truth of the matter is WE ALL FEEL INTIMIDATED at some point in our lives...months...weeks...days even.

The question is how do you deal with those feelings?

My husband and I lead a great course called Freedom in Christ at our church. Week 7 of the course covers a topic titled "The Battle of our Mind." It goes into much detail about the devil and his schemes, and then takes you to the truth that we are more powerful than Satan and his plans. That through Christ in us we can accomplish all things we have power over all things.
One quote from that session says "If Satan can put thoughts into our minds, he can make them sound like our own!"
It's so true isn't it. The definition of being deceived is that actually...you dont really know when it's happening..and that's how satan works-putting nagging, depressing little thoughts into our minds, and making us believe they must be true if we've thought them.
The truth is, a feeling or a thought can only take you captive if you let it. Of course, if yours is of Joy, Love, Happiness, Encouragement...let it settle, spread the love people by all means...but if that thought doesn't sit right, doesn't make you smile...or atleast for the right reasons, get rid of it. Seek Gods truth and claim the fact that you are a precious Prince or Princess of the Almighty King who loves us so much. Look at your mind as a runway...decide which thoughts you will let land there and park up...and choose the ones that you will say..."no thanks, continue on your way" to!
Look back at the definition of INTIMIDATE....the feelings it describes are no way from God...they are awful, negative words, which if not turned into positives can and will do alot of damage.
Feeling INTIMIDATED leads to insecurity, depression, gossiping, and feeling worthless. It affects how we do life...our attitudes, our relationships, our destinies....perhaps reading this, has stirred up thoughts of people who you feel INTIMIDATED by...circumstances that you have let yourself get drowned in...debt...addiction...or maybe, you recognise that you are an INTIMIDATOR. That actually instead of building people up, you kind of enjoy seeing others not achieving the best they can be...perhaps you know your part of a group of people who may not actually be that inviting to newcomers.

Whatever your circumstance, there's always an answer.
If your in debt and need advice, there's a fantastic organisation called CAP-Christians Against Poverty who can and will help you....humble yourself and change your life today...dont let this situation engulf you any longer lovely.
If you know you have an addiction, depression, are lonely and need support...why not today confide in someone you know you can trust and seek help. Perhaps seek help with finding a counselling service who will and can help you....don't let this situation engulf you any longer my sweet.
If you know that you've been or are an INTIMIDATOR, stop beating yourself up about it and stop! Right now...just stop it...if your a believer, pray to God, seek His wisdom, love, guidance...and make peace with anyone you know your not right with...don't let this situation engulf you any longer precious.
And finally, if you, like me, go through phases of feeling INTIMIDATED...now is the time to just give it up...pass the buck over to our beautiful God who loves you so very much. He is well pleased when He looks at you. He is WARM, COMPASSIONATE, LOVING, FORGIVING, HUMBLING, PROTECTOR, CONFIDENCE, SECURITY, ACCEPTANCE, SIGNIFICANCE, INTIMATE over INTIMIDATING...He is all you need to do life and do it well.

I truly believe now is a good a time as any to take control of your life...your thoughts...your choices...your actions....your feelings.

John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free!"

Lord God, we thank you that you love us so very much. That when you look at us, you see nothing but pure gems of your amazing creation. I thank you Father that you sent your son Jesus to die for us that we would know your love and your freedom. I pray right now for anyone reading this entry that you would stir something in their hearts Lord Jesus, that you would reveal to them the areas they need to stop feeling intimidated in, that you be their confidence, their strength. Help us Lord God make the right choice over the thoughts that land in our minds, help us to encourage and love one-another and do this life well. Thank you Father for your truth...thank you, in Jesus name, Amen!

Be blessed :-)