a story of fear.

Two things:

1) Kari Jobe’s new album is amazing.

2) I have panic disorder.

See what I did there? Sneak attack. Yeah, so a few years ago I was told by a doctor after a rather dramatic trip to the emergency room that I am prone to have panic attacks. It took a panic attack to know that little detail about myself, but it made quite an impact. If you’re unfamiliar with what a panic attack is…basically it has the beginnings of a heart attack. By that, I mean that it involves shortness of breath and chest pain. Sometimes your limbs can go numb. It’s not a pleasant experience.

Why am I posting this on the internet? Not for attention. Certainly not for pity. I’m posting it because God’s put it on my heart. I haven’t had a panic attack in about 2 years, but for the last couple of weeks I’ve been dealing with extreme anxiety which is like a precursor to a panic attack.

Basically, this means that my brain has been working overtime for the last week. I’ve thought about every little thing there is to think about. That’s one of my “triggers”. Overanalyzing and worrying are things that set me on an anxious downfall.

It makes me feel weak.

It makes me feel like I’m not trusting God to hold me up. That’s a worse feeling than a panic attack.

“Jesus, in Your suffering, You were reaching…You thought of me.” [“What Love is This” by Kari Jobe]

He made a way for me to know Him. When I feel anxious, God is the last person on my mind. Anxiety forces you to put your self-interests in the forefront of your mind. I forget that He’s always enough for me. I forget that His love is always enough.

“You take my pain and You lead me to the cross.”

Why is it so hard to give something over to the only one that can truly get rid of it? Shouldn’t that be simple? When I say the words, “God, please take this anxious feeling out of my heart. I don’t want it. I want to trust you”…why don’t I feel a sense of relief? Am I really letting go? Why would I subconsciously want to hold on to that burden?

I’m afraid. Part of panic disorder is that I feel like I’ve lost control of my body and of my emotions. I can’t breathe. Sometimes I can’t move. The thought of giving up control makes me have to catch my breath in fear. I repeat memorized scriptures to help ease my thoughts and gain control of my breathing again. I listen to music like this Kari Jobe song to remind me that He is the God He says He is. It “stills my beating heart”. But because I’m still holding on…there’s always a chance that an attack will happen again. I don’t know how to fully let it go, but believe me…I’m trying.

He made a way for ME to know HIM. He’ll take the burden from my chest. All I have to do is give it to him whole heartedly and trust Him with it.

Why do we do that? Why is it so hard for us to relinquish control? Even over something debilitating?

This is an album where I listen to it and say, “My mom will really like this album.” She always has encouraging things to say. And every song on this album is like that.

-Caitlyn

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[noteworthy] kids in the way.

I’m kicking it old school for this music post. Kids in the Way used to be my favorite band. They have some really amazing songs. I’m all about lyrics, so even if their music isn’t so much “my style” anymore, I love their lyrics.

“Lay me down in fields of green/This heart has seen things I never should have seen/You’re breaking my legs and teaching me”

There’s a theory that back in the day, when a sheep wandered away from the flock, the shepherd would track it down and break one of its legs to teach it a lesson. Some stories say that the shepherd would make a splint to put on the sheep’s leg and that he would carry the sheep over his shoulders back to the flock.

Matthew 18:12-14 says, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”

Although the leg-breaking theory isn’t in the Bible, it makes you wonder. Is the Good Shepherd one of these? Does he “allow” things to happen so that we learn? Is “allow” even a good word to use? The God I know is one that teaches lessons. I think some of our lessons hurt Him, especially when we’re making the wrong choices. But I don’t believe that He forces bad things to rain down upon us to “show us.” When bad things happen, we often say that “God hates us” or that “He’s punishing us.” God knows what’s best for us. Sometimes what’s best for us doesn’t feel so “best” to us.

According to this theory, after the leg heals, the sheep will stay beside the shepherd for the rest of its life. It won’t ever go astray again.

After we go through a trial and God brings us out of it and into the light….do we stay beside Him forever? Do we stay loyal?

Job 5:18 says, “For He wounds, but He binds up; He shatters, but His hands heal.”

I love that this song makes me think. I love the thought of God finding me in my wandering and bringing me home. That’s why I love this song.

Kids in the Way albums are a staple in my road trip playlists.

-Caitlyn

Other favorites from this artist: “Phoenix With a Heartache”, “Scars that Save”, “Apparitions of Melody” and “Stars Fall On.”

[noteworthy] christy nockels.

[Don’t be fooled. The video says it has the lyrics…but it doesn’t.]

My favorite song this week was “By Our Love” by Christy Nockels from her album “Life Light Up.”

I’m sure this won’t be the last you’ll see of Christy Nockels on my blog.

I actually own this album and recently decided to put it on shuffle and enjoy. Man, did I enjoy! Christy Nockels has one of the most amazing voices I’ve ever heard. Her voice is beautifully clear and passionate. I especially love her live tracks on the last few “Passion” albums.

The lyrics and melody for this song are both really simple, yet really powerful. I love simple songs; sometimes they have the most effect.

“The time is now/Come church, arise/Love with His hands, see with His eyes/Bind it around you/Let it never leave you/And they will know us by our love.”

I think one of the main reasons this song impacted me is because of how it relates to my latest post. The church is meant to LOVE God’s people! The church has a reputation of  blatant hypocrisy, strict rules and uptight morals. People should look at the church and see the love of God being put on display! The church is more than a building; the church is a body of believers.

What are we teaching our children? Are we teaching them to judge and look down upon non-Christians and even our brothers and sisters?

I hope they’ll be known for their love. The time is now. Come, church – arise.

-Caitlyn

Other favorites from this album: “A Mighty Fortress”, “Song of the Beautiful” and “Hosanna.”

1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God…”

John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

*I needed something to do every week. I have a few people that I send my favorite songs to or that ask me for some good music suggestions, so I thought this would be a good place to start! Let me know if you like the idea of posting a song every week.

my response to a trending topic.

“I’d rather have a Proverbs 31 woman than a Victoria’s Secret model.”

Live 31 is a relatively new movement that centers around being (or finding) a Wife of Noble Character, as outlined in Proverbs 31, rather than focusing on physical beauty. I read the group’s website and something about it bothered me. After discussing it with a friend, I realized a few things. One of which is that not every woman will be a Proverbs 31 woman.

Do I believe “an excellent wife…is far more precious than jewels” (Prov. 31:10)? Yes.

Do I believe that this noble woman will take care of her household? Absolutely.

Do I believe she’s “clothed with strength and dignity”? Beyond a doubt.

There are a lot of really awesome and powerful things in this passage about a Wife of Noble Character…so much so that I feel the need to capitalize that title. However, I don’t think that we should take these 21 verses of scripture and define our lives by them. There are a handful of Godly women in the Bible that were missing quite a few of these qualities: Rahab, Mary Magdalene and Tamar, for example. These women fell short of the righteousness described in this passage, but they were washed clean by forgiveness and we refer to them as women of God.

The opening line of this passage is, “An excellent wife, who can find?” That says that this woman doesn’t exist. Nobody’s perfect, after all. Women weren’t and still are not meant to be measured by one passage of scripture. Women and men both are held accountable to the standard of Christ. We are supposed to model our lives after him, not a passage of fiction.

There are 2 sides to “Live 31.” The first is towards women and encouraging them to live Proverbs 31 lives. The second is towards men and encouraging the pursuit of Proverbs 31 women. My problem with this movement is that it’s not only taking away from the pursuit of Christ-like lives, but also the pursuit of Christ, himself.

Women and men alike should pursue Christ, right? After all, Max Lucado’s famous quote, “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her,” is one of the most popular of our generation. (And Lucado’s word is gold…you know it’s true.) I’m down for any group that wants to spark a revolution, but only when the scriptural basis is accurate. This one seems to be a little misleading to me.

What about women who aren’t married or that don’t have children? This “Live 31” idea excludes them.

And what about the Victoria’s Secret models? Nicole Weider was a VS model and is now a mission-work-doing-Christian, but what about the others? Are Noble Women supposed to assume the worst about VS models and be better than them? If I made a really judgmental list about who I think needs Christ’s love the most…VS models would be on that list. Obviously, I’m not a Woman of Noble Character just yet. What if a VS model sees the goals of this group? You won’t see them at church the next Sunday.

I think a true, Christ-like woman strives to do good by all of God’s people, sinner and saint alike.

I’m not saying that striving to be a Wife of Noble Character is silly or unrealistic. I think there are many women who strive to live that life and I think that’s amazing. I’m also not attacking the group. Like I said, I love a good spark.

Have you heard about this group? What do you think?

-Caitlyn

After I started thinking about this group, I searched what other people were saying. This blog post and I seem to be in agreement.