Are You the Parent of a Teen in Crisis?

Interview with Author and Parent Stacy Lee Flury

Today I have a special treat for my blog subscribers. It is my interview with author Stacy Lee Flury, author of the life-changing devotional titled Turning the Tide of Emotional Turbulence. If you are the parent of a teen in crisis or know a teen in crisis, you will especially benefit from Stacy’s insights during this interview.  

NOTE: There is no podcast to accompany this week’s post.  

MARYANN:
Stacy, welcome to my blog! I am so honored to have you here today. Please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to write the exceptional and much-needed devotional titled Turning the Tide of Emotional Turbulence.

STACY:
Thank you for your invitation. To share a little about myself, I have been married for 37 years, have two daughters, two grandchildren, and one dog and three cats. I have been involved in children and youth ministries for over 15 years and now sing on the worship team at my local church and blog to parents who are hurting.

Ten years ago, my youngest daughter started to exhibit some troubling and concerning issues.  As she aged, they became worse, and we did not understand the root of where they were coming from.  Some of these problems were self-injury, sub-culture identities, gender issues, porn, risk-taking and destructive behaviors, such as depression and suicidal ideology, to name a few. 

It wasn’t until much later that she was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder. Eventually, the problems escalated so much, we went into counseling.  That was the best step for me personally. 

Through an assignment given to me from my counselor, I was asked to write about my own depression that was brought on by parenting a child in constant crisis.  Those moments of journaling turned into a blog.  From there, God laid upon my heart that there were thousands of parents who were struggling and broken like I was in trying to help their child in crisis.  He encouraged me through confirmations to write a book.  A devotional book for parents just like me. That book is Turning the Tide of Emotional Turbulence.

MARYANN:
Parents of teens in crisis face struggles that most parents might consider foreign to their own parenting experience.  These are not the struggles involving ordinary teen challenges. They are far deeper, far more complex, and far more overwhelming. What advice would you give to a parent who has been blindsided by a teen in crisis? Where should that parent turn first?

STACY:
They first need to know that they are NOT alone.  Many parents such as myself, hid behind a facade to hide what was going on in their home and lives.  It felt shameful, embarrassing. We carried a lot of guilt and failure as parents.  It is not always the parent’s fault.  A teen and young adult are old enough to make some of their own choices and decisions.  Mind you, there are also some children who have severe illnesses and disorders.  Again, this is NOT the fault of the parent.  So release the guilt and blame on yourself. 

Secondly, you will go through various stages of emotions when your child’s issues are exposed and truth comes to the surface.  There is Shock, Unbelief, Anger, Sadness, Guilt, and a plethora of other emotions that you might not have dealt with before. These are all normal.  Connecting with a Counselor for yourself and for your child is the first place to start.  You need that support as well as your child in order to understand the condition of your child, what present things you need to address, and how to move forward with hope.  Also, it is imperative that you connect with the pastoral staff of your church.  If you don’t have any, I would advise to seek out one at a church.  Share only to those (with family and close friends) that you trust so that they can come along side of you and pray for you.  Once all of these are in place, you can start to prepare a plan that will guide your family to healing and restoration.  It will not happen overnight.  It takes time.  So bathe yourself in prayer and the Word.  God will help you along the way. 

MARYANN:
In your book, Stacy, you talk about the “punch of powerlessness”.  You brilliantly describe it as a “swarm of dizzy perpetrated by an unsettling dilemma.”  While we all have faced situations that sent us reeling, in what unique way does the “punch of powerlessness” affect the parent of a teen in crisis?

STACY:
If you have ever seen the Superman hero being hit hard with Cryptonite (the very thing that takes all of his power away), and he drops to the ground powerless, unable to move, holding his head in utter loss, that was me. Anytime something shocking happens, leaving you breathless, and dumbfounded by what you have heard or seen, that in itself is the definition of being punched with powerlessness.

For example, the moment I was just told that my daughter was facing twenty years in prison at the age of 17. You have no control, you are numb, you can’t think straight to what you just heard, and you wonder what you did to fail them.  It doesn’t have to be a situation like this.  A parent could be confronted with the realization that their teen/young adult has a serious addiction problem. Maybe the parent just found out that their son wants to change their gender and be a girl.  Or maybe, their child informed the parents that they are bi-sexual.  

MARYANN:
As an author, what I love most about your book is your willingness to be vulnerable and transparent.  We all struggle with different things in life, and when an author gives us truth rather than platitudes, we connect with that author and her message.  Many parents of teens in crisis are afraid to be open about their struggles. Have you always had this transparency regarding the crises you faced with your teen, or did you have to grow into becoming transparent? If the latter, how did you develop transparency? 

STACY:
In the beginning stages of my daughter’s issues, I kept everything a secret.  I had already felt judged through the actions my daughter was outlandishly doing (like being Goth and writing dark words and images all over her body), so sharing about what was really going on in my home was taboo. This became more personal to me as if I was the one with the problem and I wasn’t helping my daughter the way a parent should. 

With that in mind, I distanced myself from family, friends, and the Church. There came a time, however, that I could no longer do this as my daughter’s problems became so out of control. I put my pride aside and put my daughter first.  That was the beginning of my life being humbled to how God wanted to use my brokenness as well as my daughter to help others.  When I became stronger in my faith through my daughter’s crises, the veil of hiding lowered and my vulnerability was secured in Christ.  There was a freedom I had in my vulnerability that I had not experienced before.  

MARYANN:
Praise the Lord! Stacy, I have known you both as a friend, a fellow writer, and a fellow congregant for a few years now, and I have been greatly inspired by your faith, your endurance, and your adherence to God’s Word. You are a shining example of a Christ-Follower who runs your race with great courage and determination. Please share with our readers a few things you have learned about God’s grace during your journey.

STACY:
I learned that when I was at my lowest and weakest, I also had the most intimate relationship with God. I cried, screamed, threw fits of anger, pleaded, begged, and worshipped like I had never done in the past.  The best part, He bent His ear to hear me. He extended grace and mercy to my family when He didn’t have to. He never gave up on our family.  

MARYANN:
What advice would you give to parents whose marriage is being adversely affected by their teen in crisis?

STACY:
You MUST pray together. It is imperative that you do so.  Otherwise, satan will bring division into the marriage to distract parents from working as a team to help their child.  Another point to know is that each parent has a different way of coping in a crisis with their child. Maybe the husband is quiet and not vocal about the situation over the child. This does not mean he doesn’t care.  He may need time to think and evaluate himself as a parent, his relationship with his child, and future decisions for the healing of their teen/young adult.  The wife may do things very differently as her way of coping.  Neither is wrong.  But spouses need to allow the other to heal and comprehend and move forward in each situation so when that time comes in which they meet to discuss or work on a plan for their child in crisis, they will be totally focused on the child and not themselves.   

MARYANN:
How should parents of a teen in crisis handle the needs of other children in the family who are not in crisis?

STACY:
They need to let the siblings know that although their brother or sister is in crisis, they will still be there for them.  It is important that the child in crisis has a counselor.  This way the issues are being discussed and handled with the counselor, leaving the parents to focus more on the other children.  Other siblings may also need to be in counseling every once in a while so that their voice is heard during this crucial time.  They have many different feelings towards their sibling in crisis.  They could be jealous that their brother or sister is getting more attention.  They could be sad because they feel in some way responsible for their brother or sister in crisis.  They could be angry because their lives have been uprooted and plans changed all because of the issues with the sibling in crisis.  They need to vent too.  They need to feel safe to share what is bothering them too.  

MARYANN:
What kinds of problems did you encounter during the writing of your book? 

STACY:
I can honestly laugh at this.  Let’s see!  I lost my house and my husband lost his business. We went into bankruptcy. I lost many friends who coudln’t understand the challenges of raising a child who was in constant crisis. My relationship with my older daughter fell apart.  We had to leave our church that I was a part of for 40 years in order to find healing for our family at another church.  Crises escalating with our daughter, marriage hurting, and so many attacks on our family in the strangest of ways that would seem like a night flick mystery movie. But GOD IS GOOD!  He replenished, restored, and brought us out of the wilderness.

MARYANN:
Hallelujah!  Our God is always faithful!  Praise His Holy Name! Stacy, shat advice would you give to a writer just starting out? 

STACY:
Don’t give up! Don’t rush. Take your time.  Listen to God’s still small voice. Go to Writer Conferences (many offering virtual) that can give you so many ideas, encouragement, and connections.  

MARYANN:
Do you have any more books in the works? If so, would you give us a glimpse of what lies ahead for readers? 

STACY:
I am waiting to see what the Lord shows me next as to another book. ?

MARYANN:
Well, I know God has great things in store for you, Stacy. Thank you so much for being with us today and for sharing with us from your heart. And blessings on you and your precious family! 

To obtain a copy of Stacy’s book on Amazon, click here.

To obtain a copy of Stacy’s book from her publisher, click on the link below:

https://www.pageantwagonpublishing.com/store/p3/Turning_the_Tide_of_Emotional_Turbulence%3A_Devotions_for_Parents_with_Teens_in_Crisis.html 

To watch a video of an interview with Stacy by Cathy Taylor, founder of Hurting Moms, Mending Hearts, go here:
https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=581113289120153&ref=watch_permalink

Also, I encourage you to connect with Stacy’s ministry via the following venues:

Stacy’s Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/AnchorOfPromise

Stacy’s Blog: www.AnchorOfPromise.com

How to Conquer Anxiety Once and for All

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, June 8, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #23 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Conquer Anxiety Once and for All.”

I recently heard on the news that the use of anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs has skyrocketed. This news saddened me because we don’t have to depend on drugs to handle anxiety. There is a better way, and I want to share that better way with you today. It is found in the Holy Bible.

The Bible was given to us by God as a manual for life. Sadly, however, most people haven’t read their manual. Then they wonder why their lives are not working right.

You see, we all need instructions for navigating our time here on earth. Sure, we can do things our way, but in the end, our way will fail. Why? 

Because, truth be told, we are not that smart! 🙂

When we think we are smarter than our Maker, we get into all kinds of trouble. And one of them is anxiety.

You see anxiety comes from our failure to trust God and to live according to His commands. Why don’t we trust God? Because we have not taken the time to get to know Him. When we get to know God, we will discover that no one is more trustworthy than He is. In fact, He is perfectly trustworthy, precisely because He is God and, as God, He is perfect.

Sadly, most people today want to be their own god. They don’t want God telling them what to do. As the old Frank Sinatra song goes, they want to do it “their way.”

Are you one of those people? Are you someone who wants to do it your way instead of God’s way? If so, what has that gotten you so far? Has your way given you peace? Freedom from anxiety and fear? Joy and blessings? Or has doing things your way made you anxious, worried, and fearful?

Chances are doing things your way hasn’t gotten you very far, especially during these challenging times when the world seems to be crumbling around us; when you don’t know if you will have enough money to feed your family or to pay your bills; when your heart is filled with anxiety.

So, let me ask you a question. Are you ready to start doing things God’s way? Are you ready to start putting your trust in Him by giving Him your burdens, as He commands us to do in the Bible? Are you willing to surrender your life to Him because He cares for you?

If so, pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I come to You, just as I am. I’m ready to conquer anxiety once and for all, but I know that I cannot do so without You. So I ask You to come into my life. I receive You as my Savior and my Lord. Thank You for Your peace that passes all understanding. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. My latest novel, In Black and White, recently won First Place in Historical Fiction in the 2020 Christian Indie Book Awards Contest. It is the page-turning, compelling love story between a white woman and a black man as they face the wrath of family and society in order to preserve their love. This book was written for such a time as this, in which we are facing very serious issues of racism and hatred in our society. To discover the only real answer to racism, get your copy of IN BLACK AND WHITE now at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, or other vendors of your choice.  You can Alsop urchase this book at the link below if you are reading this as a blog post. 

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For additional resources on living the abundant life in Jesus Christ, visit my website at maryanndiorio.com.

If you have been blessed by these messages, I encourage you to share them with others. I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for my patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join. I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. It is now reaching 23 countries throughout the world with the message of the Gospel. I could not do this without you.

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word.

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Watch my video on overcoming anxiety here:  https://youtu.be/IFsZTww2_tM

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Now it’s your turn:  “What steps have you taken to overcome perfectionism?”  Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

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Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Sex and Soul Ties

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here. 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

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Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:

 

If you’ve had sex outside of marriage, this podcast is for you. So, listen up. It could give you insights into many of the problems you’re experiencing in your life—problems you’ve had trouble solving or resolving.

If you’ve had sex outside of marriage, you formed a soul tie—or more than one—with the person or persons with whom you had sex. Unbeknown to you, that soul tie may be the cause of the emotional, psychological, and physical problems that are now troubling you or maybe even tormenting you—problems like nightmares, panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia, unusual fear or phobias, addictive behaviors—or physical problems, like migraine headaches, infertility, heart palpitations, or digestive issues, among many others. You may have tried and tried to get rid of these problems, but they have been resistant to all kinds of treatment. But be encouraged! What you are about to hear may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

So, what is a soul tie? A soul tie is an emotional and psychological connection that forms in a relationship, especially a sexual relationship. For the purposes of this podcast, we will confine ourselves to discussing the soul tie that occurs in a sexual relationship.

Before getting into the meat of our discussion, let me explain that we human beings are made up of three parts: spirit, soul, and body. This truth is found in the Bible, God’s manual for man, in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5: verse 23 where the Apostle Paul writes: “May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Italics mine).

Just as God is a triune—or three-part Being (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)—so we who are made in His image, are triune beings made up of a spirit, a soul, and a body. Your spirit is who you really are, the core of your being, the real you. Your soul is made up of your mind, your will, and your emotions. Your body is what houses your spirit and your soul. Your body is what I like to call your “earth suit”.

Whenever a man and a woman engage in the sexual act, a bond is formed. That bond is either godly or ungodly. If the sexual act occurs in marriage, then the bond is godly. It is a bond sanctioned and approved by God because He has ordained that sex should be engaged in only in marriage. If the sexual act occurs outside of marriage, then the bond is ungodly. In other words, God declares the sexual act outside of marriage to be illegal and illicit, and He does not approve of it.

When a person has engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage—whether through fornication or adultery—a soul tie is formed. While the expression “soul tie” does not appear in the Bible, the concept of a soul tie does. In 1 Corinthians chapter 6: verse 16, the Bible says this: “He who joins himself to a harlot, becomes one body with her. For as it is written, ‘the two shall become one flesh.’”

The word “joins” in the Greek language used in this passage means “glued to”. Think of it this way. If you glue two pieces of wood together and then pull them apart, there is damage to each piece. Not only that. Parts from one piece of wood remain stuck to the other piece of wood.

God is not out to keep you from pleasure. He is out to keep you from pain!

This is what happens in the sexual act. The two souls are joined or glued together. In the context of marriage, this is a good thing because the man and the woman have committed to be faithful to each other for the rest of their lives. But outside of marriage, this is not a good thing because the man and the woman have not committed to be faithful to each other for the rest of their lives. In fact, the contrary is true. They avoid marriage because they do not want the commitment of faithfulness that marriage requires.

Nonetheless, pieces of the souls of the man and the woman who have had sex outside of marriage remain glued to each other. And those pieces will remain glued to each other until the Lord Jesus supernaturally removes them.

When a man and a woman engage in sexual intercourse, their sexual encounter is not just biological, as so many people wrongly think. On the contrary, when a man and a woman have sex, they connect not only on a physical level but also on a soul level. This means that they also connect emotionally and psychologically, whether they realize it or not.

Interestingly, studies show that the connection that occurs in the sexual act has a physiological component to it as well. During the sexual act, chemical substances in the body—such as dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin– are released that create neurochemical changes in the brain. These neurochemical changes cause emotional bonding, also known as limbic bonding, between the man and the woman. This bonding occurs in a sexual relationship whether the man or woman want it to occur or not.

Another way of saying it is that the man and the woman who have sex are glued together emotionally and psychologically whether they want to be glued together or not. Both partners form an attachment whether they want to or not, and both partners are hurt when the sex act is over, whether they know it or not. It is usually the woman who is hurt more because the limbic system in the female brain is larger than the limbic system in the male brain.

So, when a man and a woman decide to have sex “just for the fun of it”, something major is happening on levels far beyond the physical level—something they are unaware of and that will end up hurting them and hurting them for life, if they do not deal with the soul tie.

Why will they be hurt? Because God set a specific boundary for engaging in sex, and that boundary is marriage. Anyone who violates that boundary will be hurt, no doubt about it.

Why did God set marriage as the boundary for having sex? For a number of reasons, one of the chief of which is this very bonding power of the sexual act. When God instituted marriage, He intended that the soul tie be established only between the husband and the wife for their mutual emotional and psychological protection and blessing and for the emotional and psychological protection and blessing of the children who would come from their union.

In short, since the act of sex binds a man and a woman to each other emotionally and psychologically, God wanted to protect both the man and the woman from hurt by permitting the sexual act only in marriage and only between the husband and the wife. Marriage was intended to serve as a protection for both the husband and the wife from outside ungodly soul ties that would hurt them, their marriage, and the children who would come from that marriage.

But like everything else that God created for good and for His good purposes, Satan tries to pervert the sexual relationship for evil and for his evil purposes. This perversion occurs every time a person engages in sex outside of God’s boundaries for sex.

You see, God created the sex act in such a way that it will form a bond between the man and the woman having sex with each other whether the man or the woman want that bond to form or not. This bonding was God’s design and still is God’s design. The fact that people pervert God’s design by engaging in sex outside of marriage—outside of His boundaries for sex–does not negate the law of bonding that God created for the sexual act in the first place.

Moreover, having sex outside of marriage—outside of God’s boundaries for sex—results in opening the door to demonic activity in one’s life. When a person engages in sex outside of God’s boundaries, that person invites demons to enter his or her life during the illicit sexual act and any time afterward. Those demons remain until they are cast out through a process called deliverance ministry or exorcism.

We have seen that a soul tie created by sex outside of marriage is the unlawful tying together of two souls. This unlawful tying together causes spiritual bondage between the two souls for the rest of their lives unless the soul tie is broken through the power of Jesus Christ. Because of this spiritual bondage, the demonic spirits found in one person can transfer to the other person, and vice versa.

Every time you have sex with another person, your soul is tied to that other person’s soul.

So, if a girl has sex with five guys, her soul has been tied to at least five other souls. In most cases, the number of soul ties is even greater since each of the guys may have had multiple sex partners.

Do the math. This means that a girl who engages in premarital sex with one guy can be tied to hundreds of other souls without even knowing it. Yet, all of those other souls are affecting her every single day.

No wonder so many people are suffering so much emotional, psychological, and physical torment! They are in bondage to hundreds of other souls all of whom have demonic forces operating against them. And all of these demonic forces combined are operating against that one person who chose to have sex outside of marriage.

Consider this example. Let’s say a guy sleeps with a girl who is involved in the occult. Afterwards, he begins having nightmares and develops unreasonable fears. This guy, who, before sleeping with the girl was never afraid of anything, is now terrified of everything. Why? The reason is that the demons of the occult in the girl’s soul transferred to the guy’s soul when he slept with her.

Not a pretty picture, is it? Does it make you think twice about having sex outside of marriage?

Soul ties can also be caused by sexual abuse or unhealthful emotional relationships. In such cases, the same Jesus Christ who wants to deliver you from the sin of premarital or extramarital sex will deliver you from the soul ties created through sexual abuse.

Remember this: Sex outside of marriage will destroy your soul. This is the reason that God forbids it. He is not out to keep you from pleasure. He is out to keep you from pain!

In Psalm 23, Jesus promises to restore your soul. Why not let Him do so now?

If you have engaged in sex outside of marriage, there is hope for you. That hope is in Jesus Christ. Only He can free you from the bondage that occurred through your sin. And, do you know what? He wants to free you. You have only to ask Him. Just pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I am guilty of sexual sin and of having formed ungodly soul ties. I confess my sin to You and ask You to forgive me and to cleanse me. Loose me from these ungodly soul ties as I renounce each one in the power of Your Name. From now on, I yield my life and my body totally to You. Make me what You created me to be. In Your Name I pray and receive by faith. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your relationship with Jesus Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every day, starting in the Gospel of John, which is in the second half of the Bible. Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and find fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

I would also encourage you to seek out a mature Christ-Follower experienced in exorcism, also known as deliverance ministry, to pray for you. I have listed in the notes below a few resources that may be of help to you.

For additional resources, articles, books, and podcasts to help you grow in your walk with Christ, I invite you to visit my website at maryanndiorio.com. This podcast is found on Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Spreaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Podbean, and Deezer, so I encourage you to subscribe.

If you have been blessed by this message, I would greatly appreciate your sharing it with others. Also, I invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join.
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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH SOUL TIES:

Books:
Breaking Unhealthy Soul-Ties by Bill and Sue Banks  (Affiliate Link)
Healing through Deliverance
by Peter Horrobin (Affiliate Link)

Ministries:
HealingRooms.com
Ellel Ministries (USA) 
Ellel Ministries (International)

If you think you have ungodly soul ties, consult a pastor at a Bible-believing church.  

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  How have you dealt with ungodly soul ties? Please leave your response in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE: “Sex and Soul Ties” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S PODCAST HERE:

Please tell your family and friends about “Winning with the Word” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

__Ouch! There’s a Thorn in My Flesh!

__Is Your Tongue Ruining Your Life?

__A Parent’s Promise from God

__How to Destroy Depression Once and for All


Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To subscribe to Winning with the Word, click here.

_____________________________________________________________

Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

YOU CAN CONQUER WORRY!

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles
for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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PODCAST: “YOU CAN CONQUER WORRY!”
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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Today we’re going to be exploring a very common problem, one that affects a lot of people in varying degrees. In every case, however, this problem ends up in some way hurting them and those close to them. What am I referring to? I am referring to the problem of worry. 

Are you a worrier? Do you find yourself dreading the future, wondering what bad thing is going to happen next? Are you continually uptight about your finances, your health, your marriage, your children, your job?–to the point that you have a hard time relaxing and having fun? Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions, I have good news for you!

You can conquer worry!

We all know that with anything we wish to accomplish in life, we have to start with a desire to accomplish it. The same is true of conquering worry. You have to want to conquer worry before you can begin doing so. Now, you may be wondering: Who would not want to conquer worry? After all, worry robs us of peace and joy and keeps us in a constant state of inner turmoil.

You may be surprised to learn that there are many people who, deep down inside, do not really want to conquer worry. Strange as it may seem, worry has become for them a sort of status symbol, a sign of “responsibility.” In other words, these people feel important when they worry.

Or, for some people, worry is like an old shoe. They’ve grown comfortable with it and are reluctant to part with it. In fact, some people absolutely refuse to part with worry. It has become so much of a habit in their lives that they cannot imagine living without it. Still, other people hang on to worry because it is a means of drawing attention to themselves. They feel so insecure about themselves that they resort to unhealthful behavior patterns to affirm their worth. By worrying, they attract the attention of others and, in a sick way, that attention satisfies their need for affirmation.

All of the examples I’ve just given are obstacles that keep us from conquering worry. To achieve any level of success and freedom in life, we have to be willing to part with those things that are holding us back. In other words, we have to move out of our comfort zones–and I’m not saying this is easy to do–but it’s absolutely necessary if we are to grow. We have to push through the pain of growth, because on the other side of the pain, we will find freedom.

The same is no less true of conquering the worry habit. You have to want to conquer worry before you can conquer it.

Okay. Let’s assume that you truly want to conquer worry. What then? Well, the next step is to make a decision to conquer worry. You can have all the desire in the world to conquer worry, but unless you decide to do something about it, nothing will happen.

Let me give you a simple illustration. Most of us at some point in our lives have struggled with losing weight. For instance, after I had my second child, I weighed ten pounds more than I weighed before I became pregnant. For years, I kept saying, “I want to lose these ten pounds. I have to lose these ten pounds.” I kept expressing the desire to lose those ten pounds, but I never made the decision to lose them. Consequently, those ten pounds stayed around right where I didn’t want them. Every time I looked in the mirror, there they were, mockingly reminding me of their presence.

Would you believe this went on until my daughter was eighteen years old! Finally, at the end of those eighteen years, I said to myself not only that I wanted to lose those ten pounds, but also that I would lose them without fail. And surely enough, I lost those ten pounds. What made the difference? The difference was my quality decision to lose weight.

A man I highly respect once said that a quality decision is a decision from which there is absolutely no retreat. In other words, I decided to lose those ten pounds, and there was no turning back from my decision.

Conquering the worry habit–or any habit, for that matter–requires the same kind of unflinching determination. Without that kind of determination, you will cave in when the going gets tough.The good news, however, is that once you’ve made the decision to conquer worry, you have won half the battle.

The next thing you need to do is to recognize that worry is a learned habit. No one is born into this world a worrier. So, since you once learned the worry habit, you can unlearn it.

“Worry is a learned habit.”

When endeavoring to unlearn a bad habit, it also helps to determine the root cause of it. So let’s explore the root cause of worry. In this world, there are  two basic forces at work: the life force of God, called “Faith” and the death force of Satan, called “Fear.” Worry is really a form of fear and, therefore, comes from Satan. It is not God’s will that you worry. God makes this very clear in the Bible, the operating manual He provided for us when He created us.

For instance, in John chapter 14, verse 27, God says, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Elsewhere, in Matthew 6, verse 34, He says, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow.” These two statements are not suggestions; they are commands. And God’s commands are not to be taken lightly. To do so results in bad things happening.

Since God commands us not to worry, this means that we have the ability not to worry. You see, God never commands us to do something we are incapable of doing. If He did, He would be unjust, and God is not unjust. He is perfectly just.

Moreover, if we disobey God’s command not to worry, we become guilty of sin. Yes, worrying is a sin!

Now, before you get totally down on yourself, let me encourage you. Maybe you feel that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t stop worrying. You wish you could, but worry has a grip on you that you cannot seem to shake. What can you do?

Here are five steps that have helped me when I have been tempted to worry:

Step #1: Decide and determine that you are going to obey God’s command not to worry, no matter what the cost. Do you know that you can choose not to worry. Yes, you heard me right. You can choose not to worry. Sure, you may be thinking, that may be easy for you to say, but you don’t understand my situation. I just lost my job, and I have five mouths to feed. How can I not worry? Or, my husband just walked out on me and left me with two kids, and you expect me not to worry?

Let me say right upfront that I certainly empathize with you. I know what it feels like to face a seemingly impossible situation and be attacked with worry. I’ve been there, and it’s not a pleasant place to be. But I also know from personal experience that we can choose not to worry. You see, God created us with a free will. Our will is that part of us that makes decisions. With our will, we can decide not to worry, no matter how we feel. And this brings me to my next step for conquering worry.

Step #2: Do not give in to feelings of worry. Resist them! To give in to feelings of worry is to feed those feelings. To resist feelings of worry is to starve them. Worry is like a raging forest fire. The longer you let it go unchecked, the fiercer it grows. By the same token, when you resist feelings of worry, it’s like putting water on that fire. If you keep resisting feelings of worry, you will find that, eventually, the feelings of worry will be quenched.

Step #3: Realize that worry is a malfunction of the imagination. At any given moment, our imaginations are being controlled either by faith or by fear. When we worry, we allow fear to have the upper hand. This is the reason God instructs us to keep our minds filled with thoughts that build and inspire faith. In Philippians chapter 4, verse 8, He says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. And the God of peace will be with you.” Here, God is telling us that when we think good and right thoughts, we will experience His peace. And God’s peace includes the absence of worry.

Well, what are good and right thoughts? They are thoughts of hope, not thoughts of dread. Thoughts of faith, not thoughts of fear. Thoughts of trust in God’s protection, not thoughts of doubt about His protection. In short, good and right thoughts are those thoughts that line up with the Word of God. You see, what we think about affects our feelings. If you constantly think that the worst is about to happen, you will constantly worry. If, on the other hand, you continually think pleasant thoughts, you will continually be at peace.

Step #4: Realize that worry is not a sign of responsible behavior. Many people believe that if they do not worry, they are not acting responsibly. On the contrary, to worry is to act irresponsibly, for when we worry, we cannot think straight. Worry clouds logical thinking and results in poor decisions. 

Step #5: Understand that you will never completely conquer worry in your own strength. You need God’s help. Happily, that help is always available. God tells us in Psalm 46, verses 1 and 2, that He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear. God is eager to help you conquer worry completely. In fact, He has already made a way for you to do so. That way is His Son Jesus Christ. Only by receiving Christ into your life will you completely conquer worry and every other sin in your life. For when you receive Jesus Christ, you receive His power to overcome. And you receive the total restoration of your relationship with God the Father.

You see, Christianity is not a religion. It’s a personal relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. Only through Jesus Christ can we have this relationship, for Jesus Himself said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John chapter 14, verse 6). 

So, if you’re tired of allowing worry to dominate your life–in fact, if you’re tired of allowing any other problem to dominate your life–turn to Jesus Christ today. He alone can set you free. And not only is He able to set you free, He is willing and eager to set you free. In no other name than the Name of Jesus Christ is there power to deliver you from bondage. 

Perhaps you want to be free of alcoholism or drug addiction, or smoking, or a bad temper, or an addiction to pornography–whatever it is–Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ can set you free. Ask Him to do so right now. He has been patiently waiting for you to ask Him for His help. For some of you, He’s been waiting a very long time. Don’t let Him wait a moment longer. And don’t allow yourself to remain in bondage a moment longer. Join me now by repeating this simple prayer after me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I admit that I am a sinner in need of Your mercy and grace. I believe that You are the Son of God, that You died for me, and that You rose again on the third day. I invite You now to come into my life. I receive You as my personal Savior and as the Lord of my life. Make of me all that You created me to be. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you are now a born-again Christ-Follower. I invite you to write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your Christian life.  Also, I invite you to pray for Holy Spirit to lead you to the church of His choice for you, the place where you can serve God with your gifts and where you can be fed on His Word so that you may grow and become more and more like Jesus. 

Finally, I invite you to visit my website at www.maryanndiorio.com

If you are in need of physical healing or prayer for any other need, please write to me as well and I will be happy to pray for you. 

A wise person once said that “worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.” Don’t let worry empty your today of its strength. Instead, replace worry with trust in God. When you do, not only will all your todays be filled with peace, but so will all your tomorrows. Until next time, remember that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and He will help you to keep on winning with the Word!

Now, it’s YOUR turn: What about you? Do you struggle with worry? What has helped you to overcome worry? Please share your comments in the Comments Box below. Thank you!

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PODCAST: “YOU CAN CONQUER WORRY!”
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

 

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

Living in a Violent World”

“How to Handle Offense”

Is the Apocalypse Near?” 

“Convergence: Clear Sign of the End Times”

“The Rise of Wicca, Witches, and Warlocks” 

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

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Copyright 20111-2019 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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WHEN ALL HOPE SEEMS GONE

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
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Wherever I turn, I find people who feel hopeless. Be it a teenager whose parents just divorced or an elderly person without a family, people everywhere struggle with despair.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is currently the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. On average, 121 people kill themselves every single day. That is 121 too many!

But suicide isn’t the only epidemic in the United States. Millions of people suffer from depression and depression-related disorders, like anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorders, bipolar disorder, and phobias. This should not be. Yet it is.

But why is it?

I would posit that many of these problems stem from a loss of hope, and a loss of hope stems from the lack of a deep, personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us in Hebrews 6: 19 that hope is “an anchor for the soul.” In other words, hope keeps us stable and positive in the midst of obstacles. Hope keeps us looking ahead toward a better tomorrow. Toward the day when Christ will return and usher us into the eternal realm where all suffering will cease.

But while we are here on this earth, God wants us not only to survive, but also to thrive. And in order to do so, we must have hope. But our hope must be in the right place.

The only right place for our hope is in Jesus Christ. To hope in anything outside of Christ is to hope in vain, for only Christ is the Solid Rock on which hope can stand.

Much of our disappointment in life comes from the fact that we have hoped in the wrong thing or the wrong person. Perhaps we have placed our hope in a spouse or a child only to be disappointed in that spouse or that child. Perhaps we have placed our hope in a job or a career, only to be disappointed in that job or that career. Perhaps we have placed our hope in a friend who has betrayed us or a parent who has let us down.

Whatever the case, when we place our hope in imperfect human beings or in imperfect human situations, our hope will falter. But when we place our hope in the Perfect God, our hope will never fail.

In Psalm 39: 7, King David asks this question: “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?” David answers his own question when he says: “My only hope is in You.”

David knew that the only safe repository of his hope was God. The same is true for us. When we place our hope in God, we will never be disappointed.

Perhaps you are listening today and you are feeling hopeless. Perhaps your life has crumbled and you don’t know where to turn. Perhaps you have even contemplated suicide or have already made arrangements to kill yourself. If I am talking to you, then I urge you to give yourself another chance.

You see, Satan wants to destroy you because you have a great purpose in God’s plan, and Satan wants to keep you from fulfilling that purpose. If you were not important to God, Satan would have no need to get you to feel hopeless or to kill yourself. But you are a threat to Satan, so he wants to eliminate you—to take you out of the picture. He does this by stealing your hope.

Without hope, we see no reason to go on. So, if Satan can steal your hope, he can steal your life and your blessings.

God, on the other hand, wants to give you life not steal it from you. He wants to give you hope and peace and every good thing. But in order to receive the hope that God wants to give you, you must receive it from His hand. You must, in short, come to Him.

God is waiting for you to do that now.

Today, if you are feeling hopeless, I urge you to turn to Jesus Christ. He is waiting with open arms for you to turn to Him. He wants to be your Hope. If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, I invite you to do so now. Just pray this simple prayer after me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I admit that I am a sinner in need of Your mercy and grace. I acknowledge that You are the Son of God, that You died for me to pay the penalty for my sin, and that You rose from the dead. I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. Make of me all that You created me to be. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you are now a born-again child of God and follower of Jesus Christ. Place your hope in Him. I promise you that you will never be disappointed.

For more information to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus, I invite you to visit my website at maryanndiorio.com.

Now, it’s your turn! Do you ever feel hopeless? If so, what do you do to combat hopelessness?

Please share your insights in the box below. Thanks!

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In my latest novel, RETURN TO BELLA TERRA, heroine Maria Landro Tonetta must learn to turn to God in the midst of her hopelessness.

A mother, her son, and the man who threatens to come between them . . . 

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend or relative. Thank you!

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right.

Some of our most popular posts:

How to Handle Frustration

Horoscopes? Ouija Boards? Séances? Are They Really Harmless?

Are You Afraid of Confrontation?

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit


For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers


Please tell your family and friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

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Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!


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Copyright 2001-2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.