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Dismantling Negative Emotional Barriers Once and for All

EMOTIONAL BARRIERS

Everyone carries a backpack of mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter – emotional toxins like fear, loneliness, unforgiveness, anger, and shame. These toxins linger just below the surface and cause self-limiting beliefs that restrict God’s best for us. When we yield to these negative thoughts and destructive thinking, we are unable to have clarity of mind and peace.

When you learn how to identify the toxins in your life then you can remove or detox emotional barricades that poison your spirit so you can have more confidence in your life. “Our relationship with Jesus and our mind will profoundly influence our lives, parenting, career, leadership, and relationships. The most significant limits we have are the ones we impose on ourselves,” reveals Billie. 

During 2020, Billie and her husband Dave decided to take a trip to see family since the baseball season (Dave is a Major League Baseball coach) was shut down. It was their first summer getaway in thirty years. The night before their trip, she received a phone call from her sister who told her that their sister Helen and her husband had died in a house fire. A few hours later she was on a plane traveling to be with her family. Negative thoughts began to consume her as she struggled with denial and anger.

Once she landed and got her rental car, she drove to be with her family. Overwhelmed by the pain of her loss she pulled over on the side of the road crying and questioning God. Then she prayed and asked God for His Holy Spirit and His guidance. Instantly, she felt peace. He brought order to her thoughts and renewed her mind.  Billie’s love for Jesus sustained her during this challenging time and she fell more in love with Him. “If we focus on what’s wrong – reviving hurts and pain, restoring regret, shame or feeding fear – we live with emotional barriers that keep us from understanding what’s right and true,” says Billie.

Billie’s trajectory for her life was not what she had planned. Billie’s career started with being an ICU nurse after graduating from Florida Atlantic University. Once she got married and had kids, she decided to stay home with them since Dave traveled often with his job. She loved raising her kids, but also struggled with giving up her career. Her dream was to serve abroad as a missionary. While traveling for Dave’s job she would often grieve her inability to go on a foreign mission trip. Three little boys and a husband who traveled eight months a year didn’t align with the desire to make a difference and go abroad.

Her disappointment caused spiritual jet lag until she let go of what she wanted and accepted what God wanted. She asked God to show her how to serve Him in other ways. As she spent time with Him, she began to be aware of small ways she could serve God where she was at in life whether it was in the Dominican Republic, ballparks, or airports. As she was obedient, the Lord blessed her with an opportunity to finally go on a mission’s trip in Haiti, helping with a camp for children who live in three orphanages. She was thankful for the opportunity to do a mission's trip in a foreign country.

TETHERED TOXINS

When you take time to evaluate your feelings and reactions to your emotions you can live a healthier and more fulfilling life. Billie identifies three serious toxins that can keep you from experiencing a deeper relationship with the Lord that include:

•    Fear – this toxin can appear in comparison or concern of what others might think. It was the primary toxin in Billie’s life. After thirty-seven years involved in professional baseball and eighteen in the major leagues Billie says, “I still don’t feel like I belong in the major league wives’ section. I’ve struggled with my value in relation to my husband’s job. Others have told me I don’t belong.” Once Dave took a position with a new team. One of the wives decided she didn’t understand why he got a coaching position since he’d never played professional baseball. For years, this lady would mention this matter every time she saw Billie. Since she felt like the other wives felt the same way Billie distanced herself from them. The other wives realized the hurtful words this lady was saying to Billie, so they became intentional about including her. 

•    Unbelief – is related to disobedience and involves rejecting God’s will. We may feel confused, unsure of our calling or purpose. Her most significant role change occurred when her youngest son was finishing high school. She was finally able to fulfill who God called her to be. She knew God had called her to speak and share His word with other women, but she allowed doubt and discouragement to take root. She opened the door to self-limiting beliefs. Accepting the call to write was something Billie knew she could accomplish only if God was with her. She worked on her writing skills and building her social media presence, but rejections came one after another. She began to focus on failure, lack of knowledge, and what she hadn’t accomplished. Basically, she took her eyes off what God desired. To remove this emotional barrier, she began to take each negative thought captive and replace it with facts and scripture. She received a book contract in less than two years. Trusting God takes practice. We must choose to do it every day.

•    Shame/Guilt – these two toxins go together. They tell us no one believes what we’ve been through and create anxiety, self-pity, self-doubt, and low self-esteem. In order to let go of these toxins Billie suggests the 3UP, 3DOWN process. In baseball, when three batters come to bat and all three are out after the at-bat, the terminology used is three up, three down. The detox process used to get rid of these toxins is similar. For example, 3UP means to pray it up (ask the Lord to reveal the toxin He wants to eliminate), dig it up, and write it down. For 3DOWN, you offer your burden to Jesus, surrender each emotional barrier to the Lord, and then leave the emotional barrier with Jesus and step into peace. If you are struggling with trauma or deep issues, in addition to the detox challenge Billie recommends seeking help from a professional counselor.

DETOX CHALLENGE

To get rid of the barricades that can prevent you from seeing opportunities, receiving blessings, and growing in God Billie suggests addressing “God limiting” language with the following steps: 
•    Begin with prayer
•    Take each thought captive – one thought at a time. Write it down.
•    Make a list of deceptive thoughts. Replace them with scripture.
•    Make your request known to the Lord – ask Him to help you move forward.
•    Thank Him for what He is doing in and through you.
•    Show yourself some grace. Jesus gives grace on grace.
•    Listen for His voice and leading. 
•    Create a spiritual health plan – outline a plan of God’s next best steps for your life even if you’re scared. God-sized dreams refine us. Trust Him.

ABOUT BILLIE

Billie is an author, speaker, baseball wife, and mom who has been married to Dave, a Major League Baseball coach, for over thirty years. While raising their three sons, Billie and Dave lived in 15 different cities and towns in the US, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. Together they serve Compassion International through child sponsorship and survival programs in the Dominican Republic. In 2022, she started her podcast, The Family Room, a place for women who feel overwhelmed to sit for a while, be encouraged in Biblical truth, and be motivated with practical tips so they can learn to live life to the fullest right where they are. 

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