Tag Archive | doubt

Back To The Beginning

In just 2 months I’ll be moving back in with my mom.  Whew.  To say that I am shocked by this prospect is an understatement.  The shock is probably only slightly overshadowed by my pushing my mid 30s and life looking exactly the opposite of what I pictured.  But I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.  My roomie has the same shock and she is 6 years my junior.  My besties have the same shock and we are all the same age.

This weekend I drove around the new neighborhood which is not too far from the old one.  I talked to old friends I have reconnected with in this season.  So much of the new resembles the old.  It’s weird.

I am reminded of a revelation God gave me a few years ago after a big test.  He said my life was like a helix.  It wasn’t that I was walking in circles over and over the way I felt I was.  Instead, I was moving forward in a circular motion.  It seems living with my mom again is a part of that same pattern.  No matter how hard I tried to make choices that would position me in a certain place at this point in my life (husband, 2.5 kids and dog), I still ended up here.  Back to the beginning. 

We went to church for Easter (mom and I).  I know this is a new beginning for her and I’m blessed to be a part of it, I just wish it hadn’t cost me so much. 

On Easter I was reminded of why it costs.  It costs us because it cost Him.  We are not above the teacher.  We are not above our Master.  If He sacrificed, we too shall sacrifice.

My roommate gave me a card on Easter which read, “Nicole, just as Christ died and resurrected, I look forward to seeing the resurrection in your life”.  That is what I too am desiring.  To see the resurrection from all the death.  To see the fruit from all the pruning.  To see if the wait was really worth it…

SHALOM

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Giant Slayer

I remember at the beginning of this very difficult season Holy Spirit said “fight!” and I responded “I don’t want to”.  I’m usually honest in my responses to Him because that’s what happens when you have a close relationship with someone.  And He already knows my heart anyway so there’s no reason to dabble in pretense.  He was telling me I would need to walk out this season and I knew it was going to entail some horrors that I did not want to face.  And that I would feel so very alone when facing them.  But I made my decision long ago to follow Him so even though I said, “I don’t want to” that didn’t mean I wouldn’t.  It just meant that I was once again choosing to do things His way over my own.

The real reason I didn’t want to was because I didn’t trust Him and I didn’t trust myself.  Though we had been through many battles and I had seen victory every time I knew this particular battle would be a doozy and I was tired of the fight.  I wanted to rest.  But recently I heard a sermon where the minister advised that when you are called and chosen there is usually one thing after another that is going to come up against you.  I don’t like to have that view because it seems so negative but I couldn’t refute the fact that this was what had been happening in my journey: one thing after another.

Well, I have experienced much victory in this season though I am still walking it out, and upon reflection I can see that the Father was confident that I would be able to slay this giant when He called me to fight it.  He was confident because He knows who I am eternally.  Whereas I was insecure and fearful because I knew my weaknesses.

I remember a scene from “Hook” where Robin Williams who is Peter Pan, is standing in front of the lost boys and his competition Rufio opposes him.  Robin doesn’t remember he is Peter Pan.  He thinks he’s this old man who lives for his work and doesn’t spend enough time with his children.  Instead he is the leader of a group of zealous, bright boys who seek adventures, fly and fight pirates.  So Rufio says for all who think he’s Peter Pan to stand on one side of the room and all the lost boys go to that side.  Well, Peter starts to go to that side too because he himself doesn’t believe!  But Tink brings him back to the other side and eventually one of the boys convinces the rest that he is really The Peter Pan.  Well, I see myself in that moment of confusion over identity that Robin displays.  I didn’t see myself as being a slayer of a giant of this magnitude.  I started to go to the side of the room with the rest of my naysayers.  But God (symbolized as Tink in this analogy) pulled me back to the right side.

And I’m glad He did.

I was right about the horror and the darkness.  I was even right about my own weaknesses.  But I forgot about His strength in me.  I forgot that He who is in me is greater than He who is the world.

I am thankful that He promises in His Word victory every time (2 Cor 2:14).  It may not look the way we thought it would or come about in the time frame we desired, but it is promised.

No matter how great the giant, He who is in you is greater.

You were created in His image and nothing can conquer the Creator.

 

SHALOM

Simply Human

Sometimes it’s good to cry. I am wired to be more emotional so crying is typical for me. I guess the fact that I haven’t cried much in response to this season is actually a red flag. I should be crying more.

I sat on his couch this morning and cried. I hope that won’t be an ongoing pattern. Only our 2nd session and I’ve now cried in both. He already had the tissues waiting.  He brought  up some good points and I wrote down things to ponder on later.

Do I feel abandoned by God? Am I projecting my father’s abandonment onto my Heavenly Father? Do I equate God’s manifestations and intimacy with His love? And if so then when they are gone do I feel unloved?

I realized while talking to him I’ve had this “superhuman” complex. I felt I couldn’t possibly struggle in these ways because of my experiences with Him. How could doubt, fear and depression be issues when I have been set apart, called, and immersed with God’s intimacy? Maybe for those who only knew Him theologically but surely not for those who know Him intimately.  Surely not me!

I was wrong.

I am faced with my own humanity just as Christ was on the cross: “Father why have You forsaken me?” 

Just as in the garden when He sweat so hard He bled.

I have to admit to myself, I am not super human. I am just a human who has supernatural experiences and a supernatural Father who has chosen to be silent in this season.

Well, not silent really. But moreso speaking in a still, small, voice…

SHALOM

Level Two

What is interesting about this journey is how God works in patterns in our lives.  I feel like He has been so intentional to teach me in patterns.  Usually the patterns pertain to my career, living arrangements and relationships.  There have been seasons of intense pruning followed by seasons of overwhelming blessings.  But then something happened with the pattern.  It stopped.  I fully expected it to continue like it had for the last 13 years.  I fully expected the “promotion” or “blessing.  But instead, there was more humility.  More waiting.  More pruning.  I didn’t understand the hold up.  Why wasn’t the blessing coming?  Didn’t I pass the test?

At the end of last year I stood in victory having learned the lessons He was teaching once again.  I felt unstoppable.  I saw the pattern and felt like this faith walk was “cake”.  What I soon learned and what He showed me was that I had “mastered” level 1 of my journey with Him.  Now we are on level 2.

Level 2 threatened to take me out.  I wasn’t used to this level.  I wasn’t used to not having His presence or doubting His existence or feeling so utterly alone.  I wasn’t familiar with this lesson.  I had to stand on His manifest presence of the past. I had to stand on His faithfulness in my past.   I had to stand on the love of the current community that surrounded me.

I am still standing.

Each day has been a challenge to walk forward, but each day I choose to do so.  Even though I don’t feel His grace or strength, the fact that I am still standing is evidence that it is there.

I’m getting more revelation and understanding now of level 2.  I kept trying to use my old weapons of warfare at this level but they were not working.  I am having to learn to use new weapons and re-sharpen some of the old ones.  I’m also learning there are so many levels to wholeness. I have chosen to get to the highest level so that I will be most effective for this generation.  So that I may please my Father.

Even with its challenges level 2 offers so many blessings.  There are open doors at level 2.  There are new relationships, experiences and opportunities at level 2.  There is reaping at level 2.  I don’t have to try or strive, the open doors come to me.  All I have to do is BE.

Psalm 46:10.

He is faithful to complete the work He started in each of us.  And it will be His love, kindness, patience and grace to sustain us as we climb His mountain.

He is there, even when we do not feel Him.  Bringing us to victory…

  
SHALOM

 

Facing and Slaying Your Giants

Numbers‬ ‭13:30-33‬ ‭

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants ( the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
In this passage the Isrealites have just come from Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey. A land of much fruit. The Lord told them to go there in preparation to receive their promise land. The problem was the promise seemed to have giants in it. When the spies went they found the reward God spoke of but it pailed in comparison to the enemy they would need to fight for it. Atleast, in their minds it did.  

Many of us are familiar with this passage and we know the outcome. We know that over and over again Yaweh proved His deity. He had delivered the Israelites so many times. He had rescued them from slavery, showed His hand with powerful plagues and even fed them with manna to sustain them in the wilderness! They witnessed so many signs and wonders at His hand one would think they could never doubt Him. But when it came to the promise, they became fearful of their own stature. They became fearful of what seemed to be larger than who they were.

Maybe that is what happens when we look to ourselves to overcome the battle? We become smaller in our own site and our enemy is magnified. I have faced some “giants” in this season. I have wondered if God would deliver…could deliver. Even after all of the miracles I have experienced. Yes He helped me to overcome then but could He overcome THIS situation? If He could, wouldn’t He have done it by now?

Notice the Lord did not speak to the Israelites about these “giants” beforehand. He only spoke to them about the promise. He only said “This is the land I am giving you”. I believe God doesn’t tell us about the giants because they are not giants to Him. All enemies will be used to take us further into our destiny and calling. I also believe He does not waste His time on what is temporary. Giants are temporary. The real promise lasts forever…

In this passage Caleb shares that he too scoped out the land but he was certain they could have victory. What did Caleb see that the other spies did not? I believe He saw the eternal. He saw with the lense of the Lord. He did not see the temporary but He saw the eternal victory that is wrapped in the Word of promise.

Rest assured He has already spoken your victory over you. The giant isn’t really a giant at all. It is just another tool to propel your forward into purpose.

SHALOM

Walking By Faith

I submitted two job applications this morning and that made me feel productive. At least I can say I’m trying. The interview I had Monday went really well. I felt the Lord was encouraging me that He is with me, regardless of the outcome. I’m still waiting to hear from the job I have been aiming for. It seems there is always waiting. I turn over and over the events of the past in my mind, remembering the path. Reminding myself how many times I have been here, and that every time the Lord was with me, and had a plan. My good friend reminds me of the same thing. He has never failed me. Truth be told this time of “rest” would be more enjoyable had I not had my own inner demons to fight. Fear, anxiety, doubt. They all surfaced their ugly heads and once again ruined my attempts at perfectionism. How I dread imperfections! But I do appreciate humility. It’s easy to start thinking your faith is so strong because there is something particularly special about you. At least, it was easy for me to feel that way. As others were unsteady and wayward, my heart overflowed with His goodness and presence. I found out these last couple of months, it was only His grace that I had faith during times of turmoil.  And even in the very mundane.

What has helped me the most when facing doubt is looking back. There have been so many supernatural experiences in my life and so many manifestations of His presence, how could I believe anything different? And the fact that I could just shows me how intense this spiritual battle is that we are in. It is a battle for our MINDS. Our beliefs will lead to what our hearts feel. Our feelings can easily mislead us if we have false beliefs.

I have learned I must cling to His word. His character is demonstrated in His word. No matter what it looks like in the natural, no matter what I feel, His word is true. My experience confirms His word.

Many wonder how we can believe in what we cannot see. Faith is the evidence of things unseen. There is evidence. I told my former boss this a while ago when he unexpectedly brought up faith. I told him I hear God in so many ways. I see Him in so many ways. Just because it doesn’t happen in the natural, does not mean there is not evidence. I have so much evidence in my life.

As I’ve struggled with doubt I’ve learned what it is that has brought me to living a lifestyle of faith. It is my experience. My experience confirms His word. His word says that if we seek Him we shall find Him. Anyone looking will have the eyes of their hearts opened and they will see Him. It is the eyes of our hearts that must be opened to see what is real and true.

I’m grateful the Father has opened my eyes. He has led me on a journey of demonstrating my faith by living the life He intended. He has given me grace to count the cost and choose to believe in the eternal over what is natural.

I hope He is doing the same for you.

In other news, please check out an article I had the blessing to be apart of writing for Shattered Magazine.  I interviewed Sherri Burgess regarding her upcoming book Bronner.  She writes about losing her 2 year old son and how God manifested Himself in such a way her loss is now a platform for His glory.

SHALOM