Tag Archive | fear

Getting Older

 

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People have been asking me what I’m planning for the big 3-4.  I honestly have no plans.  My emotions have been up and down (ok, mostly down) about the upcoming event and I don’t know how I will feel when it gets here.  Will I have a series of bursts of energy and strength that I’ve often experienced when the enemy has tried to come up against me?  Or, will I give in to the quiet stillness of my soul that has marked this season with Christ? 

I told my friend recently that I’m allowing myself to experience both.  I’m allowing myself to be grateful for the ground the Father and I have gained together, the victories and the wholeness He has created.  And also, I’m allowing myself the disappointment, confusion and frustration at the waiting.  I’m a numbers person and I do believe I am supposed to be, working in Accounting and all.  I believe numbers mean a lot to God as well.  He taught me a lot a few years ago just how important they were.  What I learned then was that His ways are not our ways.  His view is not ours and often He wants us to come up higher to see things from His perspective.  For a while there I was seeing but then the darkness came and I found myself lost, questioning very foundational truths that had guided me these 15 years.  I was tormented with fear and anxiety and I didn’t have time to think about singleness, I was just trying to choose life.  But I did choose and one day at a time I made it to where I am now: more soundness of mind.  More peace.  More grace.  Now that I’m here, singleness is a focus again.  I honestly never thought it would be this long.  I don’t disagree with the Master’s hand and plan.  I know without a shadow of a doubt His way, His timing is best.  But I need to process the fact that his timing is longer than I imagined.

For most of my journey I felt a security in my future.  I felt confident of His path.  Much of that confidence stemmed from my emotions and feelings; the perks of being less mature in the faith I suppose.  But now He has said I am more mature and He has treated me as such.  Instead of doing things for me He is teaching me to do them for myself. That’s been a paradigm shift.  One I haven’t welcomed freely.

The Father has been faithful in all things.  He has made promises and I have no doubt He will deliver.  But there is a process involved before the manifestation of those promises.

Psalm 105:19

Until the time that his word came to pass,
The word of the Lord tested him.

Like Joseph my friends and I know this testing.  We have each encountered our own paths of being formed by the Master’s hand and we have overcome many things.  But it seems no matter how many victories I’ve experienced, the next level is even more fierce than the last.  I believe this to be true with marriage.  I believe the tests will get more difficult and that is why the process in singleness is so needed, to create a sturdy foundation.

I am a blessed woman.  God is faithful and my cup runs over.  But I am still waiting and I did not know the wait would be this long.

The process this thorough.

The mountain this steep.

SHALOM

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

Bittersweet

This morning I woke up, spent time with Jesus and made it to work early enough to do a scope while I walked to get my morning coffee (decaf). Its unlike me to do a scope that isn’t teaching about something I’m learning or to do it in the morning but it was a freeing experience. 

Being disciplined and routine is great but without balance we are all prone to wear ourselves out. Even if we really like the routine. That scope showed me how fabulous life can be and really how fabulous life is. There are so many things to be thankful for in my life and I never want to be ungrateful for how far God has brought me and what He’s given me. That being said, every day is still a struggle. I struggle to control my thoughts/moods and to receive love. I struggle to believe that one day (soon) this struggle will end.

I told my friend on the phone last night I grew prideful in the way God related to me and moved with me in the past. I thought it would always be that way. 

It is not that way in this season. 

I can only deduct that He is trying to teach me a new lesson. I must have learned all the old ones enough. Or maybe He is just taking a break from that pattern…

I know what I am experiencing is not common to man. I know it is not His will or original intention. Yet I still search for and desire the solution. The one that will open my heart once again to His love and presence and intimacy.  

Oh how I miss His intimacy.

At least there are really great people in this season and a great book to write and a great job to do. So many great things. 

Such a bittersweet season…

SHALOM

Breaking Strongholds

Sometimes things happen and we don’t understand why they are happening. Sometimes we just want the bad things to go away and for everything to be good again. I wanted everything to be good again. But that is not this life. Sometimes, many times, we need to FIGHT.  From day one of my faith journey I was awakened to the spiritual warfare we as believers are in at all times. Time went on and I was more “balanced” out in these experiences however my call did not change, the attacks themselves only became more covert. 

These last 2 months have been so difficult because  of a stronghold of fear in my mind. The definition of stronghold: a place where a particular belief is strongly upheld. Even though I loved Jesus I had a lot of false beliefs about Him. I was carrying a lot of fear in our relationship. No matter how I tried I could not shake this fear. All of a sudden my back was against the wall and I was forced to fight or else I would lose my mind. 

Christ is a deliverer. He restores our minds. He heals mental illness. He removes the strongholds. Let Him deliver you this day from false ways, false thinking and false beliefs. 

He has given you a SOUND mind.

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

Exposing the Lie of Fear

Fear is a tricky thing. It is false and untrue but appears so real. For a long time I had a fear of singleness. Even after walking it out for 10 years, I feared the very thing I had already overcome. That is how the enemy does it; he tries to get you to fear something you already have victory over. Adam and Eve feared God was holding out on them. They feared they were not like Him, but they were made to be just like Him. They had no reason to fear. 

What I have found in this season is that once you agree with one small fear (or lie) in your mind, it can snowball into a huge fear that rocks your faith so much you didn’t even know what hit you. Kind of like when Adam and Eve ate the fruit. They agreed with the lie. One small lie, and it cost all of humanity. Fear is a distraction and I didn’t see it as such until this latest attack of faith. I thought distractions came in the form of good-looking men, who were really into me and wanted to marry me but who were not my husband. I was ready for those men. I was ready b/c it had happened so many times before that I actually thought the enemy was so obvious in his attempts. But I did not see this kind of distraction coming. The kind that would challenge long held beliefs and mindsets.  

I got to have lunch with a good friend today. We talked about this fear and how it has been rearing its ugly head in this season in both of our lives. We are seasoned warriors in this spiritual battle. Not as seasoned as some, but still seasoned. We have seen the gifts of the spirit made manifest, we have lived out of His presence, we have overcome many tests and battles, but we have never faced this kind of test. So we came together because His word says if 1 can put to flight 1,000, 2 can put to flight 10,000. We ate soup and caught up on life and parted ways saying that we would pray for one another. Prayer is such a great weapon of this warfare. So is His word.   

Even though I have struggled in this season in my mind I do believe ultimately it is the Father’s will. He is awakening me to the false beliefs I have had in my faith. He is taking me back to the beginning. I am remembering that I did not call myself. I did not choose myself. I was minding my own business, doing my own thing, and woke up a new creature. I cannot possibly take credit for the transformation He has done in my life. It is His faith and His desire and His righteousness, not mine. 

Somewhere along the way I started believing it was me. That I had to work out my own salvation, but I don’t believe that passage of scripture refers to works in and of ourselves. By grace we are saved and not of works lest any man should boast…

In other news, yesterday I went to a high school basketball game with a friend. I have not attended a high school game since I myself was in high school! Where does the time go?

   

SHALOM