Tag Archive | fear

Getting Older

 

Young-woman-wearing-a-blue-shirt-looking-up-into-the-sky-e1427113420798

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

Advertisements

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

The Job Season

If there is one character in the Bible I never wanted to relate to it is Job. I mean seriously, that man went through everything under the sun! He lost it all and then had the nerve to worship right after he did! Talk about FAITHFUL. I have said I wanted my life partner to have his heart and character, but I didn’t think about how I myself would need the same to compliment him LOL. 

Although I can’t say my life has been so greatly impacted as the life of Job (thank You Lord) I know the Father calls this a “Job season” for me. 

It is a suffering season.  

As with Job there is much mental and emotional pain. There is the absence of God’s voice (in the way I’m used to Him speaking) and presence. There is the facing of my deepest fears, day in, day out. And there is an endurance that needs to be cultivated because the season is relentless.But even with all of its challenges I know there are still boundaries on this thing. With all that Job went through the enemy was not allowed to kill him. There were still limitations and I see that in my own life. God continues to move forward and open doors and manifest His plans. 

Even if He doesn’t manifest His presence.

I hesitated in sharing because I always want to encourage my readers to fight the good fight, but Im sure there is encouragement in knowing that those of you going through a dark season, are not alone. 

I wrote a journal entry I would like to share. Feel free to substitute your name for mine. Know that His Word and promises over your life WILL come to pass. And just as with Job, your suffering will end and you will come out better than before:

Nicole, this is only a season. I am maturing you. I have manifested Myself and My love to you so much to prepare you for this season and seasons to come. I am developing you. Count it all joy when you are tested because when you come out you will be better. Anxiety and fear is something you were functioning in throughout Our relationship and I do not want that. I want a better relationship with you. I want you to function from my love w/o fear in Our relationship. You are breaking strongholds. You are breaking generational curses and that takes time. You are not alone though you feel that you are often. I am with you but I am moving in a way that is different than I have moved with you in the past. That is because I am teaching you something. I am developing you and when you get to the other side so much of this will make sense. You will get to the other side because My word promises you that; I will complete the work, I will perfect that which concerns you, I will never leave you nor forsake you. My Word does not return void. Lean on My Word. I have given you My Word and your testimony. I have given you sound teaching and a community to demonstrate my unconditional love for you to aid you in this season.

You are in a Job season. You are in a suffering season but you are already coming out. I have already given you the victory and I set up your life so that you would overcome in this season at this time. When you overcome, you will be more equipped to help others. You will be more empathetic and humble. You will be more effective for the kingdom.  SHALOM

Mind Over Matter

Yesterday the fam and I went to Cedar Point. It’s been a ritual that my mom and I would go every summer since she gets free tickets through her job but we had some extra special guests this time: my high school BFF and her niece. Now when I was a kid I LOVED roller coasters!!! My gramma and I would hit every ride when she took me to the amusement park and those were some of my happiest memories. My mom and I would do the same. But something changed these last few years and the idea of a little cart with a little belt barely strapping you in while zooming 100 mph for several minutes flipping and dipping you 100s of feet in the air, well, it seemed less appealing. Basically I had fallen out of love with roller coasters.  I no longer liked being afraid. 

There is something in most people that causes them to like fear. That’s why scary movies are popular and the lines at Cedar Point are an hour long wait on a good day. But dealing with fear on a supernatural level has removed the taste of a quick thrill and I was not ashamed in admitting that to myself! However I know how much these times together mean to my mom so I muster up the courage and go along for the ride (literally). A couple of years ago there was a specific ride that God used to speak to me. He talked to me about trusting Him and though I had no control and did not feel secure, trusting the journey I was on allowed me to enjoy it more. Well I was looking forward to that ride but what I found once we road it was that it no longer posed the challenge it once had. I had “conquered” the ride. Because I had mentally found a way to cope with the momentary thrill and fear while riding it it no longer posed a threat. I was both happy and dissapointed with this realization. But then something new happened.  Instead of hitting all of our “normal” rides my mom wanted to try a different, scarier ride.  I was so caught off guard by the routine being broken that it took me a minute to compose myself.  I looked up at this huge machine that was going literally faster than any coaster I’ve ever been on and knew one thing was certain: I did not want to ride this ride!!! But the group wanted to ride this ride and these 10-year-old girls were in line to ride this ride so how could I seriously back out?! So I practiced what I learned by riding the easier rides and focused on controlling my thoughts. Instead of dwelling on the speed, screams of the riders, and every intimidating factor about this ride I told myself it was “no big deal”.  I said “It will be over in seconds.”  I counted the number of times it completed a cycle and said “I just have to loop 4 times”.  I basically practiced mind over matter.  And you know what? It worked.  At every “scary” ride I did this and as a result I actually started having a good time! I was no longer afraid! 

Sometimes the very things and situations we are in seem life threatening.  We are intimadated or bullied into believing they are greater than they really are, but that is all in our perception.  If we believe fear we will be needlessly afraid because fear is only a response to our thoughts. 

But if we dismantle the bully, take apart its strengths and focus on its weaknesses we will see how to defeat our enemy.  As we practice controlling our thoughts all of a sudden we become stronger and our perception is more accurate. That thing was not here to “take us out” as we originally thought. It was actually here to make us better.

Me and the fam… 

 
 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

 

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