Sunday, January 11, 2009

When Fear leads to Power

"Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." ~ Joshua 1:9

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control." ~ II Timothy 1:7

  • verses courtesy of The Everyday Life Bible: Amplified Version
Fear - noun
an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat
• archaic a mixed feeling of dread and reverence
• ( fear for) a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone
• the likelihood of something unwelcome happening

  • definition courtesy of Apple Computer Dictionary
There is a fear and anxiety within me over the last several months that has become toxic and overwhelming...a fear I'd rather deny as having any existence at all. So I went to the word, God's Word to find truth to battle the fear and what I found was very surprising. It is when we face our fears and follow God with absolute abandon despite our fears and anxieties that we find the power He has laid out before us. There is so much that God has for us, that He desires for us, but that means leaving the fear behind and fully trusting in Him. I learned the hard way this last year that through disobedience God will find a way to make things as they should be, no matter how much it may hurt us. God has no fear of hurting us, not in a physical way, but in a Fatherly way. For He knows the best solutions, the best path that we should take and although He never forces us to do what is right (the first time) He will find a way to get us where we should be.

In early March I chose disobedience, I chose to ignore the things that God would speak to me and wake me with in the early hours of the morning. As a result He found a way to make things as they should be only a few months later and I found myself in tremendous pain. Could it have been avoided, maybe...could it have ended differently, possibly...but I chose to go my own way instead of facing my fear head on.

Now here I am faced with another fear and I have another choice to make. I can choose to believe that God has it under control and that no matter what happens His plan is much higher than mine...or I can choose my way again. I don't really have a solution with this fear within me, all I know is that I'm at a crossroads in my foundation, with the Spirit, and with my trust in God. This time I choose to face my fear head on hoping that through it all, no matter what the result, it will lead to the power God has laid out before me, to the power He has called me to. I want all He has for me, and that means being here, now, and leaving the rest up to Him.

The Scars

I burned my finger the other day on my curling iron. I was in a hurry and chatting with a friend and I accidentally brushed my finger across my curling iron while I was curling my hair...talent, I know! But as I was starring at the scar left behind I started to think about the other scars on me that have a story. There is the one under my chin where I dove too far down and not out in my parent's swimming pool as a kid. I think there is another one somewhere on my leg from shaving and I don't know if this counts, but the place on my big toenail where an ingrown toenail was removed and another toenail grew back in its place (it's really quite interesting).

Really what got me to thinking was the scars that go deep under the skin, the number of scars on one's heart that have numerous stories with it and yet you wonder if anybody knows about them. How many homeless people do you pass on a street corner that may have a wound deep down that has never been healed properly, do you know their story, what caused it, what led to their current situation? What about the single mom with two kids, what's her heart story? Or the child abandoned by the one who brought them into this world...what does their heart say?

See, we all have scars, whether you can see them or not. We all have stories to tell and why we see things the way we do or why we act the way we do. I can't tell you how many times God has stitched my heart back together only to leave a scar, a reminder of what caused it, behind. I've been battling God with one of my most recent scars, praying...pleading that He would remove the memories and thoughts of what was once there, the love that once existed. I'm starting to think the answer is 'no.' I'm starting to wonder that by facing the memories, by facing the mistakes I made and the sin I fell into, only then can I begin to heal properly. A scar is there, or at least it will be. I have a feeling God has stitched up the wound, I just don't think that He has removed the stitches yet. As hard as it is to face the truth sometimes, I look forward to what comes out of this processing session with God...I look forward to the strength that it will bring and the wisdom I will gain.

I encourage you to show your scars, to be honest with yourself and with God...see what He may have to show you through your own wounds and hurts.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Crossing the Line...

I did it, at least I think I did. I finally got the energy to cross the line, the line that leads me further into my future. It's hard knowing that the pain I left behind had a mix of fun and happy memories as well. It's hard knowing that holding onto the pain was harder than taking the steps I needed to move ahead. It was a bit of a shock to wake up January 1, 2009 to the realization that 2008 hadn't been just a dream, but rather a reality. It was a bit disappointing to know that the memories and thoughts I had hoped would disappear while I slept didn't diminish completely. But then I guess it is part of the process, to walk it out, so that I don't repeat the mistakes of the past.

So with all that is within me I cross the line into what I hope is a spectacular and blessed 2009. I walk into it knowing that there are still bits of fear and pain hanging on, but also trusting that they won't hang around forever. I have walked through my worst nightmare, now I have to trust that it won't be repeated. For I know the Lord has a plan, a plan for me, a hope and a future beyond way more than I could ever hope or imagine. I trust that the fear within me is not from the Lord, and will not hang around long. I know that the Lord did not give me a spirit of fear, but rather one of power and of love.