October 19, 2010

A Trusting Heart....

I've got news!  Not bad news, not good news.... just news.  I have a massive lump on my breast and I must go to the hospital for testing.  While no one yet knows what this means, or what the outcome will be.... I definitely have doubts and fears and concerns.  Of course, soon enough I will know if it is "bad" news or "good" news.

No, I'm not really this calm.... not on my own anyway!  I've had this lump for over two months, and hoped it would just go away.  After all this time and it hasn't altered, I finally took the plunge and called my doctor.  I was told he is booked up for weeks, but If I could wait.... the receptionist would see what she could do and call me back with an appointment for sometime that they could squeeze me in.  This was last Friday.  Well, she called a few hours later and said there had been a cancellation, could I come in at 4:00.  Whoa!

Hmmmm.... by now my stomach was in knots and my mind was racing with all the worst-case scenarios playing themselves over.  What if it's cancer?  What if I have to go through chemotherapy and lose all my hair?  What if I waited too long and they can't do anything about it... who will look after my children?  Maybe I will have to get a mastectomy... not like that's gonna matter, since I barely have any breast anyway! (this has been the lament of my life!).... hey, maybe I'll be covered for breast reconstruction and can actually have some breasts when this is all done!!! (that would be a dream come true.)  Oh, I hope it's just a cyst that can be removed and nothing further done.  But that means surgery... what am I going to do with my kids, how will I get there, who will bring me home, how long for recovery? On and on... the questions, the doubts, the fears, the hopes, over and over.

The tormenting thoughts and questions crowded my mind!  God, WHY?  Why me?  Why this?  Why now?  Haven't I suffered enough already, Lord?  Haven't I had so many trials in such a short time?  Father, you are exhausting my faith.... I can't deal with any more hardships.  What is it you want, Lord?  Have I not passed the previous tests..... is this a "re-take"?  One by one the answers came.  "My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in [your] weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9) And how, God, does this bring glory to you.... is it really necessary?  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:8-9)  But what about my finances, and my children.... Father, who will take care of all that?  "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  ...for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingodm of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matt. 6:28-34)  Ahhh, yes Lord!  You have indeed taken care of everything, and You have always taken care of me.  Help me to trust you dear Father.... completely!

And yes, in spite of my worst fears and worries, I have serenity.  I have peace and calm that is not of this world.  I have certainty that God cares about me, that He is with me through all of this, and that He will give me the strength and courage and grace to handle whatever this may bring.  I cannot explain it, for it cannot be explained.  It is the comfort of my Jesus, my Creator who loves me so!  My heart's desire (even with my fear and doubt) is that God will get glory from my life, no matter what!  NO MATTER WHAT bitter trial or painful test I must endure.... I want to praise and glorify my Lord and Saviour.  If this is what will bring Him the most honour in my life, then so be it!  Whatever the loss, whatever the cost, I will trust God.

I have shared this news with many family and friends already.  So many have responded saying they are praying for me, and have encouraged me in many ways.  For this, I thank you! I know God is in this, even if I don't like what is happening.  I would not choose it, but He has chosen it for me.  And my heart knows that He wants what is best for me, not today only but for all eternity.

So today, as I was mixing up some brownies for my kids to eat, this song just suddenly sprang out of my heart! Then I stopped to really "listen" to the words I was singing:
The trusting heart to Jesus clings, nor any ill forbodes,
But at the cross of Calv'ry sings "Praise God for lifted loads!"
The passing days bring many cares, "Fear not" I hear Him say.
And when my fears are turned to prayers, the burdens slip away.
He tells me of my Father's love and never slumb'ring eye.
My everlasting King above will all my needs supply.
When to the throne of grace I flee, I find the promise true:
The mighty hands upholding me will bear my burdens too.
Singing I go along life's road, praising the Lord, praising the Lord.
Singing I go along life's road, for Jesus has lifted my load.
~~Eliza E. Hewitt, 1851-1920~~

God is SO good, and His peace is amazing! I know HE put this song in my heart and made me mindful of its truth.

This is even more precious to me in light of these present circumstances and trials.  I only wish to praise the Lord and give Him all the glory, whatever the outcome.



September 21, 2010

The Most Amazing Love Story

He (Jehovah) delights in me!  Oh the overwhelming love of God.... that He should care for me!!!!   God--the God of the universe, the Creator of the stars, the heavens, the earth, the seas--delights in insignificant, unworthy, faulty, broken, little me!  How it overwhelms me and delights me.  It thrills my soul and makes my toes tingle!  I feel so precious in His sight!  I am SO loved, so special, so wonderful.... not because of me, but because He chooses to love me.  My heart is beating wildly at the very thought..... I am overflowing with pleasure and delight.  My Saviour whispers "sweet-nothings" to me in a million little things each day--the sunshine, the birds singing, the love of my child, the purr of the cat, the beauty of nature--He calls to me, He draws me, He wraps His arms around me and assures me that He will never leave me.

Ahhh, I can rest!  I can let go of the stress, the anger, the demands of my time and attention.  I can fully relax in His love, knowing that He will take care of me.  I sigh, letting all my cares go.  I trust Him, He has never done me any harm.  He holds me close and tells me to leave all my worries and fears with Him.  Oh, it is so easy to yield to His love!  I am prized, I am cherished, I am protected.  He knows what is BEST for me, not just good but best; and He longs to give it to me, if I will just take His hand and let Him lead.

So many things I can't express.... so much pain I don't understand..... too many hurts I can't wipe away.  But Jesus, the Lover of my soul, He washes them all away.  He takes them on Himself.  He bears my pain and sorrows, and dries my tears.  He loves me.  He loves me.  He loves me!  I am His, and He is mine!!!!  Oh what joy!  I feel like a bird, soaring high in the sky.  I feel free, really truly completely free!

I know I will fall again.  I know I will hurt again.  I know I will doubt and worry and fear and the stresses of life will become too much for me to bear again.  And I know that my Lord and Lover will be right here, wiping my tears, rubbing away my pains, holding me close to His heart and loving me still!  He will be loving me back into peace, calm, joy, freedom.... until I can once again let my heart soar to Him in total abandon and trust.... free from the chains of my wretchedness and sin and free from the cares of this world.  And while I walk through the dark valley, He has not left me alone.  NO!  He is walking with me, holding my hand, helping me up when I fall, steadying me when I stumble.  And when I get too tired to continue and the path becomes too much to bear, He will lift me in His strong yet gentle and loving arms and carry me close to His heart.

This is my love story.  A story for all time, without end.  Someday it will be happily ever after with no more sorrow or pain.  Oh God, my God I love you with all my being because of your unfailing, always persistent, sweetly pursuing love for me!!!!  Thank you Jesus.

"I take great delight in you, I will quiet you with My love, I rejoice over you with singing."
~ Zephaniah 3:17

I would do anything to hold onto you
Just about anything until you pull through
I'd hold onto you 'til the stars no longer wink
I'd hold onto you 'til you figure out just what to think
I would go anywhere to meet up with you
Just about anywhere for one rendezvous
I'd hold onto you 'til the mountains crumble flat
I'd hold onto you 'til you figure out just where you're at
I'd hold onto you 'til you take it all in stride
I'd hold onto you 'til you want to stay here by my side, because
You're emotion in motion
My "magical potion"
You're emotion in motion to Me
~Rick Ocasek

August 22, 2010

The Kind of Man I Dream of

I saw this on a friend's profile and decided to "borrow" it.  This pretty much explains the dreams and hopes I have of a man that really knows how to love me.... even at my worst.  Of course, I know people aren't perfect and nobody can be "everything" to me.  Only Jesus can truly love me unconditionally and meet my every need.  But still, I dream of one day having a relationship like this with a man who loves God first, and loves me second.  Yes, I would certainly want to do my best to be all this for my man too! :)  It's good to have dreams!


I wonder how many men realize if they did more of this list for the woman in their life, how amazing their relationship would be.  Women are naturally made to be responders.  Wow, what a romance could be had!  Read on.


What to Do When a Woman Does This to You

  When she stares at your mouth....  smile, then kiss her.
  

When she pushes you or hits you....  hug her tight.
  

When she starts fussing at you....  say I love you.
  

When she's quiet....  hold her hand and ask what's wrong.
  

When she ignores you....  act cute so she'll notice you.
  

When she pulls away....  pull her back and hold her tight.
  

When you see her at her worst....  tell her you love her and she still looks amazing.
  

When you see her walking....  approach her and give a kiss on the cheek.
  

When she's scared....   assure her you're not going to leave her.
  

When she lays her head on your shoulder....  tilt your head too to touch her head.
  

When she steals your favorite hat....  let her keep it.
  

When she teases you....  tease her back and make her laugh.
  

When she says that she likes you....  know that she really does, more than you could understand.
  

When she grabs at your hands....  hold hers and play with her fingers.
  

When she bumps into you....  bump into her back and make her laugh.
  

When she tells you a secret....   keep it safe and untold.
  

When she is sick....  stay up all night with her.
  

When she's bored and sad....  hang out with her.
  

When she's mad....  hug her tight and don't let go.
  

When she wants to see her favorite movie or show....  watch it with her, even if you think it's stupid.
  

When she says she's okay....  don't believe it, talk to her.
  

When she looks into your eyes....  don't look away until she does.
  

When she doesn't answer for a long time....   reassure her that everything is okay.
  

When she looks at you with doubt....  back yourself up, earn her trust
  

When she misses you....  know that she's hurting inside.
  

When you break her heart....  understand that the pain never really goes away.
  

When she says it's over....  believe she still wants you to be hers, and try again.
  

When she's not saying anything....  stay on the phone with her.
  

When you see her crying....  hold her, and ask her what's wrong.
  

When she runs up to you crying....  the first thing you'd say is "Who's butt am I gonna kick, Baby?"
  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  

Call her at 12:00am on her birthday to tell her you love her.
  

Call her before you sleep and after you wake up.
  

Treat her like she's all that matters to you.
  

Let her wear your clothes.
  

Let her know she's important.
  

Kiss her in the pouring rain.
  

Give her the world.

August 12, 2010

Stardust and God-trust

Creation is amazing!  It speaks so boldly and beautifully of a Great Designer who loves variety and beauty and order and colour!  The stars sparkle like millions of little diamonds in a vast black velvet canvas. 

I was out in the country the other night, watching the stars.  The crickets were chirping their loud chorus, as if to invite me to join them.  The mosquitoes were buzzing their annoying "attack" anthem, warning me of their piercing danger.  The stars winked and twinkled and blinked, coaxing me to want to dance in their glamour.  The air was warm, with a whispering breeze that subtly caressed my skin.  The tall corn stalks softly, gently waved with the breeze as if they were rocking a baby to sleep.  All my senses were alive, alert, on the ready, taking in all the glory and wonder that is creation!  I felt very relaxed, very much at peace, at one with my Lord and my world, very alive, awake.  It was majestic!  I just felt like all was right and as it should be.

As I watched, there blazed a small light from the east trailing across the sky in a slight arc and then fizzled out.  It happened fast, I almost missed it!  It wasn't glaring bright or twinkling, but it was there.  And just when I thought I might have been seeing things and my mind was playing tricks on me.... another fainter, shorter one happened.  It is the poseids meteor shower!  Apparently the poseids meteor shower is happening right now, and tonight is the best night to watch it!

I was wowed!  I was dumbstruck!  I was awed!  It was amazing!  Just looking at all those twinkling stars lighting paths and patterns across the darkened atmosphere..... I was awestruck by the beauty and wonder and majesty and creatvitiy and design of it all.  My God is awesome!!!!  Then, to see these "showers" in all their fancy fizzling out.... it was as though God sent a personal message directly to me.

This wonder, this beauty, this precious little gift of love from God to me, led me to do some deep thinking and reflecting.  If God could make the heavens and the sun, the moon, the stars, all the details and signs and seasons and wonders that we experience, and set them into patterns that they do not deviate from, and control all this with great precision and order..... if He can do all that, why can't I trust Him to care for me?  Is it that I can't trust Him, or don't trust Him?

He loves me, oh so much!  I was romanced by my Lord and Saviour, the Lover of my soul, as I stood there and watched the skies.  He sent a message of love, a gift of romance, a design of His own making to me!  And yet, so often I struggle with trusting God to do what's best for me.  Too many times I want my own way and think that I know what I want and that God won't "do right" by me.  I leave my life, my emotions, my circumstances in His hands.... but then, I don't like what's happening, or what I'm feeling, so I grab it back again.

Well, I know I will continue to struggle with this.  It is hard to yield myself to God.  Even knowing that He loves me beyond all measure, that He wants what is the absolute best for me..... still, I convince myself that God is holding out on me.  That He is short-changing me, or that He cannot be trusted and I need to take matters into my own hands!  Ah, it is the lie that deceived the first woman on earth.... and we have all struggled with it ever since.

Yet I thank God that for those few moments, of that one night, while gazing at the stars.... I was at peace, I knew my Saviour's love, and all was right with my world!  I know that the God of the universe and the stardust and meteor showers, is the very God who cares for me in a real and personal way.

Thank you Lord for that unique and special demonstration, expressing your love to me.  Help me to trust you, even when I doubt. 

June 05, 2010

Tears in my Teacup

Hmmm..... Why is it that in my search to be free I discourage myself from being free to be real?!  I think it is because I am afraid that if anyone knew the REAL me, they wouldn't like me.  Maybe too, it is because I have a standard, an "Ideal", of what is acceptable.... and I don't measure up to my own standard.  Will others really judge me as harshly as I judge myself?  Maybe, maybe not... but I'm afraid to find out.  It leaves me vulnerable, open to hurt, target to criticism.  I don't like being in that position.  But in order to be free, I have to be real!  OUCH!

Yesterday I had an awful day.  The kind of day that I label "terrible, awful, no good, very bad, Jonah Day"!  I am a single (divorced!--yep, I'm divorced) homeschooling mom of four children.  If that doesn't paint a clear picture..... how about some help. 

Ok, the previous two days before yesterday had been rainy.  So, with four children (two boys and two girls, ranging in ages from 14 down to 7) stuck in the house all day..... I was getting quite irritated.  I really love my children, but there are sometimes I'd trade them for a chocolate bar in a heartbeat! (Make it a Laura Secord french mint chocolate bar and I'll give you the whole gang.)  So, yeah, I homeschool which means ME with FOUR kids, 24/7.  

It also means that either I'm a supermom or lots gets left undone.  I'm the latter.  The laundry is piled up, having been washed and dried (thank God for automatic machines), but left in a pile on the couch awaiting sorting, folding and putting away.  It never gets done!!!!  Every day I hear the same sobs and whines.... "I don't have any socks."  "I can't find clean underwear!"   "Mom, have you seen my green shirt, you know, the one I wore to the park on Monday?"   I would think that with the constant whining and bickering, I'd be motivated to get all laundry folded and in it's place asap to silence the cheery little chirps!  Nope!  It doesn't happen.  Why?

Well, three square meals a day, plus snacks keeps me always on my toes.  It seems I never leave the kitchen, except when I fall into bed at night.  Well, unless I'm at the computer.  And said kitchen has such sticky, gummy floors that it's hard to walk through without getting stuck.  My twelve-year-old daughter seldom has to fill her cat's food dish, because the cat just eats a feast off the kitchen floor!  All this preparing for all these meals and snacks leaves lots of dishes piled in, on, beside, and all around the sink.  Who wants to wash dishes?  Hey, I'm a good homeschool mom!  I have chore charts and assigned tasks for each of my kids to do.  But then, I'm also the one that has to enforce the doing, or just do it myself.  Usually the latter is simpler and quieter; it saves the arguments and explosions of temper, and I don't get the "eye-rolls" quite so much when I just do it myself.  Oh, and don't forget.... the 14-year-old son who is never full, and always hungry.  Doesn't matter that he just ate a complete meal that I spent all afternoon cooking.  He's hungry!  "Mom, can I have that apple?"  "Hey mom, why don't you make brownies.... we haven't had any in a long time and I'm hungry for brownies."  "Never mind, I'll just eat this cereal for a snack."

So, never-ending laundry...  I mean, when I actually see the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper, it's cause for a celebration!  Never-ending cooking and eating, which leads to never-ending messes and dirty dishes.  PLUS I homeschool my children (that's FOUR different grades at once!), and I tutor on the side.  Actually, I'm also looking for a full-time job too... need to supplement the income.  Honestly, now that I think about it... maybe the full-time job is so I can have a break, and do less work while getting paid more!  Sounds good to me.

Okay, so I was saying:  Yesterday was a Jonah Day for me.  After two days of rain, and the kids in the house the whole time, I was on edge.  I felt irritated with the slightest noises, digusted by the constant mess, aggravated that four kids could do so much damage in so little time and not even care.  It was time for a pity party!  I sent out the invitations to me, myself, and I.  They came immediately and together we had the greatest party ever!  I loudly banged pots and pans while complaining "I didn't eat this food, why am I the only one who ever does the dishes in this house!"  Then I ran downstairs to Mt. Laundry to see if I could find a clean dishcloth and towel.  I raised my voice like a yodeller and screamed "WHO dumped all this clean clothes all over the floor?!  I want it picked up NOW!!!!"  I came stomping back up the stairs to find my seven-year-old making himself a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  Three very obvious slices of banana on the floor, went ignored.  Okay, that was it!  "I've had it!" I yelled in his face.  "Go outside NOW, and leave me alone.  You're such a pig!"  I immediately regretted it, when I saw the tears well up in his eyes and he hung his head as he went out the door with his sandwich.  But I was on a roll.... there's no way I was giving in now.   So I continued to bang dishes around and fill up the sink.... starting my cleaning, while I kept peeking out the window into the yard to see what my son was doing.  He kept himself occupied for a few minutes, glancing once in a while to the kitchen window to try to determine if my mood had changed.  I noticed, and felt guilty, but I just kept doing the dishes.  Poor child!  How many times have I crushed his tender heart with my selfishness?

Now yesterday was a sunny day, clear and warm.  I had pre-arranged a week earlier for a play-date with some friends.  It was supposed to be in the early afternoon.  But I was having a Jonah Day and didn't feel like visiting with anyone, let alone "playing" with a bunch of kids at the park!  Oh, I was irritated!  I snapped at my ten-year-old daughter because of her "silly questions" and I grouchily told them all it was their own responsibility to get their things together to go the park.  Twice, my friend called to say there had been an adjustment to the plans, and I sweetly agreed with her and said "no problem, we're flexible"; while the whole time I was fuming and just wanted to cancel it altogether.  Her sister-in-law was coming too with her kids and had some questions for me about homeschooling.  Oh, and her sister-in-law was bringing a friend who was very curious about homeschool and considering doing it with her children too.  "Just great!" I muttered to myself.... "now I'm the 'expert homeschooler' and have to hold an impromptu conference with a bunch of people I don't even know!"  But of course, once we got to the park I smiled and greeted everyone and we chatted and had a good time.  It really wasn't bad, except for the guilt and shame I felt as I watched my fourteen-year-old mirroring my own attitude, while he sat withdrawn from the group and barely spoke to a "new friend" who was coerced to come by his mom intentionally to meet my son.  Whoa!  It's true... the emotion and ambience of the family is set by the mother.  The kids ran, and played, and mingled and had a good time.  Actually, so did I! 

The tears came later, in the evening.  After making supper (which I was not eating), I had retreated to my bedroom, while the kids were out playing with some friends.  I sat on my bed perusing the grocery flyers and trying to make up my shopping list.  I was again feeling sorry for myself.  I mean, why am I left to single-handedly raise four precious, young souls..... and I'm doing such a lousy job of it?  Why did my landlord have to make the mistake with the rent cheque THIS month?   Finances are tighter this month than they have been in a long time..... and he has to put the cheque in early THIS time?  I know, I know... honest mistake and he offered to fix it.  But me and my stupid pride said not to bother I'll be fine!  "God, why are you testing me like this?  What is it you want from me?   What about ME needing a break, wanting someone to show me they care about me?  Where did all MY dreams and hopes go?  Will I ever find true love with a man, or am I doomed to single parenting and loneliness the rest of my life?  How can I be so mean to my children who I'm supposed to love and care for?"  All the concerns, doubts, thoughts, hopes, worries, fears, dreams, desires started pouring out.  And I cried!  I felt such freedom crying, and questioning God, and knowing that no matter my attitude... He loves me!!!!  I had freedom in knowing that God is bigger than any complaint or blame I can place on Him, and He is patient enough to listen to all my whining without condemning me.  Oh the comfort and freedom to really, truly be ME (good, bad and ugly) and still be loved and accepted.

I calmed down and began to read my Bible, letting the love of my dearest Friend wash over me.  Soon I put my Bible down and started reading an excellent book for women (Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge) that I keep in the drawer by my bed.  I've read it before, but I love how it expresses the deepest yearnings and aches of my heart.  Then there was a knock on my bedroom door.  My ten-year-old daughter brought in a cup of green-mint tea (my favourite) in my fancy china teacup and saucer.  "Here Mom, I made you some tea", she said and handed it to me.  I set it on the bedside table, then gave her a kiss and hug and said "Thank you!"  She left to get ready for bed, and as I picked up my teacup to take a sip, the tears began to flow again.  I had been so horrible to my kids all day, and she was sweetly bringing me tea and telling me she loved me.  "Oh, God" I cried, "I don't deserve this, but thank you.  Thank you, Jesus, for loving me even when I'm unlovable and thank you  for giving me such precious children."

I'm glad that with my Abba (Daddy), the Lover of my soul I am free to be genuine with all my hurts, pains, troubles, and sin.  Yet, He still loves me!  That is the ulitmate in freedom.  A free that I don't feel I can truly have anywhere else because I might be judged or criticized or misunderstood.  But God knows my every thought and He still loves me.  He holds my hand all along the path of life, and when I stumble and fall, He is right there picking me up and setting me right again.  Thank you Father!

I did apologize to my children, and asked for their help to keep me accountable in a certain matter I'm dealing with.  So now I'm off to sort and fold clean clothes, in an attempt to reduce Mt. Laundry to a conquerable size.

June 01, 2010

Laughter

Hahahahahahaha!  LOL!  ROFL!   Laughter, real deep from the soul laughter is so freeeeeing!  Ahhh, it feels so good to laugh.  Laughing alone is great tonic for a downcast soul, but laughing with those you love is even better.  You want to feel FREE?  Okay, here is an exercise:
Laugh!Laugh! 

I don't mean a fake tehehehe... I mean a real guttural guffaw.  Proverbs 17:22 says "A merry heart does good like a medicine."  Nothing eases stress, depression, anger, worry or pain like a good laugh.  Have you ever been stressed out to the max and had someone do or say something really funny?  I have!  Let me tell you..... the instant I start laughing, the load rolls off my back.  What changed?  Nothing but my attitude.  So many people tell me they love my smile, and it is catching!  How can I smile when things are not going right?  Well.... I don't always.  But when I make a conscious effort to smile, the world seems brighter and all my troubles seem less.  Especially when my smile earns me a beautiful smile in return!  It really is catchy.  "A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance; but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." (Proverbs 15:13)  Smile at someone, make them laugh, laugh at yourself.... you will see how instantly it heals the woes and wounds of a heavy heart.

I love spending time with people who can make me laugh.  Laughter brings such freedom.  When I am most tense and ready to blow, one of my kids will do or say something that makes be burst into laughter.  Usually it is unintentional on their part, but it sure is a release for me.  And it saves me from blowing my top at one of them and saying something I would deeply regret later.  It has almost become a contest in our family to see who can draw the most laughs.  If one of us notices a grumpy face, or an irritated attitude, the rest do our best to be comical, sarcastic, silly, ridiculous, make faces.... whatever it takes to get a smile and hopefully a laugh.  Although this sounds so basic and simple.... it really is God's design.  Laughter is like sunshine, it improves the mood instantly.  And God must have a sense of humour, after all, He made me!

So you want to get free from your worries and what's stressing you?  Change your attitude, smile, learn to laugh.  Laughing at yourself can really ease a lot of tension.  Laughing with others, endears you to each other.  Laughter is a great tonic, God's amazing natural medicine for many things that ail you.

I guarantee you will find laughing frees your spirit!

May 31, 2010

Free from worry, fear and doubt

Please sit down before you read this.  It will be such a great shock to you and I know you will have trouble believing it, but make sure to breathe.  Okay, so I want everyone to know that I am 100% human.  I am no super power or perfect being... I have faults and make mistakes.  I am often overcome with worry, fear and doubt.  Phew! I'm glad that's out! :D

Yes, I am human and I struggle with doubt and worry.  Do I need to?  NO!  Should I struggle with these things?  NO!  But I do and this radically free me is a journey and a growth process.  I have lots of learning and unlearning to do, and lots of facing myself in the mirror and telling myself the truth.  Then comes the slow growing and maturing process.  It will not happen overnight.  And so, I struggle and learn. 

I am reminded of Jacob who wrestled all night with the LORD until the morning started to dawn, not knowing it was God.  Jacob refused to let go of the man until he received a blessing.  So God touched him in the thigh so that it was out of joint.  Jacob received his blessing that night and a new name, Israel.  He realized that he had seen God face to face and had been wrestling with the Holy One.  It is obvious that Jacob never walked the same after that experience.  (You can read the text yourself in Genesis 32:24-32) This just reveals to me that the struggle, the wrestling, is not the problem.  It is succumbing to those things I struggle with, letting them gain control over me, that is the problem.  I become a slave to my own doubts, I let worry control my thoughts and actions.  I would much rather wrestle with God and have Him change my walk forever.

I wrestle with doubt, with trusting God completely, with worry about things I cannot control.  Do I want to be free from these weaknesses?  Of course I do!  But the bigger question is:  What am I doing to get free from worry, fear, doubt?  Well, honestly... not much!  You see, I know the many verses of scripture: "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1)  
"If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done." (Matthew 21:21)
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 4:19)
There are so many verses and so many examples in the Bible that show how God will look after us, lead us, provide for us.  Yet, still I doubt.  I worry about things that I have no control over and I am robbed of peace and contentment.  Why?

I do not have a sure answer, other than the fact that I permit my imperfect, weak, selfish, human nature to control my spirit and emotions.  If I have given control to doubts, to selfishness, to fear, then obviously God is not in control of my life.  Not because He can't be, but because I don't permit Him to be!   So what is the remedy.... how do I get free from worry and doubt?  Quite simply, TRUST!

Trust the One who is the LORD of all, the Creator, Redeemer, Saviour, Lover of my soul.  If I but take Him at His word and trust my most faithful and truest Friend, I will be free of all worry, fear and doubt.  But again, it is a journey, a process.  It does not happen instantly.  I believe it is also a continuing exercise.  Just because I once trusted God before, does not mean I am trusting now.  It is a moment by moment yielding of my mind and heart to Him.  I may trust for His provision for this week, yet at the same time worry about the negative influences of school on my children.  Either God is GOD OF ALL or He is not God at all!!!  The problem is not with HIM, it is with ME. 

This, I believe, is the foundation of doubt and worry.  I grew up learning all the Bible stories of all the great "heroes of faith".  I read and believe all the things about God's love, provision, protection, care, miracles, redemption.... etc.  But the truth is, I don't truly believe that God cares that much for me in a personal way.  Therein is my downfall and slavery to worry.  I DOUBT the person of God and His love for ME!!!  I feel like I have to do something to merit His care.  I need to make myself into someone acceptable to Him before He will look after me.  So, the answer to freedom in this area would be to trust God.  Trust that He is who He says He is; trust that He will do what He says He will do; trust that He loves ME, as if I was the only person in all of creation, and that I matter dearly to Him!  God has not changed; He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  It is I who needs to change.  I need to know and believe that my God is still able.

Am I radically free from worry, doubt and fear?  No.  But I am on the path to freedom, I am learning and growing daily in trust in my Abba, Father.  The verse that best describes this weakness in my life, and my heart's cry is "Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:24)

Dear friend, I trust that you too will learn to believe that He cares for YOU!  Get radically free of worry, fear and doubt.  Rest in the arms of the Almighty!