Tag Archives: #fear

Today Is The Bridge Between Your Past and Future!

Are You Fully Present Today?

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34 MSG)

Life of Worship

I admit, living in the present is sometimes so, so very hard.  When my mind is exhausted from this tug of war delivered from both the fear and shame in not being good enough that the unknown presents and the excitement in seeing what God is actually doing is overwhelming. 

Can you relate?

Sometimes living in the future with all its anticipation and excitement can rob us of God’s blessings here and now because He lives in the “today.”  We forget what we receive “today” is preparing us for tomorrow’s blessings, so we would bode well to embrace this scenic route bridging our pasts and futures.

I have found myself becoming somewhat resentful as to what God has called me to at this particular point in time because He is opening up all these other doors that I thought were forever closed and I’m stinkin’ excited. 

Because of this, I have found myself living buried underneath the weight of anger and discouragement because I’m ready to move on; thereby, consuming my thoughts and interfering with time I usually am spent in His presence. 

Time spent with our Lord empowers us to walk out each day faithfully with joy and trust. 

How many gifts of today do we pass by, neglecting to pick up or even open up because we’re so preoccupied with thoughts, anxieties and/or fears in our future?

There’s no room living in that bad neighborhood (mindset) to be present for today.

The enemy gets worked up for good reason when we’re doing what the Lord wants and attacks our beautiful hearts and minds with flaming arrows and emotional darts filled with the venom and sting that doubt and confusion delivers. 

These tidbits of insecurities, fears and indiscretions are trying to completely wipe me out and keep me from focusing on the Lord and on today; thereby, nearly robbing me of all these amazing blessings the Lord is ushering me to receive.

phonto-44

If you’re anything like me, sweet friend, planning for tomorrow is exciting and time well spent, but when we become preoccupied with worry and control about tomorrow, time is not only being wasted, but we’re robbing ourselves and others of being present for this day. 

If our Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him (Psalm 37:23), then why do we deviate and fill our hearts and minds with preoccupation and the opinions of others, forgetting life is about the journey and not the destination?

Guilty as charged…

When walking out our callings, and I’m not just talking about my nonprofit organization dealing with the homeless, we can be consumed with both fear and excitement. 

Isaiah 61:1 (AMP) reminds me, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me to bring good news to the humble and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted, to proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives and freedom to prisoners…”

Remembering to be fully present enables me to receive the comfort through trust that the Lord promises in bringing deliverance through His timing.  It is up to me to be present so I can hear and receive His guidance filled with treasures that are right around the corner.  If I’m not present, then I’ll walk right past His blessings (peace/perseverance/strength) and wonder what happened causing me to forfeit His gifts for today. 

So recognizing that planning for our futures can alleviate much of our anxiety and worry, when we become obsessed worriers, we become so consumed, forgetting to trust in God’s provision, therefore running ahead of His timetable, we become tripped up. 

The worst part of all of this is denying Jesus’ invitation for help through an intimate and loving relationship with Him. 

So… if the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in Love (Psalm 103:8), this should illustrate to us a picture of God’s nature and will, worthy of His trust, commitment and timing!

phonto-41

So I hope you’ll join me in sojourning this side of heaven living under the umbrella of God’s Great Love and promises that offers peace that surpasses all knowledge (Philippians 4:7) while being reminded that today is the bridge between your past and future.  Live in this moment.  This way we can embrace the invitation that our Beautiful Jesus is extending only if we’re fully present.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

If The Pope Can Do It…

Confession or Humility?

What Pushes You To Your Knees?

What pushes you to your knees? How about who meets you there when you’re down? And when you’re done confessing your burdened heart, are you met with love and acceptance or judgment and condemnation? 

Being Fully Known and Fully Loved!

If we’re going to be totally honest here, I’m sure WE WOULD ALL AGREE that when we fess up and own up to our mistakes and less-than-stellar facades, we are met with anything but love. But why is that?

We all need “safe people” that we can shed a layer or two while being fully known and fully loved. At least I do…

The Pope accepts he’s imperfect. He even proclaims he needs forgiveness daily. If Pope Francis admits his hardships and imperfections, being the Bishop of Rome, with ALL power, prestige and influence, why are we so afraid to?

I don’t know about you, but when I’m pushed to my knees, this is where I find my real home, my comfort and my safe refuge. This is where my Lord meets up with every kind of crazed vomiting I could possibly upchuck. And sometimes…

Well, let’s just say projectile vomiting isn’t very attractive. In fact, it’s nasty, but sometimes a girl’s just got to release and purge…

This is where I am fully known and fully loved and accepted. This is the only place where I’m fully known and fully loved without judgment and condemnation. What a beautiful comfort it is. This is why the high maintenance side of me is constantly sitting at the feet of Jesus; I can be nasty!

That’s kind of sad, really… Even tragic. Why can’t we be fully known and fully loved in our own homes and communities?

If I profess with my mouth that there is freedom in exposure because of this Great Love and the confidence I receive while engaging in a relationship with Jesus Christ, why am I getting a sick feeling in knowing now is the time to push aside the preaching and teaching and REALLY start digging up the terror of truths at the bottom of the grave that I dug to keep all the deep hurts buried?

Why are we fearful in sharing our adversities, our tragedies and heartaches when it is here where our relationship with the Lord deepens and where we find where our great riches in life are?

Do you think the Pope gets discouraged by the actions of God’s people, especially those that betray others by acknowledging their beliefs, but not in their practices?

I think he does. I believe that’s why he’s been called to his position today. He appears to love and rule without an iron-fist governance. He can love through action, not judgment and condemnation, and correct without terrifying threats.

Do you think he feels betrayed when his friends (other priests) and family abandon and reject him like we do? Do you think he becomes embittered and immobilized because others mock and jeer him, especially when it comes down to his faith? That is called persecution, after all.

I believe he would pray for the offenders, be grateful for the lean times, the mean times, and any other times that draw him closer to our Lord.

I’m trying…

Adversity keeps us on our knees and deepens our trust and relationship with God if we don’t become embittered.

Heartaches are what has kept me close to my Lord. So for that, I am eternally grateful!

These beautiful truths penned by Timothy J. Keller are so fitting and remind us of the freedom and beauty found when we’re vulnerable enough to be fully known and fully loved:

To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.

There’s Freedom In Exposure

I want to be known and loved so I must continue to allow exposure! I’m a work in progress, as we all are, and I consider myself vulnerable and transparent, but I admit to covering over my deep hurts. I have been healed and have forgiven my violators, but it’s still uncomfortable to share such relentless grief and heartache.

With all the ongoing tragedies, I am sensing God to be calling us outside of our comfort zones by summoning us to unite and connect together to mirror His Love instead of hiding behind our closed doors in fear of being fully known.

Blameless Animated Heart

God gave me gifts and abilities to use for Him. These gifts may have come from the sprinkling of pain and suffering, but God allowed me to walk through these valleys so I could use these tools to effectively help others. They were given to me as a gift to be utilized for His service. To be a reflection of His Love.

I may not like the suffering I feel going through trials, but once I have walked through it, I can actually say this deepened love I have for the Lord would never have developed had I not had tragedy and heartache.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Isaiah 46.4

When Your Child Asks For Prayer!

A Labor Of Love…

A Mother Holds Her Child’s Hand, For Just A Short Time, But Holds Their Hearts Forever!

As I sat in the chilling and all-too-familiar courtroom making small talk with the surrounding attorneys, fear of doom ushered me right into a place of needed defibrillation. My broken heart could not restore stable rhythm. These palpitations were caused merely by fear!

This courtroom battle is tied with an umbilical cord all around it.

I cherish these rare glimpses of his presence. They fill my depleted heart with warmth and comfort that only he can deliver. I couldn’t wait for this sustainable joy to be released throughout the courtroom when his presence entered.

You see, this joystick I was waiting for is packaged in a 6’5″ bundle of sunshine shackled in chains along with a bright orange county jail uniform. Those brief two- to three-second eye contacts with “I love you, mom” mutters had become the norm and the only visualization I would be blessed with each month for 14 straight months. 

I became more acquainted with every inch of his blonde hairline and the back of his head that I once cupped and rubbed as I nursed him, along with witnessing his body language displaying defeat and despair. Weekly visits consist of 30-minute video visitations where I try and share the love with matching colors. Blondes do look great in orange!

Blameless Sons

From the outside, this photograph above that was taken at Disneyland almost 20 years ago portrays a beautiful family happily on a treasured holiday. What you don’t see is the pain behind the facades painted so brightly. We were as tight and challenged as The Three Musketeers, but without the help emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially from a father figure and familial support, the tight rope became weakened and the roles somehow became displaced.

The payback for surviving this labor of love is oftentimes bittersweet. One must undergo grueling pain and hopelessness before the miraculous occurs!

My heart leans into my source of peace and power for the electrical stimulation to jolt my heart back into normal sinus rhythm by remembering the story of Hagar and Ishmael in the book of Genesis. They were basically cast away, cut off, because they threatened the heir with their existence.

As Hagar leaned in and called out to God in her distress, God met her right where she was and comforted her. She called God “El-Roi,” which in the original Hebrew tongue means “The God who sees” (Genesis 16:13).

Blameless Jail

I don’t know where you are today, but you are seen by God!

In this bizarre season of despair and fear the past 14 months just waiting for a court trial date, knowing your son feels unseen, worthless, not understood, nor defended, rips this mother’s heart to the core because there’s nothing I can do anymore except to trust the One who is writing my son’s story and to love and support him all I can.

I can do this because I know the Lord hears my relentless cries and pleas for help similar to how God heard Hagar in Genesis 16. God met Hagar right where she was. God continues to meet me right where I am.

People judge. People ostracize. Family ridicules and forsakes. Church members gossip. People fear you. Friends walk away. People demand YOU SHOULD BE DOING X, Y and Z, but fail to do anything except criticize and point fingers. Families divide.

Where’s the Love?

Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty” and “unconditional love”?

God is meeting my son right where he is. This wilderness is exactly the place where my son is seen by God. Not only seen, but now my son understands, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

He can’t run or hide from God in jail. All he can do is look up and see how much God loves him and accepts him just the way he is. He is finally seeing that there is nothing he has to do to be loved by God. It’s not by belief systems, performance, denomination, works, conformity, you name it. His life matters and is worthy to be loved.

I no longer follow the Lord out of fear;

Instead, I follow the Lord out of Love!

I have walked quite a journey with the Lord; learning to follow Him through Love rather than follow Him out of fear. I have learned the meaning behind God’s attributes; His heart, His grace, His deep mercies and His will over time. He has never forsaken me. I am able to trust Him like a child in His provision.

There is nothing more torturous, more indescribable, than the shame and guilt a mother often feels when her child does something wrong, says the wrong thing, doesn’t act a certain way, or cannot fulfill society’s standard of perfection.

When a mother has to come to terms with the imperfections and the incomprehensible conduct of a world demanding perfection with no shortage of flaming arrows of torture, emotional darts of judgment and/or condemnation, life can be brutal at best.

With so much hate in the world, how does one scurry up enough compassion and devotion when your life feels defeated and hopeless?

God knew the solution to my need because He saw me. In simple words, my son said, “Mom, will you pray for me? I need those prayers!”

Mom, will you pray for me? I need those prayers!

The strength found in this umbilical cord that is sustaining and holding together this labor of love is powerful… Power of Prayer!

Ask a mother who’s been pushed to her knees due to a corrupt justice system, excessive force within our correctional facilities, bullying from law enforcement usurping their power and authority, and carrying shame and disgrace from the casting of judgment and condemnation.

I am not going to fear our story, especially when we’re right smack in the middle of it!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Soaring Above The Division!

Blameless Soaring

When We Understand Both Sides, How Do We Find Resolution?

My brief trip to Tahoe was amazing. Talk about prayers that moved mountains. It was infected, though, with “Christian issues” that I could not get out of my head or heart through prayer requests

I would love your input and understanding. I hate the evil in the world!

Children are so amazingly trusting and one of the main reasons why our Lord wants us to have a childlike heart engaging in our relationship with Him (Matthew 18). Children love and trust easily because they are not tarnished with adult feelings of shame, guilt or the insecurities that develop because of fear.

God holds us parents accountable for how we affect our child’s ability to trust, whether it’s hindering or influencing. There is no judgment or stone being cast here. I was a single mom working two jobs while raising my kids and let me say, I made my fair share of mistakes.

I did the best that I could do with the tools that I was equipped with! Admittedly, I transplanted my own fears and shame onto my kids.

Sunday at church, there was this beautiful family with lovely children sitting where every person coming into the congregation would pretty much have to walk past. They were sitting basically where they were showcased, right smack in the middle of the church, with no chairs in front of them and a ten-foot open space designed to guide you to your seats.

These children were “perfectly” groomed and “perfectly” acting. Every parent’s dream, right? They were greatly admired and easily acknowledged.

Being Grammy Tammy, I understand now why older folk love to acknowledge precious children. Children bring life through their gifts of innocence, wonder and infectious smiles.

I went up and introduced myself as we commonly do each week; getting to know our body of Christ. As I approached, the children’s eyes lit up. The mother, sadly, became agitated and quite angry with me when I tried to engage in a conversation. She was adamant that her children are NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK TO OR ANSWER STRANGERS!

Talk about shutting me down. I felt assaulted. I’m not used to that kind of reciprocation. My presence was not WELCOMED! Mama hissed and her claws of warning hurt like hell.

I do respect that. I get it our world is unsafe, is getting crazier, and we need protection. I also admit that I am not comfortable with my own grandchildren going into the children’s church unless I know the person teaching. That means I am still transposing my own fears and control.

Churches have always been targets for evil and not a place to let our guards down. There’s just more awareness of it today; thank God! The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

Where do we meet in the middle to teach our children that fear has no rule in our lives? The way the mother approached this (yes, I am judging here), she is setting her kids up for failure by sequestering them because of her legitimate fears.

They were sitting in a spot that had eight to ten feet of open space around them to be displayed! Look, but don’t stop and say hi and share the joy?

If she’s really worried about strangers, shouldn’t they be sitting with chairs in front of them as a protective barrier? Just sayin’…

When I was in youth ministry, many of the high schoolers were home schooled. What a gift to give your children, but…

Keeping your children sequestered from the real world until they are 18 and then sent off to college just seems to be another invitation to disaster. How will they fight off the lures and temptations of the world if they’ve never been exposed to it beforehand?

Being a parent is hard, but I believe children need to be exposed to reality gently so they can watch how their parents react to situations and people, how the culture operates, and the peer pressures that are placed in society.

This mom was clearly adamant about her children being “protected” and that is her duty however she chooses to do so, but that anger slayed me right in half. I was overwhelmed with shame. I felt almost like loving on others and engagement were a crime.

Blameless Proverbs 22.6

So how do we steer children to Christ through our words, our examples and our acts of kindness when we refuse to allow them engagement with the world where we’re present?

As I turned for my chair in a pathetic sulk, I blessed those babies with the biggest smile I could blast and left the mother with a hand gesture:

Blameless Love Sign

Don’t I wish!

As I sat down and composed my pout, a young couple sitting in front of me looked, smiled and said hi. They had their three-year-old princess daughter named Alexandria with them. When the worship music began playing, this precious little girl captivated me. She extended both of her arms in the air so angelically as she swayed to the music. She was mirroring her parents’ actions perfectly.

As I praised God for this precious little girl worshiping the Lord freely and uninhibitedly until she left for children’s church, my heart tugged believing we should be instructing and teaching our children to engage in society without fear while protecting them with caution.

The Body of Christ is meant to gather for community, fellowship, to teach and encourage others to emulate the life of Christ that we all make a part of.

How are we emulating our Lord by teaching our children that everyone else is to be feared? Isn’t that developing division instead of building community and unity?

I get both sides, I really do. I am just trying to rise above the division while loving like Jesus in a world that is full of fear and evil.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

She Sat All Alone…

Blameless Belong All Alone

…Hiding Behind A Facade She Could No Longer Wear!

She sat all alone with her long brown hair covering her face. At first, it appeared as if she might be praying. But after a few minutes, the presence of her motionless body became awkward. I decided to break through the intensity of the silence by walking up to her and gently touching her hand.

After cutting through the tension, I softly spoke whereas not to scare her. Victims easily startle. “Excuse me, my name is Tammy,” I offered, as I reached out for her hand. That’s when her beautiful tear-stained blue eyes met up with mine. She wasn’t praying, she was hiding behind the facade that she could no longer wear and did not know how to react, much less breathe. 

Fear vs. Freedom

As we began to talk, I quickly gathered this beautiful heart was encountering the fight of her life: Fear vs. Freedom! I remember my own exact moment where my bloody screams for help were not met, nor my pleas to find someone, anyone, to listen to my voice and believe my story as a victim of violence.

My emotions were wrapped up so tightly, the moment anyone even brushed by my person, the unraveling would begin. The power that came from the turbulence unraveling knocked everyone down in its path.

Is that why no one would help? Possibly. Or was it because people were too afraid to get involved in the exposure underlining my veil of shame?

Two Minutes To Spare

My new friend had no idea that as she vomited out her fears, assaults and desperation right before me, God had already put into place a legal team and safe refuge. Talk about provision! You see, as she was freaking out, God already had all of us into place. Each person brought their own tools of grace and experience. No surprises here!

From the initial contact stemming from a friend about a friend of a friend, the next 37 hours would already be laid out with the right people, provision and plan of attack until the last tear dropped.

With two minutes to spare, this beloved’s greatest needs were being met with Love, kindness, and compassion that only victims of heinous crimes would understand. God knew and that’s why He divinely orchestrated all of us together.

Even if we would have had the time to meticulously and carefully plan everything accordingly to fit into place, including traffic from one courthouse to another, documentation preparation, legal team, court appearances, services conducted at the jail, and medical attention, it would have been chaos and met with resistance.

As I sat there nibbling, even chewing, on some of the words flying off the pages of the legal documents, hearing stories of tragedy and heartache from lost souls who have lost their power to fight and plow through to freedom was all too familiar and chilling.

Offering an extending hand to try and console victims with protection and guidance requires more than a big box of tissues and patience because with their issues, they are so emotionally spent and beat up, it’s hard to stop the blood from pouring out. They have cried so much, their tears are no longer clear. They are blood red.

For these violated beloveds, all they want is for their voice to be heard whether it’s appropriate or not. Now that they know they’re being heard, it’s hard for them to stay on point and quiet down. Someone cares. Someone listens. Someone hears. Someone believes. Someone supports. Someone understands.

Someone sticks around long enough to pour love into the torture and remove the handcuffs that have bound and held them captive.

Now there is eye contact that comforts instead of shames. Life that is loved and not harmed. New world filled with hope. Justice prevails. Healing begins. Lives restored. New life begins.

God’s Orchestration Is Always Perfect

Being at the end of our rope does not mean all hope is lost. We’re never lost to God, EVER!  We may move away from Him, but He is right there alongside of us. How else would a random stranger whom you’ve never met before be available for you right at this precise moment, an emergency one to boot, who could help you conquer these mounting legal issues along with comfort and understanding?

blameless-at-the-end-of-the-rope-1

When You’re At The End Of The Rope, Look Up.  God Is At The End With Hope!

Isn’t it funny how we may feel at the end of the rope, but when we look up, God is standing there at the end with hope? God’s Love and intervention never fails.

With two minutes to spare, we both looked at each other and smiled and laughed. God took care of the whole traumatic mess. Every “i” was dotted and every “t” was crossed. Not only did we share tears, lives, and bread, but we were blessed with new friendships. We now share a ray of light and hope in each other’s lives as we came together as a team and watched God show off amazingly all because God loves to give!

Talk About Provision and Protection!

Blameless Rainbow That Keeps Giving

I have been refined through many trials of suffering. Now I get to marvel and see how God has transformed my own life through the reflection of the beloveds God puts in my life to help bridge the gap between women escaping a violent environment and being assaulted to Beautiful Beloveds living in peace and freedom. When those shackles are removed, there is power knowing their voices will continue to be heard!

We all can be richly blessed in helping others when we allow ourselves to be inconvenienced and our lives to be interrupted with two minutes to spare.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Impossible? Wait, The Word Says Im-Possible! Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Blameless I Am Possible

Impossible = I’m Possible

My God Says All Things Are Possible 

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Don’t ever tell a precious three-year-old, much less any treasured daughter of the King, that anything is impossible!  Apparently, this adorable beloved knows full well she’s loved and called.  And as such, she expects nothing short of encouragement and freedom to be and do all she was designed and created to be.  Her response, “Impossible means I’m Possible.  Watch me!”

Sigh….  Be still, my heart!  ♥♥

Hello Beautiful!  I pray that you’re allowing the Lord to send down His angel armies to help shield you from the enemy and to help fight your battlefields.  I know God has reached down in a powerful way helping me walk through the death of a dear friend while fighting my own fears and anger these past couple of weeks. 

With so much destruction surrounding us, we need some love to help navigate through all this evil and hate and help in pulling us through it.  I know it seems as if I’m crawling towards the finish line now.  Panic can be brutal and quite paralyzing.  How can we fight our battles when we can’t move?

God Calls Us His Beloveds Because He Designed Us To Be-Loved! 

Oh, what an amazing luxury, being a treasured daughter of the King, to be able to call upon and reach out towards the Lord God Almighty for help and to be loved.  That’s why God calls us His Beloveds, because He designed us to Be-Loved!  It’s that time again, it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!

Reaching out to God to Be-Loved and Be-Healed is the greatest gift we can give to Him!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I become so frustrated with life and people, whether it’s due to the daily mundane tasks or posing challenges or the maniac reactions of others, but Blameless Childlike Faith Matthew 18.3I just become irritated and weary in doing good.  I stumble as I fumble.  I want that child-like heart like my granddaughter who awakens sick with a high fever and snotty nose and yet, she is so excited to just embrace this new day, she does not allow any interference of negativity or worry to influence and alter her cheerful attitude.  She is ready to rumble and tumble.

Talk about embracing life with a childlike heart.  No wonder the Lord tells us in Matthew 18:3, Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

And let me share, if she has even half the feistiness of this Grammy Tammy, she will turn right around with one hand on her hip and her other hand and pointer finger flailing through the air with great attitude boldly proclaiming, “Well, I’m possible.  Watch me.”  Now that’s spunk and attitude worthy of practicing.

Nothing Is Impossible! 

After all, the Word says I’m Possible!

Famous words from the beautiful beloved, Audrey Hepburn, “Nothing is impossible.  After all, the word [Word] says I’m Possible!”  What Audrey Hepburn probably didn’t realize when she made that statement, or maybe she did, was that she was announcing very loudly what both Mark and Matthew state in the Bible that with God, all things are possible.

Impossible?  No, I’m Possible!

We know Truths in the Bible are important when they’re emphasized by several individuals or the message’s importance is stated three times like John seems to do frequently when he points out the unique significance.  He may act like a nagging wife at times, but those truths are heard and well received! 

Both apostles Matthew and Mark point out in Matthew 19:26 and Mark 10:27 how “Jesus looked at them and said, with man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Weekly Challenge:  Let’s approach this week with a childlike heart and trust in our Papa God believing that nothing is impossible.  Instead, let’s walk out, “after all, the Word says I’m Possible instead of impossible.”  Every time you catch yourself saying, “This is too hard, God, it’s impossible,” let’s put the Great I Am in front of the Possible and walk boldly exclaiming, “I’m Possible.” 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

When A Great Multitude Is After You!

F.E.A.R.

Trudging Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

† C-R-I-S-I-S

This Battle Belongs To The Lord!

“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15).

When fears of reality set in.  You can either face everything and run or face everything and rise!  I’m running…

Or wanting to!!!

What was once lurking in the shadows to kill, steal and destroy is now looking you square in the eyes!  You look to the left, to the right, even behind you, but this enemy has one thing on his mind:  Destruction, and you’re already suffocating! 

It has been said that:

Crisis leads us to seek God and to experience Him!

That all-consuming feeling of dread with no solution in sight.  You’re panicked.  The chest tightens.  The heart’s erratic pounding attempts to blow out your eardrums until the hyperventilation cuts off all oxygen to the brain ushering in tingling that rages throughout your body and renders you paralyzed; all stemming from the test delivered by the multitude

That’s fear delivering a full-blown panic attack initiated by facing the reality of these crises which surround me.  Their relentless push against my faith leaves me utterly deflated.

Crises come in various forms.  The intense difficultly and important decision-making requirements from this vast army can be health-related, relational (good ‘ole family funk), financial, vocational, legal, or even spiritual.

My panic attack included all the above.  And after the bad hair date with my dreamy surgeon, where’s a girl to go to get massive reconstruction these days?

Where’s the faith, hope and love that is at the heart of this girl’s life when battling the enemy whose affliction and agitated fear has plunged me into quicksand?  

God Fights Against Our Vast Armies

I know God has delivered me from the shackles of fear, Perfect Love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18), but I am truly trembling.  I understand that difficulties strengthen our character and deepen our trust in the Lord as we lean and press in.  I also know they equip us with greater confidence that helps us grow, but this girl is nearly six feet tall already, so…

Overwhelmed By Circumstances

No matter how loud or hard you scream for help (I have a big mouth!), I never thought that the quicksand could take me under.  The swampland has never succeeded before, but it nearly did this time, and I experienced and felt things deep inside that I don’t remember ever feeling. 

Just because I’m seasoned in my faith walk and madly in love with my Lord does not mean I do not get overwhelmed by circumstances like new Christians.  Especially when it hits all at the same time.  I sink quicker!

When there’s absolutely nothing we can humanly do, problems everywhere, hurricanes and earthquakes to name just a few, one thing after another, along with being surrounded by those against us, that’s when we have to look up and see God standing there reaching out saying, “Treasured daughter, look to me.  Grab my hand.  Keep breathing.  I am right here.  You are not alone.  Nor are you left to battle this crisis alone.”

What happened to your faith?  Why did you take your eyes off of me and focus on this raging storm surrounding you?  Nothing has changed except your focus. 

I had never felt the weight of this kind of crushing crisis.  And I’ve lived through my fair share.  That’s when the Lord guided me to 2 Chronicles 20.  He reminded me of His Truths with absolutely no sugared-coated serendipities!

Testing sucks…  Especially in the form of crisis.  You know, this feeling of dread and hopelessness that I felt was overwhelming.  Between the panic that overwhelmed my body and the lack of oxygen going into my brain, it made my body quiver and shake.  It clouded over any natural fight-or-flight response.

I started to react with old behaviors where I would deny it and run like a mad dog or even reach for a bottle of Jesus Juice (wine) to numb the feelings that were raging throughout my body, but this time I am facing these crises head-on and I hate every second of it.

During our crisis, we need to see and experience our God.  When the enemy invades and we feel completely hopeless, we are inviting, even leading, God to intervene on our behalf and speak into the situation.  That means adjusting to God’s lead, not the other way around, darn it!  That includes feeling the pain, experiencing it and letting it go.

Face the Facts with Faith

As Rick Warren said, “Face the facts with faith.  Faith is not denying reality, faith is facing the facts without being discouraged by them.” 

God is greater than our problems, but being phony and denying how we’re feeling and thinking is a flat-out lie.  Worst-case witnessing, Christians lying, even denying, the truth of their realities.  How else can we learn?

Faith is facing the facts without being discouraged by them.  This is why I try and remember to faith the fear!  This battle belongs to the Lord. 

My proclamation:  Beloveds who choose to keep their focus on our amazing Lord walk through crises courageously because they know that heaven rules and earth will never have the last word!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!