Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jesus' Truth Is Greater

I was going to write another post about my problems today. But I am going to a Bible study, Bible Study Fellowship, and this year we are studying the book of Isaiah. This week we studied Isaiah 53 which contains these great verses, 5-6:

"But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each one of us to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all". NIV

The enormity of what Jesus did for me came upon me all over again, and as I've been thinking more about the cross, my issues haven't seemed so devastating. Jesus really is the answer to all my difficulties:

Low self esteem and self hatred-Jesus thought I was worthy to die on the cross for and did it willingly for me; unacceptance-Jesus loves and accepts me right where I am, mess and all; fears-Jesus was powerful enough to overcome death so He is powerful enough to work everything out for my ultimate good; lack of trust-He was without sin and does all things the right way, God's way, so He can be trusted; pessimism-No matter how bad things get in this world I have the hope that I will live eternally with Him in a far better place.

When I think about it, I don't know why I've lived my life in such defeat when Jesus is just a prayer away. The abuse that happened to me when I was small was horrible and no one should have to go through that. It efffects every area of your life in a negative way. But Jesus' truth is greater than my truth. When He died on the cross as a substitute for me He forever changed me. God doesn't see all my sins because Jesus wiped the slate clean by being a sacrifice in my place.

These next few weeks leading up to Easter, I need to keep my gaze continually on the cross, and see if my daily burdens won't be lifted off by His strong arms. Pray for me, please.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Language of Letting Go

It's another cold, dreary, rainy day where I live. This spring, so far, has been mostly days like this. My "melancholy" temperament has a hard time on these kinds of days. This encouraged me this morning and I hope it does you, too. From "The Language of Letting Go" by Melody Beattie:

"I know you're tired. You feel overwhelmed. It seems as though this crisis, this problem, this hard time will last forever. It won't.

You don't just think it has been hard. It has been hard. You have been tested, tried, and retested on what you have learned. Your beliefs and faith have been tried in fire. You have believed, then doubted, then worked at believing some more. You have had opposition. Things went wrong. There were obstacles, frustrations, and annoyances. It has not been at all what you desired.

Yet, you have been led. Many were the moments when you thought you were forgotten or abandoned. But you have been guided. Now things are coming into place. You are changing from the inside out. You are moving to a different level, a higher level, a better level.

You have been climbing a mountain. It has not been easy but now you are near the top. Steady your shoulders, breathe deeply. Move forward in confidence and peace.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Sweet Spot

I'm in a sweet spot (well, except for yesterday when the temperature and sunshine plummeted along with my mood; or, this morning, when I had such a hard time getting up and going). But, anyway, I'm in a good place in my life right now and I'm going to think positive and recognize it. I've made it through another winter (yeah!); I made it through the past year; and, as I sit out in the warm sunshine writing this, life looks pretty good.

This last year was really difficult. I'm an only child and I lost my beloved mother on August 18. She had a massive stroke and passed away five days later. Then my dad passed away a month later, on September 21, of a "broken heart". Then my youngest daughter, who was pregnant, faced some serious complications in her pregnancy.

For six months, I didn't know which end was up. I couldn't concentrate on the simplest things. I daily battled terrible fears, and a devastating sense of aloneness. The healing God had been doing in me for fifteen years seemed to be unraveling. I couldn't feel that He was there. I didn't think that I could go on.

Then God, the miracle worker, made His presense known. He had been there all along. He not only brought that precious baby out normal and healthy; but He brought back together my stepson and daughter-in-law who had been seperated and living apart for six years.

I praise God for these miracles and answered prayers; and for teaching me, once again, that He can be trusted, that He will never leave me or forsake me, and that He is there even when I don't feel like He is. There's nothing like a couple of miracles to put you in a sweet spot.

"But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me", Psalm 13:5-6.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Walking Into The Light

She's walking carefully
into the light,
one step at a time,
with anticipation, with dread.

Because, you see, she's
comfortable with the darkness.
Like a heavy cloak
it has covered her life.

Burdensome and tightly woven,
it has protected her,
kept her in her place,
provide some security.

Cornered in its' stiff embrace
she could stay numb,
abide in comfort,
safely hidden from all,

an unyielding cocoon,
a closed tunnel.
Thought she was trapped
it was what she knew.

Now she's walking cautiously
toward Jesus' light,
moment by moment,
hand in hand with Him.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Like A Two Year Old

I'm like a two year old. "Me, me, me, me, mine, I want". I don't like being that way but I am. It's taken so much of my energy each day just to try and feel like a "normal" person. My depression has kept me focused on myself, given me a "me" mentality. I feel like it takes me at least half a day of prayer, of talking to myself, of thinking positive thoughts, of wrestling down my demons, just to get to the place where a lot of people wake up being, and some days I never make it there at all.

It's exhausting and I don't like it. As God heals me, I hope I can grow up and take the focus off myself. I hope I can focus on Him and how I can show His love to other people. I hope I can graduate from the basic preschool songs, "Jesus Loves Me" and "God Is So Good", finally believing their simple truths "down deep in my heart".

I'm not where I want to be but I'm not where I used to be either. Praise God, He's still working on me. It's a process and change doesn't happen overnight. I want to enjoy my two year old grandchildren, not be like them. I want to teach them these simple truths:

"Jesus Loves Me" by Anna B. Warner

"Jesus loves me, this I know
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong
they are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so".

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lord, End My Winter

If I have a soul mate anywhere, it has to be Charles H. Spurgeon, the great English pastor who lived 1834-1892.  I've read his devotional book "Morning and Evening" six times. Everything that man said resonates in my soul. I've heard he struggled with depression, too; maybe that's why I relate so strongly to his words.
These were his thoughts in "Morning and Evening" for Monday, March 21, the first day of spring:

"Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the band of Orion?", Job 38:31, AKJV.
"If inclined to boast of our abilities, the grandeur of nature may soon show us how puny we are. We cannot move the least of all the twinkling stars, or quench so much as one of the beams of the morning. We speak of power, but the heavens laugh us to scorn. When the Pleiades shine forth in spring with vermal joy we cannot restrain their influences, and when Orion reigns aloft, and the year is bound in winter's fetters, we cannot relax the icy bands.

The seasons revolve according to the divine appointment, neither can the whole race of men effect a change therein. God wills it and so it must be. He alone can remove the winter of spiritual death from an individual or a person.

Lord, end my winter and let my spring begin. I cannot with all my longing raise my soul out of her death and dullness, but all things are possible with thee. I need celestial influences, the clear shinings of thy love, the beams of thy grace, the light of thy countenance, these are the Pleiades to me. I suffer much from sin and temptation, these are my wintry signs, my terrible Orion. Lord, work wonders in me, and for me."

That expresses my feelings so well. I long for spring in my soul. I'm tired of the darkness, coldness, and numbness. For a long time I was comfortable that way. Now that I've been given a little light, the darkness makes me uncomfortable.

But as hard as I try, I can't raise myself out of that familiar stupor.Only God can as I yield my life to Him. Only God can issue a new season of life into my heart. I can feel it coming on a beautiful day like today.

My prayer for you, for me, for all of us is: Lord, end our winter and let our spring begin. Give us more of Yourself.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cleaning Out the Closets

I spent all day Saturday cleaning out my closets. I keep out of season items in the closet upstairs (one advantage to having an empty nest). I have six bags of clothes and shoes to donate to charity. I got rid of things that were too little, too worn, or that I was just tired of. It feels good to lighten up and my closet looks great, ready for warmer weather.

It got me to thinking about how God is doing that in my life, cleaning out the closets of my heart.

My heart closed up after the childhood sexual abuse, tightened in an attempt to self-protect, froze in an attempt to numb the pain. In healing me, it feels like God is softening and expanding my heart to love Him and other people more. I'm claiming His promise in Ezekiel 36:26 NIV-"I will  give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh".

I've lived my life ambivalently. I've been wishy-washy, tossed to and fro, uncertain of who I am or where I'm going. As I grow closer to God, He makes it clear that His way is the only wise way to go, and He will guide me on the right path, one step at a time. "Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble and He delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle", Psalm 107:4, 6-7. NIV

Depression and negative thinking have been my life-long battle. God has an answer for that, too-more faith in Him. "He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men, for He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron", Psalm 107:27-28, 30. NIV

I'm thankful that God is faithfully cleaning out the areas of my heart that were damaged by the abuse. It feels good to be lightened. Pretty soon there will be springtime in my heart.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I'm A Wallflower

I'm a wallflower. I admit it. I'm at the dance but just on the fringe. I don't want to get in the middle and dance because then I wouldn't be invisible. People would see me and talk about me. I'm much more comfortable on the sidelines where no one ever looks, backed up against the wall.

You see, that's a metaphor for my life. The sexual abuse when I was a small child did a number on my self-esteem. I grew up feeling like I was different from other girls, damaged and used. I never felt like I fit in.

I grew up afraid of people, of what they would do to me. I felt like I had to protect myself so I erected a wall around me to keep people out, like the gate at a gated community.

Many years later, I'm still a wallflower. I'm still hiding behind that wall. I'm still more comfortable when I'm invisible.

But God has invited me to dance. He's asking me to join Him in the two-step of life; to feel free to be in the middle of the floor, unencumbered by the wall, joyful, laughing. He has told me that He's my protector. He wants me to just let loose and move out.

I'm hesitant and fearful. I don't like to be seen, but I'm tired of being a wallflower. Because He has asked, I just might start dancing.

"You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever", Psalm 30:11. NIV

Friday, March 18, 2011

Marred Clay

I've been off my schedule while my daughter and granddaughters were here and I didn't have any time to myself so I've been struggling with this blog. Now they've gone and I have some time to myelf and I'm still struggling, but not just with the blog. It's been a letdown for all that life and energy to go and my house seems awfully quiet. I've been down, facing my old nemesis depression, battling the negative voices. It's the same old story.

The sexual abuse when I was a small child marred me and scarred me for life. Maybe I would have been marred anyway by something else. I don't know. I just know it's been a long and tiring struggle to feel like a normal person. But I do know that God hasn't given up on me. He sees something of value in me that I have a hard time seeing. He's like a potter working on clay, trying to transform that messy lump into something beautiful.

"So I went down to The Potter's house, and I saw Him working at the wheel. But the pot He was shaping from the clay was marred in His hand; so The Potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to Him", Jeremiah 18:3-4.

Marred Clay

The wise and skillful potter
sat thoughtfully at his wheel.
The lump of clay
had not formed
as he intended.
Defects had damaged
the flawless surface.
It had not become
what he had envisioned
early on.
He had the authority
to lay it aside
or continue his work.
But he saw beyond
what had been marred
to the valuable vessel
his hands could create.
The old potter
persevered as always
reshaping the clay
molding and smoothing
crafting for use.
He had a new vision
of what it could be
as it yielded it's form
to his powerful hands.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Simple Moments

One of the things God has been trying to teach me for a long time is to enjoy the simple moments of life. It sounds so easy but it's been a hard thing for me to learn. My mind tends to either battle voices from my past or invent fears about the future.

I miss so much when I'm not " in the moments". It 's those little everyday pleasures that bring joy to my life if I can just still my mind and open my eyes.

I have to constantly remind myself to focus on the here and now because that's where true joy slips in; that, and thanking God for all those little things, and for the pricless gift of Jesus, my Savior.

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love you may rejoice in you", Psalm 5:11. NIV


Surprises me

never appears as anticipated
at life's black-tie events.

Startles me
with its' simplicity

yellow tulips
redbird in flight

fresh brewed coffee
child's hand in mine.

                            Stuns me
                            its' silent delight.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Like A Child's

I want my heart to be like a child's
real and bubbling over with honest emotion
delightfully choosing to believe in God
without concern for logic
no demanding of proof
never needful of signs.

I want my heart to be like a child's
always ready to love and forgive
without judging or critical spirit
finding joy in simple things
playing with the people I love
looking forward to each new adventure.

I want my heart to be like a child's
innocent in my accepting of God's grace
unencumbered by laws and regulations
freely receiving God's gift of His son
enabling me to be free forever
innocent like a child in His sight.

I Love Children

I've had a wonderful time this week with my daughters and granddaughters. I just spent a small fortune at the Mall on spring outfits for my granddaughters. I love children. I spent my career teaching four and five year olds in a preschool. I love that age. They are smart, funny, loving.

Children are amazing. They believe God is good if they've been taught that. They believe He created everything and they like how God made them. They don't have the doubts and questions grown-ups have.
They love to sing praise songs about God and their lives are filled with joy and laughter.

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdome of heaven", Matthew 18:2. NIV

I am one of God's children. He loves me. He wants to give me the best. "He who did not spare His own son, but gave Him up for us all-how will He not, along with Him, graciously give us all things", Romans 8:32. NIV What He would like of me is to love Him, to believe He loves me, to be thankful of all He has given me, and to enjoy spending time in His presence. Lord, help me to be more like a little child.   

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's A Miracle!

God is still in the business of making miracles. I get to see one firsthand today when my daughter, her 6 year old, and her 2.5 month old baby girl come for a visit. My daughter wasn't supposed to get pregnant again because of health problems and she had several serious complications during her pregnancy.
But the labor and delivery were normal and a perfect, beautiful baby girl was born. We call her our "miracle baby".

 This new life was such a blessing for our family after losing both of my beloved parents last summer one month apart.

God is good. He's more than good. 

*God's love is lavish (unrestrained and generous in giving, "Webster's Dictionary")-He knows our every need and provides abundantly, often before we even recognize we have a need.

*God's love is powerful (possessing great force, strength, energy and authority)-He is greater than our past or any obstacles that rise up against us, ensuring us the victory.

*God's love is compassionate (to cherish, to feel tender, to love deeply like a parent for their child)-God is our Heavenly Father. All our lives He watches us. He guides and protects us. But unlike human parents, His love is perfect and unconditional.

*God's love is healing (restore to health or soundness)-Only Jesus, "The Great Physician", heals us from the inside out and doctors our wounded hearts to wholeness.

"The Lord will surely comfort Zion; and will look with compassion on all her ruins; He will make her deserts like Eden; her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing", Isaiah 51:3. NIV

I love my granddaughters with all my heart. They are one of the great joys of my life, and I am thankful for every minute I get to spend with them. And, althought it's absolutely amazing, that's how God feels about me. It's a miracle!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Like A Lightbulb Came On

Some people grew up in dysfunctional families. I grew up in a great family. I was the dysfunctional one. I thought I was flawed somehow. I never told anyone about the abuse and it sent me into a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior.

I was almost 50 years old when I read a book of my daughter's about a young woman who had been sexually abused at 5 years old by neighborhood boys. It was like a lightbulb came on in my head and I thought "How old was I?". I figured out I would have been 6 years old. For the first time in my life I thought "maybe it wasn't my fault."

I bought a book about csa, "The Right to Innocence" by Beverly Engel. I read through the symptoms of childhood sexual abuse and realized it had defined my life. I wasn't a bad person. I had been a small child that something bad had happened to. Other helpful books I read were "The Wounded Heart" by Dr. Dan Allender and "The Courage to Heal" by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. I went to a counselor that helped me look at myself in a positive way.

But my real healing came from Jesus. He gave me the strength to feel the pain and the courage to talk about it to safe people. He peeled the layers off my frozen heart one by one until the got down to the hardened core. What He showed me there was that I didn't really believe He loved me. I believed He died on the cross for everyone but me because I was too bad for Him to love.

Jesus has spent the years since then showing me that His love for me is so great that He would have died on the cross for me if I had been the only one. He is still faithfully teaching me. I'm a slow learner. I still have bad days, but I used to have bad years.

I owe my life to Jesus Christ because He has set me free from the bondage of my past. "So if the Son sets you free you are truly free", John 8:36. NLT

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Passing Care Forward

When my heart
laid open
pierced and wounded, 
bleeding deeply
into my life, 
Jesus gently
the flow of blood,
cleansed the cuts
and sewed me up.

The ointment 
He applied 
to soothe
my pain
was fragrant, calming,
the bandages were
 soft and cradling.

He healed 
me well
and gave me
rest for
quite some time.

I learned to
lay back
in Jesus' arms
and gaze upon
His lovely face.

Once healed and
supplied with
His first aid,
He sent me to
a hurting world
where with His love
I passed care forward
to other hurting
souls I met.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Codependency, Charlie, and Other Craziness

There is a lot of craziness going on in our world. Why we get headline news accounts daily about the prolonged, painful, and very public meltdown of actor Charlie Sheen is beyond me. Why do we want a life careening out of control  to skid through our living rooms every day?

There is a lot of craziness going on in my life, too. Why I think I can control the circumstances of life is beyond me. It's just craziness. I'm not God and He doesn't need my help. But I find myself tightly grabbing hold of the people and circumstances around me, thinking I can make things happen or prevent things from happening if I just hold on tightly enough. It's exhausting, frustrating, and futile.

And being codependent. That's crazy. Celebrate Recovery defines codependency  "as an addiction to people, behaviors or things. Codependency is the fallacy of trying to control interior feelings by controlling people, things and events on the outside." Even I know there is nothing or noone I can control except myself  and that's a fulltime struggle.

How to rid myself of all the craziness? God, God and more God. Let go and let Him handle things in His perfect way. Surrender my life to Him each day, trusting Him to work everything out for my ultimate best.
Believe that He loves me and will always be faithful to never leave or forsake me. Lean back in His arms and let out a big "Aaaaahhhhh", resting in the knowledge that all things are in His capable hands; that beacuse of Him all is well and all will be well.

And about Charlie Sheen? Turn off the tv, ipad, iphone, whenever I see his face on it.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths", Proverbs 3:5-6. AKJV

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Can't, I Don't, I'm Not

Negative thinking has ruled my life. Ruled it. God has shown me this past year how much it has ruled it-and it's not pretty.

I want to wake up positive and ready to face the day. Instead I wake up thinking "I don't feel good. I don't want to go to work". I want to feel comfortable in my own skin and with who I am. Instead I think "I'm not as good, pretty, successful, ______________ as she is".

I know those voices don't come from God. No way would He ever talk to me like that. He loves me, accepts me, made me like He wanted me to be. I know who the voices come from-Satan, "the father of lies". And I know I'm foolish to listen to a liar. But when I'm sick, or tired, or too busy to spend time with God, I fall back into my old bad habit of listening to those lies; and even worse, believing them. That's just wrong.

With God's help, I'm getting better. He's teaching me to capture those thoughts as soon as I have them-not to dwell on them-and replace them with His truth. Some things that help me:

*Keeping a gratitude journal of reasons to praise God. Listening to praise music can help get into the right mind set.

*Finding a Bible verse that refutes the lie. I write them on index cards so I can refer to them when I need to.
For example: "It's dreary today. I don't have any energy." is replaced by "This is the day which the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it", Psalm 118:24. AKJV

*Making a list of positive affirmations to say each morning.
 For example: Today I'm going to believe God loves me with an everlasting love.

*Making refuse and choose statements.( From "Taking Every Thought Captive" by Alaine Pakkala )
For example: I refuse all discouragement and choose to hope in the God of all hope.

The only pathway to true contentment is from the inside out-not from the outside in. Our success or failure in life will be determined by how we think-not by what we have,. It's the battle raging between our ears. What you think and the way you think will determine the quality of your life. (From "The Power to Change Today" by Gregory Dickow.

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ", II Corinthians 10:5. NIV

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Rock

When the rain rages
and rain pellets come stinging
like arrows to my heart,
I hide under The Rock and am safe.

When my ankle turns
and I roll head first off the path,
lost and wounded,
I look for The Rock and stay focused.

                            When the pit grabs hold
                            and sucks me quickly under,
                            taking my breath away,
                            I grasp for The Rock and stay alive.

                            I've based my hope upon the Rock,
                            built my life,
                            stood my ground,
                            stayed my soul.

                            He has been my sanctuary,
                            my shelter,
                            my Savior,
                            and my strong foundation.     

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Grace Did It


amazing grace

formed me

forgave me

filled me

pulled me out of the pit

steadied me on the rock

led me along the path

healed me from the hurt

and when I least expected it

slipped a dose of love

into my joyless heart

completing me

making me whole


amazing grace

Friday, March 4, 2011

That Kind Of Trust

A majority of the difficulties in my life I can trace back to a lack of trust.

I didn't trust life.                                        I didn't trust myself.

                            I didn't trust people.

I didn't trust God.                                     I didn't trust trust.

What is trust? Brennan Manning in his book "Ruthless Trust" says trust is belief plus hope. An AA slogan says "Let go and Let God". The Bible says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen", Hebrews 11:1. AKJV

I know lack of trust has kept me from having peace of mind and has kept me desperately seeking that peace.
As I have come to realize that the abuse was not my fault- that I was not a bad person but a little girl that something bad happened to- then I have been able to believe that God loves me. And when I believe He loves me, I can trust Him.

It's hard to trust when difficulties pop up unexpected in life and when God appears to be dormant. But I think the kind of trust God wants us to have is a trust that doesn't waver when life doesn't make sense, when nothing is fair, when it doesn't look like God is working in our problem; a trust that holds firm regardless of the situation. That is real, pure, Biblical trust. I want it. I need it.

I'm getting better. I am trusting more as I look back on my life and see that God has never once failed me. I'm able to let go a little more of that control and surrender instead to Him.

 "Something is afoot in the universe; Someone filled with transcendent brightness, wisdom, ingenuity, and power and goodness is about. In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, somewhere deep down a Voice whispers, "All is well, and all will be well." Brennan Manning in "Ruthless Trust"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Defensive Team

My hubby played college football back in the day. I've never been an athlete but I fielded a pretty strong defensive line back in my day.
I recruited so many defense mechanisms when I was a child in order to survive the guilt and shame: suppressing my feelings, numbing the pain, denial, repression, putting walls around me, isolating. I guess I needed to do those things at the time in order to survive the abuse. But it's been so hard as an adult  to overcome my "defects of character" that the defense
mechanisms have turned into.

I know I can't overcome them by myself. They're too firmly ingrained in my psyche. But God can. In Celebrate Recovery (a wonderful step program for Christians that is found in many churches today), the 5th step says "Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects".

I pray daily that God will remove my "defects of character" and transform me into the woman He created me to be. I never got there, but I will, with God's help. Surely, steadily, and slower than I would like, He is changing me within. I praise God because He has never given up on me. "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus", Phillipians 1:6. NIV

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Like A Sunbeam

Like a sunbeam
through the window
and spills
the cool tile floor,
flooding the room
                                     with warmth and light,
                                     Jesus' presence
                                     into my silence
                                     and fills
                                     the muted void
                                     with peace
                                     and serenity.
                                     Taking a cue
                                     from my dog,
                                     I curl
                                     a contented ball
                                     and bask
                                     in the glow
                                     of Jesus'
                                     loving kindness,
                                     in this flawless

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fear Of The Big Ones

There was a 4.7 earthquake in my state last night. I felt my windows rattle and I live four hours away from where it originated. Scary stuff! Fear has been a big issue with me for as long as I can remember.

I have been so afraid-of people, of not belonging, of life, of taking risks, of calamities happening to people I love. I've been afraid merely of being noticed or being talked about or being paid attention to. My fears have been big, irrational, paralyzing, consuming. I know. It's crazy. And it's an awful way to live.

Mostly my fears have been unfounded. When I went through a 12-step program in Alanon, my sponsor asked me to make a list of all the things I could remember in my life that I was afraid would happen, then to look over the list and see how many had actually happened. Only a very small fraction had ever happened.

I know it's not healthy to be so fearful, and it's related to my trust issues. If I really believed God loved me and wanted only the best for me and He wasn't out to punish me because I was bad, then I would not be so fearful.

In fact, my life experiences have proven that God is loving and that He wants the best for me and that He is worthy of my trust. Even the bad things that have happened, He has turned around for good. And that is what I need to remember and think upon and not let the fearful thoughts grab hold of me.

Because of God, I have no reason to fear. "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior",
Isaiah 43:1-3 NLT