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Paradox of Fear

“Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still’.”  Exodus 14:13-14 (NRSV).

We all experience fear, and maybe the paradox is we cannot be truly courageous without fear. Fear is necessary for us to do anything truly heroic. If it is within your comfort zone, isn’t it just ordinary? I believe we cannot express faith without fear. It has to be there.

Here is the thing, when I allow the fear to take me into self-pity or frozen states (and I do this more than you might realize), I give away the opportunity at conquering the fear with the help of a holy and all-powerful God behind me. And by standing firm I do not beleive Moses meant to freeze in fear. By these actions, I give away the opportunity to exercise faith. I have allowed the wrong thing to control. I find myself praying quite often that the Lord will take away all fear but I am learning that I should and must do my part to disarm the fear itself. To give into fear and allow it to control me is sin but in the Word I am told that God provides a way out; a way to flee from sin. How do I live without this sin controlling my life? I beleive this is done in at least one of two ways because fear can manifest as a result of both the inappropriate and appropriate.

First, I can approach the problem or issue in a fear-less sort of way: to be fearless, i.e. denying the fear, but truthfully so. There are truly many fears I have that are ridiculous in the face of reason. I must acknowledge that I am allowing the unreasonable and not using logical reason that God has provided. Having acknowledged this I then must retrain my minds to think differently. I believe the goal should be to quickly recognize these fears and quash them immediately. To sit around and think on them or to worry or obsess it pretty much making an idol of them. Quash them and focus on the Lord or on His children. Get my mind off of myself.  I have learned that if I deliberately move away from this type of fear that He will not disappoint in strengthening me.

Second, I can approach it in a manner that just fears things less. Maybe the fear is an appropriate fear. I must move all the while and refuse to be paralyzed by fear but do so acknowledging that what I am fearing is actually appropriate to fear. I just must conform the fear so my actions in light of it are manifested healthily. I need to be open and honest about it and move through it anyway…trusting again in God for my strength. This of itself is to me real courage.

Being fearless and/or just fearing less. God is with me in these pursuits. It’s God’s will that I am not afraid.

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Lessons on Loneliness from a Stuffed Horse

I have been struggling with loneliness. My circle of friends keeps getting smaller and smaller. I wanted to backpeddle and see if I could fix that but I didn’t even know why it happened or how to approach correctly or even if it truly was about me so much. I have had to stop trying to figure it out and leave it as one of those things to work through trusting in God and His plan.

I was told by a wise someone that I should look at this time of solitude as an opportunity. Focus on opportunity rather than struggle. Look on the bright side (as I always say to my kids). She said to very deliberately turn my lonely feelings into an attitude of getting a chance for aloneness…or being alone with God. Like a kid from a large family getting to spend that prized alone time with a parent. She said from a different lens the painful, isolating times of loneliness will draw me closer to God and that will help make me a woman who has something new inside to give to others.

That counsel reminded me of something. There is a story by Marjorie Williams that kind of depicts this truth. It’s called The Velveteen Rabbit. In one passage the toy rabbit and the toy horse are talking to each other:

“What is real?” asked the stuffed rabbit to the stuffed horse. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the stuffed horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the stuffed rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the stuffed horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are real, though, you don’t mind so much.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the stuffed horse. “You become real. It takes a long time and a lot of pain. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or who have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and are very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all because once you are real, you can’t ever be ugly except to people who don’t really understand.”

I so want to have something to give and someday impact someone’s life for eternity. Perhaps in my struggle if I can take this advice and focus on the opportunity rather than the struggle. I pray I am one that doesn’t break easily and one that doesn’t have to be carefully kept. I pray that the reward is immense in the eternal sense. In a world of facades, I pray I will be real; that even if I appear shabby to the world, I will have the inward beauty of one who has been with Jesus. I pray that the pain of loneliness will during this time turn into something real on the inside of me that looks even on the outside exactly like love.

This walk is an interesting one. Wouldn’t call it easy but I sure wouldn’t trade it.

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Abba’s Promises

Last night I went to bed with such pain in my heart. Someone repeated some of my words very much out of context…using chosen parts of a question I asked to create the impression that I implied something that wasn’t in my heart at all. It provoked confusion and anger unnecessarily. Why?  What is going on? Do I fight this kind of thing.  I don’t know — so I asked Abba Father (the only daddy I have) for some help in dealing with this because I have no one else. God gave me two things over these last few hours. First was a Word to me almost in my sleep but like not….hard to describe. The second He sent in a Word from a friend.

To me:  You are on a path and there are many that would try to stop you.  They are not even aware they are being used to do this. They don’t know your path. They don’t know your potential in Me. They are as a tree that was planted to cover my path for you. Go around.  Do not hesitate. Do not stop to look or listen or feel. Do not stop to smell or taste.  Your fruit is not  at this tree or growing from it. Your fruit is up the path, up ahead. Go around  and stay on your path keeping your eyes only on me.  Move toward the promises- My promises to you.

Then I received this message this morning from a friend. Just felt he was to give it to me:  I see FLOWERS lots of FLOWERS Melissa. yellow flowers which represent PROMISES of God soon to come to pass. believe Him for the promises, Melissa, every accurate word spoken over you is also a covenant. remind Him of His word. loved ones, ministries, provision, etc. also i see a full plate of food in front of you. i think the full plate of food was the promise of provision for you. AND a feast of His word also Melissa. Yes you’re going to have the richness of His goodness in both provision and His word.blessings

Thanks Abba for Your love and encouragement and Your faith in me!!!