What Do You Fear?

Are you afraid? Does it seem like our world is cracking and crumbling at its very foundation? Between the natural disasters and human disasters, it can feel like we are hurtling into a formless abyss with no end in sight.

A friend once told me that fear stands for: False Evidence Appearing Real.  I love this because right now we have an enemy among us who is celebrating the trials and violence that is hitting us in quick succession.  He dances at our division and laughs at our fear.  He claps at the catastrophes and cackles when we cower.  He is loving all that is happening in and around our country and steps in to make sure what is divided between us will stay divided and what fears we carry will be locked inside for an eternity.  We can not let him do this to us.

Our enemy is the great accuser and is looking up to God saying, “See, not one among your beloved creation is listening to your voice right now.  I am the voice of fear they hear and abide by, and I refuse to let them see otherwise.”

Our fear is his potion that plants our feet where they stand.  Also, our refusal to acknowledge the part he plays in keeping us fearful is his greatest tactic.  Credit is not what he seeks.  Success is what he seeks.  He can’t be successful if we know who the author of fear is. He will do whatever it takes to keep the veil firmly placed over our eyes.

Ever since I have started publicly writing for God, I have felt attacked at every turn.  He has been throwing every life stress in my direction which have kept my fingers idle and off of the keyboard.  When our days are whittled down into seconds, our health is being compromised, when family and marital stress is at its peak, and when life outside of our four walls is beyond our capability to understand, he lets our fears simmer into a soup that takes hold of us until our vision becomes very small and very skewed.

I pray and pray for God’s armor to cover my family and yours.  Satan’s playing field just seems to be growing bigger and bigger allowing fear to seemingly form mountains that surround us.  His evidence appears real, but God has something to say about that.

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”(Joshua 1:9) NLT

We can’t let him win by letting fear color our vision.  We see the chaos, but it isn’t occurring without the Creator of the World seeing as well.  Our God is not immune to our fear.  He says to call on Him, rely on Him, give it to Him, and love Him.  Fear has an anecdote and His name is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Rays of light are everywhere and they start with us believing that Jesus is above all of this and he’s got this—He’s got us.  We can shine in this dark place through our love and trust in Him.  We can boldly tell our enemy his days are numbered and soon to expire.  We become fearless when we stop looking around and start looking up.  The moment we hang on to Jesus’ robe, humble ourselves at His feet, and give our fear to Him to leave at the cross, He is then able to restore our hope, guide our path, and lead us to victory because He loves us without end.

I will not give up writing.  I will not give up on my family in difficult times.  I will not let his veil cover my head because I serve a God who gave me eyes to see.  I see you Satan, and you will not keep me from pursuing my God, His Son, and His will.  The Holy Spirit is within us and will not be silenced.  It will shine and spread until the rays of light form a continuous band that leads others to the path of righteousness.  Jesus is our victory and has always been our victory even before the first sin was sewn.

In Jesus precious name I pray.

Amen!!

 

The Princess from “The Princess and the Pea” is diagnosed with Fibromyalgia

I am convinced this princess didn’t feel the pea under that stack of mattresses because she had some princess spidey skills or keen princess pea detection abilities.  She had to have felt it because she had Fibromyalgia.

She wouldn’t have been diagnosed back then because the medical community is just now catching up with what thousands of men and women have been saying for decades—”We hurt!”

I am definitely no princess with fine linens and my bedding and sheets tend to look more like a pack of wolves were fighting for their territory, but when I lay down, I can feel even the tiniest crease in my fitted sheet touch the sides of my leg.  My nerve endings scream, “Get away from me pea!”  I then have to flatten out all of the wrinkles trying to steal away my good sleep.

It’s pretty ridiculous, really.  Sometimes when the pain is at full speed ahead, my sheets can look more like a snake pit rather than a comfortable place to rest my body.  A piece of string on my leg can feel like a hot, burning metal wire searing into my skin.  Every crack, crevice, and wrinkle now becomes my mortal enemy.  If I was on that stack of mattresses, that pea may as well have been a bowling ball.

The one thing I know to be true about Fibromyalgia is that it is just my human cross to bear living on this side of Eden.  In the DNA lottery passed down from generation to generation, I hit the screaming in pain, nerve endings on fire disease jackpot. I also know that it won’t last forever.  It won’t be my eternity.  It won’t define me as a person.  And it won’t change my place as a child of God.

We are all dealt a DNA hand of one form or another.  What we do with it and how we respond to it is what shapes our lives.  I have to admit I didn’t respond very graciously going through the “What in the world is happening to me?” process and most of that time I can honestly say I wasn’t seeking God for help or guidance.  I was just plain mad.

It’s been ten years since that diagnosis and many more years before when I knew something wasn’t right, and now I have gained something called perspective.  It’s when you crawl out of the soupy mess of your life and look down to see what you were actually swimming in.  Through this process I learned I needed God, I can’t blame God for my post Eden DNA, and it’s when trying times hit I need to move closer to Him, not further away.  My Fibromyalgia has steered my life in many different directions, and I can actually say in a bizarre way it has helped me. I’m stronger mentally, I’ve learned to humble myself and ask for help, and I rely heavily on my Father to meet my every need.  Even though my body dictates what I will accomplish in a day, it won’t ever stop me from doing God’s will.

Our adversities are what make us who we are.  Sometimes they also bring us to our knees which may be the only way we are willing to get there.  It’s how God got me there, and I wouldn’t trade a day of pain away if it meant going back to the person I was—the person who thought she knew Christ but really didn’t.  I’ve been refined through the fire and have many more burning hours to go.  How about you?

Have your adversities brought you closer to God or further away?

 

A Daughter’s Love

I thought I understood completely the concept of myself being Earthly alive as opposed to Heavenly alive.  I have always known our real home is with our almighty Father, and this temporary place we stay in is just a wisp of wind in the scheme of things.  In my mind, I could see this great divide between these two places, and it’s only when my time here is complete will I completely feel the reality of my forever home in Heaven.

I thought this until my mom passed away and this great divide came crashing down.

I’ve heard people say that when they lose someone, a part of them went with their loved one when they passed.  A wonderful friend who lost her son in a freak accident told me she is ready to trade her time here to be with him because that is where her heart is anyway.  I heard these words but never experienced what they meant.  Now I’m in the club of lost loved ones, and my eyes have been opened.

I’ve lost grandparents whom I love but since they always lived a distance away from me, our daily connection to each other was compromised from birth.  We loved through the miles and that is okay.  My connection to family has always just been my mom, dad, and brother.  With everyone else living no closer than a day’s drive for most of my life, it was always just us.

My mom’s passing is the first real heartbreak of loss I have experienced.  Her daily presence is no more and that just seems surreal to me.  She passed away on January 28th of this year, and I was there when she died.  I fell to my knees onto her feet and cried out for my momma like a three-year-old child.  My husband said he will never be able to get that image out of his head.  I broke his heart as mine shattered right there onto the floor where she lay.

As I gain perspective over these last few weeks, I feel closer to Heaven than I do here on Earth.  One of the most important people in my life is in a place that I long to be, and she is experiencing all of the joy and glory being in the presence of our Savior.  It’s strange, but I feel as if I am feeling her joy as well.

Anything I ever order from a restaurant or pick from a buffet, my girls have their forks on the ready to taste from my plate.  It’s been their standard practice since they could hold a fork and my mom always yelled at them to let me eat.  I chuckle at this memory because I feel like that now.  I want to experience all that my mom has on her plate and as my mom, I know that she would share with me if she could.  I guess that is what it means when people say a part of their heart went with their loved one.  My mom has a part of mine in her pocket—if they have pockets where she is.

The hold this Earth has on my life just got a little looser.  The draw to the enticements of this world aren’t grabbing me as tightly.  I know God gave me a purpose and I pray I honor Him with the rest of my life here, but a chunk of who I am isn’t in this life anymore.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Our hearts should always be seeking Heaven.  A part of mine is just there waiting for the rest to come when God calls me home.  Until then, it is my prayer that I open a wide net and be a fisherman of men and women and point towards the direction of my Savior.  My mom has a part of my heart with her in Heaven, and He continues to hold the rest.

The War is Won

the-war-is-wonThank you to our children for drawing each piece of armor for the book.  My daughter Mallory drew this for the last chapter: The War is Won.

How do we win a war?  It can sometimes feel like we are warring every day of our lives.  We battle through traffic, we battle within our company, we fight within our families, and we attempt to strike through our fears and losses.  If tally marks were made, how many marks at the end of the day would be on the win side, and how many would be on the lose side? I’m not the most patient driver and willfully allow my peace to be trampled over.  In this area, I would be on the loser’s side almost every day.

I’m not the most patient driver and willfully allow my peace to be trampled over.  In this area, I would be on the loser’s side almost every single day.

We have a beautiful truth that never seems to be at the forefront of our thoughts the second we open up our eyes in the morning.  We visualize all that we have to tackle for the day and completely forget this War was won over two thousand years ago.No matter what we face each day, it can’t touch us.  That harried late morning rush to school and work was defeated.  The tremendous loss of the

No matter what we face each day, it can’t touch us.  That harried late morning rush to school and work was defeated.  The tremendous grief of losing our loved ones is overcome when Christ rose again and eliminated death from our eternal DNA.  The chains of fear from losing a job or marriage are broken because Jesus took the fear of our eternal suffering from us and for us.  We will continue to do battle on this side of Heaven as long as our enemy is allowed to roam free, but even he knows the clock is ticking.

We are not meant to be blown in the wind by the world we live in because it is not our forever home.  We need God’s armor to help us feel and taste the freedom that Christ won for us.  Without it, we taste the salt and sweat that comes from the fear and worry that we were never meant to carry. Your War is won.  How you end up at the end of

Your War is won.  How you end up at the end of battle depends upon if you decided to fight with or without God’s protection.  Your peace is precious to God, and He’s been waiting a long time for you to step into His stronghold.