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Posts Tagged ‘fear’

the Great Sadness.

an excerpt from The Shack, by Paul Young.

“The Great Sadness had draped itself around Mack’s shoulders like some invisible but almost tangible heavy quilt. The weight of its presence dulled his eyes and stooped his shoulders. Even his efforts to shake it off were exhausting, as if his arms were sewn into its bleak folds of despair and he had somehow become part of it. He ate, worked, loved, dreamed and played in this garment of heaviness, weighed down as if he were wearing a leaden bathrobe—trudging daily through the murky despondency that sucked the color out of everything. At times he could feel The Great Sadness slowly tightening around his chest and heart like the crushing coils of a constrictor, squeezing liquid from his eyes until he thought there no longer remained a reservoir.”

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God has not given us a spirit of fear.

“you’re a quitter,” “you’re giving up ’cause you’re not strong enough,” “this is wrong, too,” “it won’t matter; you’ll never be happy,” “because of how God made you, you’ll always be hurt,” “things like love and friendship don’t last a lifetime, not for you,” “they will all leave; you’re going to be alone,” “God can, and will, take things you love away from you so you’ll learn a lesson.”

these are lies the enemy has been feeding me. and yes, I know they are lies, but needless to say, it’s not easy. it’s amazing what fear does to someone. and though I know fear never comes from God, and that He has equipped me to deal with it, I don’t always succeed. fear ruins things.

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He knows.

February 2, 2011 1 comment

I’ve been here in New Orleans for almost 5 full weeks now, and most days I find myself breaking down in tears. In the shower, at my desk while trying to reading my Bible, in my car once arriving back at my apartment from wherever, and especially while trying to worship at church.

Tonight is no different. I had a crying session in the shower after a basketball game, and then calmed myself down enough to eat a bowl of cereal (which is a huge victory these days). And when I was catching up on my blogs, I came across this post from Jon Acuff. I read it when it was originally posted, and it touched me then. But tonight, it was as if God was speaking right to me through Acuff’s words, namely this section:

““I know, my son, I know. I know, my daughter, I know. That thing you wanted is not going to happen. Not the way you’ve always dreamed. I know this hurts. I know this stings. I know you feel like I am distant or not aware of where you are and who hurt you and what you think life was supposed to be like. I know in moments like this you doubt that I can count the hairs on your head or have your best in mind. But please, I am not done. I have barely started to reveal your life to you. I am the God who satisfies your desires with good things. That is me! And when it comes to your hopes and your fears and your dreams, I know, my son, I know.”

I think of this moment as the “soft x.”

I think of the tenderness of Israel with his arms outstretched and crossed. I think of our desires and our dreams and the times they don’t work. And above all, I think of a God who wants to tell you he hears you, he loves, he knows you. He is not disconnected or disinterested in who you are and who you want to be. Today, he says,

“I know, my son, I know.””

It’s all I have to cling to right now. That God knows how I’m feeling every moment. He knows.

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casting.

January 5, 2011 1 comment

I’ve been settled here in NOLA for a few days now, and today I found myself with absolutely nothing to do and weather not conducive to exploring the city. After what felt like a productive day yesterday, today I feel very purposeless. And once that attitude takes hold, it really is hard to get rid of it.

I find myself worrying. Mostly about things I have no control over. I need to quit that. I read an article today about casting your fears on the Lord, and while I recommend reading the whole article, here is what stuck out to me:

“I love the word image I get from the idea of casting, but I often misinterpret it. I think of casting my fears on God like a deep-sea fisherman… You baited your hook, cast as far as you could and then waited…

That’s how I’ve looked at casting my anxiety on the Lord. I do it once a day at best. It’s something I do in my quiet time in the morning and then maybe at night if something is really bothering me. It’s a singular event, like throwing out a deep sea fishing line.

But in the last few days, I’ve started to feel like I might be wrong about that. What if casting your anxiety is more like fly-fishing. Have you ever seen a fly fisherman? It’s a surprisingly active form of fishing. You have to keep your fly, or lure, in almost constant motion, tapping the water repeatedly in an attempt to attract a fish…

And into that space, into my panic and tangle of worry, I am told to cast all my anxiety on God. Not like a deep-sea fisherman, throwing out one line and waiting. But more like a fly fisherman, constantly sending out line. Constantly giving up my fears and worries to the Lord. Not as a single act, but as a lifestyle of surrender. As a constant release to the Lord.”

To put it plainly, God is breaking me. And it sucks. It hurts badly. And while I know it is bringing Him glory and will make me more like Him in the end, it’s still difficult to want it when it feels like this. I don’t know how long I’m going to be in New Orleans, and I need to stop worrying about it. I need to cast it to Him.

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eve of more than a new year.

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, all my stuff is moved out of Lexington, and bright and early on January 1st, I will be driving to New Orleans. The past few weeks have been what can only be called an emotional roller coaster, as I battle times where fear overtakes me & anxiety cripples me, and times where I am okay with the new adventure I’m about to embark on. I try to remember the restlessness I’ve felt in Lexington, and the affirmation the Lord has given me that moving to NOLA is being obedient. I try not to dwell on the doubt Satan has been feeding me, as well as the lies of infinite “what if” situations, and my tendency to think too far down the road.

I do believe God will take care of me. I wholeheartedly have faith in that. Where I’m still coming around is that I think I know how I want Him to take care of me. I mostly don’t want Him to take care of me by replacing my current friends with new ones.

If you’re the praying kind and would like some specifics…
• Pray the anxiety problems I’m having will ease (problems eating & sleeping, etc.)
• Pray that I will stay present. And as Joe Joe says to me, “Live where I’m at.”
• Pray that no matter what, I will go to God for strength, comfort, and peace.

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when is it ‘acceptable’?

So I was going to write a post about how your first summer out of college is when you realize you’re grown up because all your friends go home and… you still go to work. Nothing changes. But then something came up today and prompted this post.

When you graduate from college, or even during college, people move. If not to another city or state, at least away from their college campus. But what are the reasons for these moves? And which are “acceptable” by “them”?

A Job. This is termed the most acceptable reason to pick up your life and move it elsewhere, because it is seen as going forward. I almost moved for this reason to Louisville, but my job fell through the week of my college graduation.

A Spouse/Lover. Unfortunately, in America at least, this is less acceptable than moving for a job. I know if I ever am faced with this opportunity, I will take it.

A Calling. Many may not understand this reason, but personally, this is the most important reason to do anything. But because it can only be perceived by the one doing the moving, it’s hard to convince others of the importance of it. This is how I ended up in Kentucky for college from Florida.

Something new/different (no reason in particular). I have seen acquaintances pick up and change venues, many times to a different state, just for a change. While I completely understand the feeling for this, I believe many times this can be solved by a new hobby, place to volunteer, or circle of friends. I have seen how these decisions are treated, as though the mover is immature and impulsive. It is most definitely considered the least acceptable.

And so I am faced with a choice. I am stuck somewhere between the third and the fourth reasons for a move. I have to ask myself if God is calling me to the city itself, and whether or not I can deal with the fact that many, including my parents, will see it as me just moving for no reason in particular. I graduated from college a year and a half ago, and it could be judged that I am up and going because I am unhinged and immature.

Hear me, I know that Romans 8:1 is true – that there is no condemnation in Christ. But it’s hard. If I leave my comfortable life and move 12 hours away to a place that is unknown to me for seemingly no reason but that God told me to, what happens?

An adventure.

Or a catastrophe.

What if I’m wrong about my calling?

We’ll have to wait and see. That’s what I’ll be praying about diligently from now on. If you feel moved to do so, feel free to join. I would appreciate it.

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1 john 4:18?

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

So this past weekend came to light something: intense fear. And as soon as I realized it, I began to work through it. This verse keeps coming into my head. And you know what? It pisses me off. Maybe not the verse itself, but the fact that I obviously don’t understand perfect love and cannot accept it because I am still afraid.

The past two days I have continually been pissed off. I don’t want to talk to anybody, mostly because I’m pretty sure they might get unintended and misdirected ire. The crappy thing is I can’t figure out where it should be directed.

I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to type next. I know this is the Internet and anyone who stumbles upon this can read it, so I don’t want to be too open, but I am a very sincere person. So whatever.

One thing I know is that the devil’s temptings are right here next to me. I have recently had a breakthrough in the hurt and guilt I possessed over some sin of mine, and the devil is pissed that he no longer has me convinced that this sin is what I wanted deep down in my being. I feel like he’s cut his loss and moved on. He’s taken the strides the Spirit and I made this weekend in regard to my future move and my view on leaving Lexington and made me scared.

Even in the last few hours, as I’ve sat at work finishing up for the day, old topics of fear have returned, mostly having to do with a best friend who has decided that her boyfriend is more important than almost anything else. My relationships are the most important things to me in this life, and they are becoming full of fear. Again. This is not how it should be.

So if you think about it, say a prayer for me please. In the meantime, I’ll be asking for something God says He will give abundantly if we ask: wisdom.

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