Saturday, February 27, 2016

Let's Just Face It

I was talking with a friend recently about a book.  
She said that she almost didn’t read it… that she thought it would be too sad.  

I knew what she meant.  I have been there. A lot.

Sometimes it was a book… sometimes it was a situation.

And I learned there are times when it is in the doing that you learn the most about facing your fears.

(She read the book and said that she was surprised to find it wasn’t sad at all…and she loved it)

What about the times you are afraid that when you show up at work on Monday,
you will be told that they don't need you on Tuesday.
Or any other day.

Fear has been a real problem for me.
I even had a dog that was afraid of his reflection in a mirror.

If I could, I would control my life and the lives of those I love so that none of us would ever have to know fear.


Never have to be weak, never have to struggle, never have to show our need or brokenness.

I pray that way.
I pray for people to be safe while travelling, I pray for them to stay well, get better.

I pray for safe and I pray for uncomplicated lives.

I do.
I probably won’t stop praying that way either.

We are all living with the effects of a fallen world,
so I will pray that the hard reality we see in this world is reversed.

Just maybe this time.

Pray that the broken is fixed, that the sick are healed and that the miracle is not just something in dreams.

With that said, I should let you know that I look at things differently now.

I am learning for myself, that when faced with something that will cost me; something hard?

The best thing I can do?

Just show up for whatever it is that He has for me.

Open my hands, and say yes.

Trust that He is faithful.
That He is with me. 
And He will help me in the thing that I fear.

I will still pray for the safe way, but I will also rest in His way. 
Whatever His way is.

That He is holding me and that my good is found only in His nearness. 
Not in any other thing.
Not in the easy or safe things in this life.

Because His nearness?  That is what I really want.

I can say that now, but it took a long time to get to that place.

A long time to understand that no matter what it is
It doesn't scare Him in the least.

I know that I may forget that...
I DO forget that.

But I hope not.
I hope I will always be assured of my goodness in His nearness.

His nearness more than any perceived safety or cure.

This change in my attitude has been mostly by baby steps.

I know there have been changes because I see them in journals.

Before I started keeping a gratitude list, I wrote down notes in other places.
Mostly sermon notes with my comments or prayer journals.

But over time I can look back and see my growth in trusting Him with the things that made me afraid.

In the summer of 2013
- just after hearing that I had "some kind" of cancer, I wrote these words.

“I have cancer. I do.  
God is not surprised.  I am…

We do not know where this cancer is coming from, but God does and He is the one leading the doctors, so I know if He intends for them to find it, they will.  
And if they don’t then it hasn’t shocked Him or taken Him by surprise!  
He knows.
And He loves us.
So much more than we deserve.

Feelings I have?
Confidence in a good God, Love for my family, appreciation for the little things… like moments, a peace and a joy that defy explanation.  I just am trusting Him to take care of us in whatever way He chooses.

Feelings I don’t have?
Fear.  Anger.  Frustration.
I am sad.  I have cried.  I am not looking forward to the treatment of this disease, or how it will affect the people that I love. I am not looking forward to losing my hair of any of the other terrible side effects that you always hear about…

But I am not afraid.”

That last comment?

That last comment is only possible because of Him.
He has always been trustworthy.

I think as I pray for myself and others now?

As I continue to pray for safety and wellness and miracles?
I will add…

And Father, please help him to be brave in each thing that You allow into his life. 
Stay close to her as she depends on You for each step.
Please provide them the strength that is impossible without You.
And lead us all… In Your paths of righteousness… for Your names sake,
So that even when we go through dark valleys?
We will not be afraid… because You are with us.

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