JOURNEY THROUGH OCTOBER: CONQUERING FEAR

~week one~day four~

Overcoming the Fear of Pain and Joy

We fear the gamut of life’s difficult experiences. We fear deep love and of being alone.  We fear personal change but don’t want to stay the same forever.  We fear raising children, but most of us take the risk anyway.  We fear having an empty life and also being too busy for the little things.  We fear.

I like to be alone and find much of my peace in solace.  But if I look deeply at myself, I fear facing the trials and responsibilities of this world alone.  Alone is probably my biggest fear.  I acknowledge this, while at the same time, I know the promise that He never leaves or forsakes us.  We fear the spectrum of the human experience in a rather ironic way.

As my dad faced the end of his days, his favorite verse became He will never leave me or forsake me.  Deuteronomy 31:6.  I don’t know the depth of his fear of death.  But I saw pure strength and wisdom arise out of his conquest of fear.  The full verse says Be Strong and Courageous for the Lord your God goes with you.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  When someone is with you for always, you can be strong and courageous.

Fear runs in and through what we see as pain and trials.  But it also runs in and through what we envision as our most precious joys.  Overcoming fear brings us both out of trials and into joy. Simple truths like He will never leave us or forsake us usher us right through fear.

Birth, Death & Father’s Day

I remember years ago asking my dad what his favorite verse was. He was approaching his birthday and I wanted to do something crafty for him. The craft really doesn’t matter at all because it didn’t come out that good. I think I tried to embroider the verse on a pillow with a beads. But, I remember what his favorite verse was at that time in his life. He will never leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

At the time of his birthday (I think it was 54 or 56), I had not even taken in the idea that my dad would only have a few birthdays left. He was already sick with cancer at that time, but idea of him getting sick enough to die and God allowing that did become part of my mind’s possibilities. I have been thinking about my dad a lot the last month. Probably because I was his father’s day gift many moons ago. My birth, his death and Father’s Day loom around in my mind in the month of June.

This month, I have been telling my kids some of my thoughts and remembrances so their memories have my dad in them. I think about what life would be like if he was still here. I text my brother who senses his loss almost daily even years later. But not for one minute, not for one second do I question God’s calling on my dad’s life or God’s choice to end his earthly time line at 59 years old. This is the faith that my dad’s walk to heaven has brought me to.

In my dad’s time of weakness where God was allowing him to feel pain. Allowing him to know the brevity of life. Allowing him to realize life was going to end differently than his expectations. Eventually allowing him to wrap up his affairs, say goodbye. Allowing him to prepare to see God face to face. All of that time, my dad said that God showed him that He will never leave me or forsake me. My dad walked home to the Lord like the warrior He was in his life time and like the humble man God taught him to be in his life time. It is in our utmost weakness that God sews in His great love, great strength and His true to the end promise that He will never leave you or forsake you.

Never Leave You

Thank you to Jennifer Dukes Lee for sharing her Ten Life-Changing Truths to Believe Today.

Being Strong in Your Broken Places

By JMathis

The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places…” Ernest Hemingway

The broken places are scattered across your dreams.

Your dreams of becoming an artist.

You’re not good enough.

Your dreams of a happy marriage.

You’re not good enough.

Your dreams of being fit, fierce and fabulous.

You’re not good enough.

The artist has surrendered to a mortgage. The happy marriage sacrificed for a 62″ television set. The sexiness buried under yet another night of pizza and ice cream.    

Reality replaces fantasy, and life swaps your upbeat soundtrack for an insidious, new mantra:

You’re not good enough.

The broken places become permanent refuge for insecurity, insanity, infertility, indifference, insincerity, inactivity, ineffectiveness, indecision, invisibility, ingratitude and infirmity.

Each taking root within you, inside of you. Each chanting:

You’re not good enough.

Before it is too late, before time forgets you, before your purpose is forever lost, perhaps it is time for an intervention.

Perhaps it is time to finally be YOU.

You, as God intended; you, as God envisioned; you, as God desires.

Rise up and innovate.

Stand up and inspire.

It is time to become strong in all of your broken places, for there is work to be done.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6