Sunday, November 8, 2015

Faith and Fear

Life is so interesting.  How things evolve and change.  It never ceases to amaze me.  We hold on to ideals and concepts so tightly until life beats us to a pulp, teaching us that what we believed in so solidly was completely the opposite of what we believed.  However, it takes an earth shattering experience to change our thinking.  Do we have to be so hard pressed in our thinking?  I'm learning that no, no we don't.  Change doesn't have to be that hard.  And being open to new ideas and ways of thinking can be applied by a much easier method.

I have this problem with control.  I've had so much powerlessness in my life -- or at least this is what it seems like.  I've had things, events that have happened in life that I really didn't choose, but I did put myself in the environment.  So I had part to play.  I'm not totally innocent.  I try and own what's mine.  Nonetheless, I didn't know what happened was going to happen.  I'm no fortuneteller.  I did not ask for the likes of my mother.  Her and my relationship regrettably shaped a great deal of how I am in relationships, albeit I've had therapy for it for 25 years.  Not bonding with my mother was very difficult because I did not learn how to nurture myself, I did not get affection that I would have normally gotten,  nor the validation, self-esteem was horribly lacking --- and the list goes on and on.  However --- I bid you that I am as whole, happy and at peace today because of Jesus as I know how to be.  Everything that I've came to understand under the teachings of Pastor Paul White in four years has taught me enormous lessons of what and who I am in Jesus Christ.  I'm the one that looses sight of this, on a daily basis and part of the reason that I write.

 My faith.  I struggle with it daily.  It's that trust issue again.  As one can imagine, trust is not something that comes easily for me.  My own mother betrayed me.  Now that's real right there.

It's very unfortunate that my response to deal with life is to fight and feel fear.  I doubt that there's many people, Christians especially that would admit that.  If you read my blog, you would know that I'm not your average Christian.  At all.  I was taught radical Grace.... and it blew my mind because of the immense beauty, the depth of the love of Christ, and the enormity of the Word.  I'm not supposed to feel fear, it's the absence of faith.  I don't have (always) the gifts I know that I can have.  Who's fault do you think this is?  Yep.  Mine.  I've allowed fear to creep back into my life.  I have an anxiety disorder - but I'm not even supposed to say that in grace.  I cannot tell you the number of times that I've been told that Jesus paid for "insert what ever illness here".  I guess I don't know how to be a Grace christian.  Perhaps this is the real problem, because I or my little brain cannot comprehend it all to the point where I am spotless.  I'm Saint-like.  I suppose I still have too much human in me.  Having had such a psychological and therapeutic background does not help me.  It has put me at a fault when it comes to Jesus and what He did (all) at the Cross.  I just have been pounded so hard that everything is my responsibility .  It takes so long to uproot those kinds of beliefs, to let go of that philosophy, and just let God love me into wholeness.  Maybe this is part of why Pastor Paul left so I could begin to dig deeper and find this stubborn root.  Stubborn it is, and I really don't think I'm alone here -- I totally believe that we all struggle with fear and control we just may call it something else.

I am the kind of woman/person that knows them self  pretty well, and what I know doesn't frighten me.  Not anymore.  I've stared most of my (boy I hope) ugliest demons in the face and survived.  I've sat with my inner child and felt her pain, and I've walked with my addiction and I know it's voice.  I've survived long, difficult periods of alone time, and struggled with having to take care of myself during medical procedures alone. There just isn't much that I've not been through that I've not been through, alone.  However, Jesus has always been there right with me, holding me through it.  I know for certain that He has believed in me more than I've believed in Him, and I'm saddened to say that truth.  I have a much greater faith today because of His Word, Pastor Paul, and just life.  When the Word really gets inside you, you know it.  Even when you don't part it's pages.... it's still there, in your heart.

I sincerely hope that this speaks to someone because I know that I've beaten myself up SO much for being afraid.  I've come to understand that it is not that I don't believe in God, or that I lack faith -- it just a part of resistance.  Yes  We like to "think" we are in control of our lives, I think that's a human trait.  I think that is just normal.  However. it causes us a great deal of stress (unnecessary) and and I believe it is the root of almost all illness.  It is not normal to live in 'flight or fight' mode.  That was for survival, and we are so far beyond that - yet we use it to (try) to control ourselves and other people -- our spouses, friends, etc.  If I just worry enough...this won't happen...  That's insane.  I have a friend that constantly says "I know, I know" about prayer, faith, and God - but is so stressed out her hair is falling out.  She is having chest pains, and I'm very worried about her.  Is anything that is under the blood of Jesus worth all of that?  Who made us responsible?  That my guilt and my anguish could affect events, outcomes, and circumstances?  How grandiose?

I did get one thing right in Jesus, even if I am still ever the student.  I remain humble and teachable.  I know that my Jesus is SITTING (because there is no further need of sacrifice) at the right hand of God, and that if He is sitting, I have nothing to worry about.  Essentially - ever.  God isn't going to just take care of the sin debt and leave us to fend for ourselves.  That wouldn't be any kind of parent.  He took care of everything for us, and this is what I need to immerse myself into and embrace to let go of control.  I still growing in who I am in Christ-- and you know what?  That is okay.  Jesus still loves me, He already knew it!  I'm the one just figuring this out.  It took me awhile to understand that only good things come from God... I used to believe that God dished out consequences as well.  I had a lot of undesirable stuff to overcome in my beliefs that had been passed down to me-- that didn't belong to me.  What are you holding on to that was passed down to you?  Have you even thought about it?  It's so crucial to make absolute sure that your beliefs are YOURS.  Not hand-me-downs.

Father God, I love learning.  I praise you for my ability to ponder Your absoluteness.  I praise You for the knowledge that I obtained during my time at Midland, what an honor, Father God.  I am still unveiling truth.  Help me go forward with the truth that I know is inside me, hand in hand, spirit to spirit... as You would have me.  Let the Holy Spirit continue to reveal new things to me, and let me be quiet enough to hear Lord. Thank You Jesus for this beautiful thing we call life.  I am discovering that I am free.
In Jesus's precious Name,
Amen.