HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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Trusting God in the Face of Fear @ 10


God's Got This Welcome.

Today I’m joining my writing/blogging friends over at Karen’s Finding the Grace Within’s Tuesday at Ten writing prompt.

Here writers creatively represent the word prompt that Karen gives us at 10 am and then we all connect with one another {HERE}. There aren’t any real rules, no word limit or time limit … just one heart connecting with the prompt and sharing their thoughts with the others.

Today we ponder what the word FEAR means in our lives, right here and right now …

So join us by following the link above or the one at the bottom of this post.

Fear. We all encounter it in our day to day lives. From the little worries like being on time or not missing that call from a friend to the larger more daunting fears that involve life and death!

For me it’s no longer about the fear … In the past I feared everything from making someone mad to really doing something very wrong. It created a vicious cycle of anxiety, which my family sees as an illness. It’s not!

Cancer is an illness. Addiction is an illness. Fear is NOT an illness, we control fear. It says so in the bible.

There are two types of fear described in the Good Book of the Good News! Remember that … it’s the GOOD News, you can always trust it’s guidance.

Fear of the Lord.  

Fear of the Lord gives us authority and allows us to trust God in the face of the spirit of fear, which strips us of our authority and is brought by the enemy of our soul.

The spirit of fear is NOT of God.

Fear, or REVERENCE {to have a reverential awe of (fear God)} of the Lord, is about respecting God, as you would a father.

[Now if your earthly father wasn’t the greatest, or you were actually afraid of your biological dad, stay with me.]

God, Himself, was His original template of who and what a father was supposed to be. All loving, strong security and steady guidance for His children.

This Fear [of the Lord] is beneficial to us and brings with it promises and blessings. The bible says it is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding to all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever {Psalm 111:10}. It leads to life, rest, peace and contentment and evil will not visit {Proverbs 19:23}. This Fear [of the Lord] is the fountain of life {Proverbs 14:27} and provides security in a place of safety {Proverbs 14:26}.

Good News, right!  =)

If we respect God as our Father Creator, and follow His guidance for our lives, we benefit as any child who accepts guidance and correction from good parents. Think about it, we only fear what our parents feared, for the most part. If time and appearances were of concern {a type of fear} to our parents, then we grow up to be concerned about time and appearances. But dig this!

Our Father God, repeatedly, tells us to FEAR NOT, because He has given us the tools of authority over fear.

We control fear. Fear does NOT control us.

Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident. {Psalm 27:3}

The second kind of fear in the bible is described to us in guidance.

We are told that God didn’t give us this spirit of fear.

 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. {2 Timothy 1:7}

There it is, the guiding reminder that we were given: Power, Love and a SOUND mind.

(remember I said that fear leads to anxiety and people see anxiety as an illness today?)

We have a SOUND MIND.

Fear is a real thing. It is what we do in the face of this fear that matters most. Do we conquer or fall in defeat to fear?

I choose to conquer fear, and trust me, today, this very moment, I have enough going on in my life that if I allowed the fear [of the unknown results] of my circumstances I could easily curl up into a ball of tearful fear and anxiety and never see the light of day. In fact, when I think about this, even at this moment, I feel fearful of that possibility.

I prefer my Sound Mind!

How do I conquer these fears? Fear of cancer, of addiction, of my happy life changing severely, of not knowing what my life could possibly look like if the worst happened?

I. Trust. God.

I. Pray. ~ and I pray scripture.

1 John 4:18 says: Perfect Love casts out all fear. {God is Love.}

God promises me; ‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed {another form of fear}, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’.{Isaiah 41:10}

The overwhelming truth is that I must FEAR NOT.

Did you ever notice that when we are spinning with fear we don’t allow anyone to help; that we resist those that would be with us and uphold us! God knew we would do this and clearly instructs His children not to fear … to …

Be Still … and know that He is God. {Psalm46:10}

Isn’t it interesting that the “scary Old Testament” God continually told His creation to FEAR NOT. He clearly wanted us to ALWAYS know that He was with us and was our protector, even from the very beginning.

So, as Franklin D. Roosevelt said, in his First Inaugural Address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,”

Do not fear God, reverence and trust Him. Only fear fear; it’s not from God.

It is said, much too often, “give it to God”, and I must say it took a lot for me to completely come to an understanding of that Christian cliché. When I finally came to a true understanding of and relationship with God I changed how I used that friendly, if not dismissing, cliché to …

Bring it to God. If you are afraid today. If you harbor what seems to be uncontrollable anxiety in your day to day life. Bring your cares to God. Compare what you are afraid of to what God says about that thing in His book. Present it, as I do, to Him in prayer and just watch what He does to quell that fear within you. He will wipe it away, I promise.

BE STILL.

FEAR NOT.

BE COURAGEOUS.

GOD’S GOT THIS.

Come walk with me, and fear not, God is always with us!

Thanks for reading and God bless.

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Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

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How God Assures Me He’s On It :: A Much Needed Sunday Healing


Sweet, Sad Eyed Boy

Sweet, Sad Eyed Boy

This is my sweet boy. My youngest. My sad little guy. And OH how he had reason for that sweet, sad look. And OH how I sometimes, still, ache for my blindness.

The Man

The Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the man… angry and battling his demons. Very scary demons. And OH how I dreamed of reaching that sweet boy who was hidden in that angry man. I was incapable of reaching into him, to the boy. He wouldn’t let me. I wasn’t, still am not allowed to even hug him. It’s truly heartbreaking for me. And I’m sure his heart is broken. But He battles daily with his illness, his addiction. Heroin. And even when he stumbles, slips and falls flat out; he gets back up to battle. He’s superman in his head. He still thinks he needs to be I think. Because, I couldn’t protect him, because he couldn’t tell me … until they did, when they were barely in grade school … and the man (teen) you see above hid the sweet boy. Seemingly forever.

He fell this week. Wasn’t able to recover from an apparent stumble and now he starts over again. And my heart is broken watching him be sick. Very sick as he starts to stand back up to this illness, this craving, whose whole intent is to kill that sweet boy he has hidden in his heart.

Shane light editThis is him at the beginning of the last run of sobriety. Tired but strong. He’ll be there again.

And I know this because God and I met in worship this morning at church. I started the day very worried about my sweet boy, who hasn’t been so sweet these last few days. He was sick and in pain and irritable. I mean who wouldn’t be when they felt sick; I certainly am not fun when I am ill. But this is different.

There’s nothing I can do. And if I do something I am jeopardizing his life by enabling him. He has to walk out the withdrawl himself. He has to want to feel better. He has to choose between sobriety  and oblivion.

Unlike the cancer his father battles, the boy chose his illness. Chose oblivion over the demons of something he had no say in and I had no knowledge of. The demons who continue to tell him it was his fault. The demons that tell him I should have known. The demons who tell him he’s superman and he can live through the dangerous choices. The demons who tell him no one loves him because he’s unlovable now. This monster heroin quiets the demons I imagine. But then they begin to rustle again and bite … I cannot fathom the pain, though I experience his pain and suffering while he battles the withdrawl and fights for the breath of air that sobriety brings him.

As I sang praises to God today. As I worshiped the Father that promises to heal us. I cried out and from the depth of this mother’s heart and soul I sought my God’s assistance for my sweet boy. And God assured me that with that relinquishing, once again, of my boy to His care, that the boy, the man, would be healed.

During this song, as the lead singer of our worship band and assistance pastor sang this favorite, God met me in my aching for my sweet boy. I quieted and prayed for him and for The Hubs and was assured that He had them, that their healings were imminent, promised. And I quieted into the precious peace of the music, in Father’s presence.

You see, I’ve realized that the enemy has put a hit out on this family. Two of my men are battling grave illnesses, and the boy does not know the promises we believe! So I, WE, as a family must believe for him. He does not know that heroin addiction cannot kill him, as his father knows the cancer cannot kill him, though we tell him.

The boy does not know, as the father does, that because we believe, he is saved from his illnesses and cleansed of his sins, sins that are not even his own, but believes to be. The boy doesn’t believe that Jesus loved him so much that he took the heroin needle for him to the cross and died there with that illness upon Him! So we must believe and pray until the boy understands his worth to the Father.

And what mother, father and brother wouldn’t do this for a boy, for a man?

Oh how I wish the boy believed that he would live. Oh how I wish the boy believed he is loved beyond his mother’s ability to put it in words. Oh how I wish he knew the joy I get when he is well and smiles and is a participating member of this family. A participating member in his own life.

So I leave this post as another prayer to God. It holds no scripture, only a song of worship and praise to our Father God expressing my love and honor to him. I leave it as proof that I acknowledge His response to my need, my boy’s need, this morning. And I thank him again and again, without end that my sweet boy is starting to feel better and is two or three (I’m not sure) days back on the road of sobriety.

To every parent of a child who battles the illness of addiction, or any illness for that matter, I sing this song for you and your child. I pray that God vanquish this demon and send it to hell from whence it came, and I put the enemy and heroin under the feet of Jesus.

We are healed. Our children are healed. Our land is healed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thanks for listening to this outpouring of a mother’s heart.

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The sweet boy’s mom. =)


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On Father God … | Let My Words Be Few … Thursday


Words ThursdayMy little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18

I’m reading ‘The Shack’ by William P. Young, again. Yes, it’s that profound. Not just good, PROFOUND. I encourage you read it and then keep in your library … you can find it in paperback for under $8 and on Kindle for less that $5! Follow the link above.

Quickly, I want to address what we think about God’s parenting style in our hard times.

Being what is considered a ‘mature’ Christian I rarely blame or question God. I was awed to discover that I didn’t blame or question God when The Hubs was diagnosed with lung cancer. I did all the things people do when they are presented with the grave, worldly understanding of such a diagnosis.

My head spun, my eyes became water spigots and my heart dropped and ached terribly, for the longest time. I slipped unhindered into a cavern of fear. It was dark and cold and I’d wake in the middle of the night just to check if he was breathing; when even the night before the diagnosis this was not a question in my thought processes. Now (or I should say then, it was over a year ago) it was a constant concern.

We were faced, blindsided by mortality. Oh how offensive that truly can be. I was offended. It never occurred to me that my husband, who had smoked for 40 years, could get cancer! How silly is that? [btw: he was diagnosed with non-smokers cancer, go figure]

But I never questioned God on the why. I just prayed, at first, that desperate wife’s prayer for healing, explaining to God how I couldn’t imagine living without this man he created for me. How I’d want to go with him. That there was nothing left here for me if he was gone. And then it changed, the prayer changed, when I came out of that tailspin. I began to pray the already received promise and thank God for our life so full of blessings. I don’t recall how long it took for the transition I speak of. But it came and I began to move forward, purposefully.

That said, I was reading the book, while waiting at some appointment or other, yesterday.This was the dialog between Mac and his youngest daughter, Missy, that caught my heart:

“Is the Great Spirit another name for God – you know, Jesus’ papa?” Missy

“I would suppose so. It’s a good name for God because he is Spirit and he is Great.” Mac

“Then how come he’s so mean?” Missy. She goes on to question why Jesus was made to die on the cross.

Mac goes on to tell her that Jesus didn’t think God was mean. He said Jesus knew God was full of love and loved him very much. That His daddy didn’t make Him die. Jesus chose to die because he and his daddy loved you and me and everyone in the world; that He saved us from our sickness.”

SAVED us from our sickness.

I knew this all along. I knew it when they presented the diagnosis. I knew it in my tailspin and I knew it when I came up for air. But deep down; did I question God’s logic in all of this?

Maybe, I guess I must have at some point. But I didn’t linger there, because when I think about God and His roll in these things we encounter in this life my head goes to the #1 scripture for the question: “Why, God?”

Jeremiah 29:10-13 10 For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

And the #2:

Isaiah 55:8-10  10“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

For me, this speaks it all, and it’s my husband’s scripture. This scripture has been spoken over my husband by many preachers, many who didn’t know him at all. And it’s the Jeremiah 29:11 always left my husband bristling. =) Not anymore!

God is saying right here, I will visit you in your illness [Babylon] and I will perform My good word [the promises] toward you and I will return you to this place [Divine Health] … for I know what I’ve planned for your life and the plan is good and will give you a future and hope! … and so much more. This scripture is so deep!

I am reassured by it. I know Daddy is not mean, that this illness is not His design for our lives. We don’t allow the illness to define us as a family, The Hubs as a person or our lives going forward. We live our life in forward motion, as though nothing is amiss. We don’t question God about it.

We know that like the rain and snow, we were sent [born] and will not return until we have done our work, planned by the Father, for the kingdom, that He planned for us.

We will fulfill our Kingdom Destinies! And nothing can stop that.

Though we do ask when it will stop; the chaos that comes with this malady. I think that’s a different question.

We call on Him for answers and we pray and He listens. We seek and we find Him because we search for Him with all our hearts, everyday.

So, my question: Are you blaming God for somethings? Are you asking Him why in regard to something or some circumstance in your life?

Know this. Today. Right here. If it’s a bad thing it is not of God’s design for your life, but He will use it so that you come out of it SURE of His presence and love and stronger for the test!

Thanks for reading. Give me your ‘few words’ about where you’re at today with God’s parenting of you in your life. I’d love to share this quiet day with you.

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SharingThursday’s Blessings on Saturday| A Friend’s Heart.


On Thursday I started posting my Let My Words Be Few Thursday posts again. After the 31 Day Writes challenge ended I really thought I was going to fall into a writers rut, or just not want to write for the daily battle to wordsmith. A challenge I chose and one I didn’t realize would impact my desire to write in quite this way. I guess Nester knows exactly what the challenge does to writers and why she puts it out there every year!

Anyway, back to Thursday. I encouraged you all, my friendly readers, to join me in the theme; not as a link-up just yet, but in the comments. I do it this way because as the intro page will tell you, I didn’t have much success, 3 years ago, with the link-up.

I really started FWT to get closer to God in a quiet creative way. Saying and putting my faith out there, to you sweet reader, in the quickest, most profound way possible. And I wanted to inspire others and have them participate.

I have ALWAYS wanted to be one of those writers who “said” very little while rocking your thought processes. You know, the quiet write that everyone quotes!

That was not meant to be, and it may very well be exactly the same this time.

But I am not the same. I am vastly different today. Yet I still want to have these Thursdays be a designated quiet reflection and writing (creative time) with God. For me. And for you, if you’d like to join me.

Thank goodness that I am over that selfish desire to be recognized in that way. Now I just want to be able to get you a look at a piece of my relationship with God in a short, concise, profound manner that anyone with a moment of time has the time to read. I want my relationship with God to shine so brightly in your mind throughout your day that it leads you to your own, personal quiet time with Him. I want you to see God. Want God. And to know that He sees YOU and He wants YOU.

So I promised to post one of your comments each week on the weekend, or as soon thereafter as possible! And here we are, early Saturday morning and I have the urge to write!

[I really thought that the challenge in October was going to hinder my writing process. I guess not! =)]

This is a comment,from a dear friend, with the picture she used to illustrate where she was right then, to my FWT post. She’s going through a hard time, family things, and her post was just so poignant and touched me deeply. It, and what she’s going through, led me to a whole day of prayer [and calling my prayer partners to prayer] for her, her family and a community in crisis. So without further delay …

“Be still, and know that I AM God”….a very short command, but one whose meaning leaves me baffled and feeling rather “un-normal”… on a daily basis. Quieting the noise around me, and stilling my mind, is more often than not, a failed attempt,…failed. The longer and harder I try, the quicker “being still”…leaves me. That photo, bowed down, in complete submission, is where I want to be, for to me, it is in that moment, that physical, spiritual and mental state of being, is where God is, waiting for me. I close my eyes and see the entire dance, the dance I preform for my King, movement, twirling, spinning…but always in motion..it is at the end, bowed down, that I know my King awaits to speak to me, to have fellowship with me, to lavish me with His love and Holy Presence… and I can’t get there. Music stops, movement stops, and my mind rushes in. I don’t want to dance anymore, I want to get right to the end …I want to get so lost in Him that I only hear Him, feel Him, see Him, ..Lord, I just want You. God, are You there? Do You hear me?
My world is a mess, I need a rest, and I can’t find my way to Him….

Psalm 95:6 NIV Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;

Psalm 95:6
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;

My friend and I talked and prayed after I read this and she’s feeling better. Still pressing in to God. I just loved that she felt free to express her faith, her longing, right here in this place.

I do hope this moved you to press in to God and express to Him your desire to be in His presence today.

God Bless. Thanks for reading.

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