Archive for June 2015

The Intruder   1 comment

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He’s always been there.  As long as I can remember, I could feel him.  His overshadowing presence was familiar even in the womb.  As God was knitting me together, in all wonder, he was still there.  Those around me invited him, and I welcomed the familiarity.  His services served me well, or so I thought.  I was always prepared for the worst, and when it came I was ready.   Fear.  There were times he would turn on me, taunting me, tormenting me.  I would cry out for my Daddy God to tell him to leave me alone, and he always did . . . until the knock on the door came, and I was convinced that a little worry couldn’t hurt, and I opened the door.

The what ifs, the incessant planning, all quality time spent with this life long friend with terrible motives.  Nightmares, self-protection, control . . . all unwelcome gifts from him.  When life looked like the nightmares, it reiterated my need for his presence.  So I could be prepared, ready.  As I grew, his schemes became more obvious.  I learned I could live without him. I kicked him out of my life.  There were ways he had trained me:  Over-planning, incessant control, worry, all the worry, having to know everything I could about every situation to prevent any surprises.  Slowly, those things dropped away.

Then it happened.  Something I never imagined, something I wasn’t prepared for.  A hurt that wounded me in a way that I’ve never felt before.   A loneliness I wasn’t prepared for.  He came knocking, my narcissistic friend.  My Daddy God was enough for me, yet, for some reason, this familiar friend seemed so welcome.  So familiar.  The occasional indulgence wouldn’t hurt, but one visit and he was leaving his toothbrush in my bathroom.   Like an angry lover, abusive mate, I couldn’t satisfy him.  The incessant worry, the inability to silence his voice.  The nagging, perpetual, unrelenting.  Yet, so familiar.  He’ll always keep me prepared, protected, and in my place.  I didn’t realize that this is how I used him.  But it was a high price to pay.  Interfering with new experiences, new friendships, new challenges.

One greater than him wouldn’t stand it.  My Daddy God, who never left me,  would not tolerate such abuse. He had always been a greater friend than this other that hid in shadows.  His love made him disappear.  Yet when I lost sight of my Daddy’s love for me, there he was lurking.  And I tolerated him.  He wasn’t invited, but I didn’t fight to push him out the door.

One night strangled by the death grip of fear . . . fear of failure . . . fear of rejection . . . fear of not being enough or doing enough . . . fear of losing . . . fear of disappointing . . . I had enough.  Kicked out, clothes on the lawn, locks changed.  ENOUGH.  I thought that would be it . . . yet then came the knock.  I refused.  Not a worry, not a single replay of past situations or contemplation of threats to come.  So it grew louder.  Now on the windows, clanging.  Like a protagonist that was defeated, yet only to rise again when you aren’t looking . . . needing a final blow of determination.

All noise.  No power.  He was defeated two thousand years ago.  His power was always limited by the love of a real God that had been welcomed into my heart so many years ago.  God’s love so real, casting out fear. I’m not sure why worry is such temptation.  There are certainly more enjoyable addictions to have.  Yet it served it’s purpose as an addiction.  I may always have to battle the temptation to give in to fear, to a certain extent.  Right now, I have my 3 day chip.  Worry, control and excessive planning are old habits . . . habits being broken.  But if I fail, I don’t need to fear.  God’s grace has already covered the moments that are shadowed by doubt.  And my belief in His love for me is stronger than any doubt in my ability or worthiness.

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

1 John 4:18  “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

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I would love to hear from you!  Have you struggled with fear, worry or doubt?   Have you overcome it, if so, how?  How do you handle it when fear pushes it’s way in?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences and say a prayer for you!

photo courtesy of http://widehdwalls.com

Posted June 24, 2015 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

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World Changer?   Leave a comment

changing-the-world

Are you a world changer?  Am I?

I always had lofty aspirations to be a glowing light in this world.  Be a missionary, teach to crowds, see people’s lives changed.  Growing up in an evangelical church, this meant one thing, full-time ministry.  Four years at Bible College, and I was equipped to change the world!  What was my first ministry job after graduating?  Let me give you a hint, it involved changing diapers . . . not baby diapers.  Pretty glorious and world-changing, right?  I had a full time position at a ministry that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.  My internships and summer jobs had involved fun, creative things like Children’s ministry, Youth ministry, Theater Arts, camp recreation  . . . caring for the helpless wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, unless of course, it was with obscure tribe on the other side of the world!  So what am I doing now?  I’m working at a company for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  I’ve involved other ministries in between, including some full-time ministry . . . which was the original goal in my quest to change the world.  But now, it seems, I’m back where I started.   Before you tell me what a wonderful person I am for serving selflessly, you need to know that I’m not longer doing direct care.  I do billing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE my job.  I have a flexible schedule, I love the stability and the consistency, and I’m always able to find something that challenges me.  But on the world-changing scale, it seems to rate pretty low on effectiveness.

I’ve been so blessed by my job, that I didn’t realize that I had bought into a lie that had been nagging me underneath the surface.   What lie was that?  That I wasn’t making a difference.  I didn’t even realize it until a someone made an off-handed comment about my job that I took WAY to personally.  I interpreted through the lens of the lie that I’m not making a difference.  It’s not full-time ministry, it’s not even working with people directly . . . it’s billing.  I KNOW I’m where God has me, but where is my impact?  I was discussing with a friend tonight, my struggle with the questions of my influence on the world around me:   Have I done enough . . . am I doing enough . . . do I make a difference?  I didn’t get to finish my sentence when she exclaimed, “You are a world changer!  Your friendship changed my life!”.  Thankfully,  she meant in a positive way, but there’s a strong possibility that there are people I’ve impacted negatively as well.  No matter what our vocation is, we are changing the world of the people around us every day, in small ways and sometimes in big ways.  If you think you aren’t changing your world, then you’ve bought into the same lie.  If you have questioned whether you are a world changer, the answer is yes.  But that’s not the important question.  The important question is HOW are you changing your world?

I’ve asked myself this question.  How am I changing my world?

Am I having the most impact that I can have in this season, in my situation?  yes . . . and no.

Am I changing the world for the better?  yes . . . and no.

I am changing the world daily . . . and so are you.  I wish I could say that my impact was always optimal and positive, but it just isn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I can look at my life, and see how I’ve influenced and blessed people in different ways.  I know that I’m valuable because I’m valuable to Christ, but I also have a sense that I am valuable to others as well.  But then there are other moments, other relationships . . . the ones where I hurt someone, or was impatient or inconsiderate.  I changed the world, but instead of shining a light, I made it a little dimmer.  Thank God for His grace!  I’ve seen Him redeem relationships that were overwhelmingly dark and made them shine brightly.

Lately there are two things that have most greatly effected my impact, that influenced what kind of World Changer I am.

Offense:  There is nothing that shuts of impact and relationship like being offended.  If you have a relationship that leaves a bad taste in your mouth or seems volatile,  chances are that offense is at the root.  Are you praying for open doors?  For chances to be a world changer?  If there is offense in your life, then it will slam them shut.  (Proverbs 18:19: A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle. )   Deal with the offense in your life . . . unforgiveness, bitterness, judgments, critical attitudes and see how it changes the world around you.

Fear:  I believe fear is the thing that holds us back from making a larger impact on those around us.  Fear of rejection and fear of failure are at the top of the list.  How many times have you failed to step out into something because of fear . . . or maybe stepped out, but didn’t give it everything you had?  For me, it’s countless times . . . many times I’ve stepped out, but carried fear with me.  It hindered my impact.

What is the biggest way to kick fear and offense in the teeth and be the World Changer you were designed to be?

1 John 4:18 tell us “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“.  Walk in love?  Can it really be that simple.  I’m becoming more and more convinced that it is.  If you walk and Christ’s love, understanding who He’s created you to be, there nothing to fear.  If you walk in love towards others, there will be no room for offense.   I’m not saying that it won’t be a process.  Walking in love is a daily choice.  Any moment you fail to walk in love, you can choose love in the very next moment.

I love how 1 Corinthians 13 breaks it down for us.  It changes the focus.  It doesn’t matter what gifts you have or what you can do, if you aren’t living in the reality of God’s love, you aren’t changing the world the way God has called you to.

13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of [c]prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [d]became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror [e]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the [f]greatest of these is love.

So, what kind of World Changer are you?

Posted June 21, 2015 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

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