For many years, I have dealt with fear. No, not the fear to sleep in the dark or paranoia, but fear of failure and the unknown — fear of taking risks when I don’t have or am uncertain of all the details. It’s like I’ve always needed someone’s approval or a special guide to hold my hand through the process. “I can’t” was my response to avoid messing up and to avoid any ridicule for not getting something right. As I’ve gotten older, I am analytical, weighing all options, often to a fault. Paralyzed. Stuck in limbo. WHICH WAY SHOULD I GO?
What’s wrong with choosing something and figuring out later that I went the wrong way? EVERYTHING!!! everything!!!
But not really — just like hitting a dead end or making a wrong turn, I can make a U-turn to the main road or the right direction. I CAN CHANGE MY MIND. I can reconnect with what works for me as I go in the right direction.
I often deduce problems with “No” or “not this, but that.” Yeah, Yeah, it sounds negative, but sometimes you have to clear the dust to get to the diamond in the rough!!! (Ha! I just rhymed. J) Weed through all the things that absolutely don’t work, are unstable, and are in the way, taking up space, until you uncover the beautiful, shiny, clear ROCK! It has weight and depth; and you can always enjoy its splendor.
But you have to press through the fear first — all the unknowns and all the “Nope, not that one.” You have to clear the dirt surrounding the jewel. Successful discoveries take trial and error and TIME. Celebrate all your effort. You are your best investment.
I would love to hear from you. What are you discovering about yourself? What have you tried that is working? What have you realized doesn’t work?
Your heart is searching and wondering when the moment will come. Your mind is trying to remain hopeful, but nothing is visible – no one in sight. You anxiously get to the point that your brain gets stuck, repeating when, where, how, and who will fill the details of love coming into your life.
You say that you’re optimistic without going overboard, but beneath all the smiles and positivity lays a deep-seated truth. You’re haunted by it without ever speaking it. You’re afraid that love will never come your way. You’ll never be in a relationship with “the one.”
The proof of this fear is in every tear that falls when infatuation isn’t reciprocated and full rejection brushes your shoulder or SLAPS you square in the face. WHAT THE HECK???!!!
Hurts, don’t it?
Yep, there it is. THE TRUTH!
This fear is a trick to get you operating in your own strength or lack thereof. Your own efforts (Colossians 2:8) to have or create (ehh emmm, MANIPULATE!) a romantic relationship would be the sum total of your anxieties and insecurities. You will operate from a point of weakness; and that’s not a good look. Seriously! You will look so desperate and unappealing (Proverbs 3:35) to a potential spouse. EPIC FAIL!!!
So let’s abandon that plan and yield to all that is sound, powerful and loving (2 Timothy 1:7). Be honest with yourself! In all of your searching, who exactly are you looking for? Who holds the full span of all that makes you happy? Let’s start there.
Our heavenly father promises an abundant life (John 10:10) and our heart’s desires if we delight in him (Psalm 37:4). We have to go to the source of love to have real fulfillment in our lives. IT IS HARD, since he’s not always handing out instant gratification. He’s not gonna give you something you’re not ready for, no matter how much YOU think YOU ARE. He’s not the father of the impatient but of the faithful (Psalm 31:23). That’s right — faith.
He’s always aiming to develop FAITH IN YOU and your love for him. If he’s going to send a spouse to you, He has to be a part of you AND this close, intimate relationship (Psalm 68:6). LOVE. GOD. FIRST! (Matthew 22:37-38) Be faithful to him FIRST (1 John 5:2). Give your heart with all sincerity to him FIRST (2 Thessalonians 3:5). Live by and trust his word FIRST (Proverbs 3:1-12).
Still there? I’m sorry if you’re not trying to hear me; I mean you no harm.
Ok. So while you and God have a thing going on, consider another person you need to consult while you’re waiting for love to come to you. You should love YOURSELF right after God and before you expect anyone else to. You can’t give, or receive, a love that you’re not used to (Matthew 22:39; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 4:16).
HOW ARE YOU TREATING YOURSELF? Self-hatred is not from Jesus, and neither are self-sabotage, lack of self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, etc. (Proverbs 23:7) You are supposed to be your biggest fan, not in a prideful, everyone-else-is-worthless-compared-to-me way (Romans 12:3). The love of God should extend to you loving yourself with kindness and grace, treating yourself with proper time and care (Psalm 139:14). We can often get so busy with caring for other people that our business and ultimately our health and well-being can be neglected (Ecclesiastes 8:5).
1 Corinthians 13 applies to self-love too. Think of a child crying when other kids don’t like her and behaving differently to fit in with them. Do you give yourself kindness and patience, or are you your worst critic and heckler? Are you able to love and believe in yourself, especially with Christ dwelling in your heart? His love doesn’t allow you to abandon yourself but celebrates you where you are (1 Corinthians 13:11). Self-love is always about celebrating you in balance with God’s love for you.
Make time for you and being in your headspace, whether at home or not. A sure sign of enjoying yourself is your ability to hang out with yourself AT HOME. It’s easy to be around others in a public place or at someone else at their house, but how long can you bask in your spot? It’s your retreat and sanctuary. Maximize the space and do you! Who’s going to stop you?
· Rest and veg in front the TV (I’m an expert at this!!!)
· Work around the house or on some new project (DIYs are so gratifying!)
· Plan your budget, family gathering, career or vacations
· Whatever else you want.
So when God finally adds another person to the celebration and balance of love, you can incorporate “the one” into an appropriate space among your relationships. All of the preparation of loving God and loving yourself can now be shared with building a courtship and ultimately a marriage. When you are able to check off the MARRIED status box, you’re already familiar with creating a home environment where you and “Boo” can escape and regroup from the outside world.
The Father’s delayed gratification is purposeful (Jeremiah 29:11). Enjoy the wait; the journey is scenic with blessings and lessons along the way!
Where are you in the process…Rejected? Loving God? Loving you? Or checking off that MARRIED status box? What would you keep about the journey, and what would you do differently? Can’t wait to hear you chime in.
"Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately the man was cured of his leprosy."
Today, I am thankful (with grateful tears) for God’s willingness to love me. He loves me unconditionally without my having be like anyone else. The idea that He is WILLING overwhelms me.
He WANTS to love me. He WANTS me to succeed and enjoy good things in my life. He is WILLING to hear the cries of my heart! He is WILLING and DESIRES a relationship with me.
And not just me, with all of us! So much, that he sent Jesus to be born into time and space on the earth. He was so WILLING that he lived and experienced life as we do, so he could relate to us. He WILLINGLY understands temptation and trial, pain and anguish, destruction and, temporarily, death.
For our sakes, He WILLINGLY endured the shame and devastation of the cross, processed through the tomb, and then resurrected, so we could understand the WILLING, GRACIOUS POWER that only comes from Him.
I am so grateful and humbled that God through Jesus Christ willingly loves a random person like me and went through such great lengths to show me. I love you Father and Friend!
I pray this Christmas and through the new year we celebrate His WILLINGNESS by intentionally and WILLINGLY loving those who are nearest and dearest to us.
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
#restinpeace #changeagent #rolemodel #iconicleader #onepersoncanmakeadifference
It’s definitely the Christmas season, and I’ve heard several stories of children making their wish list for Santa. None of these babies are over the age of 10, so they know nothing about working a job and properly managing a paycheck. But those details have not stopped them for making some major requests to Santa (aka the parentals). I’ve heard stuff like: a new Ford Mustang when I’m 21 or a substantial amount of cash. Ha!
I laugh at these bold, outrageous yet specific desires, but I can only take a step back and revisit my own, except my list is directed to Almighty God. He does have access to everything and everyone. I can ask Him for material things AND immaterial things. He controls it all.
My short list:
more opportunities to write professionally and a community of writers to glean from and grow with
more comfort and courage to be my sincere self despite the audience
more love, grace and intent in relationships
a tailor-made trip to Italy within the next 1-3 years
fit some consistent, active stress outlets into my schedule (walking/hiking)
Welp, there’s my short of it all… Whatchagot?! What’s bigger than you that God can provide in your life? He’s willing and able to do all; He loves you that much and more.
Hope you get more than what you want!
(And I would love to hear about it when it happens.)
Today, November 27th marks Frolic Finagle’s 1st Anniversary. It’s been one year since I ventured into cyberspace vulnerability. I consider this first year a baby step and celebrate it like I’ve climbed a mountain. I am happy and still excited about this decision. I also see potential for transparency and developing my voice. Frolicking as a blogger has proven to be a wonderful form of self-expression, while finagling myself away from saying nothing has been a serious faith walk. To God be the glory!
Many thanks to those of you who subscribe via tumblr or read via Facebook, and to anyone who has encouraged my efforts or offered constructive criticism. Your support is certainly appreciated; may it be returned to you beyond your greatest expectations.
Happy frolicking and successful finagling to you all and may God continue to keep us all as we follow His favorable faith!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
Today, the sermon was about faith taking risks, the stuff I approach with great caution. And all I could do was think of the following scripture:
Philippians 4:6 ~ Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God.
I have yet to conquer being prone to anxiety, so I wonder if God would get annoyed at how often I’d pray at the every instance of fear, doubt, worry, vulnerability, discomfort, and whatever else falls under the anxiety umbrella. That’s a lot of praying on my part, but I pray to be mindful of approaching Him first at every turn.
I started off the year somewhat celebrating being uncomfortable anticipating the change and growth this year would bring. I honestly feel like I still have a long way to go. Ha! I have learned more that His grace is my only constant, even if it seems distant. It’s probably what He wanted me to learn anyway…. that I die to the process and focus on grace. If so, may I rest in peace.
Hmph bull’s eye!
I am a firm believer in faith, yet so many times it’s like I get amnesia on what having faith really means. Well, this weekend’s sermonic reminder came from the story of Jesus walking on water and bidding Peter to come (found in Matthew 14). Boyyyyy, did I hate feeling like Peter in this story!!!
In the retelling of this story, my pastor equated the boat to one’s normal set of resources. When approaching a new God-given instruction, one can often presumably attempt to rely on their current relationships with family and friends, job, financial status, professional network, location, etc., to accomplish God’s will. However, the Father’s will often exceeds our reach, which totally makes sense since we need FAITH to progress.
How often do we hear God’s voice for the “what” but never hear him offer the how? So we try to come up with our plan to get the task done. HA! EPIC FAIL! God shuts all of our typical doors to learn the real lesson of trusting him outside of our norm. This part, I will admit, drives me crazy, but I understand it’s necessary to acknowledge Him in ALL of my ways.
Confession of the day!!! I get scared that I’ll get “it” wrong. I’ll analyze myself into what I think or analyze myself away from walking in faith. And then FEAR sets in. STUPID ME!
But God wasn’t going to let me off that easily in this sermon. My pastor shared a deeper meaning to the phrase “Be not afraid.” When Jesus says this to Peter, what He’s really saying translates as (get this) “DO NOT AVOID THIS MOMENT.”
Really, God? Are you kidding me?
But what if I get this wrong? What if I make the wrong step? What if “not avoiding” this lands me dead somewhere??? I’m horrified, God. There has to be a better way than walking on water, than doing this thing that is sooo far out of my comfort zone and my normal way of thinking or seeing things. Isn’t there something easier than this?
At this point, I’m ready to sit in a pile of my tears because trusting God always means denying what I think or how I feel. Trusting God transcends my mentality and expectations. His way is truth AND LIFE. My way just keeps me going in circles with no advancement.
This sounds chaotic, which brings me to the other sermon note that banged against my head: Faith moves in chaos. It doesn’t wait for the “perfect” time or the “right” moment. Faith acts on the word of God; it’s the supporting detail in the story. It’s a sign that I believe and accept what God said. Man, that blows me away. If I do nothing else, I will move like faith until the chaos is calmed.
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