2018 was packed with surprising challenges. I witnessed multiple miracles in the face of difficult hurdles designed to limber up our sometime tired brains and emotional stamina. We made it another year armed with the ability to peer through a curtain of despair and see the bright lights of hopefulness and optimism that steady our balance. Each morning I wake up thinking, “Well, I’m still here. Can’t wait to see who I’m going to meet today…what I’m going to get to do today. Where I’m going today. I think that sense of freedom is the key that opens numerous doors to places I never dreamed existed.
God put theses thoughts on my heart this morning. It was about Job. One of the first things, because of Job’s faith in God’s protection and sovereignty (ruler of all things – never frustrated or at a loss). In the face of Satan’s challenge that he could cause Job to abandon his Faith, God allowed Satan to attack Job, but not his spirit.
This is the part that brought you, me, and His faithful servants. “The things I feared the most are the thing that came upon me…”. I enjoy writing my thoughts because I don’t always recall everything I hear in the night.
I believe we point Satan to our vulnerable spots through the entrance way to fear and dread. We get to say, I knew, I knew it all the time!” As though that’s a sign of knowing the unknowable.
I have to catch myself in the act of partnering with Satan. He, too has a powerful talent of influence. The good part is catching these thoughts in mid air allowing blockages of pain and suffering. That’s how we grow along our Spiritual walk.
I urge you to purposefully defeat doubt when it visits. You don’t have to offer a comfortable seat for it to lounge around on. That’s when miracles materialize.
Catch YOURSELF playing an active role in chaos making. Replace negative thoughts with hope-fill expectancies.
If Job did, so do you. Speak an authentic positive word to someone today. Hear it when it returns to you.
If you are in pain or spooked by dread, ask God to help you hear His directions. Learn the lessons your current state is teaching. Stop beating yourself up so much. Breath as you let go as you are able.
Enjoy the journey even when it is scary sometimes.
I noticed in most testimonies I hear in churches, rehab facilities, or support group meetings, especially when some form of addictive behavior is reigns, the speaker describes his/her out of control survival experience. Ingredients include levels of pain, anxiety, remorse, anger, aloneness, fear, etc until the point of a surrendering breakthrough.
I thought about what happens in an oven turned up to a radiant intense level of 425 to broil degrees.
The ingredients undergoes a complex process of chemical and physical reactions which transform the dish from goo into light, fluffy delightfulness like a cake or converts raw meat, poultry, or seafood into editable nourishing substances.
Disappointment at 250 degrees could turn up the heat to broiling anger causing mental, physical, emotional or even spiritual burnout. Resistance sprinkled with fear of unknown and vivid negative imagination can convert to surrender moving onto God’s plan. The secret is the hot heat is part of the process
I’m learning how to surrender my ego driven will earlier. Change is becoming less intense and scary. Favorable outcomes are more frequent and joyful.
That’s not to say This awareness exempts me from terror like boogiemen/women/situations, but they appear less frequently for shorter periods of time.
Just thinking out loud…
Are you Prepared
What if God answered all your prayers when and how you wanted, would you be ready? I grew up hearing God would make a way out of no way, what does that mean in real time? But when nothing seems to be happening, I heard He may not come when you want Him, but He’s always on time. Usually, prayers, especially the ones dripping with urgency means “Now,” do it now Lord… Over the years, my insights have been intensified by threats of inconveniencing illnesses. When I underwent a brain aneurysm in 2011, even though I didn’t know what was happening at the time, my prayer was Not now Lord, I’m too busy…besides, I don’t believe in getting sick. It came anyway, I didn’t die, in fact, my brain seems more positively observant and responsive after dumping out mounds of negative assessments of reality. After nearly fifty years in the world of work, I was entering the world of retirement armed with a mental blank sheet of purpose. It occurred to me our prayers to God might be missing some important requests, like when Jesus asked for the removal of “this cup” (death at the cross or my ego) and cancelled out the prayer with, Your will be done (something greater than my fear driven imagination of loss).
If God answered your prayer according to your specifications, what would it be like? What would you do next? I see people be visibly grateful for answered prayer, but only until the next appearance of struggle mentally, financially, emotionally, or spiritually. Personally, I was grateful my mind was working well until the grip of fear surfaced at my annual physical check-up and my imagination said, Uh Oh, this is the big one, they are going to find something for me to be worried about. Where had my faith-driven resolve gone?
I wonder about all the God-praying people asking for physical and mental deliverance; financial hope; ceasefire peace for family, friends and perceived foe; self-acceptance and love. Are you prepared if God says Okay? Will you be able adapt with the reduction of pressure and tension or will new pressures arise and are you equipped to surrender old fear-base anticipations? I’m thinking of lottery winners who wind up filing for bankruptcy, fearing the unknown dynamics of change, or even the arrival of new anxieties without the familiar fight. I’m not a pessimist, but I have learned resolutions require readjustments.
I remember, as a child, hearing the grown folk talk about the good days when… Today, myself included, reminisce about when life was simpler based on current affairs. “Children should be seen and not heard” was a subtle reminder to us kids to only speak when spoken to.
In other words, stay silent; when I want your opinion, I will ask for it… Today, everyone can have an opinion. The only problem, this newfound freedom swelled the expected acceptable behavior into out of control dynamic unpredictability. I remember one day when my 30-year-old Uncle, under the influence of alcohol, answered my Grandmother’s probe, “What’s gotten in to you boy?!!”, with a foulmouthed response. Her action taught us wide-eyed onlookers about what happens when you disrespect Mama or for that matter any authoritative adult. Today, young or old have the power to change the state of dialogues.
What’s been amazing to me today is how it feels like anything goes. I watch elementary school yard bad behavior insult, hurt, belittle, mentally and emotionally damage each other without regard for consequences, if any. Not just on television news reports about educated, wealthy, people in power, but in local one-on-one conversations amid advocating for the good of a cause or position.
I believe, the good old days will resurface with more love and less apathy laced with a mixture of forward-thinking, middle-of-the-road objectives sprinkled with civility and respect. I don’t think we can continue, as is, and produce the good for all. We don’t have to be mean and insensitive to each other. Power and money cannot resolve our differences and approaches to life. Call me a dreamer, nevertheless, I know the logic and practical thinkers are equally crucial.
At two weeks old, the doctor told my parents I had to undergo life threatening surgery. I Imagine it was more traumatic for them than I who had no reference point for danger. Since then I had no lasting memory of hospital stays outside of birthing three children until 2011 in Santa Barbara, California. It was a brain aneurysm, but still I saw no cause for worry. I didn’t feel any pain except for a little annoying headache. Nothing I couldn’t handle. It must have been my facial expressions that caused my two classmates to call 911. “You are very lucky young lady, if you waited any longer, you’d now be dead,” the grave-looking surgeon reported. Still, I concluded, It ain’t that serious… Recently, I felt a throbbing piercing pain in my Achilles. I couldn’t walk without a delayed limp. It had my full attention… That’s when I came face-to-face with all my “all you have do” theories. None of them relieved the pain. It didn’t care what I said was more important. It didn’t care about all my near misses with disasters. It didn’t care about all my positive thinking practices nor mind over matter conclusions. This must be the big one, I’m going to die. Mentally and emotionally preparing for my farewell, I notice the pain subsiding as I got up from the death bed heading to the bathroom. Hum, I might live through this previously unbearable dilemma. I think I was making matters worse by concentrating on the demise of my “Will” as opposed to honoring the pain and it’s warnings to lighten up and slow down. My son described it this way. “Think of the difference between blowing on a hot drink to cool it down blowing on a dying fire to increase the flames.”
Hum. I learned my attitudes, practices, and theories about life weren’t wrong, but surrender is part of the process. Stop stoking the fire and let it burn out.
I was piling mountains of anger, irritation , and disappointment on my hot embers of anxiety and building forest fires, instead of trusting the healing process with a gentle blow of rest and patience. I’m not saying life’s disturbances will simply disappear, but you can save a lot of wear and tear on your mind and body…