Monday, September 14, 2015

Fear is a feeling...

Fear is a feeling and feelings can fail us. I don't know who said that, but I've always liked it and I need to remind myself of it often.

For instance, I haven't written in this space in a very long time.
Today's post on fear is related, at least in part, to that absence.

I've been rolling around these words - what exactly to say and how to say them - for quite some time.

I've composed this post in my head more times than I can count and then promptly lost it because I didn't actually write any of it.

In fact, I've mentally written countless posts since my last actual post, but many of them went unpublished out of FEAR.

I don't want to be a person who lives in fear, acts out of fear, or is thought of as fearful.  I even fear what other people think of me {see what I did there?!}.

It isn't quite Fall yet, but I have to tell you, I feel YEARS removed from the person that I was just 4 short months ago.  This summer was a doozy for me, let me tell you!

For a long time, I've been struggling with my priorities.  I have grown really tired of feeling like too many balls were in the air and that I was destined to drop them ALL at any moment.
It was really weighing on me that my family seemed to get less than my best, consistently.

Last spring, I was praying and praying hard over a certain issue that I just couldn't shake.  I still can't shake it and it's still of the utmost importance to me, but I won't send much time on it tonight - it will have to be a post for another day.  Basically, it's that I feel God has called me to home school my kids.  My husband adamantly disagrees with me at this point and my kids are still in public school. To this day, I still don't believe that God brought me to this decision only to have it cause a conflict in my marriage. So I wait...

One day when I was really frustrated, I remember telling a friend from church, "please don't tell me to pray about it! I can't pray about it any more than I already do and I can't imagine ever praying more about any subject than I have about this one!"

I should've known when I uttered those words that I would shortly be proven wrong.

Over the summer, my prayer life completely changed.  Part of my prayer about homeschooling was that I was being best wife and mother that I could be. That prayer pulled me into a journey over another area of my life and it all came to a head in the first half of August.

While I can't give specific details about it yet, my decision is a big one. It will affect my family, positively, but it will affect some others as well and, my fear is, they will not view it positively.

It's a funny thing about fear, when you realize you are only doing something {or NOT} strictly out of fear, it tends to rock your world a little.  And in my case, it wasn't just fear that kept me doing this, it was a sense of obligation, responsibility, and in some ways selfishness or pride.  The sad truth is, the biggest losers of all in this equation were my family and I lament that fact that it took me so long to see the answer.

I do have responsibilities in this area of my life and in order to complete them, I have to wait to carry out the changes my decision brings.

The last few months and my prayer journey over the summer taught me so much:

  • God definitely has a sense of humor and He will make you eat your words!
  • It IS possible to do a complete 180 degree turn on something and feel completely at peace with it.
  • Fear is a powerful thing with powerful roots: sometimes PRIDE is the root, sometimes a lack of FAITH or TRUST in God is the root. Sometimes it's just trepidation about the unknown. But the reality for me has been that FEAR of giving up this one part of my life, may have kept me from experiencing His blessings for me and my family.
  • I have never given an issue to God the way I gave this one to Him.  Never brought Him something EVERY. SINGLE. DAY with a pure heart and true desire to do His will.  I thought I had, but until now I have never experienced the peace I felt after fervent and consistent prayers and one very tough final decision. 
  • Grace covers so much.  More and more I realize the need for more grace in our world.

This will all make more sense in the coming months when I can give more details about the changes I'm making and the calls I'm answering, but for now my prayer is this (and I pray it often!):

Lord, give me grace!
Grace to accept who you've made me.
To accept that who you've made me, may not be who I was or who I thought I was supposed to be.
Give me grace to merge those two things into one.
Grace to accept your Divine plan for my life.

Grace to give freely to others even when they don't deserve it.
Remind me that your Grace was so freely given to me in my extreme lack of deserving.

Give me grace to love those who will not understand my recent decisions or will see them as selfish.
I pray that my heart to serve You and your purpose for my life will be seen in my daily living.

I also pray for grace in the midst of daily struggles that I don't feel equipped to handle, Lord. I know you must be planning something awesome because there is no way I can do this on my own!



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