Fear

Fear had been telling me what to do. It kept me standing in my own little safety zone, never allowing me to step out into the unknown. Fear would tell me that out in the unknown there is quite possibly pain, rejection, hurt, embarrassment and who knows what else. Fear fed me lies and kept me afraid and staying exactly where I was in my safety zone.

I heard someone say that you need to chase down your fears and at first I thought that it just sounded crazy. Why would I want to run after the things that make me afraid? And then it got me to thinking; fear is not from God so it just may be the enemy. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44) and he feeds me lies and keeps me in a state of fear and that fear stands in the way of me stepping into the things that God has for me. It keeps me from Gods ultimate plan for my life.

Last year we entered into the world of Foster Care and became Foster parents. Fear had held me back before, feeding me lies of it is going to be hard to get registered, it will be too hurtful to see what the children have gone through, it will be too hard to let go, too hard to love them as your own. The enemy had me right where he wanted me, staying right where I was and doing nothing at all to love the least of these. But we felt the fear and did it anyway.

Fear is still a part of my life but I am learning not to let it tell me what to do anymore. I am chasing down my fears, stepping into the things that make me afraid, and it is there that I learn to overcome fear.

Stepping out and facing your fear leads to intimacy with the Lord, another thing that the enemy tries to keep you from. That is where we need God the most; we lean on Him the most, listen to Him the most, trust Him the most. All of these things create a stronger connection with the Lord. The Holy Spirit comes and fills us with His power and courage to do the things that make us afraid.

What could happen if regular people like you and me got filled with God’s Spirit and carried His power and courage? The world around us couldn’t help but be impacted and changed for the better. What if we all felt the fear and did the brave and courageous things anyway?

I want to encourage you with this verse—Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Hold onto this verse and breathe in the courage, let it soak into your spirit and let it rise within your heart and then chase down your fears one by one.

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Hang in there warriors

I recently shared with a dear friend of mine my feelings of weariness. She began to pray and interceed for me and she sent me these beautiful words. They encouraged me so much that I had to share them with you…

…She is weary, weary of body, weary of spirit and weary of heart. She is weary not from corporate battles or legal wrangles, she is not weary from pursuing her right in life, or adding to her career. Her weariness does not come from over exertion in pursuit of a firm body or from pursuing her own lifestyle goals.

Her wariness comes from the front line battle; she is a weary warrior, a warrior on the front line. My friend stands with a directive from the King, her armour on, her sword at the ready, her stance defensive and…. she does the washing, cooks dinner and loves the little people God has brought into her life.

To all appearances my friend looks like the mother of young children, but in reality, God’s Supernatural Reality, she is a destiny bender, a generation changer and one of the scariest warriors the enemy has every faced.

She is a mum.

And with every act of kindness when she is overwhelmed, and far beyond herself, she brakes enemy strong holds. With every deep breath, followed by a word of wisdom supplied by Grace she is shaping and moulding the next dynamic generation of Gods Kingdom people. With every sacrifice of self, she robs the enemy of what he wants most – hurt, alone and damaged children.

She is laying down of her own life, for her children. She gives up so much, so much of herself, her needs, her wants, her time, her energy and she does this to impact tomorrow, and SHE IS impacting tomorrow beyond even what she is aware of. Her daily tasks are having eternal consequences with heavenly rewards.

Hang in there my warrior friend, your story has not stalled, it is not lost amongst the piles of dishes and baskets of dirty laundry. In fact you are at the climax of your story, the part where everything matters most! You are in the battle, battle weary but not overcome, tired but not defeated, low but victorious….{written by Sian Birch}

Hang in there warriors, you will be victorious!

Finding rest and strength

I am feeling very weary at the moment. As a mother of four young children I guess that is to be expected! But I think that my weariness is much more than just feeling tired. I need to find rest and by rest I do not just mean that I need more sleep but I need to come to a place of rest in my spirit.

My season shifted at the beginning of the year. I felt like my previous season was interrupted. I was going one way and then all of a sudden I find myself in a completely different place. My interruption was a good interruption but what I am finding difficult is that I am in a totally different place to where I thought I was going to be.

I am trying to live like I am still in my previous season and it is making me grow weary. I found that I was striving to keep up. I was comparing and measuring myself to a benchmark that I am just not going to achieve right now. My season has changed and so now my perspective of myself and where I am needs to change too.

In order to find the peace and rest in my spirit that I am looking for I need to understand the season that I am in right now. I have to understand that I cannot measure myself against the work that I produced in my previous season. I have to stop striving and stop comparing.

I have to accept the time and the place that I am in. God has given me the grace to walk this season and I need to choose to not worry about the things that I may have walked away from or worry about the things to come. God is faithful and all that He has for me will come all in His perfect timing.

There is beauty in each and every season so I am trying to embrace the place that I am in right now until the shift to the new season comes.

If my story speaks to you, if you too are struggling with feeling weary then I pray that you will find strength and rest in the Lord. That you will gain clarity in your spirit for the season that you are in and if you are carrying any burdens that do not belong to you that they will fall from your shoulders. I speak life, courage and hope in to you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Comparison

Recently I was experiencing a lack of joy in a relationship. It occurred to me that I had let unhealthy thoughts creep in to my mind once again. Comparison being the number one unhealthy thought. Just when I think I have the whole comparing thing nailed on the head, it comes back around again.

I was comparing myself to someone else. The way I looked, my home, my family, my gifts, my abilities. I was putting myself down, having a little pitty party as to why I did not have the things or gifts and abilities that they did. Comparison is the thief of joy.

I was focusing on what I did not have instead of what I do have. In that moment of me comparing myself to someone else I had believed that God had cheated me. That somehow God had missed giving me something special when He created me and instead He gave it to somebody else. Now I would never say that about God but when I compare myself to others that is what I am doing.

I find that comparison comes from insecurity in my own life. As soon as I start comparing myself to someone else I have to stop and realise that love needs to happen right there. To let God come into that part of me where I am really struggling or feeling inadequate and love me there. That I have to recognise that insecurity and invite God in to it and ask Him why I am struggling so much with it and how can I fix it.

Comparison is a waste of my time. The Lord really encouraged me to stop looking at other people and just focus on myself. There may always be someone in the world who is better than me at things I try and do… but I am the only me there is and God does not make mistakes and He did not forget to give me anything that I need. My identity and my value are that I am a daughter of God, pure and simple. That is what defines me; not what I think of myself or what the world may see me as but what God thinks.

So I am trying my hardest to stop comparing myself to others. I am opening my heart up to the Lord and letting His love come in and heal the hurting places inside of me and everyday I am reminding myself that I am a daughter of God and I am valuable in His eyes. I encourage you to do the same.

With a friend you can face the worst

9-10 It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough!

11 Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone, you shiver all night.

12 By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (The Message)

I love the verse “With a friend you can face the worst” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). We are not meant to do life alone. Often times when life becomes difficult, when we become mad or sad, we draw away to be by ourselves. We shut the door on life and on people but what we should be doing is opening up to the people who we call our covenant friends and face “the worst” together.

A covenant friend is someone you have a close bond with. It doesn’t mean that we are going to do everything together, but we are going to really know each other. We are building intimacy together, trust, a safe haven and doing life like a family.

Sometimes it is hard to open up and to admit to somebody else that you have needs and that you are facing “the worst”; that you have a need for somebody to listen to you, to give you advice and direction and to walk with you through tough emotions and circumstances. It is hard to open up because you think to yourself are my needs too big for you and will my needs be met? If I have needs are you going to pull away from me because now I am in a needy season and that is too much for you to handle.

Sharing with someone will not necessarily fix the problem you are facing but it will open you up and allow you to be vulnerable and let people in to see the real you. It will help to lift the burden you feel and help you to realise that you are not alone.

If we want to have safe covenant relationships we have to be that person first. You need to be the safe person that when your friend shares with you they know that you are not going to break their confidence. They know that you will walk through the good times and the bad times with them and that you will not abandon them when things get tough.

12 By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.

I encourage you to build a strong community around you. Find your people, your tribe your covenant friends. People with whom you can take a risk with, be vulnerable with and do life with. Be that friend for others that you wish you had.