"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cowardly Lion, Dear Angela, Verse & Tribute to a Courageous Lady

OK. So today has been one of those days. I really hate this battle in my mind. *sigh* So much for hearing me roar (see yesterday's post.) More like I'm the Cowardly Lion ... blah! I am so done with this. What was it that cured him? A new heart? Ah, I looked it up. Ha, ha....courage*.

1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

Makes sense.

Thankfully, I was cheered by Angela's post from this morning. I am so glad to know that I am normal in my struggles! Or, at least, I am not alone in them. Maybe Angela and I are weird together. ;-) Plus she wrote me a sweet follow-up comment that spoke exactly to what I'd been dealing with today. How does she do that? *cue spooky music* I want to record what she said here so I can keep it.

Susanne, I will tell you, this week my thought life was REALLY struggling. I realized today that I was not 'fasting from foreboding thoughts' It's a bible study that we have been working on since September. I have usually been very consistent with taking those negative, fearful thoughts captive, saying in my mind, sometimes outloud, "Lord, I'm fasting from these thoughts, they have no place in a child of Your's". It dawned on me this morning that I have become weak, lazy, not mindful on how important it is to NOT even start meditating for a few minutes any negativity! It creeps up REAL fast and takes a HOLD,right around your heart, your mind, your neck, your breath and sucks the living life out of ya!!
Sooooooooo..I'm back to working out my faith muscles and destroying all those arguments and pretensions that sets themselves up against the knowledge of God, and taking captive those thoughts and bringing them to the obedience of Christ Jesus!!
I praise God He was able to minister to you and touch your heart my beloved sister.

Angela is such a godsend! I can't believe I met her only about a month ago. God has really used her to speak to my heart the last few weeks! She is such an encourager. Plus I love her vlogs because her accent is cute!

I am excited about going to Damascus, but as I shared last night I am scared about leaving my family. Why can't I just trust God with them? My husband and I were walking around our neighborhood this evening and I told him, "I am a wimp! I wish I could be strong, but I am only a wimp!" However, I soon added, "....who can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Ah, thank you, Lord, for enabling me when I am weak.

Still, I am a fearful person. Why can I not trust? This reminds me of my childhood when I thought for sure my dad would forget to pick me up from daycare. For Pete's sake, he was the principal of the school, yet I cried thinking he'd just go home without me? Yikes!

On a whim just now I checked a blog that I added to my blogroll, but seldom read. I see that men normally write, but for some reason they had something posted by Lisa Robinson and I really liked what she had to say. Sort of. Actually some of it was tough, and I didn't like it much. But she left me with hope and with a reminder that without God, we have no hope. It's not like we can just walk away from Him and find something better. At the end, she included this verse and I really love it. For it is so true.

After some hard teachings, many of Jesus' followers left him, and John 6 records the following:

66From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

67"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.

68Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

Whom do we have in heaven or earth except Him?

* Speaking of courage, I wanted to mention that the NC State women's basketball coach, Kay Yow, lost her 22-year battle with breast cancer today. She was 66. From all I have heard or read about this lady, she was truly courageous and amazing in her fight and in her faith. Even the local weatherlady at 6 said she was a Carolina fan, but when she got to the station and heard Kay Yow had died, she went home and put on her red blazer. She said, "I'm a Carolina fan, but today we are backing the 'pack. I had on purple, but when I heard Kay Yow died, I went home and put on this red." She was tearing up. The Duke men's team had a game with Maryland and they had a moment of silence as they shared that someone so respected had passed on to the next life.

From this article.

Over the years, Yow never lost her folksy, easygoing manner and refused to dwell on her health issues, though they colored everything she did almost as much as basketball. Ultimately, her philosophy on both were the same.

``If you start to dwell on the wrong things, it'll take you down fast,'' Yow said in '07. ``Every morning, I wake up and the first thing I think of is I'm thankful. I'm thankful for another day.''

Thankful and courageous ... that's how I want to be.


Angela said...

First off I burst out laughing when you said I had an accent, LOL. I love it!! Yepper, Canadian EH?? lol, that's me.

Second, that is TOO cool that you would copy my whole comment back to you from the comment you left me because I was 'talkin' to God when I was typing it out, "Lord, I don't know if she comes back to read comments that I post back but I'm going to keep writing what's on my heart"..and you not only read it, but brought it here!! God is SO amazing..

Third: Keep on keeping on girl!! GET into the Lord's Word, soak it up, enhale it, breath it in! Satan is a roaring girl,,,but greater is He that is in you than Satan and his roar, his demons, principalities and cohorts that follow him! Ephesians 6:10-20, I think this is perfect for your journey, especiall verse 20 hit me big time about you! Your weak girl,,praise God! yes, praise God, for His grace is sufficient for you honey!! It will be HIS POWER, HIS GLORY, that will be working in, through, and around you. WHAT a testimony this IS and WILL be. You were the willing vessel, the one that said you would follow where He leads. If He brought you this far, don't you think He will bring you all the way beloved? Remember that devotional,,the door, tribulation, and the door triumph!! Ok,,I've rambled on long enough. lol. I'm going to miss you Susanne, I really am..I can't phone Damascus, I have a great plan for the States, not overseas,,lol. My prayers will always be with you..oh ya,,Joshua 1:9,,that is God tellin you girl for this journey!!

Nocturnal Queen said...

Yes, it was very sad about Kay Yow dying. I really hated to hear that.

As for courage, I don't care what the dictionary says. lol I heard it said once, and I agree, that real courage faces things in spite of fear. Is it truly courage if there's no fear present? Why would a person have to "muster up" their courage if fear wasn't a factor? Real courage puts fear in its place and faces the trial or the journey or whatever it may be.

Fear is a continuous struggle for me. Fear of failure mostly. I hesitate to step out for fear of failing or making a fool of myself or just getting nowhere.

I was washing my hands just a short while ago and this thought popped into my head, "When do I get to be me?" Followed by the thought, "When you choose to." I thought it could lead to a good poem possibly. But more than that, it made me think. Then I stopped thinking about it because.... you guessed it. Fear. *sigh*

Joni said...

Isn't fear so crippling? I struggle with it too. I agree with Niki - courage is not having no fear, but doing the deed IN SPITE of fear.

For me, I find that the areas where I struggle most with fear are areas where I realize I am not convinced of God's goodness. What I mean is, if I am fearful of loosing my house, then I am not trusting him to be good enough to take that situation and turn it around as a blessing. That I am more fearful of how painful the experience would be more than I am knowing that no matter what, he is good.

Susie, are you fearful that your family would be hurt and you wouldn't be there to help or save them? Or that you would be to far a way to come and support them? Is there an experience in your life that makes you feel like God can't be trusted to take care of your family?

I think you are working so hard at taking your thoughts captive. It IS a battle and it IS hard, but you are doing an amazing job of reminding yourself of his promises and his character! Being fearful again doesn't mean you've failed at trusting, rather it's another chance to show how you are trusting. ;)

Lastly, try this simple prayer:
Lord I repent for every place that I have allowed fear to reign in my life and where I have allowed fear to cause me to doubt your goodness. I renounce all fear and every place that fear has taken a hold in my life. Fear, you are the enemy of God and I count you as my enemy. Christ's perfect love casts out all fear, and I cast you out of my thoughts by the power of Jesus' blood which covers me. Lord I ask you to come and fill up the places in my life where fear has been. Protect me from the attacks of fear and remind me to continually consecrate (give) my fears to you.

Susie, I am praying for you today!

Susanne said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments! They made me cry! I am really a sap the last two days. Yesterday I was crying for Kay Yow and today my Michael getting hurt just made me weepy this evening. It's almost like relief tears tonight mingled with "I am going crazy!" and "SEE???? This is exactly what I fear while I'm gone?!" ones....ahhhhhhhh!

Joni, no, I can't recall God letting me down in this regard. I really wish I could trust His goodness. I don't know why I think He would send me 6,000 miles from home and THEN do something awful to my family while I am so far away. :-(

Niki, that's a great definition of courage. I totally agree. My pastor tells us often that fear is a normal emotion, but it's ACTING on that fear that is the problem. And that, I guess, is where courage comes in. I can either yield to my fear and let it cripple me OR I can choose to walk in faith and chase lions!

Ah, Angela reminded me of Joshua 1:9 so I just looked it up. How fitting!

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Thank you for the reminder, Angela! (And, yes, I find your accent cute. It's funny really because here most people think I have an accent so I was glad to tease you about that. :-))

Joni, thanks for your prayers and your challenging questions and thoughts! I love the prayer you included!! You are such a blessing!

Niki, I appreciate what you contributed as well. I pray you will find your courage to step out and do what God is putting in your heart to do.

Angela, yes, your comments were fitting and I SO greatly appreciated them! I'm glad you didn't mind that I put them in my post last night.

Thank you for your admonition of things to remember. I greatly appreciate wise counsel.

Again, thank you all! You really cheered me!

Joni said...

I was telling Mom about your trip to Damascus and how proud I was of you, and mentioned that you were fearful. She wanted to me to encourage you that she felt the same thing before her first mission trip. She was going to Jamaica and she says "I though I was going to pass out before I got on the plane." In addition to being fearful of traveling she also had a fear of flying! She also said that it was always her experience that once she actually GOT there, she felt a lot less anxious. :)

Anyway, I am praying for you every day!