Sunday, July 22, 2012

Afraid of Fear

I am afraid of fear.

Okay, I realize how contradicting that sounds, but really think about it. It makes sense does it not? Afraid of fear. We are constantly told not to be afraid, to buck up and get going. But the truth is fear is always around, is always there and it's something that I am afraid of.

I'm afraid that fear will cripple me, that it will keep me from doing the things God has called me to do. And then I realized that I constantly tell myself to not be afraid of fear, and what do I end up doing. Fearing.

I got a message from a man named Michael, who I met in Uganda last summer. This man, to me, was the epitome of fearless, he preached on the radio, he'd wake up in the morning and take the bota bota into the city and preach on the street corner, he sang worship songs to God when we were digging together. God taught me so much through this man. How to be fearless when it comes to living my life for God. His message came at a perfect time, a time when I was fearing where God was leading me, questioning Him if this is what He really wanted me to do, but I know it was my flesh telling me to run the other way, to hide behind the fear and tell myself there is no way I can do this. But then I got this message, this is what is said "God's grace will never let you down. No matter what it is, you will see God standing by your side. He cares for you, so be strong. (Isa 41:10)."

 So after reading the message I went and looked up the verse in my Bible and this is the verse "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not dismay for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." And then I laughed, seriously I laughed out loud, because God's timing is never too late and is always at the time when I think that I am losing it. With Him I have no reason to fear.

With Him everything happens perfectly and on His time, not my own. It was shortly after that message that I received my assignment for Tanzania, a new ministry partner, and my budget for the trip. God is pretty amazing. He will lead us through the valley of the shadows of darkness, but with Him we have nothing to be afraid of. Even the trivial things of the world are not scary with the Lord. It's pretty cool to be able to see that not only in my own life, but in the lives of others.

Now all my life I've told myself "don't be afraid." And it is only now that I'm realizing how stupid that is. Don't be afraid, is like saying, "don't move out of the way when someone tries to punch you" or "don't flinch at the heat oa a fire" or "don't blink." Don't be human. I'm afraid and you're afraid and we're all going to be afraid, because that's the point, it's bound to happen. What we should be telling ourselves is be afraid but do it anyway, live anyway. And know that God is there with us, guiding us my the right hand, keeping those things, that so easily make us scared, at bay.

Life does not play fair, it's tough and there are many things that are going to frighten us, but we can't let those things keep us from living the life that God has laid out for us. Yes challenge will come, whether that be leaving your friends and family to move away to a place God wants you, whether it comes with just accepting the fact that we are not perfect, whatever those things are, God will take care of us, He will never leave nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5).

"Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement... get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed" -Abraham Joshua Heschel. This is the way I want to live my life, radically amazed, not letting fear way me down. I no longer want to be afraid of fear. Things are going to frighten me, but the courage I have in Christ outweighs anything or anyone that tries to tear me down with fear. And in that I am fearless.

  Trying to live Fearless for God,

  HIS and yours,


Monday, July 2, 2012

What am I even doing?

To be honest it's been a rough couple of months of summer. I haven't been able to get a job, because at the time of applying for these jobs I wasn't going to be around for very long so no one wanted to higher me. I haven't got to spend as much time with people as I would have liked or hoped for. I miss a lot of people from school, I think it's because I won't be returning. And the one thing I was sure of, the only thing I've been sure of is now up in the air. 

It's hard to explain when people ask me what I'm feeling because I don't really know. I don't know how I feel, I don't know how I'm suppose to feel, and I don't know what I'm doing. Basically I just don't know. 

Somedays I just want to be out in the world traveling and learning and searching for what ever it is God is trying to teach me. And other days, most days, I sleep, or want to sleep all day because I can't seem to find or hear the answers or the path God wants me on right now. It's like there's a fork in the road and I'm staring at the sign post confused and frustrated not knowing which way I am to go. 

So. here it goes. I will lay it all out right here. So it's written down and I can see it for myself and maybe then. just maybe I can find something in these words. 

I'm struggling. Struggling is a hard word to use because it means I'm weak, I'm tired, and I just don't know. Struggling with many things. One big thing is going to Tanzania. I never thought I would be saying this and maybe it's just me being ornery or not seeking God long enough on this choice before making it. But right now it's all up in the air. A part of me feels like I was hasty in making this decision. Don't get me wrong, most of the time I can't get out of my head how much I want to return to Africa, to the people, to the land, to the culture. But it's been a different and strange feeling lately. One of unknowing, one that keeps checking me into a wall. One that says, it is not time. Which is weird because I thought I got accepted into the organization and assign to a place, but it seems like time is the thing that has been working against me. Timing of lots of things. 

Timing on paperwork, timing of emails, timing of leaving, timing of life. Time, it's a nasty thing; we only have so much of it. But maybe when I look at it, Tanzania is not the place for me. It's not the place where I can best serve people, but more importantly where I can serve God. Honestly it hurts to say that but it's something I've been feeling in my heart these past couple weeks. The excitement has died down and the rush of returning to a place I love has become a rush of questions and answers of silence.

I feel more and more that God is changing my heart. and to be honest I've been running the opposite direction lately because I don't want to change. I want things to the same. But that's not an option. I am a college graduate, I'm 21 years old. I am adult it is time things changed. And I can't run away anymore. And if God is changing my heart than I need to be willing to change my plans. because in the end it is God who will determine where I go. Proverbs 16:9 says that clear enough; "In his heart a man plans is course, but the Lord determines where he will go." 

This is not an easy thing to write and not an easy thing to understand. A big part of me feels that there is something else I am needed to do. Where or when I don't know, but in my heart I know that I will not be ready to leave for Tanzania in October, without figuring out what it is that God is teaching me and wanting me to do. In my heart, a small part of me, the part that i so easily ignore has been telling me that I most likely will not be going to Tanzania. But I know it is something I need to pray about. Which is something I haven't been doing a lot anyways. Which could account for my lack of hearing and lack of listening. 

There's also the fact that people have come into my life who I am not ready to leave. I don't know what that means and I don't know why they are here in my life now of all times. It always seem inconvenient to me but maybe it means that is convenient for the Lord to use them. Whatever it is I know I need to open myself up to whatever God is trying to do right now. It just hard. To be ready to go somewhere but not feel happy about it. I don't want to just go to Tanzania because I have no other options, I want it to be what God wants for me. 

I know He won't leave me alone in this drought. But sometimes we must thirst to the point where we ask for water. And I'm asking God for a storm. I know He will guide me in the direction He wants me. "Ant the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not." -Isaiah 58:11.

It's not easy being the one who questions, but with questions comes answers and with answers comes growth and understanding. And that is what I need. I know God does not close one door with out opening another. I just need to be patient enough to wait for His door to open and not my own. And I know that my strength alone will never be enough, that He is the only that can carry me through. And I know He will give me those people in my life I need right now to talk to me and support me in whatever decision God leads me to make. Right now it's just a matter of waiting and of patience for God to open up that door and lead me through. 

And if you're reading this for some reason or another, I hope that in your quest for answers to where and what you are suppose to do, look to Him, He comes through every time, even if it's not on our time.

  Seeking, Searching, and Waiting,

 HIS and yours,