Monday, September 28, 2009


Before you freak out, let me just preface this with the statement that I am NOT pregnant nor am I anywhere near being so. No worries there. I just wanted to clear that up.

Ryan and I are in a community group through Fellowship Bible Church, the church we attend in Jackson. With the exception of us and two single ladies, it's all married couples. I don't find that weird or intimidating at all; I think it's fun to see how their relationships work, and I get the feeling that we're kind of in a marital counseling group - which appeals to my future-counseling-career self. Anyway, the study we're doing is Fearless, by Max Lucado. We're only one lesson in, but last night we started big with talking about our biggest fears. All the married couples have at least one kid, and as a result every one of their fears had something to do with their kids. Mostly they feared losing their kids, their kids suffering serious injuries, dying before their kids had grown up, or their kids being abducted. One father said that one of his greatest fears was what his son would get into, what trouble he would cause. He listed things like drugs, alcohol, getting in the wrong crowd, getting some girl pregnant...and so on. I began to think, "Geez, what is this kid already into that his dad is that worried about him?"

The kid is 12.

Once that was cleared up, the dad made it clear that his son had not yet exhibited any major tendencies towards fulfilling his father's fears; it was just the possibilities that scared the man.

Now, at this point I have to admit that I kind of worry about that now. Yes, it is a long way off to worry about who my future teenagers will become, but I just think of how much could go wrong with my parenting or despite of it. Ryan told me afterward that it made him nervous to hear the couples talk about the trouble they've had with their kids and the things they worry about. I told him that that's just how it is; I know I'll probably be just as worrisome as my mom is, and I pray that I will be able to see the fruits of my raising in my kids the way I think me and my siblings exhibit our parents'.

Obviously in talking about fear we discussed how fear can undermine our faith if we let it get to us, failing to give all our worries to God. We search for peace, but we constantly find something to worry about, something to control and bring into submission, when it is not our place to do so.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6,7

I want that peace so badly. Sometimes I find that I can obtain it for just a moment, obeying God and giving my fears to Him. Unfortunately, it never lasts, and I pick up the same old worries and fears I had before, not feeling "comfortable" without the all-too-familiar shroud of fear and doubt. We are all burdened by this in different ways, but the answer to our problem remains the same:

Give it to God.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Here's the Thing...

I'm happy. That's a wonderful thing - as anyone would tell you - but it doesn't incite me to blog. It appears that because I am happy, I have nothing to blog about. Seems ridiculous, doesn't it?? I think it does. You'd think I want to blog even more, but noooo, that's not how it goes! I've always known that writing poetry, songs, or in a journal (whether private or not so much) has been a great way for me to vent and deal with the difficult things in life. It's healthy, and I enjoy it. Nevertheless, I feel as though I am short-changing my happiness by not exuding it through writing as well.

See, I'm blanking right now. I find that as hard as it is sometimes to put my moanings into words, it is even more difficult to express happiness. What is that?! It kind of worries me. I wonder if it is something within me that shuns the idea of putting into words that which could so easily depart. I admit that I am for the most part pessimistic. I realize this, knowing that I should know better - or have better faith.

I am digressing. And writing in a melancholy manner. Forgive me.

God is great. Did you know that? He shows me every day that He loves me, and though I so often miss it I would be lost without it. It's ironic how the things we thrive on the most, the things we can't truly live without, we forget or take for granted that we don't have to work for them. Maybe it's because of that that we do take them for granted. Or maybe it's because we don't think it could possibly be that easy.

I find that I am constantly trying to live up to standards, whether it be my own, someone else's, or the ones I think God has set for me. I don't see it as trying to work towards salvation; I think I see it as my God-demanded duty to uphold them. Somewhere along the line, though, it mutates.

I was reading my Bible last week, and felt like reading some of the study guide stuff at the bottom. In one of the paragraphs I found a sentence that I desire to be my mantra:
"In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in everything, love."
How succinctly does that sum it all up?? If it involves something important, we as a Church are supposed to stick together and work it out with our fellow believers. In the stuff that doesn't really matter to anyone but little old ladies or self-righteous conservatives, we are free! To me, that includes things like whether or not to drink, tattoos, and a ton of other things that people scream and shout arguing over - they don't matter. Maybe I'm taking a liberal view on it, but to me that's what it's saying. The Bible does say, however, that we must respect others and respect how their belief system works. If your friend cannot drink without feeling as though she nailed Christ's hand to the cross (which "technically" we all did anyway), don't tempt her into it and stay away from it while you're around her. <-- There's the unity part! Actually, even more that unity, that is the love part exemplified! By respecting her beliefs and accommodating your own with hers, you are love in action. It all comes together. This is the time at which I have to say that this is not permission to go buck-wild and disregard any moral code. This is when you should listen to the Holy Spirit within you, working with you to show God's love through your own personal life and therefore testimony. We are called to hate what is wrong and stand on the side of good (Romans 12:9-11). I read through all of Romans the past few weeks, and it may possibly be my favorite book. At the very least, it has my now favorite passage. The passage hit me as beautiful and absolutely joyful.
I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away.
Romans 8:38
Gah!! I love it. How amazing is that?! Nothing we or anyone else does will ever separate us. Satan tried that, and Jesus shot him down. To me, that is incredibly encouraging, because I've worried so long about all the things I could do wrong, all the ways I could mess up God's plans, all the ways that I've failed the people around me. This Scripture once again shows that we are free in Christ to live our lives without worry or fear that we will ever be separating from our heavenly Father.

We don't always understand how God loves us, because we get blinded by the people who hurt us, the loss of loved ones, and the suffering we endure. I'm helping with a 5th grade Sunday school class, where they are learning that God has allowed Satan to rule the world - for a short period of time. God is with us, however, giving us the strength to fight Satan each day and live for the glory of God. It's a difficult war in which we lose many battles, but we know how it ends. ;)