Tag Archives: Trusting in God

Daddy’s Girl

Have you ever run across a talk show featuring an episode on parent child reunions?  The viewing audience, after hearing the personal story of the individuals to be reunited, is offered an up close and personal front row seat to the first smiles and touches of two people who had for various reasons up until that point been separated from one another.  Everyone claps through their tears, the host wraps up the episode with a huge smile and fond farewell, the climatic music de crescendos and everyone goes home.

The guests which were the focus of the show are now left face to face and heart to heart with someone who they were intended to have relationship with all along.  This causes them to feel close on one level; and yet they must now walk through the motions of establishing those elements of true relationship perhaps eventually, emotional intimacy.  The heart’s longing for that which “should have been” mixed with the reality that relationships are not built in a day must make for an interesting journey.  I’ve often wondered how those two individuals proceed with their relationship after the excite of the re-unite.

Although I always remember believing in God, it wasn’t until I was twenty-one that my heart was eternally reunited with Him.  Much like the excitement, music and lights were the initial days of  my salvation.  My entire life had been impacted by the weight of a single decision.  In a moment, I went from condemned to saved,   guilty to forgiven, tainted to pure and victim to over comer.  Never again would I be alone or unloved.

That God shaped hole within was experiencing the first tastes of what had always been intended to fill it.  It wasn’t until that point that I was able to  realize the insufficiency of previous substitutes.  The introduction to my Savior was glorious and I reveled in His peace that transcended my understanding, joy that was my strength, mercy that was new every morning and love that held no limits.  It was a sweet, sweet time.

And yet, life goes on.  The warm embrace of salvation and the New Birth held firm but the daily reality of life quickly came back into view.  I was now face to face and heart to heart with a Savior whom I did not know.  As I was mentored in truth I quickly learned that this was a relationship that required more than the acceptance of my Savior…it required the offering of my heart to my Father.  Faith, trust, and obedience were apparently key and this is where I struggled.

The facts were, I had never known a Father’s love.  Those things that we all think of…Daddy/Daughter dances, strong arms to rescue you, protection, safety, unconditional love and affirmation…these had been the furthest thing from my personal experience.  From the time I was two until I was fourteen each man within my life, to include my biological father, my stepfathers and my grandfather had taken their turn as thieves to steal from me sacred things that were not ever meant for them.  Sexual, emotional and physical abuse were what characterized my relationship with anyone I had ever called “Father.”  Control, manipulation and fear summarized my experiences with those whom I had called “Daddy.”

And so, for a long time, my way of loving the Father was simply to allow Him to love me.  Like an infant who  is overly tired and has nothing to give, it was a good day when I could rest enough and trust enough to simply allow Him to hold me and offer me comfort rather than flailing about in life consumed by my own misery.  Each time I was willing to become vulnerable enough to spend time in His presence, seek His face and hear His voice, He was abundantly faithful, gentle and patient leading me ever so slowly into those deeper places of intimacy with Him.

After years of relationship trust came more easily.  He taught me through everyday life that He was faithful, trustworthy and true.  As  He was faithful to continue the good work that He began within me, binding up my heart and making every broken place whole; the scales of fear, mistrust and suspicion fell from my eyes helping me to see my Father clearly.  Like with most relationships, it was our time spent together that made the difference.

Perfect love really does cast out fear (1 John 4:18).  Once free to love Him we grew closer at an accelerated pace.  I learned that only I determined the limits on how close we could become.

Daddy/Daughter dances, strong arms to rescue you, protection, safety, unconditional love and affirmation?  Yep…I know them now; Praise you Father I know them now.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Father God, My Father's Daughter, Trust

Should-Be

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

Typically a fairly introspective person, twice a year I become especially so.  New Year’s Day and my birthday each have always served as bi-yearly evaluations for where I think I “should be.”

You see I’m a bit goal oriented.  Other appropriate words might be “focused”, “driven”, “passionate” um….”obsessed”.  I carry around with me an invisible measuring stick with which I constantly measure my life determining within my heart whether I have succeeded in living it to the fullest.  In the end, whenever it is that I find myself at the doorway of meeting my Lord face to face, I hope to be able to honestly say that I have no regrets.

I think I have come to recognize this trait as a mixed blessing.  Innocently bred, it originated from a heart of thankfulness for the life I have been given.  Realizing the abundance of the gift I didn’t want to spend one day wasting it.  Make every day count, reach for the stars, never give up, keep on keepin’ on…. motivational mottos are like fuel for my engine.

On the other hand, this constant need to evaluate growth toward goals set high leaves much room for the enemy to whisper in my ear.  A dog with no new tricks he has often found a foothold in my life with the “should-bes”

In His accusatory tone he offers:

“You should be further along than you are.” (in graduate school, in my career, in my walk with Christ).

“You should be a better ____________ (wife, mother, Christian, friend, student)- fill in the blank with whatever I happen to be feeling least secure about that day.

“You should be beyond a place where that still bothers you.”  (anytime I’m flustered, frustrated or fearful).

“You should be everything you are not.”

How many times have I fallen into that hole and had to dig myself back out? I should have seen that coming!

It is important for both you and I to remember that goals are good, important even-  but only as long as they are balanced with truth.

When the enemy comes at me with his should -bes these days, I come back at him with some should-bes of my own.

I remind Him from where the Lord has brought me.  He has redeemed my life from destruction (Psalm 49:15).

You see, according to statistics:

I should be a high school dropout.

I should be married to someone who is unkind to me.

I should be a rotten mom.

I should be an addict.

I should be dead.

I should be going to hell.

Anytime the enemy tries to accuse me of not being where I should be, I now remind him of where I should be, where I could be but bless the Lord where I am not because of the abundant love, boundless grace and endless mercy of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

How about you?  Are you too familiar with the should- bes?  Does this phrase threaten to light the fire of low self worth or value within your soul?

Perhaps the most important truth doesn’t lie in where you should be at all, but instead in who you are.

You are a Daughter of the King.  (1 John 3:2)

You are unconditionally loved and accepted by Him (Eph. 1:4-6)

You are chosen (1 Peter 2:9)

If we can keep in mind who we are we will be better prepared not to allow the should- bes to wreak havoc in our soul.

Father, thank you for who you have made me in and through Jesus Christ.  I am so thankful for your unconditional love and acceptance.  Thank you Lord that who I am is never overruled by who I should be.

2 Comments

Filed under Christian Growth

Sleep for Sheep

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

I laid there for what seemed like hours.  My mind reeled, refusing to stop.  Like hamsters on a wheel thoughts cycled over and over again.  On my left side, right side, leg thrown over my husband who was sleeping on his side…each little sound in the room was being magnified directly through a megaphone into my ears.

Beyond frustrated and beginning to feel a little desperate I closed my eyes attempting to will myself to sleep.  Each look at the alarm clock reminded me how exhausted I would be when I had to get up in only 3 hours.  Deliberate about taking slow, deep breaths I thought that perhaps if I acted like I was asleep I could fool my body into moving in that direction.  It didn’t matter, nothing worked,  I gave up and got up.

As quietly as possible I snuck out of my bedroom; looking back at my husband I envied his steady snoozing. Grabbing a cup of hot tea, I sunk onto the couch settling into the darkness. My aware yet exhausted condition met with the quiet inactivity of early morning making room for the still small voice within.

“My Child, why do you fear?”

Immediately pegged I was disarmed by the truth of where my problem lie.  Abandoning the formalities of my normal quiet time routine I simply sat before the Lord, cried, and allowed my heart to spill out before Him.  I did fear.  I feared the unknown involved in the changes that loomed ahead.  Too many questions lacked answers and too much was out of my control.  Not even knowing exactly what lie ahead, I felt powerless to prepare.

Proverbs 3:5,6 rose up within me, “Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not on your  own understanding;  In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”  It wasn’t an unfamiliar passage to my heart. Touched with a tinge of guilt, I knew that I was supposed to trust, but in this particular moment I was having a difficult time with that.  Logically, I knew that my soul was out of control and I could not seem to, within my own strength, get it back in check.  I confessed this honestly before the Lord.  “Lord, I want to trust you, I need to trust you, what other choice do I even have?” Silence filled the room.  “Lord, help me to trust you.”

He restoreth my soul (Psalm 23:3)

As if He was just waiting for an invitation into the situation,  immediately peace overwhelmed me.  As honestly and forthright as I had been with Him, He now returned the favor.  “I have never left you or forsaken you.”

A gentle reminder of truth.  I had no grounds to argue; my mind filled with all of the times before that I had been at this same place and He had proven Himself faithful and trustworthy.

In Psalm 23 we are likened to sheep and the Lord as our Shepherd.  The green pastures  are places of peace and rest, even as the enemy looms.  Constantly surrounded by the unknown, sheep, who by nature are a fearful and defenseless animal, are able to find  peace because they have confidence in the shepherd.  They trust their shepherd, they rely on their shepherd and they find comfort in the presence of their shepherd.  They know by experience that their shepherd will protect them and keep them safe.

In times of restlessness and lacking peace remember Psalm 100:3… “Know the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Father thank you for always being such a good Shepherd.

1 Comment

Filed under Faith, Peace, Rest