Friday, March 12, 2010

Fear Raised It's Ugly Head

Yesterday I had rough day.

We all have fears.
Some people fear death.
Some people fear the economy.
Your probably fear (fill in the blank).

95% of my fears are wrapped up in those two amazing, sweet, beautiful boys you see posted all over my blog. I love them so much; I feel like I am going to explode sometimes. But I can't protect them from the pain. I can't make their decisions for them. I can't choose the path they will take. That scares the C.R.U.D. out of me.



I fear for their safety in this mean world.
I fear for their purity in a society where young men are constantly taunted with images that threaten to create strongholds in their lives.
I fear for the shortcomings I have as their mother. I told my mom, nobody gave me a book that tells me the right things to do for my two sons, in my town, in this generation. I am not always the mother they need me to be. I get tired. I am selfish, and sometimes the last thing I want to do some nights is read another bedtime story.

But my biggest fear, the fear that threatens to swallow me whole, is the fear that my boys will grow up and not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
This fear is a the slippery slope that lands me in the pit every time.
It makes my stomach hurt.
It makes my arm pits sweat.
It turns me into a crazy woman who pretends to play the "what if" game as if I am God.

It makes me do the "ugly cry"

(you know what I mean ;).

Ugh...I should know better.

Back to yesterday.

The time is coming for my first baby to start Kindergarten.
(Deep sigh)
I would love to home school my boys
(especially when I watch 19 kids and Counting :),
BUT...
I am called to teach, and Drew is a social butterfly (that boy has the gift to gab and enjoys a good conversation ;)
Where did he get that from? Hmm...
I have taught in public schools and in a private school. Before my experience at Levelland Christian School, my opinion was, "Public school was good enough for me. It will be good enough for my boys. I turned out alright, and you can't keep your kids sheltered forever."

Then I taught for a year and a half at LCS.
I knew God was saying this was a fit for my family.
After 4 years of knowing (I mean I KNEW in my bones) that Drew would attend Kindergarten at LCS, I opened the door to doubt yesterday. It started with some false news that might affect my son's classroom teacher next year, topped off with a little more drama when I asked another parent, "What do you think about _____?"

Big mistake.

Just a little side note here...why do we as Christian Mama's feel like we need to ask another Mama, "What do you think?" We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us that leads, guides, and directs us on a path for OUR CHILDREN. What is right for Drew might not be right for another child. AND ONLY GOD KNOWS THAT.

Anyway...
After listening to a few opinions from different people, my head started spinning. What do I do? Sundown ISD? Levelland Christian School? Whiteface ISD? Levelland ISD? Should we build a concrete fort out in no-man's land and home-school them there :)? I was speaking out of both sides of my mouth; I felt anxiety and fear erupting inside of me.
I was talking and acting like a crazy woman.

I want my son to have the best education, but the most important thing to me is for him to become a godly man. I am more concerned with character than SAT score. I am more concerned with good friends and community than art, music, and athletic programs.

Because I know from personal experience, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Texas A&M on a full scholarship doesn't add up to a hill of beans if you don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Period.
I kept saying to my friend, Holly, "I want to put Drew and Kade in the best possible environment, so they can make the best decisions possible." Let's be honest, I am almost 30 years old, and if I get around other women who gossip, complain about their husbands, talk trashy, etc. it eventually rubs off on me. How can I expect my 5 year old to not be "influenced" when he will be spending more time at school than at home?
I finally got so worked up last night that I vomited all my anxieties on Ronnie and had him worked up by the time dinner rolled around.
When I finally got quiet enough while I was washing dishes, God spoke to my heart...

"Do you trust me Dawn?"

"Do you believe I have good plans for you, Ronnie, Drew and Kade?"

"Yes, God I trust you. I love you, forgive me."
You see, the reality might be we live in an crazy world. The reality might be that I "choose" the wrong school, BUT the TRUTH is only found in God's Word. Our realities can change. Our circumstances can change, but GOD'S Word is the same yesterday, today, AND TOMORROW.
His Word says He will finish the work He has begun in Drew and Kade.
Then, not 5 minutes later, I received a call from the administrator at the Christian school. She offered me the Pre-K position for the 2010-2011 school year. It will be Monday-Friday, 8-12, and I get to be with/near my boys the whole time!!!

God is faithful, even when I am not.

Today, I read the second to last chapter in Beth Moore's new book, So Long Insecurity. She tells a story about a time in her life when she was overcome with fear and the conversation God had with her...
"Child (Beth), tell me your worst fears."
As she poured her heart out to Him, she expected to hear Him tell her none of it would ever happen, but instead He said,

"Let's say those things happen...picture yourself going through the whole process of one of your worst fears becoming a reality. Get all the way to the other side of if. What do you see there? What then?"
Beth goes on to say,

That's when I figured out what God was after. He and I both knew what I would do. I would be devastated at first...But I knew that finally I'd go face down before God just as I have a hundred other times, accept His grace and mercy, believe Him to take up my cause and work it ALL TOGETHER FOR GOOD, and then I would get up and choose to live...It was as if He (God) said, "As long as you're going to borrow trouble on the future, why don't you just go ahead and borrow the grace to go with it and see yourself back up on your feet defying the enemy's odds...just as you and I have done a dozen other times."

I felt like I had a V8 moment.

In this world Drew and Kade are going to stumble. They are going to make mistakes, suffer pain and rejection, fall short of the glory of God, take the bumpy road, and disappoint Ronnie and me. It will probably happen many times, but in 2 Cor 4:7-8 it says it is through all our cracks and imperfections that the greatness of God's faithfulness shines through.

Drew and Kade might not always have the "best teacher", "best youth leader", "best coach", "best school", but it will be in the valleys where they will grow closer to God. It is through the trials that they will develop character, compassion, thankfulness, empathy, patience, endurance, and self-control.

So I had to ask myself, "Do I trust God? Do I believe His Word is true?"

And in the end, if my biggest fears come to pass and they decide to say, "No," to a relationship with the Lord. I will, like Beth Moore, be DEVASTATED, but I know the power of my Jesus. When I get face to face with Him, the tidal waves of pain and sorrow never hit with the full force of the storm. He holds them back. He lifts my head, and I continue to walk in the magnificence of His grace and His love. I know this because I have experienced it.

It is a reality in my life.

You know what the interesting thing is?
If I would have never experienced pain, regret, shame, loss, or rejection I would not have the intimate relationship with my Mighty God. I would not know Him as my Hero!
Why would I want to keep my boys from knowing Him in this way?

Beth goes on to say, so many times we are asking ourselves,
"What will I do if...?"

Instead we need to ask the following,
"What will God do if...?"

His Word answers that He will:

  • perfect everything that concerns you (Ps 138:8)
  • work all things together for your good (Rom 8:28)
  • fight this battle for you (2 Chron 20:15)
  • equip you with diving power (2 Chron 10:4)
  • meet all your needs according to My glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19)
  • give you grace that is perfectly sufficient (2 Cor 12:9)
  • be your power in weakness (2 Cor 12:9)
  • do immeasurable more than all you could ASK or THINK according to the power that is at work within you (Eph 3:20).

As children of God we are called to be different. When others worry, we are suppose to trust. When others fear, we are suppose to stand on the Promises of God.

So I guess my question to you today is, "What do you fear?"

Bankruptcy, divorce, death, illness, rejection, failure...

Well, let's just say the worst of the worst comes true in your life. What then?

If you have experienced the love and grace of God as your Savior you can say,

"If _________, THEN GOD."

Say it. "Then God!" Do you feel the peace washing over you? Jesus Christ is the lifter of our heads. His Spirit lives inside of us. When we look through the eyes of faith, fear cannot enslave us. The chains are broken. We are free!

12 comments:

The Mellberg Family said...

Amen, sista!

gara hill said...

What a remarkable post! You ministered to me from afar. God bless you, sweet friend!

Paige said...

this was so good - I am doing the Bible Study, breaking free updated and reading the insecurity book! Praying something might sink in and stick!! You are so right in how as a mom we try to keep our children from hurts, but the best job of being a mom is not "if" but "when" they come through the door beat up and knocked down, we gently take their precious face in our hands and pray over them and teach them to look to their Savior, their King, who is so much bigger than any problem or hurt this old world will throw at them. Congrats on the job offer! God is so good - you are such a light for God, just think how many children and mom's you will touch - but if you choose to stay home you are doing an awesome job and touching so many lives that way too!

PrincessDipti said...

:)

Laurie said...

My bestie is reading this book right now...I've heard wonderful things about it! Thanks for sharing!:)

Dave Sargeant said...

We all have and have had fears. We have all seen Jesus at work in our lives. What an honest post. Dave. My blog is called 'Beauties of creation'.

dan said...

I don't understand this undying love for Jesus... Is it something people choose to believe in because they need hope in their lives? As though they don't believe enough in themselves that they can do things on their own/with the help of a tangible being (ie- a friend, family member, etc..)?

It's an honest question, so don't tear me up over it, but what is the reason that people go to god in their lives? Can't they just be good people in their own eyes and not need a higher power suggesting they do so or get thrown down to (you know where)?

Barbara said...

Dawn, I have a grown daughter, many times I had the same fears, just trust in the Lord....

I have a list of Texas bloggers and would like to add your name. Hope you will come and follow me and others on my list.

Barbara

Lisa said...

Great blog and well written :-)

Lisa

Charla (SHar-la) said...

Great post, sis! We've talked many times about my fears, so I won't go into those.

I do want to address "dan"'s comment:

First, I want to say "thank you" for having the courage to be so honest, knowing, as you said, someone might "tear you up." I can assure you, my sister-in-law will not do so, and neither will anyone commenting on this post. Most Christians are EAGER and HUNGRY to share their faith, especially with those who question it. You should know, even Christians who do love Jesus more than anything, have days of doubt. It is part of our sinful nature, and something we all struggle with, just like we struggle with fear. Christians are FAR FROM PERFECT, just as FAR as anyone else, Christian or not.
As far as that undying love for Jesus goes, here how it applies to my life:

I have tried many, many, many times to rely on myself and myself alone, whether I've chosen to do so, or just didn't think to include God/Jesus in that particular part of my life. And over and over, and over again, I fail myself. It comes down to the fact that I have never been able, in all of my 30 (almost 31) years of life, to find happiness and peace and TRUE JOY, the kind that lasts even in the valleys of life, by depending on myself. It is just not possible.

And when I've attempted to find all of these things in other people (my friends, my parents, my husband), I am only disappointed and let down because we are all, after all is said and done, human. We cannot be perfect. We cannot be someone's true rock, because we are full of cracks and imperfections ourselves.

We can be the best friend to someone, but what we can never, ever give someone else is the PURE JOY of living a life loving Jesus and wanting to do what He wants, instead of what we want for ourselves. We can give others, and we can find in others and even ourselves, temporary happiness, but not the kind of joy that lasts even when the tragedies of life strike us down (miscarriage, infertility, divorce, bankruptcy, job loss, loss of a loved one, etc...).

Trusting in what is not seen is one of the hardest, and yet the MOST FULFILLING choices I've ever made in my life.

I wish I could explain the CALM that comes with living a life with the Holy Spirit, but I can't...it is what the Bible calls "the peace that passes all understanding."

continued in next comment...

Charla (SHar-la) said...

...continued from previous comment

And to answer another of your questions, yes, my undying love for Jesus does give me hope...we ALL need hope, no matter where we are in our lives. No, I don't believe in myself enough to live life on my own. This has nothing to do with my self- esteem and everything to do with knowing that I am just not enough for myself or for anyone else.

Part of the reason Christianity gives so many such a bad taste in their mouth is because of the misconception that it is about fire and brimstone. True Christianity has nothing to do with condemnation, i.e. doing good or going to hell. Jesus never expects us to be perfect, because we are sinners. It is our very nature to mess up. What he LONGS FOR and desires more than anything is that we love Him so much, we want nothing more than to please Him and do good because it is the right thing to do and what He tells us to do. And that when we do stray, which we always do, we run to him for forgiveness and with a true heart of repentance. This is where the relationship with Him, outweighs the duty of serving Him because we are told it's what we should do.

I will tell you this...I would give up my life as I know it, if that is what He wanted me to do. Not because I feel like I have to, or because I feel bound by a law or an obligation, but because I love Him that much and want to please Him. And because that is what TRUE JOY does in your life. Your assurance is not knowing that all will turn out the way you want or the way you plan, but that whether it does or doesn't, God is in control and will turn the hurt and ugly things of your life into beauty in His time.

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to never have a bad day and always have a positive attitude? I mean, they may have a complaint here and there, but when the big crises of life hit, there is an underlying, unexplainable peace to them. It isn't because they DON'T have bad days. It is because they know God is in control and they trust Him more than they trust themselves. Thank goodness. Because I'm lousy at being in the driver's seat!
I will close with a promise: "dan", you will NEVER, EVER know a more fulfilling life, or be more loved than when you accept Christ and give your life to Him.
I know this will sound so cliche, but I want you to know I am going to pray for the Holy Spirit to keep moving you to ask questions and know more about Him. Yeah, I know you've probably heard it a million times..."I'll be praying for you." But, I really am going to do just that because I know God has HUGE things planned for you, "dan."
If you ever have questions, or want clarification, or just want to read more about our faith, please never hesitate to ask. Leave them here, or you can go to my blog and leave them there. I would also encourage you to read some scripture if you ever feel so led. You don't have to have a Bible. Just go to www.biblegateway.com. I have been reading in John lately, and John 15 is an awesome allegory for living a life in Jesus.

Okay, now I really am going to close this up! HA!

Dawn Jenkins said...

Dan, I tried to answer your question on my new post. I hope you can make it back by my blog to check it out! Have a blessed day!

 

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