Fear…and overcoming the awful dread

Words teeter on the edge of my fingertips. My heart bursts with so many things I’d like to say, but when it comes right down to letting those words out, I can’t. I wonder…what is wrong with me? Why can’t I just write what is there, waiting to be released? Why do I continue to allow fear to taunt me?

Broken Window

Fear is an awful dread.

A little girl, who must have been about eight or nine years old, hung for dear life to the back of an old couch. The couch, shoved against and facing a wall, became life support. Brown-haired child hung on to that couch for dear life, as her mother beat her mercilessly and hurled hateful, hurtful words.

She cried, that little girl. Begged for mercy. But the beating was endless, as were the dagger-words.

Tears streaked her face. Knees trembled, threatening to give way to the beating. If not for that old couch, the child surely would have been in a heap on the floor by now. The beating hurt. Oh, it hurt awful.

Her heart hurt more than the lashes. In her little mind, she couldn’t understand what she’d done that was so awful, so terrible, to deserve the beating and berating.

Why can’t I make her happy? The little girl questioned herself about the mother who couldn’t stop. Why did I have to be born into this world, if I make her world such a terrible place with me in it?

That beautiful blue-eyed babe, whose life so young and full of life, dreaded living already at that early age. Those eyes had seen pain, that body had known pain, that mind had known more fear than any child should know.

And. It. Hurt.

The hitting hurt. The words hurt. But more than anything, she just wished she could be good enough for her mother to love her back. To be pleasing enough to put a smile on her mother’s face. To do enough to just not make her mad anymore.

Sweet girl couldn’t see. She was too young. Too innocent. Too loving.

Sometimes the only thing one’s life has to offer is hurt and pain and mistakes and failure. But that failure does not have to link from one generation to the next.

So that little girl made up her mind one day (finally) to forgive. Release the hurt and move forward. To be the link in the chain that would break free from the hurt and pain and anger and unhealthiness.

Because being free is better than living in fear.

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ~John 8:36

The call {to something more}

Several months ago I wrote a goodbye note here. I was weary. Worn out. Busying myself with finishing college and beginning a new chapter of my life as a teacher. I was a little lost and unsure of this writing life.

How many times in my thirty-six years have I quit something, when I should have merely paused to breathe?

The last six months have been a whirlwind of exciting, challenging days spent as a new third grade teacher. I finally completed my lifelong goal of becoming an educator. Then suddenly, Jesus pulled the brakes and everything slowed to a screeching halt in a matter of days.

Screeching halt

One afternoon at school, I became instantly overwhelmed with intense pain, nauseau, and overwhelming feeling that I was on the verge of fainting. I managed to make it to the end of that day. However, by the time I got home from school, I could barely walk.

A trip to urgent care ended with me in the E.R. After a series of tests, I was told I had cysts on both ovaries and would need to schedule an appointment with my gynocologist. I immediately did so, and was sent for more tests and lab work.

The day after Christmas I sat in the doctor’s office and heard the words, “Your lab work does not look good. You’ll need surgery but I’m not the one to do it. I’m referring you to a specialist. In the event this is cancer you’ll want to be under the care of someone who specializes in this.”

And there it was. The one word that changes so many people’s lives. Cancer.

The call

Just breathe.

The doctor waited. Watching me, as though she thought I might fall apart. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. It hadn’t fully sunk in. All I could think was about how young I am. And how young my children are. And then, finally, Okay, I can do this. If God gives me this, I know He will be with me through it. No matter what.

In the one moment when I had every reason to be scared witless and worried senseless, I wasn’t. I think some of my family and friends who know what a chronic worrier I am wondered if I was hiding fear. But I truly wasn’t.

I saw the specialist the following day, who talked me through my options. Because there was no way of knowing whether it was cancer until having surgery, I decided that I didn’t want to take any chances. I opted for a total hysterectomy. At that point, it became a waiting game. If the cysts appeared cancerous upon removal, more biopsies would be done, then further options for treatment would be discussed post-surgery, if necessary.

On Monday, January 14, I was admitted into the hospital. My mind at total peace. My soul ready to meet my Maker, if that be the case. I even made the remark to my sister and husband that morning that I was nervous because I wasn’t worried. Silly, yes.

He’s got the whole world in His hands…

Several hours later, piercing pain. And then the report we’d waited the last three weeks for.

No cancer. All is well.

I’m told the doctor was amazed that I haven’t been in extreme pain and for a longer amount of time. Endometriosis had overtaken my body and was more severe than the doctors originally had thought.

I can’t help but smile. This is how my God works. In mysterious ways.

Five days later, I sit in this worn, brown recliner at home. Recovering. Thankful. Tossing over and again in my mind how I quit this call to writing when I’d grown weary. Tucked it away, thinking it as worn-out as I.

Then Jesus reminds me how He gave me this talent. And that He requires more from those to whom much is given. I can choose to bury this God-gift or use it for His glory.

So I heed the call. This call to something more. Because He is worthy of all glory and honor.

Something different {and fun} for you

I’ve been quiet here for some time because I’ve been in a spiritual battle. Honestly? I just didn’t have words.

The Lord is good. His mercy endures forever. There are times, though, when I’ve learned to be still and be quiet and listen for His voice.

I appreciate the kind thoughts and notes to inquire of my status. I am well. All is well. :)

On a lighter note…

I’ve been on a doodling kick for a while. I love creating all sorts of art, but doodling is super fun and freeing for me.

This evening I was sitting with my husband and doodling in my Moleskine. I was just about to reach for something to being adding color to my little doodle when I thought, ‘I should share this with my friends on Mending Hope!’

It’s nothing fancy, but this scripture has been on my heart and mind all day. I’ve meditated on it today and thought maybe it might speak to you as well.

This is a free printable. Do what makes you happy with it. Color it. Add more doodles to it. Paint it. Or maybe you just want to look at it. Whatever makes you smile. I hope you enjoy this little doodle!


Click here to download and/or print

If you play with it, I’d love to see what you do. Scan your finished doodle page and share it with me!

Let your actions be motivated by love

Can I share a secret with you? It’s a dirty secret…one I’m pretty ashamed of. But I feel like I need to share it because I have a feeling I’m not the only one who has this secret.

{Deep breath in} Here it is. Here’s my dirty little secret…

Sometimes I want to be really ugly. Say ugly things. Mean things.

Because the truth is, I get tired of the games people play.

UCLA Yell Leader © by JMR_Photography

I’m typically quiet by nature. I’ve always been that way. The only time I let my hair down and cut loose is when I’m around people I’m most comfortable with–usually very close friends or family.

But there are times when I’d like to be just as ridiculous as others. I’d like to tell them exactly what I think about the foolish–childish–games they play.

This isn’t Christ-like. I know. I know.

And yet I struggle with this very thing right now.

I’m struggling with being Christ-like in a world that is filled with people who label themselves “Christian” yet do not exude Christ.

It’s just plain wrong.

What’s even worse is when a “Christian” starts pointing their finger at others, telling them all the ways they err, and how they should humble themselves and display Godly love and character, when they themselves aren’t living it.

It’s disheartening. It’s hard. It’s in the middle of this mixed-up mess I’m rediscovering Eucharisteo once again.

See, God is love. And when I step into that Love, I find mercy. Mercy for myself. Mercy for those who look down their noses. Mercy for those who persecute me and others.

In His Love, I am reminded that I am but a sinner saved by His grace. He encourages me to love as He loves. And to forgive and make peace.

So when I begin to feel negatively stirred, I transplant myself back into His love. I remind myself that God is love, and because He is love, I must love. Regardless. I cannot judge. I cannot repay evil for evil.

No matter how hard it might be, I must love. And my actions must be motivated by love.

Not anger. Not spite. Not disdain.


For further study:

  • Ephesians 2:4
  • Romans 8:39
  • Hebrews 6:10
  • 1 John 4:7-11

Are your actions always motivated by love?

Between The Rock and a hard place

I’ve been consumed lately by things that disturb me. I’ve been shaken–awakened–on many levels. I’ve been feeling out of sorts and wondering what in the world is going on.

I’m desperate for change. Longing for God to step in and open a door for my family that would change things for the better.

Then I had the thought this afternoon….I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place.

two huge rocks © by burge5k

I’m between The Rock and a hard place.

God is the Rock of my salvation. Even though I don’t like this hard place I’m in right now, I know without a doubt I am standing on Christ, the solid Rock.

He is my strength. He is my hope. He is my salvation.

No matter what storm I must face or how rocky the road may be, I know as long as I stay on the straight and narrow, He will light the path before me.

Are you in a hard place right now?

Do you feel your faith is shaken by something that has happened? Are you struggling with believing God’s eyes are upon you? Have you allowed fear to grip your heart and consume your mind?

If you are in a hard place, plant your feet firmly on The Rock.

Because when you’re stuck between The Rock and a hard place, no matter how tight that squeeze becomes, He will never let you down. He is a sure and steady Rock.

Sometimes, all you can do is stand.

standing on the promises of God
Original photograph CC Ryk Neeling

Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].
{Ephesians 6:13, AMP}

Don’t tickle my ears

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

{2 Timothy 4:1-5, NASB}

There is a holy fear that comes over me when I read this passage of scripture.

I’ve been studying 2 Timothy this week, and it is stirring my soul so much. Verses three and four in particular (bolded above) have been replaying in my thoughts the last few days.

Bible Study 1 © by DrGBB

We need truth.

There is a profound need for truth today. We live in a world filled with so many lies and deceptions that if we aren’t careful, we naturally begin to take on those mannerisms as well.

It’s time to roll up our sleeves and sit down at God’s table.

The Apostle John warned against taking on the nature of this world (1 John 2:15-17). It’s easy to slip into such habits without even realizing it.

This is why we must feast on our daily Bread–the Word of God.

Hiding the Word of God in our hearts and minds is a necessity.

Would you go for weeks without eating a single bite of food? Most likely not. If anything, we gorge and fill ourselves with all sorts of earthly desires. Yet, how often do we fail to sit down to a single serving of the Word during a twenty-four hour period? I’ve been guilty of this way too much.

If we don’t read and study the Word, how can we expect to know the truth?

Do you search for truth when you have questions? Or do you rely on the sermons and Bible studies you get from church?

We need church (Hebrews 10:25). We need to hear the Word of God preached (Hebrews 10:14-17) and rightly divided. But we also need to realize that it’s time to roll up our sleeves, sit down at God’s table, and dig into the good things He has for us.

It’s time to hide His Word in our hearts.

When God calls my attention to something that needs refining within myself, it isn’t easy. In fact, if anything it’s pretty difficult. Who wants someone, let alone God, to point out flaws and weaknesses? Not me.

But if I want to learn and grow in His kingdom, I have to be willing to humble myself when He speaks to me and say, “Okay, Lord…I see. I’m sorry. Change me. Show me how to straighten my walk before You.”

I don’t want anyone to preach or teach or tell me things they think I want to hear. That’s falsehood. It isn’t real. It isn’t truth.

These are the last days. And when my Savior returns, I want to hear Him say, “My child, well done.”

I don’t want to be led astray by false doctrine or unsound teaching that is not based on God’s Word. And if that means I have to devote more time and energy into studying the Bible, then that’s what I will do. Because His Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).

I don’t want my ears to be tickled.

I need truth. I need the Word of God settled in my bones. I need the Word–alive, moving, shaping, and changing me into His perfect will.

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