Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fear Factor

In a previous blog I wrote about being without a phone for three days and the fears and apprehensions I had to deal with because of that.

Throughout my life I find that what I feared has come upon me.  (Job 3:25 “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.”) 

There have been three things in life I feared - that kind of paralyzing fear: 1) fear of losing my husband to another women - happened with my first husband (1982); 2) fear of losing one of my children to death - Byron passed away a year ago; 3) fear of pain - two broken ankles (2007 and 2013); totally crippled in a three day period and told I may never walk again (diagnosis – rheumatoid arthritis changed to poly arthritis once I started walking again (1981); almost lost my eyesight to an infection (1984); a pain on Mothers Day that was so intense it took me 45 minutes to walk 150 feet to the car from a public restaurant, sometimes laying down on the ground in the fetal position (diagnosis - twisted tumors which resulted in a complete hysterectomy 1999); day after Mothers Day was run off the road in my car which flipped over on its side in an irrigation ditch and started to fill with water (2004).

Fear stops us from seeing God for who He is.  Resulting in fear stopping us from doing what God wants us to do.  Did you know the command “fear not” is stated in the Bible more times than any other command such as “love God” or “love others”?

My life verse I adopted shortly after becoming a Christian is Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”  To be honest, I am not sure what I was going through and why I chose this verse when I did, but it is a verse I have clung to over the last 40+ years.  There were times I was just clinging to these words by the tips of my finger nails but I held on – because once I had tasted God’s goodness, I had nothing else to cling to. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

No Phone

Several weeks ago I was by myself for three days with no phone and Jim (hubby) had left town.  I was without a phone as the sim card I had received with my new phone was not working so I had to wait for a new sim card to be sent to me.  I did have the two dogs with me.  Jim left the day following the one year anniversary of Byron’s death.    I was beginning my third week of being out of a cast and walking from my broken ankle. 

I wondered how I would do without a phone and thought it would be a good test of my faith in God to protect me. 

How did the pioneers live without being able to have instant access via phone to another person?  How did I live 10 years ago without a cell phone?  I wouldn’t dream of going on a trip today without a cell phone yet prior to 10 years ago I traveled with two small children without a phone into some long desolate stretches of road and never thought anything about it.  

Isn’t it amazing how technology has given us so much but has also given us fears and apprehensions that never existed before?  In my life God has used technology or the lack of technology to increase my faith in Him.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Anny's Courage

This last weekend I attended a baby shower for a girl I actually babysat along with her sisters when they were small.  Anny is taking a new “adventure” in life, as she puts it.  Anny is single and because of physical reasons can not have children.  A co-worker’s daughter (who is a drug addict) had a child and does not want to keep the child.  Anny was asked by the mother and the grandmother (coworker) if she would consider raising Eli.  Eli is a beautiful 8 month old who was born while his mom was on drugs.  So Eli suffers symptoms of his mom’s drug addiction. 

Since I was a single parent, not by choice, for 13 years, I have some idea of the struggles Anny will encounter in this adventure.  I truly admire her courage for venturing on this unknown path of life.  Anny works full time, and like most of us, does not make a ton of money.  She lives in a one bedroom apartment and is currently looking for a two bedroom apartment.  Materialistically, Anny doesn’t have much.  But what she does have is her faith in God and strong family support.  And when the rubber meets the road, these are the things that count. 

Courage – “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty”. 

2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 

It never ceases to amaze me how God's power and His love can take you on a venture you would never have planned for or by yourself.  

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Philippians 4:7  “The peace of God that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The dictionary’s definition of peace states that peace is: 1) a state of tranquility or quiet; 2) freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; 3) harmony in personal relations; 4) a state of concord or tranquility.

I call this worldly peace.  This kind of peace can only exist in the absence of difficult situations.  As it relates to the above definition: 1) absence of noise or commotion; 2) absence of oppressive thoughts or emotions; 3) absence of strife; 4) absence of discord.

God’s peace which is referred to in Philippians 4:7 can coexist with the most difficult situations.  That is because God’s peace is transcendent – it rises above both the circumstance and understanding.  The dictionary’s definition for transcend is: 1) to rise above or go beyond the ordinary limits of; 2) to triumph over the negative or restrictive aspects; 3) to be prior to, beyond, and above (the universe or material existence); 4) to outstrip or outdo in some attribute, quality, or power

I have personally experienced this peace several times in my life.  My first experience with the peace of God happened 3 weeks after I accepted Christ into my life.  I received a phone call on a Saturday afternoon from my first husband’s girlfriend - that is when I found out my husband had been having an affair for several weeks. 

Another time was when my son, Byron, was born.  The doctors gave him less than a 50% chance of living and said if he made it the first 72 hours of life, he would live.  I remember going home from the hospital and sleeping soundly between hours 48 and 60 – knowing beyond any doubt that if we lost Byron, God would see me through it. 

Another time was when Byron had his first open heart surgery at age 2 – I remember him being wheeled on the bed into the operating room and he had to pass through these double doors that had two teddy bears painted on them waving to the people on the outside of the operating room.  Of course we were at a Children’s hospital.  While we waited in the family room I had such a peace that I was able to work on my Sunday School lessons for the next week.  This peace was not centered on Byron surviving these situations, it was centered on God taking care of me no matter what happened. 

And most recently when Byron passed away.  I felt God’s peace once again in the hours we spent saying good by to Byron as he lay passed in the hospital room. 

There have been other times I have experienced this peace of God but this is only a blog, not a book, so I will limit my shared experiences.  According to the definition of worldly peace, I should not have had peace at any of these times.  But God is greater than this world and His love and His power and His care extend beyond all we know in our finite world.