July 22, 2011
Step Forward in Faith
There has never been a time in life when an ending was destined to be only that. The opportunity for a new beginning ALWAYS exists. Take it! Hope is a choice . . . choose it! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
July 20, 2011
I had a hunch and did some research to check it out. Worry seems to come first over trust in my life all too often and I’ve seen that I’m not the only one with this challenge. As the title reveals, trust is and should always be the winner of this battle. The numbers shown in my title here represent the number of verses in the NIV Bible in which the word trust and the word worry are used. Seems God knew we’d have trouble with trust and so He had a lot written about it to encourage us. Lately I’ve been thinking I was getting better at this. Until the other day . . . yesterday.
At my church a class is being offered about our emotions and how they can really get in our way and have an effect on our spiritual growth. Not only that, but the author discovered that our emotional battle also comes from life patterns going back a couple of generations at least. Wow. Okay, I was bummed out years ago when I learned what original sin was and can recall being a child and thinking “not MY FAULT Adam and Eve ate that stupid apple.” I’m a big girl now and I’m over the apple. Promise. I get it. We’re cool. We’re forgiven. It’s all good. So, now I find my emotions fight against me spiritually (I get that) and not only mine but the “baggage” Mom and Dad, Nana, Grampy . . . . 2 or 3 generations of family . . . it’s all affecting me and the approach I have taken along my journey? Yikes.
So, I studied the first 4 chapters in my book for the class. Chapter 4 was great. It was kinda “what I want to be when I grow up” and focused on how much better our journey will be when we understand our feelings, know what ancestral triggers are involved, and therefore not find our spiritual journey halted by them. Great. Loved it. Then I peeked ahead at tomorrow’s topic. The homework for that one? Digging deep and finding the baggage I’ve got buried in me. What I brought on myself, what my folks and their folks brought on themselves and passed on to the next generation . . . a long and not very fun look back at all the “I didn’t like it when she said that” and “It hurt me when he did that” and wonder of wonders . . . most of what was said and done, it would seem, was while completely unaware. So, my homework was to dig through past hurts and disappointments and find out why I feel and react the way I do so that knowing why can lead to healing and growing and dealing with things in strength and awareness of what’s “real.” No more denial. Feelings are real and causes are real and we don’t have to be stopped on our journey! BUT . . . I did NOT want to deal with chapter 5. NO, NO, NO!!!
I kinda figured if I wasn’t aware of all this, it must not be hurting me TOO much. I didn’t want to go digging. I’d had a good few days. The challenges in life weren’t scaring me too much, and there was hope for a future. The words of Jeremiah 29:11 have been in my heart steadily and so I know the Lord has a plan for my life. I know it’s one which will help me, not harm me – one which will prosper me and give me hope and a future. I know this. I’ve been using those encouraging words like a mantra for a long long time. Why let a little chapter on looking back to move ahead stop me? But I kept putting off reading it and worrying about how hurtful it would be to go digging. Then I couldn’t put it off anymore and prayed about it.
What a notion. I know better. Why did I worry for so long. Gripe and put off the necessary step toward growth? Why didn’t I pray about it sooner. So I did pray. I asked the Holy Spirit to fill me and to open my heart, my eyes, and my ears to what I was meant to understand . . . and to help me to keep the joy of the Lord in my heart in the process. Know what? He answered my prayer. Just as He always does. It was the best chapter yet! The generations of hurts and stumbling through life and the patterns that all families have which control us if we let them . . . it all makes sense. Know what else? When you understand what’s going on it doesn’t scare you or hurt you. You heal. Facing the challenges in life, whether it’s chapter 5 or something else . . . is much better than all the avoidance and worry, and pray for help people. He is waiting with open arms and all we have to do is reach for Him. Please reach for Him! Trust me on this. Better yet, trust Him!!!