Fear has always been something that has attached itself to me. And I think this is something that a lot of people struggle through, so, I wanted to take some time today to talk through what the Lord has been showing me on this topic.
Recently, a friend of ours walked through something really hard with his son, and every time we prayed about his situation I sensed fear in him.
Here’s the thing: when you partner with fear, you are partnering with the enemy. Period. That is where he can control you, your thoughts, and the situation. It can, and will, operate freely because you have given it (fear) authority too.
When you walk through a difficult situation it is imperative that you align yourself with what the word says not only about you, but who God is. Because GOD IS LOVE (1 John 4:16) and love never operates in a place of fear (1 John 4:18).
I want to challenge you to shift your mindset when you walk into prayer during a difficult season. You are essentially going into battle. Do you go into battle with a little white flag waving surrender?
But here’s the thing: when you partner with a spirit of fear, that’s what you’re doing. Instead, go into battle with your armor attached, and your sword held high.
Your prayer room is a war room. And, as believers, we already know the outcome when we partner with our Father because He has already done it all on the cross. He has proved His love to us by giving us His son (Romans 8:32).
I don’t know about you, but I’m going into battle today and reminding the enemy whose side I am on. Whose blood covers myself, my children , my marriage, and my home. I will not allow fear to reside in my spirit man any longer.
FEAR IS A LIAR.
Fear vs Love.
When I operate in a place of fear, I am allowing fear to reign. It’s like a tether at my heart pulling me into a place of worrisome and tiresome toil.
When God blesses there is no toilsome labor added to it.
There is simply rest.
What I’ve been learning in this season is to rest in place of fear. The Lord has told me that this season I am in has the promises He has given me, and the promised land is a land of rest.
Lourd, that is hard for this enneagram one.
So, how do I get to the place of rest?
Right now, it’s literally me closing my eyes and counting to ten and focusing on truths that I know.
I am loved by Father God.
He sees me.
He knows my hearts deepest desires.
My family is covered under the blood.
God is the one fighting, I only need to rest.
Sometimes I picture myself laying in God’s arms. Sometimes I am dancing with Him. A few times when I worry about my kids I picture them thriving in life and whatever it is that I am worried about over them, I picture the opposite.
I simply choose to find rest and let His love wash over me. Because, in that, fear has no hold. It’s replaced with love.
Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
Rest is the greatest expression of faith.
Let’s do this friends. Lets step into faith and rest. Kick that fear to the curb.
Know who we are and whose we are.
There is a shift taking place in our lives. Have you ever felt that so deeply? The atmosphere feels different, your heart is preparing, and your spirit is in anticipation.
Maybe its a natural part of spring, or maybe it’s because we leave on our much anticipated trip for Israel in less than one month, but I feel anticipation in every part of my soul.
Isn’t it sad that so often in life we focus on what needs to change or what isn’t working instead of what is BLESSING us?
Gosh. I want to remember and know God’s goodness all around me.
Even on the hard days.
So, today here is what I am in awe of and simply saying “wouldn’t He do it?”
– We paid off our THIRD parcel of land today in Uganda because of some crazy huge donations. It’s no wonder that since we started giving more, we have been receiving more!
– In regards to giving, as we have been intentional with generous giving, it’s been addicting. Like the best tasting basil and lemon infused ice water on a hot day. I just want to give more and more. And as we do, God is truly blowing us away. DANG GOD.
– Did I mention we are going to Israel because of a dearly loved friends generosity? JUST SO GOOD!
Friends, write out your blessings! Shift perspectives to praise!
When I was 10 years old my parents moved myself, my two sisters, and my brother to Haifa, Israel to live out the missionary life. There is so much more I have to say about that experience, but we will get to that another day.
Five years later we left Israel to return to the States. The Lord spoke to my heart on the plane ride home. What He said was simply “You will be back.” At 15 years old, I sealed that promise in my heart.
… … …
As an adult, I knew I was called to missions. In fact, I even went to bible school to pursue mission work. Through a string of life happenings, I never got back to the mission field. Rob and I started a family, and walked through many hard, joyful, and shaping seasons. Through every high and low, we kept our dreams in front of us. Many prayers whispered were: “God, I know we are called to missions, but what does that look like?”
We knew we were not called to be full time missionaries.
We knew the call on our life looked different.
We knew not many did what we were called to do–but yet, didn’t know exactly what that was.
The ache to return to Israel was ever present. Someone would talk about Israel, and my heart would leap in my chest. I would sit and cry at the longing in my heart to return.
Every time we pursued the Lord about returning, He would say to wait.
So, we waited.
… … …
I remember driving to church in 2014, and God overflowed His presence on me, and told me it was time to go to Israel.
That week we found some crazy good deals, and booked our tickets. After 20 years, I was returning home.
Have you ever experienced a beautiful moment that reminds you of your childhood? It brings your heart warmth, joy and an overwhelming amount of gratefulness?
That was our trip to Israel.
Rob and I were there for it.
The joy I experienced burst from every part of who I am. Throughout the week we asked God ‘what is it that you want us to do here? What is the direction we are called to take’?
What I wanted God to say is, move to Israel! This is your calling!
But that isn’t what we heard.
The Lord said again to wait.
… … …
Our ministry, Zoe Now, began officially in 2015, and while the vision was definitely “loose” at the time, we knew it was time to step out and trust the Lord would define our calling as we went.
And He absolutely has.
Our ministry has a clear mission statement (check it out at www.zoenow.org) and is growing and blossoming.
Through the stages of growing the ministry, God has continued to deepen our hearts call for Israel. The desire to bring our kids to the land has been a dream we write out as a family every year. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked the Lord to please provide the finances for us to go back as a family. So many times I wanted to just say “Forget it! I am sick of writing this down, and feeling that constant disappointment”!
But as soon as I would think that, I would reject that. There is power in your words and vision. God didn’t give us this vision to not bring it into fruition!
Earlier this year a birthing started happening in my heart and the Lord began showing me how to live in the overflow. This year felt different; I felt change. Have you ever felt that? You just know in your spirit that change is happening?!
And than the miracle happened.
Father God blessed us with the finances to go to Israel as a family.
The time was now.
… … …
What the Lord showed me these last few weeks has just blown me away. Could He have provided the money for us to go to Israel sooner? Absolutely.
But the time wasn’t His best. He wants to give His children the best and if we had gone sooner, it would not have been His best. The connections are now in place, our ministry is established, and we are operating out of a much healthier place.
The cream on the crop? We will be in Israel over my 40th birthday. Every instance in the bible that references 40 is a story of waiting, hardships and trial. But after 40 (days, years) the people walk into their promise.
I am going home to the promised land on my 40th birthday to experience the promise God has for us.
Because GOD. He is literally the coolest.
*insert all the tears here*
… … …
If you are waiting on a promise, know that God has the perfect timing and while you wait REST. Rest in what He has already done and will do!
I promise, it is worth the wait.
I’m an enneagram one.
Now, if you’re unfamiliar with enneagram ones, here is a high level overview:
– moral perfectionists
– strong sense of right and wrong
– always fair, principled and organized
I’ve fought that number in my mind for awhile. Which is ironic because ones struggle to find the balance of perfectionism.
And, in my mind, ones were not what I claimed as “perfect.”
In the past few weeks, however, a shift has started to take place in my heart. I no longer look at myself as somehow flawed as a one, but rather, the blessing being a one actually is.
I’m seeing my perfectionism as a benefit to our ministry, my drive to move in excellence as an opportunity to be an example, and my inner voice a strong certainty in a world of chaos.
Have you listened to the enneagram songs yet? Sleeping at Last has written them (except nines, although I am sure they are saving the best for last) and they are beautifully done. Not surprisingly, when I listed to the song for ones, I cried. To me, this song demonstrates the passionate drive ones possess, and the process of letting go while leaning into Gods grace.
hold on for a minute
cause I believe that we can fix it over time
every imperfection is a lie
or at least an interruption
i’m not saying perfect exists in this life
but we’ll only know for certain if we try
i want to sing a song worth singing
i’ll write anthem worth repeating
i want to feel the transformation
the melody of reformation
the list goes on forever
of the ways i could be better in my mind
as if i could earn Gods favor given time
or at least congratulations
i have learned my lesson
the price of this so called perfection is everything
i’ve spent my whole life searching desperately
to find out grace requires nothing of me.
i’ll hold it all more loosely and yet somehow much more dearly
cause i’ve spent my whole life searching desperately
to find out grace requires nothing of me.
___ ___ ___
God designed us in His image. Unique. Beautiful. Set apart.
And these gifts He has given us, He beautifully uses (as only He can). Today I’m thanking Him for creating me with a moral compass and a strong voice. I challenge you to look at the aspects of your personality that perhaps you have torn apart, and ask yourself – how are these aspects a blessing for God? Ask Him to show you if you don’t know.
And I guarantee He will surprise you in what He reveals.
Over Christmas, Robert got me a VHS player (aka VCR). It may seem like an odd gift, but he wanted me to be able to re-watch all the VHS tapes I had made when our kids were young. Eventually, we will have these converted to DVD’s, but we have so many so this was just easier – and more cost effective! 🙂
As we watched these videos as a family, I was taken aback on my insecurity. To the average eye, you would not have picked it up. But to me, I could see it as easily as I could see my bad haircuts. I mimicked my best friends laugh because I so badly wanted to be her (and she has the cutest laugh!). She knew how to let loose and have more fun. She was confident, and didn’t stress over the mess or any gained weight. To me, she was free.
I was self conscious and wanted to be anyone but me.
Sometimes I still feel like I’m that young mom. Just wanting to know who I am. Hating when I get overlooked or passed by. Feeling fat. Feeling like I am in the way.
But, here is the thing: I only feel like that when I am not planting myself to healthy roots. God’s roots.
Havilah Cunnington says: ‘When we begin living planted by God’s design, connected to His spirit, we live a completely different life. We have life in the deepest parts of our being. We are no longer subject to the world’s messages, dependent on what others say or think about us. We no longer need life to work out just right so we “feel good” about it. We now have an unlimited source of comfort, connection, and confidence coming from the inside of us.’
There are so many writers that say it’s enough to simply say you are enough, but I disagree with that. We cannot know we are enough until we know our Creator.
How many of you have had that moment? The moment, wether in church or in a quiet time, where the presence of Father God hits you. And it hits you hard. It’s as if you can see yourself fully alive in the spirit. You know who you are. You know how loved you are. Your mind is suddenly alive with potential.
THAT IS THE PLACE WE ARE CALLED TO BE IN EVERY DAY!
Not just once a week or once a month. Our lives are meant to live in that secret place, in the spirit, moving and living a life full of God’s overwhelming love for us.
Where we know who we are, and whose we are.
Romans 8:11 says
“If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwells in you.”
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So, today I am choosing to live in that secret place. In the sprit that dwells in me. Because without having Jesus as the center of my life, the source of all things, I will live disconnected from the source of all life. And, friends, I hate that girl who doesn’t know how loved she is by Father God. But I DO love the girl that thrives and loves so well under HIM who created me.
I’m in a season where I am fighting to know how loved and valuable I am by Father God. Not just know, but truly be seen as LOVED by Him.
Part of me wants to say that the enemy is waging war against my identity, but sometimes I think we give satan more credit than he deserves. I believe that there are situations that have happened to us in our life that have hurt us, and we have carried those hurts with us into adulthood. These hurts typically lie at a subconscious level, oftentimes stewarded from the time of birth into early childhood. Because of this, people are unable to identify their presence.
Until we allow healing from the Holy Spirit to fully cover those hurts, they are still there manifesting when the enemy of our souls decides its time to kick us where it hurts. Once he does this, we tend to run with it and allow the hurt to take control. Satan doesn’t have to do anything else after this point.
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So, in all honesty, that is where I am right now. Just feeling kicked and finding things in my every day that fan the flame to those hurts.
But this is what I am standing on:
” For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds); casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ASV