Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Second-Guessing Myself... Again

About a year ago, I felt very similar to how I’m feeling today. At that time, I had a decision to make that I felt so unstable about that I fasted and prayed for three days. God came through as usual, and I knew what I needed to do. I did it, and with lots of prayer and trust in God, we’ve made it to today.

Now it feels like life is taking us right back to that place. Have we made any progress? I keep telling myself that we have, and that “That Day” will come. “That Day” that I wrote about a week or so ago--the new beginning or happy ending that I’ve written much about. But is this faith or am I just telling myself that? Because me, talking to me, is meaningless. Am I back to swimming in the sea of denial because “I can’t handle the truth?”

My neck is stiff, my lips are chapped and sore from biting them, I sigh so often, I’m hyperventilating.  These are usually signs that I’m stuffing something. I’m not dealing with “my stuff,” and “my stuff” is dealing with me.

Have I done enough in the last year? Have I done what God has called me to do? Or am I giving up too easily yet again?

I fasted and prayed for 3 days again last week. On the first day of my fast, I received news that we may be going back to where we were a year ago. I had just come from a peaceful time of prayer, and I felt that steady, undergirding that fasting and prayer bring. But today, I’ve come down from the mountaintop, and I’m unsure of myself again. I’m not unsure of God—when I am faithless, He is faithful—I’m unsure of myself. Have I been too selfish over the past year? Have I given enough? Have I been obedient in every little thing? Have I missed that one thing that might have made a difference?

I’m going back to my knees in prayer—I need that unswerving hope!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On That Day...

On day two of this mom fast, my Bible reading was in Zechariah 14. The phrase, "on that day" is repeated numerous times. This is a prophecy about the refining of the nation of Israel, specifically, the city of Jerusalem:

They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The Lord is our God.'

On that day... The people have been refined and tested--a painful process to say the least. But the result will be that they and God renew their commitments to each other.

On that day... His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives - Jesus will show up in a way that cannot be denied!

On that day... It will be a unique day, a day known to the Lord. Things will not follow the normal routine.

On that day... Living water will flow!

On that day... There will be one Lord and His name the only name. There will be no denying who is in charge, and Jerusalem will finally be secure.

On that day... "Holy to the Lord" will be inscribed on everything from horse equipment to cooking utensils to the sacred bowls in front of the altar--everything will be used for His glory.

On that day... There will not longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord Almighty! He has come to take his rightful place as King.

This is a prophecy about the last days when Jesus will return for his people, but it is also about the refining process going on in our hearts each day.

As I fast these three days for my son, I trust that a day is coming when God will claim him as his child and my son will declare "The Lord is my God!"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mom Fast 2012

 I'm doing the mom fast again this year. It's been not quite a year since I did my first mom fast, and it seems to be time for another. In this past year, I have seen answers to prayer. And now it feels like it's time to step it up a notch and seek another move of God.

Right now I'm sitting in a gazebo in the park, enjoying a cool, clowdy day with Jesus. Here is my prayer for today:

Father, today as I spend this time with You, I pray that You will empty me ... Of my sins, my agendas, my selfishness and pride, my insecurities and addictions... And fill me with You... Your spirit, your thoughts... Dare I even ask that I begin to think like you, to love like you, even to look like you! That sounds so crazy because I know how far I am from looking like you. Will I ever be a reflection of you? Will you ever be able to look into my tear-stained face and begin to see your own? Only by the power and grace of God.

And so begins my mom fast 2012. If you have children who desperately need Jesus, please join me!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fight or Flight

I went to a creative workshop this weekend. It was a kind of art class, but also about journaling and listening to the Holy Spirit. Creativity, journaling and prayer—right up my alley, right? Not if wanting to run crying from the room half way through the first day is any indication! And I did. Fortunately, I was as far from the door as one could get in our crowded artsy-cluttered room.

When it comes to difficult situations, folks usually come to a “fight or flight” decision. I am usually a flight risk. I’ve never considered myself a fighter. In fact, I give up too easily when it comes to confrontation, disagreements and challenges.

As I sat there at my workshop, staring at my blank page, having no idea what to do while everyone around me buzzed cheerfully and excitedly about their work, admiring their neighbors’ creativity and ingenuity, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes.

It was like that bad dream I often have before an important event. In the dream, I’m a young student who forgot to study for an important test. As I get to school and turn the test sheet over, I am horrified that I cannot answer a single question.

Thankfully, at the beginning of the workshop, our instructor read from a children’s book called, The Dot. In it, a teacher encourages a child who doesn’t feel like an artist to just make a dot on her page. “Now sign it,” the teacher tells her. The child goes on to create amazing art with her dots and later encourages a young boy who doesn’t feel like an artist to just draw a line, “then sign it.”

As I stared at my blank page, feeling like that young child, I dipped my trembling brush into the pain and made a swoosh. I soon finished the page and began another and another.

I still feel like my pages look like a kindergartner created them, but I love my new journal. It is a part of me. It has many more pages that I need to finish, and I plan to discipline myself to do it. Unlike our  instructor, this will probably be the only journal of this kind that I will make, but I know that the Holy Spirit has lots more to say to me as I complete it.

At the end of the workshop, I had to make yet another fight or flight decision. We were instructed to pass around our beautiful nametags we had been given as came in the day before. Each person was to write a word or phrase about the others on the backs of their nametags. I had been so wrapped up in myself and my own fears, insecurities and frustrations, I had barely spoken to most of the other women in our class. What would I be able to write on their nametags? And mine would surely come back blank because they wouldn’t know what to write on mine! Again, I wanted to run crying from the room.

But I didn’t bolt. I looked at each nametag as they came around and I looked at each woman and I realized I had seen enough of each of them to be able to write something sincere on their nametags. And when I got mine back, it had words on it that brought me to tears… words that made me realize that maybe I’m not such a flight risk after all!