Take heart

A day off. An inhale and slow exhale kind of day. That’s what I was expecting this morning. After taking care of the dogs, I laid back on the couch and lazily watched the news while wrapped in a soft blanket. The dogs had settled back down after a morning romp and the house was still. I just kissed my man goodbye and reminded him of how happy I was for him to return in the evening. I got up to make the bed and when I returned 5 minutes later, I saw that my phone screen was full.

Who on earth is trying to reach me at 5:45 in the morning????

It was Roger. In that moment my heart starts to beat with an intensity that left me dizzy.

My mind whirls with horrible thoughts. His heart….. an accident……my hands tremble to unlock the phone and call him, bypassing the messages he left me.

My husband doesn’t leave messages. This adds to my distress and shaky hands.

I reach him. He sounds strong and good and annoyed. It’s the car. Exhale…… the car, just the car. No accident, the car decided to stop working.

What a great thing. Cars can be fixed and replaced. He’s fine I tell myself. I will get him and he will take my car to work and we will deal with his later.

Outside is filled with a fog so intense, we missed turning back into our house when he dropped me off. The fog feels like my head right now. All muddled and full of fear. Anxiety in my chest feels heavy with the panic that came to visit when I didn’t know what was wrong.

Though he’s fine, my body feels like it’s been attacked by a wave of fear that leaves me struggling to orient myself  (for those who don’t know, he has a heart condition that we watch closely).

I thought I’d dive into my Bible. Scriptures have always been my favorite way to connect with God but I feel this invitation to go out and be in the garden.

I walk around a fog-filled, early morning garden and  I voice to God, this is what I feel like on the inside!!! It’s not helping….. Then I sense a prompt to take a closer look.

The fog had transformed everything. The spider webs have droplets on them. The flowers looked as if they were covered with sugar.

In that moment I realized that I’m covered too. I’m covered by a God that is everywhere at once. The garden was covered with a fog that at first seemed completely disorienting and frustrated my ability to view the world around me. Then I realized that it also covered the world with life-giving water. Not just covered things, it made them more beautiful. Something about the sheer wonder around me cause the fear to slip away.

I fear Roger leaving this earth and being alone. The one I’ve loved so deeply and for so long. But the truth is, I am never alone. God is always everywhere all around me and his spirit within me.

Everywhere I looked was an intricate design of grace. I didn’t have my real camera with me and these photos were taken with my iPhone but they are still a delight.

My fight with fear is not over but God’s grace will always trump it if I allow him to lead me through it.

What a tender and powerful God he is.

John 16:33

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

 

 

 

FEAR

Fear   

afraid picture.jpeg

How do you define it?

Here is what the dictionary had to say.

fear

An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.

Fear is also something that can take hold of your imagination (if you have one) and run wild.

It doesn’t tell us the truth about a situation and I find it to be quite an exaggerator.

It is the pessimistic naysayer over all your options.

Fear makes threats it has no power to keep unless we agree with them.

It is the voice that desires for us to color in the lines, stay behind the barricade and not think outside the box.

It is the border bully to the inheritance God has planned for us.

It has a job and it is to keep us from knowing God and experiencing a life that bears the fruit of intimacy & trust.

Fear is just paper chains bragging that they are real.

I have found that it is a lot easier to see ‘fear’ in other people. 

It is much harder to find fear hidden in our excuses.

I am dedicating this year to exposing every little or large amount of fear woven through the decisions in my life.

I will then be exposing that fear to perfect love and sent back to hell where it belongs.

Hope you do the same.

Joy.

rz

Dear Bad day – I’m putting you on notice.

Ever have one of those days? You know the kind that makes you forget the sun is warm and the sky is a stunning blue?

The kind that whispers lies into your head and reminds you of your worst fears or deepest hurts?

I received an email from someone I care deeply about. She was deep in the pain of the terrible day.

Here is a bit of what I wrote back.

Maybe a few of us need to hear it today too…….

Baby, just breath and hold on. These emotions are not the truth and they will pass.

A few days ago I had a weird experience. My nest was empty and I was hit with an overwhelming feeling that I was inconsequential.  Nothing I did mattered anymore. My best is behind me and there is no where to go but down.  The weirdest thing about this lie is that it came with weight and it felt true. My mind new better but I couldn’t help the pain that I started to feel in both my body and mind. For 3 days my body became sore and inflamed and I had a good ol flare. My auto immune system entered the fight.  This one soft thought kept floating above me saying, hold on, just let it pass, it will pass. Don’t panic and don’t make any decisions from this place of pain. This is just grief and it is an emotion that must come and do some shaking but the things that are true in me will hold fast.

It was a long 3 days. I sat in scripture, I prayed prayers. I couldn’t feel God the way I normally do, but I still believed that he was present.

Then I woke up and it was gone, just gone.  I need you to know that I spent those 3 days doing the right things, though I didn’t want to do anything but sleep since I was in so much pain both physically and emotionally.  I asked a few people to pray, I confessed my fears and grief to my husband and close friends, and it passed.

I am believing the same for you.

I typed out all those biblical affirmations of faith.

I’m going to send them to you.

Just breath, read out loud, and hold on.

It will pass. God will heal you though His Word.

Those lies that feel like the have a strong hold on you and are  tormenting are only paper chains. They have no power or right to keep you in bondage.

Love you.

For those of you facing the bad day, I pray this walk through His Word will shake the shame off of you, douse you with the fire of His love and fill you with the joy of His being. Just hold on, it’s coming. The good day is closer than you think.

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Here are some biblical statements with the power to focus our minds on God’s truth and dispel our emotions that often lie to us.

  • I love the Lord my God with my whole heart, soul and mind (Mark 12:30)
  • I walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)
  • The Lord is on my side. I will not fear what man can do to me (Psalm 118:6)
  • I am competent not in my own abilities but because He has made me competent by His Spirit (Corinthians 3:5-6)
  • I abide in Christ, He abides in me, and I bear much fruit (John 15:5)
  • I have the mind of Christ: therefore I act in a way that is consistent with His actions (1 Corinthians 2:16)
  • He will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5)
  • I do not look with disdain upon my weaknesses. I see them as opportunities for God to display His powerful strength and grace through me (2 Cor. 12:10)
  • No weapon formed against me can prosper, and every tongue that rises up against me in judgment will be condemned (Isaiah 54:17)
  • I will be hospitable without complaint (1 Peter 4:9)
  • I will not use my tongue to speak cursings, but rather I will speak life-giving blessings to everyone I meet and in every situation I face (James 3:8-10)
  • The Spirit indwells me: therefore I am the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16)
  • I am faithful over a few things, and I will be made ruler over many (Matt. 25:23)
  • I humbly submit to God, and I actively resist the work of the devil, knowing he must flee from me (James 4:7)
  • I will not give the enemy an opportunity or foothold in my life (Ephesians 4:27).
  • The One who is in me is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
  • I choose to obey the Lord and receive the prosperous abundance and blessing He will bestow on me (Deuteronomy 30:8-9)
  • My heart keeps the commandments of God. They will add length of days and peace to my life (Prov. 3:1-2).
  • I walk by the Spirit and do not fulfill the desires of my flesh (Galatians 5:16)
  • I am enabled to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • The Lord guards my going out and my coming in, today and forever (Psalm 121:8).
  • I rejoice in the Lord whether circumstances are good or bad (Philippians 4:4).
  • I will not be afraid when I lie down, and my sleep shall be sweet (Proverbs 3:24).
  • I obtain the favor of the Lord (Proverbs 12:2).
  • The Lord is in my midst, and He sings over me with joy (Zephaniah 3:17).
  • I am the apple of my Father’s eye (Deuteronomy 32:10).
  • Goodness and mercy will follow me not only today but all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6).
  • I have been made in the image and likeness of God Himself. This is my heritage (Genesis 1:27).
  • I have not been given the spirit of this world; rather, I have the Spirit of God that I might know the mind and will of God for me (1 Cor. 2:12).
  • I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16).
  • My steps have been ordained and ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23).
  • I only allow my mind to entertain what is honorable, right, pure, lovely, noble excellent, and worthy of praise (Phil 4:8).
  • I long for the pure milk of the Word that I may grow up to spiritual maturity (1 Peter 2:2).
  • I seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14).
  • I am a necessary and useful part of the body of Christ, and I will use my spiritual gifts to edify others ( 1 Cor 12:7).
  • Faith, hope, and love – especially love- abide in me (1 Cor 13:13).
  • I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:21).
  • I have been given victory in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 15:57).
  • I am meek and I will inherit the earth (Matt 5:5).
  • I extend mercy to others, and I will in turn will receive mercy ( Matt 5:7).
  • I have a pure heart before God, and I expect to see His manifest presence in my life (Matt 5:8).
  • I discipline myself for the purpose of godliness since it holds promise for the present life as well as the life to come ( 1 Tim 4:8).
  • My ambition is to be pleasing to Him and Him alone (2 Cor 5:9).
  • I do not judge fellow believers so that I will not bring judgement on myself (Rom 2:1).
  • My priority is to seek first the kingdom and God’s righteousness and I expect all needed, secondary things to be added unto me (Matt 6:33).
  • I am a true worshipper. I worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).
  • I do not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3).
  • Rivers of living water flow out of my inner being (John 7:38).
  • I have been chosen by God to bring forth fruit that shall remain (John 15:16).
  • I am a brand-new person. My old sin nature has passed away, and everything has become new (2Cor 5:17).
  • No matter my past, I am forgiven of  my sins because of the lavishness of His grace upon me (Eph 1:7).
  • I have been given every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Eph 1:3)
  • Because He was wounded, I am healed (Isaiah 53:5).
  • In Christ, I am whole and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4).
  • Whatever I ask for in prayer according to the Father’s will, I believe that I have received it (Mark 11:24).
  • I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation, I am one of God’s own people (1 Peter 2:9).
  • I will not be afraid because I know the spirit of fear is not from Him. He has given me a spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).
  • I am not a stranger to God. I am a citizen of God’s kingdom and a member of His household (Eph 2:19).
  • I have been sealed by the Holy spirit who indwells me. He is a pledge from the Father of my coming inheritance (Eph 1:13-14).
  • I am a masterpiece created in Christ Jesus in order to walk in the good works He has prepared for me to do (Eph 2:10).
  • For freedom I have been made free. I walk daily in the gift of freedom (Galatians 5:1).
  • I am dead to the power of sin (Romans 6:11).
  • I have been raised with Christ, and I sit with Him in heavenly places (Eph 2:6).
  • I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt 5:13-14).
  • I will not fear because the Lord is my light, my salvation, and the strength of my life (Psalm 27:1).
  • The joy of the lord is my strength (Neh 8:10).
  • I trust completely in the Lord; therefore I will be like a fruit bearing tree that continually finds nourishment despite dry, parched weather (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
  • No good thing will the Lord withhold from me as I walk uprightly before Him (Psalm 84:11).
  • Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and I will do the works that He did (John 14:12).
  • In Christ I have become a child of God, and I receive the blessings God has for me (John 1:2 ; Romans 16:17)
  • In Christ, God has chosen me as His own and made me strong. He has placed His mark on me. He has placed His spirit in my heart as a guarantee for all He has promised (2 Cor. 1:21-22).
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13).

FEAR

Fear

How do you define it?

Here is what the dictionary had to say.

fear

an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat 

Fear is also something that can take hold of your imagination (if you have one) and run wild.

It doesn’t tell us the truth about a situation and I find it to be quite an exaggerator.

It is the pessimistic naysayer over all your options.

Fear makes threats it has no power to keep unless we agree with them.

It is the voice that desires for us to color in the lines, stay behind the barricade and not think outside the box.

It is the border bully to the inheritance God has planned for us.

It has a job and it is to keep us from knowing God and experiencing a life that bears the fruit of intimacy & trust.

Fear is just paper chains bragging that they are steal.

I have found that it is a lot easier to see ‘fear’ in other people.

It is much harder to find fear hidden in my excuses.

I am dedicating this year to exposing every little or large amount of fear woven through the decisions in my life.

I will then be exposing that fear to perfect love and sending it back to hell where it belongs.

Hope you do the same.

Joy.

rz

Who are you?

One of life’s biggest hurdles is discovering who we really are.

Your childhood, education, philosophy of life will all color your beliefs about yourself.

Beliefs are formed by perceptions and the problem is that perceptions are both real and false.

Have you ever had to jump a few feet, say about 3ft but from where you are viewing the floor is actually more like 8 ft.  Our eyes are not located where are feet are so our perception is telling us something that is not true.  But it sure does feel true.

Courage has to step in and have faith (believe) that what looks like 8 ft is really 3ft.

When it comes to our true identity we have to push forward in courage to believe that we are who God says we are.  We are the redeemed, beloved, chosen children of God.  We are the desire of God.

The struggle lies in the fact that we act what we believe and very few of us believe the very heart of God.  We choose our misperceptions, the comments delivered to wound us, the message that culture screams at us.  Or even the mistakes that we believe reveal our true selves.

Here is a mind-blowing truth.  We have the power to CHOOSE our beliefs.

So why is it that we often choose to believe a nasty lie over the truths of scripture?

Here are a couple of big reasons.

The lies feel true and hope hurts.

Somewhere in life we have discovered that something we believed in or wanted was not what we hoped for and it hurt.

We felt that pain and decided it was bad and some of us decided to safe guard our hope.

Here in lies the problem – without hope we cannot believe God.

If faith was a balloon then it is hope that fills it up.

Hope and faith are partners.

We unintentionally cripple our faith and replace it with fear, anger, or apathy because we decided that hope was to painful to endure.

If you want to wake up to the beauty and potential of your life then you are going to have to dig out your hope, extend it in faith,  push past your fears and BELIEVE GOD.

Jump people, its only 3 ft and at the end of that jump is the loving arms of God.

His plan for your life is beyond your imagination.