Sunday, October 28, 2012

Perfect read for control freaks like me...

I read a lot, probably too much on occasion.  The benefit of this particular obsession, however, is once in a while you come across things that ring so true for yourself that it almost hurts to read it.  You start to read something and begin to recognize your very core in it, you stop reading in protest to rationalize all the ways it's not really about you, only to return because in your heart, you know it is. 

From Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary comes this gem of enlightenment...

When “carrying my cross” is code for “I’M A HUGE CONTROL FREAK WHO CAN’T LET GO!!!”

I think I love and hate her now. Sometimes the truth hurts so good.

Friday, October 12, 2012


It’s almost time for ghouls and goblins, haunted hayrides, the Great Pumpkin, and dares to conjure up “Bloody Mary” in the bathroom mirror. Television programs abound with ghost hunters and countdowns of the most haunted places...ever. I have to admit I like being a little bit scared. I enjoy a good thriller film, not the slasher variety, but I do enjoy a good psychological thriller. I especially like the ones where when all else fails they call the Catholic Priest to fix everything. I don’t get to watch a lot of scary shows though because Hubby is too chicken to join me. Okay, so he’s not really chicken, it’s more of an outright refusal because he thinks it’s quite ridiculous to watch something just to get the wits scared out of you. I listen to his words of caution, and then watch anyway. Then I tear up the basement stairs convinced the boogeyman is after me. (Thank you to my big sister for that scar for life!)

It does make me wonder though, why I’m so willing and able to face the made‑up fears in movies and on TV. I know going in that it’s going to be scary, but the fear doesn’t stop me. However, facing the things that scare me in real life proves much more difficult. There seem to be many more things to fear nowadays, big and small. Whether the news headlines are horrible, or I’m pacing the floor waiting for Chad’s plane to land across the country, or wringing my hands waiting for yet another skin biopsy result, or whatever the worry or fear of the moment is – where is my trust in Him? 

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil; for though art with me.” (Psalm 23) The shadow of death!  And I’m not to have any fear?  I’m afraid of my own shadow, but I’m not supposed to be afraid of death or evil. That gives “easier said than done” a whole new meaning.
I think the key to gaining that kind of strength and courage lies in surrounding oneself with people who already have it. Hubby has it and not just because he doesn’t watch scary movies. Sure, he has his moments of doubt and fear, but they remain momentary for him until his faith chases them away. I think it may be genetic because my mom‑in‑law isn’t afraid of anything. She’s never afraid and she doesn’t worry. She once told me (well, probably more than once actually) that worry is disbelief in God’s promises. Such steadfast courage is rooted in an unwavering belief in God’s providence.  If you believe, really and truly believe that God’s promises are real – what is there to fear?
What am I afraid of?  Sometimes…everything! I’m afraid I’m not a good wife. I’m afraid I’m not a good Mom. I’m afraid I left my flat iron on. I’m afraid a tornado is going to touch down in my neighborhood at night when I’m asleep. I’m afraid of losing my parents. All that fear takes up a lot of time and energy. Even if I’m able to quell the fear temporarily while distracted by mom and wifely duties, it creeps back in the quiet of the night. In those moments before I fall asleep, worrisome and fearful thoughts can and do consume me. What’s the solution?  Faith.
If only it were that simple. But alas, it is, well… simple. There is a choice to be made. Either we believe or we don’t. And if we choose to believe, then don’t doubt, or at least try to learn not to doubt. I’ve found that I have to have some sort of touchstone that brings me back from the precipice of fear and worry. It can be the rosary hanging on my headboard, the cross around my neck, the 75 pound Golden Retriever hogging the bed, or the feeling of Chad’s hand clasped in mine. We all need those things that remind of us of how much we are loved and protected. I need the tangible to remind me of the intangible. There is proof everywhere of the ever present love and protection that God promises us and on those things is where we must focus our gaze so that there is less and less room for fear.

Whatever the fear may be that stalks me, be it ghosts or goblins, death, evil, terrorism, or the unknown, I can and should find rest in the promises of my God. So can you! Whether it be on Halloween night and we’ve stayed up late trying to get through the Exorcist for the 100th time, or watching our little one teeter off on the two wheeler for the first time – we have to let go of the fear and hold on to the Faith.  Whatever your boogeyman may be... be not afraid!  
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed,
for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10