UNDAUNTED For a few very hard years this word was my mantra. The word means -undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort -undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters. I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.
So today...choosing. Looking at the past. Seeing the record of faithfulness. Seeing the line we are on and waiting for the answer He is going to write, knowing the pen is already in His hand. Not freaking out. Finding stillness.... Trust isn't an emotion. It's a choice. Resting isn't always a default. It is a discipline. Today...choosing to trust and rest in Him...
"Choose this day whom you trust your lives to. As for me and my house, we trust out lives to the Lord." --Joshua 24:15
So, Monday is coming in hard and heavy, and it might be just a bit breathtaking in not all the most wonderful ways. I've been thinking of what I would tell you if I were sitting with you sipping sweet tea right now, and I finally figured it out.
Sometimes I simply didn't have words. I couldn't pray. I couldn't communicate how i felt. I couldn't process. There were no words, and it felt like I was just trapped in the so-freaking-hard with no way out. I would end up uttering s...omething incredibly profound like, "God, help me." Often, a verse or just a sentence or two would come to mind. Maybe lyrics from a song, and I would sit in stillness and just speak those lines over and over and over.
Honestly, I don't remember any "wand" moments where it felt like God waved a magic wand and POOF! it was better, but, I do remember feeling like I was out of the dark fog, like a spell was being lifted, like oppression was being lifted. It helped.
It helped me get to a place where I could breath and knew I could stand up and keep moving. It allowed me not to be in the "hell moment" anymore, and that was vital.
So, beloveds, if you were here right now, I would give you some sweet tea and a rocker on my deck in the sun, and we woulds it together and meditate on whatever verse, lyrics, or sentences you have. Since we are not together, you can do that where you are. If you want, share them with me, and I will pray them with you for you. Our prayers will rise as incense before the Lord because leaning into Him is an offering of praise, and He finds it beautiful.
Beloveds, tonight my heart is broken for those who have been the victim of sexual violations. Since my walk this morning, I have been praying for those affected by this...godless act of theft and cruelty. I have prayed for those who are so tired of hurting from the effects that they are considering death, not because they want to die but because it is too painful to live like this. And I am so sorry. SO sorry it hurts like that. I'm sorry you suffer from nightmares and memories and the ongoing torture of self-loathing, feeling unprotected, fear of it happening again, the further violation of not being believed, the fear of telling anyone at all. I'm so sorry, and if I could tell you anything right now, I would beg you to not give up. I would BEG you, with the tears that are in my eyes right, to not give up.
You are worth fighting for.
You are not invisible.
You are not alone.
And I would tell you--
It is not you fault.
You didn't cause this.
You don't deserve this.
This is not about you, who you are, or what you did. This is all about the person--or persons--who did this to you.
Don't let someone else' horrible character and shameful actions determine how you see yourself.
God made you as a gift to you, for you to open a little bit at a time as you grow and mature and become. Please, please don't let some heinous person steal that gift forever. I know it may take time and help to believe you are a gift, to believe you are beautiful or handsome, to believe you are perfectly made. It may take help and time to learn the truth--that you are amazing in wondrous ways that do not cause you pain. Beloved, YOU are NOT the one who caused you pain.
There is so much I want to tell you. So much I want you to be able to know. But right now, please know you are not alone. You do not have to hide anymore. You do not have to lie. You do not have to stay silent.
You are precious. You are...you were made to love yourself as God made you and ot enjoy yourself and to feel safe in yourself. This thing that happened to you is not God's will, and His heart is broken for you. He is not ashamed of you or disgusted by you. He is reaching out to you. His heart is to restore you.
Last week I said I was taking time from Facebook, and I really meant it. I intended to be gone until some time in 2018, and frankly, I was hoping not to come back then, but that is not what happened. After someone felt the need to enforce that statement through comments and then a private message, I decided to address the issue. Below is my post to Facebook this morning.
Two people have commented, so I am going to answer the question publicly:
Thought you were taking time off FB. What's the story?
*I* planned to take time off FB. I mean, I shared part of my list with you. Really, FB is not a priority to me, so I was off. In fact, I was off FB for over a year and actually loved it! So, woohoo! No FB for me!
I don't actually own my time anymore. I gave that up. I don't actually have personal priorities anymore. I gave that up.
When I said, "Jesus, I want everything you have, everything you are. I want all the promises you've made to come to pass. I want to be the place where you and your power invades the earth," I gave up--no, I intentionally handed over--all "personal" opinion and decisions, all small-minded, short-sighted ideas of what is important, and I chose to own, live in, and act in reality of what the Lord says is important and priority to Him.
The fact is all those things I listed do need to be addressed, but they are not eternal priority for Him. The Word says, "Seek first--find and live in--the kingdom of God--what is priority to Him--and all these things shall be added unto you--He will make sure the necessary earth stuff happens as well."
Now, we like to take that verse and make it all about blessings and gifts and getting what we want, but the kingdom of God has never been about things. It is about how we live. It is about WHO we live.
And WHO I live is this: I am a writer and encourager above everything else. I am the voice God uses to speak certain things to certain people at certain times because they need to hear them. I am the one He allows to see people when they are hurting or weary or just flat done. I am the one He allows to stand or fight for those who are too tired to stand for themselves or too tired to fight for themselves. I am the one He uses when He wants to invade a moment in time, a place on the earth, or a person's life.
This does not make me better than anyone else. It does not make me holier than anyone else or more anything. It simply makes me created for this purpose.
Sometimes the whole of life with all the roles I have gets really heavy, and I get incredibly tired, and since God really is the only one I have to walk through this with, I take a break. I step out of everything to breathe, to refocus, to just rest in Him. And frankly, FB with the people who need to fix or criticize or be my self-imposed parent or let me know how they think I need to be living or how I need to be coping is one of the things I really would rather live without. In fact, I pretty much hate that crap, so when I am feeling over-stretched, it is the first thing I am ready to walk away from.
But here is the reality. Those people are the weapons God has said will not prosper against me. Those voices are the tongues God promised I will refute because that is my inheritance as His child and His servant. You know, the person who has handed over my rights and the world's opinions of me so I can live in Him and bring to pass His opinions of me and what is important in His eternal mindset.
Yesterday I spent a lot of time listening to Him talk about how Jesus simply did not give His time to people who didn't get Him, and there were a lot of those people. He said I give too much time to people who don't it because I'm still caught up in the false teaching about "living at peace with everyone". Sometimes it isn't an issue of living at peace or war. Sometimes it is realizing they are not part of my personal eternal plan unless they choose to be. It is called intentionality and focus. Jesus' life is marked with it. It is a defining quality of His. That is what God and I are intensely discussing right now--intentionality and focus. And, yep, there will be people who don't get that or who try to impose their ideas of priority or intentional livnig, but those are not tongues I need to value or honor. Those are the ones my Father says to refute in both Psalm 31 and Isaiah 54, not just in word but also in emotion and response. We are still talking about that because He is unwinding some mixed up theology. He's really amazing patient in His explaining and reordering.
So, that is the Reader's Digtest version of what is going on with me and the FB issue. Not short, but there is so much more in my journal from conversations with the King that I am not adding here but am seeking wisdom in sharing later.
Thanks for taking time to listen, and thank you for your kind prayers.