Beach time!

Beach time!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why I had to fail

Many of you know my testimony that emerged out of the last several years. I set out almost 3 years ago determined that my diligent research and study on the stronghold of fear would eradicate this giant in my life. This quest became my personal challenge. 1 year-every day-studying, praying, and writing. Not a bad goal by any means but God wanted more than I knew at that time I would have to give. He wanted more than my determination and drive to "fix myself". So, we walked through a tremendous season of loss-cancer, total financial devastation, and a general upending of our secure lives. 
The very things that God had prompted me to write about, we began experiencing first hand. Take a read (click the highlighted titles to read the original posting).

On December 1, 2011 I wrote this in "Calm in a Storm" (6 weeks prior):

However, Christ doesn't always "calm the storm" in the way that we would like. Sometimes really terrible things happen and our fears come true. Our boat capsizes in the storm. 
Just remember that even in the worst storms of life-the hopeless diagnosis, the financial crisis, the unexpected crushing loss-Jesus is not sleeping. He is calming storms around us and inviting us to rest in Him. His shoulders are broad enough for our anxieties and fears and he wants to carry them for us. Grow my faith, Lord!

On December 5, 2011 in "A Promise of Trouble" I wrote this:

His Word does, however, guarantee a peace if we are willing to walk with Him-step by step, moment by moment. I'll be honest with you. I'm still not sure how to do this but I know in my heart it has everything to do with surrender-surrender of our fears of loss, rejection, hurt. And I know that if Jesus said it, then it is absolutely true. It is possible to have peace in the times of troubles, heartbreak, and devastation. Peace, mind you, doesn't mean we have to understand what we are going through or that we can't struggle with it. Peace is knowing that God is on the throne and we are not (how messy my life would be if I was on the throne!). Peace is knowing that God will never let me down when the humans around me fail. Peace is knowing that one day I will be with him forever and that this life is like a vapor compared to the eternity we will spend in worship. 

On January 17, 2012, "Jumping Without a Safety Net", I prayed this:

Lord, I give you this year. I know you have a purpose in my studies on fear and I see the way it is intertwining with your plan for our family. Guide us with confidence and the assurance of the One who has already overcome.

On January 19, 2012, "A Different View of Prospering", I wrote

 I do have a distinct feeling, however, that God is working to break open my quiet sense of comfort and security. I believe that we are ready to be stretched and this verse will carry us through any uncertainty that may come. This verse will breathe new peace into my life throughout these times.
God's plans for us go through stages of change and times of stability. May I never become complacent in the quiet times and may I never fear God-ordained change.

On January 25, 2012 (the very day before I found the cancerous lump in my breast), I wrote the following in  "An Invitation to Be Tested?"

How willing am I to put my heart and my anxious thoughts under God's microscope? Am I willing to be tested by God? What if I knew that going through all of that would make my heavenly relationship more intimate and my earthly relationships more fulfilling and purposeful?

I could go on and on. It's apparent to me at this point that God was more intensely preparing me the closer I got to that cancer diagnosis in the middle of February, 2012 and all of the losses that would occur over the course of only a couple of months. 

Was God preparing me through these studies? Absolutely. I have no doubt that in the months leading up to that season, I was training for a battle-a battle for my soul, mind, and my life. But I also think that I had to fail in my own attempt at self-help so that He could be glorified in my insufficiency. God knew that my determination to "not fear" might not endure and could be blown away by the very first wind. I believe he allowed it all so that all I was left with was Christ. Period. 

Do I still fear? Yes, I do. I'm human. 

But one thing has changed. Fear no longer has an icy grip on my heart. My God has a grip instead. 

Is it all worth it? I'm beginning to think it is. 


  1. It is ointment for a wound to be able to look back and see purpose. If these black and white examples of God clearly preparing you doesn't prove his sovereignty and divinity, then I don't know what in the world does!
    How quickly time flies in retrospect!
    I love this post. It was neat to see if all laid out in summary like that. GOOD reading.

    1. Thank you, friend. I know you can relate to much of this. God wasn't going to let me rest until I got all of it written.