Our Deepest Fear

So I have this quote on the side of my blog that encourages me every single time I take the time to read it:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson, Quoted by Nelson Mandela at his 1994 Inaugural Speech

What does it speak to? Our identity, our destiny, our fear. Pride, humility, and all that. We are His children, and He chooses to partner with us, and often takes us to places that are over our heads, and we look to our own inadequacies. True, we are inadequate without Him. But, as David Crowder sings, He has made everything glorious, and He made us, so what does that make us?

So when there is something we know we must do, and we are intimidated and shrink away because we don’t feel qualified, or do not want to seem better than others, what does that accomplish? There are times when you are put in a place for “such a time as this”, and it becomes not about you, or your talent, or your ability, but about manifesting the glory of God.

And the fear of pride makes its insidious way into our thoughts, making it about us again. I heard a saying that false humility is a form of pride. “Your playing small does not serve the world.” We need to recognize that we are children of God and shine for His glory, and give people a picture of what it may mean for them to shine.

And so I ask, who are you to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? You are a child of God, and it’s not just some of you, it’s everyone. Let perfect love cast out all fear, and be an example to others to let their light so shine, too.

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Find Your Voice

There is something nerve-wracking about baring your creative soul  in vulnerability to the world, you know? But as I continue to explore me, this is part of it. So this poem I wrote over a year past has been on my mind so now it becomes part of my thoughts to the world…

Find Your Voice

Why so silent
My precious one?
You are wonderful
So precious,
Created to sing
To speak
To whisper
To shout
To be heard!
Find your voice
And let your joy find its way
To encourage, to comfort
To love.

Oh, my heart sings
So full of joy
Full of my glorious one.
Find your voice!
What you’ve done so far
All you’ve said
Are simply shadows,
Echoes, really,
Of the glory inside of you.
Touch your heart,
Open it up and pour out
Everything you have!

Find your voice
My intimate lover.
The power and glory and majesty
That is in you,
That IS you
Desperate to come out
To overflow out onto those
Who are starving and thirsty
For who you are.
So open your mouth,
Find your voice
Speak the Word
Sing praises
Shout your love.
My precious, glorious one
My darling among maidens,
My dove, my perfect one.
My Bride.

The Black Door

Several generations ago, during one of the most turbulent of the desert wars in the Middle East, a spy was captured and sentenced to death by a general in the Persian army. The general, a man of intelligence and compassion, had adopted a strange and unusual custom in such cases. He permitted the condemned person to make a choice.

The prisoner could either face the firing squad or pass through the Black Door.

As the moment the execution drew near, the general ordered the spy be brought before him for a short, final, interview, the primary purpose of which was to receive the answer of the doomed man to the query: “What shall it be – the firing squad or the Black Door?” This was not an easy decision and the prisoner hesitated, but soon made it known that he preferred the firing squad to the unknown horrors that might wait for him behind the ominous and mysterious door. Not long thereafter, a volley of shots in the courtyard announced that the grim sentence had been fulfilled.

The general, staring at his boots, turned to his aide and said, “You see how it is with men; they will always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined.

Yet I gave him his choice.

“What lies beyond the Black Door?” asked the aide.

“Freedom,” replied the General, “and I’ve known only a few men brave enough to take it.”

I heard this story several years ago, and it totally rocked me. Is it true? I have no idea, but I recognize very well the spirit behind it. It changed my worldview, the way I thought. So often the fear of the unknown is so much bigger than the fear and/or despair of the situation in front of us, we’d rather just deal with what we see. In a very real way, it keeps us from living, and from living a life that transcends our every imagination. And you know what keeps us from that? This insidious thing called fear.

But, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

See, one of the enemy’s greatest weapons is fear, and he knows it. It works so well, he doesn’t have a whole lot of variety – why change what’s not broken? If you have a great destiny (and you do), the best and easiest way for satan to block it is to wrap it up in fear – fear of failure, fear of risk, fear of trying, fear of people, fear of success (yeah, I went there), fear of… you fill in the space. If we don’t have a foundation and a reality in Love, that fear will have us standing in front of a firing squad instead of opening the door to the journey of our destiny.

It’s hard, I know. We’ve lived with fear all our lives, and when we’ve dealt with one layer, there’s another issue that jumps out to taunt us. But Love is being perfected in us, as it says in the verse previous to the one I quoted. And as it get perfected in us, fear has no place. It gives way to expectation and anticipation, love of the adventure, because we have such a creative Abba who loves to hide things for us to find – even behind big, black doors.

So when fear comes to overwhelm me and try to derail me from the awesomeness of my destiny, I refuse to turn away and sit in the execution square. I will open my self up to the perfection of His Love, and move forward into the unknown. He’s a big God, He can take care of me, and I trust Him. And doors, no matter the color, usually open into wonderful opportunities, and if that’s where God is leading, then that’s where I’m going.

Are you coming?

Daddy

I wrote this poem some years ago, and I loved it then. But after I heard a teaching, I realized that I needed to make a change. The poem was about Yeshua, but as I went over it in my mind, I realized that all the attributes were of God the Father. There are many ways to interpret that, but I will just leave it at how much I love and trust my Daddy.

Daddy

El Shaddai?
– Yes dear.
I crawl into His lap and
look into His eyes.
I study His face,
memorize Him by touch.
– Nothing.
I just want to know You.
– I know, He smiles.

Abba!
Frightened by the storms,
I cling to Him.
– Yes, My child.
He becomes a strong shelter;
a Rock that draws me near,
One who is not shaken.
– Nothing.
I just want to know You’re there.
His strong arms protect me.
– I know.

Papa God
I cry.
I sob with a bleeding broken heart
dejected, rejected in my hands.
– Yes, My love.
He takes the heart,
bruised and battered by people and life,
and exchanges it for His.
Restored and whole,
I draw near to Him.
– Nothing.
I just want to hear Your voice,
feel Your love.
– I know, He says
and draws me to Himself.

Daddy?
– Yes, precious.
I look with love into His face,
nestled against His chest,
enthralled by His heartbeat.
As I sit in His presence,
absolutely embraced
in His powerfully loving arms,
words fail me;
not even necessary.
I enjoy just…
Him.
– I know.

Reflections

A friend of the family was hit by a drunk driver and killed a bit ago. Apparently it was a hit and run, not sure of all the details. I got a wake up call, quite literally, from my dad at 6:30 this morning. The only reason I answered it was because he’s out of the country right now and I don’t have a call back number. But after asking how everybody was, he asked me if I had heard (the family friend lives in Texas) had died. I went from barely conscious to quite awake in no time flat. We become desensitized to these things, but when it’s someone you know, however casually, it’s a shock. And even though I didn’t know Steve very well, he was a close friend of my father. What struck me most was how stunned my father was. He mentioned several times that Steve had called him a couple of times, and he hadn’t had the chance to call him back. His voice was so full of regret, remorse and self-recrimination and I felt sorry for him. Steve was a close friend, yet his busy life got the best of him. Life is so brief, such a whisper in the wind, and we tend to live like it’s all we have. What regrets would Steve have had? That’s hard to know – it’s a moot point in any case. But what regrets do his ex-wife and his two kids now bear? What promises unfulfilled, what words unsaid, or wish were unsaid? And good friends, like my dad, what “what ifs” are still floating around in their minds, weighing them down with guilt?

It’s a reflection for me, especially that regret my dad for not calling back. We’ve become so busy in our society, we forget to have time for each other. “I’ll call later” turns into, “I was so busy, I forgot.” We do ‘things’, these activities, and they seem to take precedence over our relationships with each other. But if we were to put a pause button on our lives and look them over, what lasting moments would we find? How often did we choose things eternal over things temporal? What do we value, and how does that show up in our choices in how we govern and spend our time? For me, just being utterly transparent at the moment, I have a deep hunger for true, strong relationships and community, and I keep knocking my head against the busyness that seems to be a high value right now. It’s so hard when everything around us wants 48 hours out of our 24-hour day. But when someone is suddenly gone from my life, or at the end of my own, whenever that may be, the last thing I want on my heart and mind is regrets about how I just didn’t make enough time for those I love and care about.

This life is short, and so temporary – love hard.

A Love that Changes a People

Recently, I was talking to a friend about movies and Braveheart came up. I watched it once and thought it was good, but not one I’m gung-ho to see again. My friend was not of the same opinion at all. He said that it was the most romantic movie he had ever seen. Yes, he’s a he, and as far as I know, very straight. He went on to explain what he meant. Mel Gibson’s character was a peaceable man, not wanting to get involved in the struggles that plagued the country. He falls in loves and marries a girl he has known since childhood, and when she is killed, he changes. Because of her love and his love for her, he rallies a whole nation to stand up and fight for their freedom. To change from being overpowered and cowed under, to a people of pride. Then my friend said something that has stuck with me for these last several weeks; he said to name another movie/story where love so changes a man, who changes a nation (or words to that effect). I thought of some good movies with great love stories, but he was right. When I thought about it, he was really right.

So, I’ve got this friend who’s got lots of relationship problems, and her main issue is that she doesn’t see herself worthy of a decent guy. She keeps getting into these bad relationships, keeps getting hurt, and doesn’t understand why. I’m trying to encourage her, help her understand that she needs to like and respect herself before she can expect anyone else to. She once asked me how I can be so confident and self-respecting, so sure of myself. I didn’t consciously think this before, but at that point and ever since I realized what it was. Abba loves me unconditionally, no matter what, and when the Creator of the Universe is madly in love with you, you can’t help but feel loved, and appreciate the person He loves. Because of His love, any guy who treats me with less than that respect doesn’t even stand a chance. The Messiah’s love is so deep, He went through hell to get me (yeah, literally). That’s kinda hard to live up to…

I found it very interesting that these two subjects have come up in the last couple weeks, because yes, I found the one story that compares. I’m sure you saw this coming. God’s love for us was so compelling that he changed from Godly form and took on the form of a man to go to the cross, take on our sins, and reunite us with Himself. That’s a very blasé summary that doesn’t touch on a fraction of the passion involved, but there you are. A love that changes a man (in a matter of speaking – changes the Creator into a man), which has changed and continues to change not only a nation, but nations. That is the ultimate love story. That’s Who loves me, and with Whom I am in love.