Thursday, May 31, 2012
I am learning to take back things the enemy has stolen from me and to refuse the inheritance of fallen man. I am three-quarters through the “Inheritance” study by Beth Moore with my women's group at church. This week I finished the Freedom 1 course by Brian Brentt and Mike Riches at church. The Freedom course helps a person identify areas of weakness and sin in their life, areas that the enemy can claim as a stronghold. Even though the class is over, I have tools to use as I am guided by the Holy Spirit to trace various attitudes, opinions, reactions, and beliefs back to their source. In my last post I talked about fear, which primarily comes from a lack of trust...ultimately in God. That doesn't mean that healthy fear of being in imminent danger is a lack of trust...but ongoing nagging fears, anxiety or things we may frame as “just concerns” that are actually more than that, often come from bad experiences that we have not fully allowed Jesus to redeem and overcome in our lives. Fear is one thing that I will have to continue to work on but now I know that certain thoughts and emotional reactions come out of mistrust and I can choose to turn them over to Jesus and trust Him.
What I have found I can do is pray the model presented in the Freedom course. One is to repent of engaging in patterns of thought and emotion. Emotions aren't sin but what a person does with them can be. For me, the inordinate anger and the fears leading to feelings of shame and rejection and also paranoid thoughts. I need to repent of thoughts of not wanting to be here and wanting to isolate. There is a difference between needing some alone time as an introvert and wanting to isolate and not communicate with anyone at all.
The second part is to receive forgiveness for my sin. I know Jesus has paid the price at the cross and forgiven me already as a child of God but I need to acknowledge that and receive it.
Thirdly, I pray to rebuke the spirits of fear and anxiety, anger and rage, rejection, death, separation and division, and rebellion. I send them to the foot of the cross to be dealt with by Jesus. Others will have different areas specific to them like pride or addictions.
The last thing is to ask Jesus to replace all those things with gifts from Him. Hope, worship, light-hearted interactions, and enjoyment of simple things come to mind for me. There can be many other things someone else might be given in this portion of the prayer time.
I have to keep praying in this way because the roots of the anger, fear and other areas are still in the process of being healed. Yet the enemy will interfere with the healing if I don't reclaim the “land” that Jesus already redeemed in my life.
Friday, May 18, 2012
I am currently going through the Freedom 1 class...again, using materials by Brian Brennt and Mike Riches from City Central Church in Tacoma Washington. One of the work sheets lays out symptoms of fear. I went through that list and in response crafted the following prayer earlier this week. Other work sheets to come address Rejection, Shame and Anger. I had not looked at those sheets before I wrote this and now that I have, I see the thread that runs through all of them for me.
I've had a lot of fear in my life. I've really been in danger...threatened and in fear for my life. As it was, my life was divided and walled off, manipulated and used for an unholy agenda. I was deceived and devastated up to the point of death but You withheld what seemed inevitable. You had and still have greater plans than any benevolent, loving father here on earth could ever conceive. Quite literally my suffering, as much as it was, isn't worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in, through and to me. ( Romans 8:18 )
I fear rejection from others. I don't know the boundaries so I am cautious as to what to say. Some people have different ideas about what I should do or where I should be. They don't seem to think that talking about my struggles is helpful. I've heard people say that the past is the past and to leave it there but I know that parts of my past are pretty stuck on me and ignoring them doesn't make them go away.
I am afraid that I will mess up at work and lose my job. I've done that before and that has happened. I have learned to persevere and do my best. I just am always afraid that my best isn't good enough. Sometimes it isn't good at all.
I fear lack of acknowledgment...as if maybe I don't really exist...that I only imagine I have said something....that I am insignificant to others or that there is something wrong with what I have said or done.
I fear people in authority. Much of my experience hasn't been good. I've done something wrong and that's when they talk to me. Since I tend to feel I screw up all the time then I tend to be waiting for the other shoe to fall...when am I going to get into trouble for what I think I did wrong? Recently I felt a lot of shame about something and being in a vulnerable state I reacted to something someone said about a difficult person in my life during an appointment. I was too exhausted to respond properly at the time so I became angrier and angrier the more I thought about it. I sent an email in anger, something I just can't do. I have received no response even though I have sent an email apologizing and left a phone message asking for contact. My fear was that I would no longer be able to meet with this person. That is not true...I am meeting with her. My fears can get quite carried away. By the way...there are worksheets on shame, rejection, forgiveness and anger as well....sigh....I have my work cut out for me.
I fear that I will not truly find freedom from despair, from failing, from anger and internal pain. That somehow I will mess it all up again and make bad choices again and it will all fall apart.
I fear that if I let go of these fears and the behaviors I have in response to them that when I cross the line...when I hurt or offend someone that I will get smacked down and the fears I had abandoned to You will all come swarming back it will all be true. Maybe that means I don't trust You.
But I still need to let go of these familiar fears and leave them at the foot of the cross with the bindings that kept them attached to me for so long. Like You told me...don't look back. I put myself into Your protection from those who don't understand and will be offended. I seek Your prompting and guidance, Your boundaries on my emotions and reactions so as to not hurt anyone. I ask for Your mind in my workplace to be able to accomplish all that is set before me with skill and organization and a good attitude. Give me all I need to make good choices, the ability to think things through, to listen for Your voice and to know when to wait and when to move ahead. Keep reminding me to look to You and not others for acknowledgment. It is You who raises me up and affirms me.
Friday, May 11, 2012
This the first 100 of a thousand things I am grateful for...
I am grateful...
- To God, for giving people words to write in songs and books.
- For my job, to be able to make a way in this world.
- For my family, even though they are dysfunctional, they help me and make me laugh.
- For the people who pray for me every day.
- For mud – because it mean it rained.
- For E-mails from my nieces and nephews.
- That my feet hurt after work, because it means I have feet and nerve-endings that function the way God made them.
- For the emotions I feel even though they are overwhelming attimes because it means it is safe to feel them.
- That I can go to the park and walk in middle of God's creation.
- That there are people in my life who are big pains because I know To God has a purpose and a plan.
- For cool mornings to walk.
- For pizza....
- For a warm place to sleep on a cold and stormy night.
- That I am forgiven even when I get angry and it goes off the charts and I don't think Godly thoughts or do Godly things.
- That the sky was blue and clear today.
- That I could sleep in today.
- That I can pay my rent.
- For friends at Women's Fellowship that can speak God's truth and laugh hysterically in the same breath.
- That my pants are loose.
- For surprises left hanging on my door knob.
- In spite of me not being sure I want or need a father...that God still calls me His child.
- That I don't have to wear a winter coat today.
- For finding a gift card I thought I lost
- That someday I will figure out why this indented.
- That even though it's taking far too long that Jesus still wants to heal me.
- That my supervisor bought us lunch today.
- That my feet don't really hurt too bad after being on them all day.
- For the first wildflowers of spring!
- For Muppet videos that make me laugh on Youtube.
- That I can read.
- That there were several healing songs on the radio as I drove into work.
- For chocolate...especially dark chocolate.
- That I have a car.
- For kids that dance at church
- That my pastors listen to Jesus voice.
- For generous people.
- For the Chronicles of Narnia movies...
- For the special times I can sense Jesus close by...far too rare.
- For a comfy chair to sit and read and relax in.
- For friends to laugh with.
- For sticky notes
- For bread.
- That Jesus can take down my defenses, even the ones I don't know are there.
- For forgiveness and forgiving.
- For vegetables...I guess.
- For walls and a roof to keep the storm out.
- Dark chocolate
- Faraway places I can dream to visit in person and not just by travel magazines.
- For moments when I actually grasp a truth
- When I get a phone call from a friend out of the blue
- For the anticipation if a sweet little newborn in the family
- For a hug from a friend I haven't seen in a while
- For water
- For a warm blue blanket
- That the motion detector light came on when I came home late tonight so I didn't have to guess which key was the right one.
- For sunglasses
- For tape
- For beautiful parks
- That I have a job
- That I have friends
- That Jesus told me I was afraid of love....now what?
- For hearing Jesus at all, even when I am broken, angry and scared.
- That Jesus gives people pets to bring laughter and companionship, even though I am not one of them and don't care to be.
- For the insight and prayers of my pastor
- For precious friends that support me and pray for me.
- For my hysterically funny sister
- For new life
- For beautiful flowers....wanted to bring them all home with me!
- For Spenco insoles for my shoes!
- That I have a car
- For the gift of money so I can get an eye exam and new glasses
- For Sundays
- For all the colors and for artists who know how to use them!
- For airbags that saved the life of my friend's daughter.
- The freedom to get in my car and drive anywhere I want to go.
- For strawberries
- For getting mail that isn't a bill or an advertisement
- For a family that cares about me
- For stuffed animals
- For my neighbor who gave me bread and makes me laugh
- For roses
- For the freedom Christ gives me because He loves me
- That I can do laundry at home instead of going to a laundromat
- For quiet times with no music, tv or computer
- The big maple tree outside my window giving me shade
- For family get togethers where we laugh, play games and love each other
- For my crazy friends
- For books....I like books
- For chocolate...I probably already said this but double grateful
- For grace and mercy when I am out of sorts and tired
- For inner peace in the middle of turmoil
- For Italians...they make great food!
- For vacuum cleaners
- For sunsets
- That I celebrated another year of life