Sunshinelittleone's Blog

All about my love for the Lord

Faith vs. Fear

I had a lovely chat with a friend today. The kind of chat that makes your heart feel warm. The kind of chat that makes you grateful for all you have.

My friend quoted me a piece from a recent sermon at her church. “The opposite of fear is FAITH.” So very true. When Max is troubled by ‘monsters and bedtime scaries’ I remind him to talk to Jesus. FAITH vs. fear. When he has to get on the bus and sit infront of the “BULLY” I remind him to talk to Jesus. FAITH vs. fear.

It is really just that simple. Have faith. I know, FAITH takes faith. Huh? Faith takes faith. In order to really have faith you just have to believe. Believe without seeing what you are looking for. Believe without really knowing. Having faith takes faith. I love that. In my most vulnerable moments my faith comforts me. Well, most of the time. It comforts me until I turn my back or try to go it alone!

My husband took a leap of FAITH two years ago, shortly after the passing of his father, Rick decided that after twenty-plus years in the business world he would follow his heart’s desire and become a teacher. Did you know that God gives us the desires of our heart? “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4. So, Rick went back to school and became certified to teach. Certified to teach not just one subject, but TWO! His heart’s desire is to teach. My heart’s desire is for my extremely gifted, kind and gentle husband to get a job. Or is it? Is our heart’s desire for him to get a job? I hadn’t thought about what our true heart’s desire really was until recently.
Quote number 2. Pat Robertson, esteemed reverend and university president said the following to his wife when they first arrived in Hampton Roads with VERY little…something like $75 and a home someone had given them. A home that was probably less of a house than we’d like to imagine. A very tough and trying time. And probably a great bit scary. I can only paraphrase what he said, but it went something like this: “Don’t you dare complain, because if you do, we will be here forever.” FAITH vs. fear. Don’t complain…
So, back to my and my husband’s heart desire. Rick get’s his certification to teach. Nothing had happened. Then a glimpse of hope…a part-time job which he loves. A taste of what he is so longing and thristy to do…teach. So with jubilation he heads off to work and we rejoice in shared optimism…until the bills come, and the groceries need to be bought and life continues on as it has since before this awesome (part-time) opportunity. FEAR vs. faith. Fear began to set in. I kept praying; “Lord please give Rick a job. Please put us where we need to be. Why are we suffering through? Why must we wait and wait and wait for something, Lord? What are we supposed to do? We have no insurance, life is hard, we have two children to feed….” COMPLAINT, COMPLAINT, COMPLAINT. I have complained…my heart’s desire was to wallow…not rejoice! My heart’s desire has been to live in the fear of not knowing; to bask in the frustration and anger of Rick not having a full-time job. WOW! “Don’t you dare complain…”.
Ok..so picture if you will. Sitting in a beautiful church on a Thursday afternoon, listening to one of the smartest women I have the pleasure to know, teach about Genesis and Joseph and his father Jacob and all they went through. She makes a comment…”I know some of you here today are suffering.”. My thought; “Girl, don’t you know it! We have been in a season of suffering for longer than I would like to consider.” Boo, poor me! She makes another comment…”I also know that some of you here today are so blessed.”. BAM! Right between the eyes. “Yes! I am blessed.” But wait, I thought I was suffering. Then I took a mental count of my blessings; not one ‘suffering’ in the bunch. Nothing. Not one single thing I could think to complain about. My husband IS employed…he DOES have a job. I am healthy, Rick is healthy. Our children are healthy and happy. I have a beautiful home with heat and water and a pantry stocked full of food. I want for NOTHING! NOTHING whatsoever! Gulp, that’s a big bite of reality.
God has given me my heart’s desire. My prayers were to continue in our perceived suffering. To stay and complain. WOW! So now my attitude has changed. My heart’s desire is for God to work His will in my life. I will claim that my husband will be employed with a fulltime teaching position this fall. I will claim what my heart desires. I will claim the Lord’s will and His will alone in my life. And, instead of claiming fear I will claim FAITH! For by FAITH alone I have been redeemed!
“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Matthew 8:26

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And so it goes…

My mom used to say that. “And so it goes.” I guess a reporter she liked said it, she wanted to be like her. My mom wanted to be like a lot of people. Movie stars, models, airline stewardesses, Mother Theresa…anyone but who she was. I wonder what she would have been like had she just been herself. She died. She passed away nearly six years ago. So, if you are keeping up with my writing you’ll note that both of my parents are in Heaven. I’ll see them again…someday.

My mom was an extraordinary woman. She had a beauty unlike anyone I’d ever known. Beautiful, Irish Setter redhair. Bright blue eyes and freckles…freckles that when she sat in the sun made her skin a golden brown. She smiled, but not too often. I could always make her laugh. Even when we were at odds, she always would laugh. We’d always make up…

Usually we’d make up, until we didn’t. The last time I spoke to my mom we fought. Six months later I received a call in the middle of the night; she was gone. Forever. That’s a tough pill to swallow. She and I were oil and vinegar. Gasoline and Fire. We had a way of pushing each other’s buttons. I always thought it was because we were so different. It’s because we were so “the same”. I didn’t realize that until I became a mom.

My mom in a word was eccentric. She meant to be that way, but she didn’t embrace that about herself. Not the way she should have, or could have. She wanted to be anyone but who she was. She never felt like the life she lived was “enough”. I guess we are all a bit like that. Always hoping, wanting, waiting for something better. I wish she could have seen the woman I saw.

My mom was smart. Some book smart, but really street smart. She understood people. She had a sixth sense about her. She would either love you are hate you. Not the most redeeming quality, but a quality I have since learned to embrace. She always knew who was going to break my heart. She was always right. Amazing how a mom can do that! She loved Rick when she met him, however, she did make it very clear, under the 15th street pier no less, that if he ever hurt me, there would be trouble. He’s never hurt me, he loves me like no one I could ever imagine. He loves me unconditionally, the way my mom did. That’s a gift.

She was glamorous. Way more than I could ever hope to be. She loved fashion. But never expensive fashion. She always said, “No matter how poor you are, you can always be clean and look nice.” I agree. She made dressing fun. She made it an adventure. She always looked beautiful…always.

My mom loved Christ. She was so in love with the Lord. Funny, I didn’t really realize how much until I became a mom. She carried in her wallet Phillipians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”. She really loved the Lord. Although those words were carried with her more places than I can imagine; she thought she could do all things.

My dad died in 1992. My mom was filled with grief. Consumed with grief. Her life was over-wrought with grief. She didn’t turn to Christ for strength. She drank. She fought the demon of alcoholism for 13 very long years. She fought hard. She was noble in her efforts to quit; most of the time. She was determined to quit; some of the time. She was remorseful about her choice to drink; all of the time. That’s what came between us. That’s what seperated us…until the day she died.

I was stunned. In disbelief. Horrified, that my mom had predicted her own death. Not the day or time. Not the exact moment. But she had always said she would die alone. She did. She died by herself in her apartment on a Sunday night. She dreaded Sunday nights. She felt alone on Sunday nights.

I felt the Lord speak to my heart. The Holy Spirit really. She didn’t die alone. He was with her all along. This next thing has brought me comfort and joy…My mom finally realized and admitted she could not do all things. She finally gave it all up to Jesus. He called her home. He took her out of her wilderness and brought her to Him. He eased her troubled heart and took away her burdens. He made her whole again. He was her strength.

As I worshiped in church one Sunday, on what would have been the “anniversary” of her death, I felt the Lord again. In my heart I saw her. I saw her free and beautiful without the chains of her addiction. I saw her smiling. What a gift.

So…I am like my mom. I am strong. I am kind. I love my family unconditionally and…And I LOVE Christ. I put my faith in Him. I know that through His strength I can do all things. I know that with Him I am never alone.

Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom. Thank you that you struggled. Thank you that you felt weak. Thank you that you grieved. For through your struggles, and weakness, and grief I came to Christ. I found strength in the Lord. I’ve said it before, He takes us through the wilderness for a very specific, and perfect purpose. My mom had great purpose. What a blessing it is to be her daughter.

I love you forever. I like you for always. As long as I’m living, my momma you’ll be.

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