Sunday, December 30, 2012

Grief and Fear

"No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear" 
These are the first words in C.S. Lewis' book A Grief Observed.  I have found this to be true over and over again in life - fear follows and accompanies grief so easily.  Whether I've been grieving the loss of my husband, a dream, a job, my comfort, a relationship, or about anything else...I am tempted to fear. And it can be consuming. Why is it that fear is such a natural companion to grief?  It's fear of the future, fear of the present, fear that things will never change, fear that there isn't a plan, and fear that I've messed everything up.  Angie Smith says in her book What Women Fear, "It's so easy to fear we've ruined something beautiful."  I think this is so true of women.  This is so true of me.

Perhaps, the root of all of this is the fear that the best is behind me. 

The best is behind me?  What a horrible thought. 
But when I think about those times when I'm engrossed in fear, often this thought is at the root of what scares me so readily.

The enemy loves this fear.  It paralyzes and lives in complete opposition to trusting and abiding in Jesus.  Sorrow can exist in communion and in abiding/trusting in Christ...Fear cannot.  First John 4:18 says "There is no fear in love...."
You can be sad and trust, but you cannot fear AND trust.  One or the other.  Trust OR Fear.  Which one will it be.?

While holding sorrow and grieving anything in life - big or small, it's imperative that I hold it, feel it, and experience it in the context of this full trust and surrender.  Trusting that the best is not behind me.  Trusting that the best is yet to come.  Trusting that there is still life to be had and it will be beautiful. 

Along with this, I believe that God is often telling me to be still and let HIM fight.  Exodus 14:14 says, "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."  This verse has come to my mind over and over at various times this past year, and it's not a verse that I have thought of much at other times in my life.  I am a woman of action.  I don't like to be idle.  I am a fighter.  A scrapper.  Recently, though, in my relationship with Jesus, I feel Him telling me to sit back, be still, and let Him fight my battles for me.  He brings me to the end of my wisdom, my knowledge, my striving and says "Ok.  Now lay that all down and watch me work." 

This requires a ruthless trust...and I want to have that.  I want to trust that he has the answers.  That he is all powerful, and will work all things for my good.  That he can fix my mistakes and the mistakes of others.  That he can redeem all things.  That I need not fear anything.

I don't know what my life will look like at the end of this next year.  But I hope  - oh I hope - that I am a women who trusts more fiercely and rests more fully in the ONE who is over all things....
and knows my name.

New Year's Goals 2012

Well I'd like to look at all my goals from last year and say that I met them all...however....
I lost my list of  goals and therefore can't remember what they were...ooops.

I DO remember a couple, though.

#1 - Take guitar lessons.  CHECK.  Did it.  I'm not saying I'm good at it yet, but I did take some lessons.  Thank you Jon Stankorb.

#2 - Run a race at an 8:30 mile pace.  CHECK.  Did it.  I wasn't sure I was going to make that one...I was running MUCH slower even through the summer.  I decided to join a Bob Ronker's Running Group in late summer to train for the Thanksgiving Day race.  My intent was to run with fast people and therefore become fast. 
I must say that it actually worked.
At the beginning of the training I had to choose whether I was going to go with the "normal" group of runners and be at the front of the pack, or run with the "competitive" group of runners and be last nearly every run.  I chose the latter, and it made all the difference.  I would show up, leave with the fast group, and just decide that I would keep running with them until they kicked me out due to my inability to keep up adequately.  I could barely talk while running with them.  It was not comfortable.  But at the Cyclones 5K, I met my goal and ran an 8:16 pace!  Thank you Ronkers!  And thank you fast people for not kicking me out of the  group :)

Coming soon will be a list of goals for 2013.  Please don't get excited.  They will be ridiculously easy to achieve.  And I might even put a goal on there that I've already accomplished so that I can start the year out feeling successful :)