What’s Your Expectation?

Is there a situation in your life that you believe that’s just the way it is; this is my life; I just have to deal with it; it’s not going to change?  Do you know what?  You are the same as the man by the Bethesda pool.  Listen to how he responded when Jesus asked him “Are you HOPING to be healed?”  Listen to what his expectation has been all of the 38 years:

“I CAN’T be healed because of my situation.  There is NO HOPE for me.  There is no one to carry me to the pool.”  He actually was NOT hoping to be healed because his circumstances were dictating to him whether or not he had hope.

No hope for me ... no way to get there from here

No hope for me … no way to get there from here

How did Jesus respond?  He didn’t even address the situation itself.  He just says “Stand up.  Pick up your mat and walk.”

What was Jesus saying?  “No situation limits me.”

Jesus shattered the man’s expectation by saying “Stand up, carry your mat and walk.”  He told the man to do what was impossible without God.  Later when he saw the man he told him – “look at your body it has been made whole and strong. So avoid a life of sin, or else a calamity greater than any disability may befall you.”  

What was the sin to which Jesus referred?  I was stunned as this revelation dawned.  The ungodly expectation that God is limited by any situation in our life to provide for us and accomplish His purposes.   I had always wondered, what was this poor man’s sin who had been sick for so long?  I had never seen that he was trapped by his own beliefs and expectations.  

As I pondered, can this be true the Holy Spirit brought to mind: “is anything to hard for me.” (Jeremiah 32:27)  followed by how the Psalmist David spoke about how his God had destroyed the lion and the bear and would destroy this Philistine as well (1 Samuel 17:37).  What a difference in expectations!

So just what is an ungodly belief or expectation?  It is a belief or expectation about God or our lives that does not line up with Who God’s Word tells us He is and what He can do.

I’ve told you before on this blog I have a great job; I work with wonderful people; I work for an amazing company.  But what I discovered as I read this John 5 passage about the man at the Bethesda pool is my own ungodly expectation, which was I believed that as long as I had to work at any job I was going to have to suffer with Fibromyalgia because of the demands and time required which are things that are not in large in supply when you have Fibromyalgia.  That was my  “no one to carry to me to the pool”.  

Last year I wrote on here  about how God woke me up at 5:15 AM on a Saturday morning with an alarm when I did not have any alarm set on my clock   At that time I felt led to look up John 5:15 which just happens to be the last verse of this passage.  “The man went and told the Jewish leaders it was Jesus who had healed him.”  At that time I claimed that would be my testimony.  (Click here for that post.)

Look at what God is doing now.  He has been working on me for over a year to finally get me to the point of what I wrote in my last post.  Rather than trying to PROVE it’s true that God can heal me, I can just ACCEPT that, regardless of my circumstance, healing (1 Peter 2:24), energy (Rom 8:11) and wholeness (1 Thes 5:23) all belong to me because of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done.

Can I tell you what that will look like?  Nope. Why? Because until now I have believed my healing has had to look a certain way.  Certain things had to happen.  Apparently I was wrong and they don’t!  

What is your version of “there is no hope for me because I have no one to carry me to the pool?”  Is it your health; is it your finances; is it your marriage; is it your relationships; is it your family; is it your job?  

When you read this, please know I am not pointing a finger at you and saying “shame, shame look at what you have done.”  I’m saying “welcome to my world, I’ve been living this”.

Whatever your version is – are you willing to come out of agreement with the ungodly belief that “it” is bigger than God?   And, in place of that lie  are you willing to come into agreement with the truth that He actually can provide for you regardless of your circumstances?  Are you willing to come into agreement with the truth that His hand is not shortened that it cannot save (Isaiah 59:1); that Our Heavenly Father can do all things, and that no thought or purpose of His can be restrained or thwarted. (Job 42:2)?

If you are hesitant to make these choices because you are not too sure what God’s plans are for you.  Let me reassure You His plans are GOOD!  His plans are are to prosper you and not to harm you; to give you hope and a future (Jer 29:11).  Jesus told us He came that we may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) -  it is our enemy, the thief, that comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10). 

And the good news just keeps on coming because if we do choose to come out of agreement with ungodly beliefs (lies) and come into agreement with truth, God is faithful to forgive us and set us free from where we have entangled ourselves in these ungodly beliefs.   (1 John 1:19)

When that happens, just as it was for the man at the Bethesda pool … “the future’s so bright, you have to wear shades” :)

The future's looking bright!

The future’s looking bright!

Prove or accept?

“Are you trying to PROVE there is hope or ACCEPT there is hope?”  Was the question I heard as I was walking one morning this week.  BIG difference in the amount of energy required/involved.  I think from all the wrestling and unsettledness of my dreams, I’ve been trying to PROVE there is hope.

There is a facet of my life right now where I am “at the edge of all the light I know”.  What lies before me is the world from a point of view that is new to me and as a result it is challenging me at my core.  Do I have enough hope that life can be different from what past experiences have taught me to step off into the darkness of the unknown where faith is knowing one of two things will happen?  There will be something on which to stand or I will be taught how to fly (paraphrased from Barbara Winter).

This is not the first time I have stood at the edge of this precipice.  I’ve been here twice before.  It is agonizing to get this point in your life.  I don’t want to mislead you that because I am capsulizing this for you into a post that it was not a scary, painful, gut-wrenching journey to the edge.  However, when I recognized where I was, once again, I remembered both previous times when I had chosen to step off into the darkness, my Heavenly Father was faithful.

The first time was when my “flying lessons” started and have continued for the past 16 years.  The second time was during the final two week’s of my Mom’s life and the grief that followed.  That time I learned about the gift of having something on which to stand.  Not quite as sexy as flying …. but oh what a gift.  The best way I can share that gift with you is to invite you into my personal journal from February 2011:

I heard You ask me … when the answer does not look the way you want, does that mean I have not heard or answered?  Immediately, I thought of Mom.  It’s all connected.  This place I’m in I’ve never been in before – I’ve stepped off from that place of all I know just before Mom died and I’m still out there in the darkness of the unknown hoping to learn to fly.  I hear within, I don’t just want something to stand on … I want to soar with You.  Standing feels like “enduring” to me.  Hmmmm – endurance produces a fruit, I know… I need to check but I think it produces character to be able to always hope in You regardless of circumstance.  Oh my, forgive me Father for rejecting Your gift of having something to stand on/being able to stand in this unknown place I’m in.  In this moment I choose to receive Your gift of having something to stand on.  I see the picture from the Indiana Jones movie when he steps out into the chasm and once he steps he’s standing on a bridge he could not see until he stepped on to it.   Having something to stand on, does not mean this is as good as it gets and I will never learn to fly.  No – it’s a bridge to the next place You have for me.   Huh, I want to fly so I can leave this place and be free of it.  It never occurred to me that standing is as much of an accomplishment as flying and it is just as important and draws me closer to You as much as flying, soaring does.   Wow!

Indiana Jones at the edge VGA capture

Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade – 1989

In re-reading this just now the two sections I underlined jumped out at me … I would not be writing this blog had it not been for those two prior “edge” experiences.

Back to my Heavenly Father’s original question “Are you trying to PROVE there is hope or ACCEPT there is hope?”.

The honest answer is that although I had made the choice to step off into the darkness of the unknown this third time – I have been wearing myself out trying to prove there is hope.

What does that look like?

My instant reaction to the revelations of truth was “oh this is something else I need to do; another way I need to behave”.  I had taken on myself the burden of making my hope real through my own soul’s power. Trying to be enough, do enough believe enough to make it real.    Silly thing to do when hope (Rom 5:3-5) already exists and God cannot lie. (Titus 1:2).

As I type this Matt 11:28 comes to mind “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.”  Now that is what accepting hope looks like.  Much better choice!

Once I made the choice to accept hope rather than spend all my efforts trying to prove it exists, I have been able to find light in the darkness of this as yet unknown chapter of my life.  How? By turning aside like Moses did to look at the burning bush.

Is there still quite a bit of the darkness of the unknown in front of me?  Yes.  But as I have turned aside to look, to listen and as a result to recognize My Heavenly Father’s presence in an unexpected kindness, unsolicited help, surprising affirmation, a new teaching, nature itself — just as promised He has eased, relieved and refreshed my soul.  It has allowed me to rest both in the love that sends that hope and the hope itself. It has allowed me to trust the outcome to the Creator of All and not have to tell Him what the outcome needs to look like.

Why would I do that?

Oh maybe because of what my Heavenly Father whispered to me right after I made my choice as I was driving home watching a beautiful sunset:  “If I put that much beauty into the sky, what do you think that I put into the hearts of men and women?”

Now there’s a pretty amazing reason to hope, don’t you think?

As beautiful as it is, it does not compare to the beauty Our Heavenly Father has put into the hearts of men and women made in His image.

As beautiful as it is, it does not compare to the beauty Our Heavenly Father has put into the hearts of men and women made in His image.

The Big Picture

I think I’ve been missing it.

“Jesus is the source of life,
the animating energy of creation that humanity desperately lacks.”
John 5 - The Voice 

Somehow I have missed this oh so important truth.  I’ve seen Jesus as the light of the world; the Word of God; recently as the actual voice of God’s heart – but I failed to connect that the same creative energy that created all that exists is Jesus, Himself.

Love Is Motivating Power of The UniversePicture Courtesy of Love’s Rainbow Universe

In John 5, Jesus was talking to the teachers about the law telling them how they didn’t see what was in front of them and to what the law was actually pointing.  That set me pondering – to what was the law pointing?

Recently while walking one morning revelation dawned that when Moses was given the law it wasn’t about do’s and don’ts.  Seriously.  It was to tell the Israelites about who God was, His character and how He would act.  It was God revealing Himself to Moses.

It wasn’t a measurement system.  It was supposed to be a revelation and everybody missed it.   They took it upon themselves to try to “be like God” seeking more rules and instructions as their guide, instead of being amazed and asking “Who is like this?”  “Who thinks like this?”  “Who lives like this?”  “Who loves like this?”

Those answers would have changed peoples lives as much as meeting Jesus changed peoples lives.  Why?  Because to quote a 70′s worship song “Jesus is the answer.”

People were still asking the wrong questions and still missing it when Jesus walked this earth.  He was/is the fulfillment of The Torah, which actually means “teachings” rather than “law”.  Jesus was telling telling everyone who would listen, including the religious leaders, this is what life looks life looks like when the law/teachings are fulfilled because I look like the Father.  (Colossians 1:15)

Puts a whole new dimension on it, don’t you think?  Is “your picture” getting bigger?

It’s always been about love and not keeping the rules, if I look at the commandments from the perspective of an answer to Moses question: You asked who I am, this is my answer.

The first 4 commandments are about us loving God for what He has already done (Exodus 20:1-11).  Look at the last six commandments (Exodus 20:12-17).  They are basically 1 Corinthians 13 as a revelation of who God is and how He acts, for He is love.   Jesus confirmed that when he was asked what is the greatest commandment?

 “Love the Eternal One your God
with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.”
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is nearly as important,
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The rest of the law, and all the teachings of the prophets,
are but variations on these themes.
Matthew 22:37-40 The Voice

 However, the Israelites equated power with wrath and punishment – their experience for the past 400 years in Egypt.  Their paradigm was don’t get close to power, it will hurt you.  That belief system prevented them from being able to clearly hear and see what God was presenting to them, even though they had the evidence of Moses’ transformation from being in God’s presence immediately in front of them.

Moses told them “don’t be afraid” for Moses had seen the power of God first hand.  What he took away from that experience was “Merciful, Gracious, Slow to Anger, Abounding in Loving kindness and Truth.”  (Exodus 34:6)

No wonder Jesus tells us those who have seen me have seen The Father. (John 14:9)

I think I need a bigger screen.  The power of all creation is all about love.  Now that’s a VERY BIG picture and one great reason to hope don’t you think?

The power of all creation is about love.
The same power that created 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado Mountain Range.
Seen from 35,000 feet. April 2013.

 

 

My cocoon doesn’t fit any more

It is time for more transparency which means I must confess to you …

I’ve been trying to crawl back into my cocoon recently because my heart had been wounded, but my Heavenly Father wouldn’t let me.

My cocoon doesn't fit any more ... drat!

My cocoon doesn’t fit any more … drat!

He sent a friend to tell literally tell me I am a butterfly that needs to fly, flutter and display it’s colors when all I wanted to do was withdraw.  It didn’t feel safe to be me, to be seen and be that butterfly.  I’d tried that and been rejected.  I was certain that if I could just withdraw, i.e., crawl into my cocoon and fold it round me, my heart would be safe.  But the truth is, if a butterfly was able to do that, it wouldn’t be safe, it would die.  The same holds true for my heart.

My Heavenly Father didn’t stop with sending my friend.  He sent me a prophetic Word that literally “read my mail”.  He showed me truth in His word.  He sent me revelation during my acupuncture treatment.   He sent me another friend to confirm everything He’d already told me.  After that came dreams and revelation.  All these things to tell me who I really am and what I really need to truly keep me, my heart, safe.

You see what I wanted was for my world to change.  I believed that was the only way the emotional and FMS pain would stop.  The problem with that perspective is it included the fact that I couldn’t see anyway for my world to change the way I wanted it to change which left me feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.  A very difficult thing to admit when you write about unconditional hope.

As I lay on my acupuncturist’s table, I told him this pain feels overwhelmingly familiar and I don’t know why it keeps happening.  When will it ever stop?  He was quiet for a moment and asked a very simple question “are you sure you don’t know why”?

Truth seared through my thoughts.  I knew why.  I just didn’t want to actually see the truth because I thought all the options the truth contained were not acceptable to me.

In the same moment that I had the courage to allow my heart to express what it had known all along but my intellect had not wanted to hear, a portal to heaven was opened by my mourning and the promised comfort was immediate (Matt 5:4).

What was that comfort?  It isn’t my world that needs to change, it is me. The pattern that keeps repeating itself and triggering the stress and FMS pain is how I respond to my world.  Or to quote Dr. Mario Rivera “I don’t have problems, I am the problem.”

There are 2 facets I have seen this week.  First is I try to morph myself into whatever it is I think you need in order to make your world a better place; to solve your problem; to rescue or save you. Second is when I have FMS pain from all the stress of morphing myself – my response is “I hear the pain telling me I’m not enough, push harder”.  Which spins the stress wheel even faster because if I’m not enough for me, I’m certainly not enough to help anyone else!!

It’s a very old and familiar pattern to me.  I’ve dealt with other layers of this pattern before now.  But what I’d just discovered about myself felt like bedrock.  How in the world would I change this about myself.  It felt as old as time itself.

Enter Jesus.  Can I get a woooooo hooooo here???

My Deliverer.  (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

After I read this verse in several translations, I looked up the Greek and discovered the word for deliver is “rhyomai”  and means “to draw to one’s self, to deliver, to rescue, the deliverer”.  The greek word is made up of “rheō” to flow and “rhysis” a flowing issue, i.e., something constantly moving in the present.

Whoomp – there it is :)

Jesus, Your presence in me is a constant flow/river of deliverance!  That’s how I will be set free from these ingrained patterns.  River’s can wash away rock; the river of Your presence can wash away what feels so impenetrable/unchangeable in my life by my own efforts.

I see the caves on the beaches of Pompino, how the constant washing of the tide had literally washed away rock and created open space.  Space for people to laugh and play; space to be completely filled with the tide so that even more space can be created.  The flow of the water just keeps taking away the layers.

Pompino Beach, CA caves created by the tide

Pompino Beach, CA caves created by the tide – May 2013

Part of me wondered if in the waiting I would be destroyed as I wait for the change.  Immediately Jesus brought to mind pictures of the river bursting through the rock wall of one of the quarries belonging to the company for whom I work during a 500-year flood in May 2010.  The river didn’t go over the wall, it went through it!

River bursting through a rock wall to create a waterfall.

River bursting through a rock wall to create a waterfall.

Click here for video footage.

The water literally burst through the rock, instantly creating that gushing waterfall.  Everything was changed in a moment by the river.  700 billion gallons of water flowed into our quarry in 5 hours.  It was frighteningly powerful, mesmerizing and created so much change it felt chaotic, but it actually saved lives because the surrounding neighborhoods were spared.

Yes Jesus, My Deliverer.  Yes to the power of the river of Your presence changing me over time or in a moment.  Yes to how different life will look and letting go of familiarity as my guide and safe guard.  Yes to the life contained in the change.  I trust You, Jesus, My Deliverer.  My hope.

Withdrawal or freedom.  Which do you choose?

There’s always more

Being honest it doesn’t always feel that way. At least it hasn’t to me recently.  Anyone else agree?

I think that is why Our Heavenly Father created horizons.

Two weeks ago I had a dream about being intimately examined by a physician.  What he found he wanted to show to everyone.  That made me very uncomfortable even though I was covered and protected.  White and pure was what I saw that he wanted to show people.  The revelation that came immediately after the dream was that people that are much more educated and learned than I am want to learn of the intimate places My Heavenly Father, The Great Physician, and I have shared and what has come out of that.  The question I heard was “are you willing to be that transparent” because it made me really uncomfortable in the dream.  However it seemed like it was going to help a lot of people and they would be able to learn from it – like a teaching hospital.

What followed the revelation was the memory of when my father passed away and how excruciatingly painful that was for me.  And so from this intimate place, I share my experience with the hope that this will be a “teaching hospital” for those in the midst of grief.

When I was 11 my Dad experienced the first of 7 heart attacks; followed by multiple respiratory failures from  treatment for hemosiderosis (in laymen’s terms your body is basically rusting from the inside out); and finally pancreatic cancer.  Every time he went acute I made it back from Tennessee to Ontario to be by his side.  Until the final day of his life.

It was his birthday.  I called early in the morning and sang happy birthday to him over the phone [you may disagree, but my Dad thought Barbara Streisand had nothing on me :) ].  According to my Mom, tears rolled down his cheek as he was no longer able to respond verbally.  A short time later I received a call that I needed to come quickly, symptoms made it evident his time was very short.  I left immediately on the first flight out.  He was still alive when I landed in the city where he lived.  But in the 20 minutes it took to drive to my parents apartment he transitioned from this world to heaven.

My perspective when I heard this news was I had failed my Father when he needed me most; I had failed my brother who left my father’s side to meet me at the airport and there was nothing I was ever going to be able to do to fix either of those things.  My pain expressed itself in a scream I can still hear.  However, it has lost its power to torment me.

I’m guessing “how is that possible” might be what you are thinking.

I was not able to “see the more” in that moment.  Actually it was several years before I had the courage to allow my Heavenly Father to show me that moment from His perspective.  When I was ready to look, it was amazing what God showed me.  All that time I thought what I was feeling was my Dad’s pain at failing him when he needed me most.  Actually, what I was feeling was my own pain at not living up to my expectation of what I “should” be for my Dad and my family.

The truth was my Dad was no longer in any pain at all.  He actually was feeling the best he ever had felt.  Free from all pain.  I learned after the fact from my brother, that he had counted the cost before coming to the airport and still made the choice to meet me because he did not want me to be the only one that wasn’t with Dad at his transition.  Yes, my brother is my hero.

So after believing for so long that nothing could ever fix what had transpired, I allowed my Heavenly Father to lift my eyes from that bedroom to the horizon and discover the more He had for me.

Because it was my pain and no one else’s; it was also my choice to hold on to my pain and the torment attached to it or to exchange my mourning for His comfort (Matt 5:4).

I had judged myself and found myself lacking and unknowingly come into agreement with the lie that I deserved the pain and torment I was experiencing.  That is a lie straight from the pit of hell.  How do I know that?  Because that belief declares the stripes Jesus bore to pay the price for the chastisement of my peace as not enough. (Isaiah 53:5)

Freedom.  I was no longer trapped in that bedroom sitting alone by my Dad’s side, apologizing for how I had failed and telling him I would see him in heaven.  As I surrendered my pain in exchange for God’s comfort I suddenly saw a vision of that bedroom and behind me was my Dad, bathed in light, whole and healthy, rather than frail and consumed by cancer.  He was looking at me and the expression on his face was one of love and wishing I could know in that moment the truth that I know now.

Even in this moment, I am experiencing the truth of the more the horizon holds.

I started out by telling you it was 2 weeks ago I had the dream.  That same morning I was driving to another state to coordinate a conference.  I came out of the hills to the flatlands and my breath was taken away by the expanse of the horizon.  I made a voice memo to remind me “I can never get to the horizon.  It is so big and it just keeps moving out.  It’s a parable.  It’s the same as Your love.  I can see it and its expansiveness.  But I can never get to the edge of it.  It is always there.  It is always more than I get to; more than I can take in; more than I can traverse.  There is always more.”

Promptly after that conference I took ill with a nasty virus and have been ill ever since.  This morning was a wrestling match with Holy Spirit as I have been hearing the call to write since yesterday, but still felt so weak my response was I can’t, I have nothing to share.  When I woke early this morning I did my best to somehow fall back to sleep but I could not silence the call to go and listen to recent voice memos on my phone.  Really?  It can’t wait?

You are reading this post, so you know who won the wrestling match :)

I pressed the play button and was immediately reminded about the limitless more of God. Hope, that has been sorely lacking recently, returned.  I had been consumed with believing rest was the only thing I needed and was upset with being awakened so early.  My Heavenly Father knew what I needed even more was hope.

That’s exactly what was waiting for me.  It awaits you too.

Lurking Dragons – Part 2

The blinders are off.

I’m seeing more and more dragons … and it’s a very good thing.

You know the Shakespeare quote “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”?  Ditto for dragons only they don’t smell sweet!  You can call a dragon whatever you want, but they all smell like fear mixed with insatiable need.

After catching the scent of my first dragon last week; I was much quicker to recognize the scent this week.

What am I talking about?  That feeling you have when something just feels too big to engage. Whenever you get close to “it”, all the “danger, danger” warnings go off in your head.  Whatever that “thing” is, you are convinced it is impossible to conquer or impossible to supply the need it creates,  so you put as much of a moat as you can between you and it.  Problem is …. dragons can fly.  Bummer.

Toruk Makto - Avatar 2009

Toruk Makto – Avatar 2009

Now that you know how to identify lurking dragons, have you sensed any lately where you live?  And, oh by the way – you LIVE in your belief systems.  That is where you will find the dragons I’m talking about.

Why would a person want to “take on” a lurking dragon?  Why not just build a better defense system?  FREEDOM that’s why.  No more energy wasted trying to keep the dragon at bay, to hide from the dragon, or to serve its whims.  Dragons are prone to hang out in dark areas so take out your light saber (the Word of God) and vaporize them.

What does all this imagery look like real time?  Below is from my journal this week.

Rest is so sweet but I have not been able to enjoy that sweetness
because the enemy steals that from me by tormenting me with:
guilt when I want to rest;
or fear that I will never be able to get enough rest;
or hopelessness that it is pointless to rest
because no matter how much I rest,  I am still tired.
I break agreement with those lies to cut off the access the enemy
has had to steal the sweetness of rest from me.
The truth is rest is promised to me:
“I will give my beloved rest” (Psalm 127:2)
and God only gives good gifts. (James 1:17).
I come out of agreement with the lies that I have to feel guilty;
or that I am wasting time when I rest;
or with anything that is contrary to rest being sweet;
including the lie that rest is actually my enemy
because I can never get enough of it so it is a torment to me.
I break off agreement with that ungodly expectation.
My God says He will supply ALL my needs (Phil 4:19)
and that includes my needs for rest.
Ahhh – this has been a lurking dragon that has felt insatiable.
However, I can look at it.  I can touch it.
I can open it up to be supplied and not be consumed by it.  Hallelujah!

Sweet rest!

Sea Lions - Santa Cruz, CA - April 2013

Sea Lions – Santa Cruz, CA – April 2013

Care to join me for some dragon-free living?

Lurking Dragon

Imagine my surprise to meet a lurking dragon during my morning walk.

I don’t know your about part of the world, but in our part of the world the weather has been rather crazy this winter — 40 degree Fahrenheit changes in one day.   With that come a lot of barometric changes and with that a lot of Fibromyalgia pain.

While attending a ministry opportunity last week the speaker instructed us to ask God what He wanted us to do this year.  I was expecting a “to do” list.  No surprise as that is pretty much my “go to” mindset.

But what I heard was “give yourself a break”.  At that same moment  I saw a picture from the movie “Gladiator”.   Maximus is so battle worn and weary on the front line, so very tired, but he won’t stop because his king is asking him to fight, so he fights.

Gladiator - Released 2000

What came into my thoughts at that point was “If I give myself a break and I don’t fight, who will?”  Immediately I saw all these ranks of angels to fight for me and with me.

That doesn’t leave much room for debate does it?  Only thing is, how does one give themselves a break?  What does that look like?  What I saw modeled while growing up was:  push yourself as hard as you can, as long as you can and then push yourself a little more.  For some reason, it never occurred to me to question that modus operandi.

Looking for some way to give myself a break, I decided to give myself permission to miss my morning walk.  That may not sound significant to you, but my morning walk is my favorite time of the day for many reasons. Something I very rarely miss.  Every step encourages me that the FMS has not won.  The beauty of the dawn awakens fresh hope.

Instead of pushing myself to walk, I spent the time  trying to give my body what it needed to get the pain managed via hot soaking baths, stretching and essential oils to get myself out the door to work not feeling so ravaged by the pain.

After a couple of days of self-nurturing, my body was feeling some better (amazing how that works when we follow our Heavenly Father’s guidance :) ) however, my spirit and soul were longing for the refreshing that gazing at God’s creation creates in me.  No matter the temperature being a mere 17 degrees Fahrenheit with 6 degree wind chill, I set out on my morning walk unaware I was about to discover a lurking dragon.

In the peaceful quiet of the morning I heard my Heavenly Father tell me why this has all seemed so horrible and why the thought of giving myself a break; not fighting the pain and not pushing myself so hard had seemed so terrifying.

I was afraid that if I acknowledged my need, if I examined it, touched it, or addressed it I would discover it to  be an insatiable dragon.  I believed there would be no way that I could get it back under control once I let it out.  It would consume me.  No wonder I was pushing myself so hard to fight.

What my Heavenly Father showed me is the truth that He is the dragon slayer (Isaiah 27:1).

Slaying a DragonPhoto from:
Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island
Photographer:  Jon Hall

If I will acknowledge my need, even if it is as big as a dragon, He is the One able to slay the dragon.  The truth is the sooner I acknowledge my need the sooner I can become connected to the Dragon Slayer and His infinite supply (Phil 4:19).

Now there is a burden lifted and a reason to hope.