The Trap

Bear-Trap

There is a very fine line between humility and self-deprecation, i.e., belittling or undervaluing oneself.  That line is like spring-wire on a trap.  Who’s trap?  Good question.

Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil
walks about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8 NKJV

Humility is realizing my genuine need for God in every moment of every day to fill me with Himself so that I may be all that He created me to be.  Without Him, I am like a light bulb with no power attached to it.  It does not mean the light bulb itself is worthless.

To be blunt, I’m calling God a liar when I self-deprecate myself and call myself worthless.  Father God paid a HUGE price to clear away all obstacles and hindrances that separate me from Him in order that we may spend eternity together.  His actions tell me what He deems my worth. (John 3:16, Romans 8:32)

Where am I going with this?  Glad you asked.

Today is Mother’s Day here in the United States.  It’s a VERY big deal.  It should be, after all Mother’s create space for life to happen in the womb and in the world.

I’ve never had a child.  Enter the trigger wire.  It’s very easy on this day for me to get focused on all the things I AM NOT.  That is the path my enemy would like me to take in order to devour me, steal my energy and my hope.

What’s your trigger wire?  What sends you down the path of focusing on what you are not?  Is it  your health, your weaknesses, your failures, your finances, lost loved ones, unreached goals, the successes of people around you, something else?

Some may say this is a discipline to motivate yourself to be better by focusing on what you are not.  As I type this to you, I see this image of someone digging a deep hole at the start of a race, jumping in and saying this is the place I need to start … rather than on level ground at the starting line.

The bible does tell us to first examine the plank in our own eye, before trying to take the speck out of another person’s eye (Matt 7:3-4).  So it does call us to know ourselves and to be honest with ourselves and with God about who we are – a work in progress that is completely loved by the Creator (Ephesians 2:9-10).

However, Jesus also tells us:

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it:
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Matthew 22:37-39

Did you catch it?  “Your shall love your neighbor AS YOURSELF”.  If we love ourselves by belittling and undervaluing ourselves, we are going to do the same to the people around us.  Do you see how that could be a problem???

Fear not … the Owner’s Manual tells us how to live REAL without self-deprecation.

Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray.
Pray about everything.
He longs to hear your requests,
so talk to God about your needs
and be thankful for what has come.
And know that the peace of God
(a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding)
will stand watch over
your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
fill your minds with beauty and truth.
Meditate on whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is good,
whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.
Philippians 4:6-8

What those verses look like for me today are:

  • This blog post is an answer to my prayers, i.e., my honest conversation with my Heavenly Father this morning about how I was feeling about myself and this day.
  • I am thankful for His truth that sets me free to receive His love for me, to be able to love myself and to love those around me.
  • I am filled with His peace in exchange for the agitation with which I woke.
  • As I choose to focus on beauty and truth, what is honorable, right, pure lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy, my thoughts are flooded with images of my Mom; the many women I know that are mothers; and the opportunities that have been afforded to me to be the love of God to nurture and create space for life in the lives around me.

Our Heavenly Father can and wants to do the same for you, regardless of what “your trap” may be.

Click picture for slideshow.

I’ve not been myself recently

Because I’ve been confused about who that is.

Time for a little more transparency here.  The Fibromyalgia has been in flare for close to two months now.  You may have heard the expression “running on borrowed time”, well I’ve been running on borrowed energy.  Last weekend, I came to a crashing halt.  I just wanted the pain to stop and I had no more answers.  Like I said, transparency.

There is no way I can say that I enjoy being in that state, but not once in my life has my Heavenly Father failed to meet me when I reach that point.  As I type this, I see this picture of someone drowning.  They are kicking and flailing to do the best they can with their own resources to save themselves, but it’s not until they stop that anyone else can reach them to help them.

Enter my answer, in a most unusual form.

I’m on my couch on Sunday morning, not able to make it to church.  My phone rings and it is my very close friend. She has severe back pain.  Can she come and use my massage chair?  Little did she know she was the answer to my prayer.  Don’t tell me our Heavenly Father doesn’t have a sense of humor 🙂 .

God can and truly does take what the enemy purposes for evil and turn it to His good purpose. (Gen 50:20).

During our time together my massage chair was able to minister to her need and she ministered to my need to find out why “having answers” was so important to me. Through her prayers and questions I saw a moment in my past when I was a young teenager.  I was put to bed for weeks because I had postural tachycardia (think REALLY fast heart rate just changing positions from laying down to standing up) and the medical team had no answers. Enter the lie that life stopped for me because I had no answers.  Add to this the fact that my Father was a surgeon and when he had no answers … life stopped, literally.  No wonder answers have been so important to me and felt so huge.  No wonder it has been so easy for the enemy to confuse me into believing that there must be something wrong with me and that I am flawed because I have yet to find “an answer” to eliminate Fibromyalgia from my life.

As Holy Spirit revealed this faulty belief, i.e., lie that I had embraced unknowingly, He also showed me a vision.  I was standing in God’s hand with Him looking at me from all different angles and telling me “I don’t see any flaw/anything wrong” like someone inspecting their workmanship.  I had to make a choice would I believe my Creator that I am not flawed, or would I persist in believing that there must be something wrong with me.  I was stuck.  Which would I believe – my circumstances or my God?

I wish I could tell you I instantly made the right choice.  Instead, revelation came to me that the truth is when I don’t have answers all I need to do is rest and wait on My Heavenly Father to provide the answers, rather than flail about like the drowning victim I mentioned above.   The truth is with or without answers, I’m safe.  My Heavenly Father will provide. How can I be sure of that?  Matt 6:8, 25-34 Tells me my Heavenly Father knows everything I need before I even ask and He will provide it, so there is no need to worry.

I was out walking the next day pondering all of this and suddenly a flip switched in me “there’s nothing wrong with me” … “there’s nothing wrong with me” … it is the absolute opposite point of view from what I have believed and what I have “heard” every time I hurt.  The pain has been sending the message – there’s definitely something wrong with you.  NO!  The pain is an attack, it is not me.  My Creator wants me to see me the way He sees me – there’s nothing wrong with me.  There is nothing wrong with His handiwork.  (Ephesian 2:10 )

I flashed back to what Holy Spirit told me in 2008 when I had to take medical leave because of Fibromyalgia.  I was feeling like such a failure that the FMS was still present. At that time, my Heavenly Father asked me if the enemy continues to attack, does that make you a failure?  This flashback to 2008 was followed by a vision of England from WWII.  Germany continued to attack England over and over and over and over.  England never gave up, but they needed the help of their allies to destroy their enemy.  There was nothing “wrong” with England, their enemy just wanted them destroyed. Hmmmm … that sounds like my enemy as well who comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).

The enemy may want me to be destroyed, but he has already lost.  Yeshua has already won this one for me!   How do I know that?

Furthermore, we know that God causes everything
to work together for the good of those who love God
and are called in accordance with His purpose;
because those whom He knew in advance,
He also determined in advance
would be conformed to the pattern of his Son,
so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers;
Romans 8:28-29 Complete Jewish Bible

My response was/is Holy Spirit help me to walk this out, just as You helped Daniel in the lion’s den.  Right in the midst of the enemy attack, help me to stay aligned with Your truth that there is nothing wrong with me and Yeshua has won the battle for me!

As I write this to you, I realize it is no coincidence the timing of this flare and attack on my identity.  In late February, I had the opportunity to go to a wonderful course by Alison Armstrong.  While I was there, my Heavenly Father provided to me the revelation of who I truly am.  And so, I close today by being myself, my true self, and sharing that with you.

Who Am I