When I was a child I found myself in a situation that tested both my faith and perseverance. I don’t want to get into specifics and go too deeply into detail at this time. Not because I am not beyond that pain, but because those details and that time period in my life involves other individuals. They have been forgiven and it is not my intention to cause any embarrassment or pain to the other individuals involved.
During this time period I had been given a plastic placard with a poem called, “Don’t Quit” printed on it. I secreted this placard away. I read it so often that I had it memorized. I prayed for deliverance from my situation throughout each day and well into the night until I would finally fall asleep from exhaustion. Although I was praying for deliverance from my situation, it seemed as if the situation was getting worse. Yet, I continued to endure and to have faith. I was often scared. Life was terrifying. But no matter how scared I was, I was determined to not allow my spirit to be broken and to not let fear rule me. Like the poem, I would not quit or give up.
Growing up I had been taught all about God and stories from the Bible. I knew that God had led people through the harsh wilderness and protected them. God was with Daniel in the lion’s den and he kept the flames from ever touching three Hebrew men thrown into a fire by a King. He sent his only son to walk the earth and perform countless miracles and die on the cross for our sins. His death and resurrection was a miracle in and of itself. Time and time again throughout history God has protected his children and I am one of his children. Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Although it took a long time for me to be delivered from my situation, I eventually was. As I have grown older, my faith has been tested many times, sometimes in simpler ways. For example, when I was preparing to move to Arizona several years ago I had to put my faith in God and had to trust that I would be provided for. After all, I was moving nearly two thousand miles away from friends and family. If I had let the fear take a hold of me and not gone then I would have missed out on the blessings and opportunities that God presented me with. And as I am even now preparing for my return trip to Arizona there is a multitude of things to concern myself with…Will I have enough money? I will be returning to Arizona in my spaceship sized RV. Will I have a breakdown? A blowout? After all, it is twenty years old and I’ve never driven it across country. My very first trip after purchasing it I had a blowout while traveling with my then two year old granddaughter. (You can read about that in an excerpt from my blog post titled, “Day One” here. How will it handle? How will the cats tolerate the trip? When I get back to Arizona will I be able to find work? Where will I park my RV? Will I have what I need in order to live? Will I be ready in time? As you can imagine the list goes on and on. It is necessary for me to put my trust in God that he will bring it all together in his perfect timing. Anything that is not part of his plan is subject to change. If I allow it, the fear would immobilize me and could cause me to miss out on opportunities as a result. If I were to allow myself to miss out on those opportunities then I would also miss out on the blessings that those opportunities provide.
Fear can be healthy because it’s instrumental in pushing us to seek solutions. But if we are not careful and we allow it to keep us from living then it can be harmful, causing us to miss out on the blessings that God has in store for us. What is important for me to remember is that during the hard times, God has been with me always. He has promised to never leave or abandon me in any way. Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Therefore, I can move forward in life knowing that God is with me every step of the way. I can live without fear knowing that wherever I may be at any given moment that I am right where God wants me to be and that he is shaping me into the person that I was created to be. Therefore, I will move boldly and courageously into my future and I will not live my life in fear. I will not live my life in fear. I will not live my life in fear!
Until next time, Live Authentic. Live Intentional. Pursue your dream. Live with purpose.