Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Mighty Grip of Fear

It’s going to get worse.

It was a deadly phrase that went through my mind recently. It tempted to lure my mind to join in on the ‘what if’ game. It finally found its opening to take over and I began to think about how bad things could really get. But on this one particular morning I believed it was no longer just a game. I knew the worst had come.
I uncovered my cell phone from the blankets on the bed. Four missed calls in such a short amount of time since I misplaced it. Upon reviewing the calls I discovered they were from my husband. As I hit send to return his call I wondered what was so urgent for him to phone me repeatedly.

Then I remembered.

The sirens.

The long and drawn out sounds of the sirens shortly after my husband left for work that morning.

Then I remembered the woman.

The woman I overheard frustrated because she had to pull off the freeway by my house to avoid an accident scene.

The phone rang. No answer. I dialed again. Still no answer.

I texted him.

No reply.

I emailed him.

No reply.

I went online to search for current freeway accidents. My screen glared back at me with accident reports and fatalities.

My head started to spin.

The missed calls weren’t actually from him. Someone else used his phone to tell me about the accident.

Oh God. This isn’t happening.

My body went numb. My head dizzy. An indescribable sensation traveled throughout my body. I couldn’t breathe.

I went and flung open the front door. I was desperate for a sign of hope. I looked outside to seek an answer. I looked for him. His car was gone. He was gone.

H e   w a s   g o n e.

No. No. This can’t be happening. I can’t handle this. What about my boys? How will I live through this?

Trembling I called a friend. I couldn’t form words.

“Breathe” she said.

I cried. Fear was holding me.

She prayed. I breathed.

The other line beeped.

It was him.

Safe and sound.

None of it was real. There was no accident. It never happened.

But it felt real.

For 18 minutes it was my reality. For 18 minutes I was a widow, single mom, and sole provider.

The words of my friend came back to me,
“The enemy is trying to trip you up.”

Oh God, not again.

Fear is real. It is a stronghold with a mighty grip. When fear becomes a reality even for a few minutes it is overwhelming. I lived most my life with severe anxiety and panic attacks. Eleven years ago I sought help. God’s healing was a process and for the better part of this past decade I have walked in a freedom I never thought possible.

In my journey I have come to learn the same area of our lives we overcome by the grace of God are the very places in which we have authority to speak into others. By the power of God our own healing releases hope to another. Yet, I can not ignore that it is just as true that it is the same area in which the enemy will use to trip us up.

Why has fear paid a harsh visit to me recently? I don’t know. All I know is this: I will not return to it as it has hoped to return to me.

Not this time.

I will not return to a life riddled with fear. I will not give in to the threats over my mind. I will reach to the Light to penetrate the darkness.  I will grab a hold of Peace to shield me from fear. I seek my refuge in His truth, in His people, and in His promise of victory.

I will overcome. I will find freedom—again.

There is no chance of things getting worse. They can only get better.

Because His grace continues…

Have you ever revisited the places you thought you were “over”? What did you do? Did you retreat or seek more healing?

Here or somewhere…be real.
Share your journey.

*If you or someone you know suffer from severe anxiety or panic disorders please seek professional help. You don’t need to go through this alone.

Relevant Worship & Music

Overcome by New Life Church Worship

Overcome by David Nevue

Reflective Scripture

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1b-3

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Father's Love

Do you want me to come with you?”

I was hoping he would ask.

He gets up from what would have been his time to rest and grabs his keys. We drive to the grocery store. It’s just he and I. Our time together. He picks out his birthday pie. I remind him to get the ice cream. He pays the bill. We drive back. I feel richer for simply being with him.

He is 69.

I am 39.

Thirty years apart, but our hearts are ever close.

I once believed disappointment would take precedence over love.

He was 48.

I was 18.

I feared to look into his eyes. What would he think? What would he say? My heart raced in the moments between words.

I could never be disappointed in you.”

Tears poured out as acceptance flooded me.

A father’s love accepts.

I once believed my world would never be right again.

He was 44.

I was 14. 

Crying in a dark corner he reached for me. Held me and cried with me. My heart hurt deeply, and so did his. And he didn’t have to, but he said…

I’m sorry

I knew then I would never be alone.

A father’s love comforts.

I once believed the night would always bring fear.

He was 35.

I was 5. 

Dark nights and scary dreams led me to seek him for refuge.

As I answered I crawled in next to him where the frightening feelings went away and even the darkest nights became safe.

A father’s love is security.

I once thought I would always be his little girl.

But I grew up.

And I thought for a moment age would bring distance. 

He at 68.

I at 38.

My phone beeps from a text message. It’s Dad.
It reads:

Hey LA…are you free any time this week for a father daughter lunch or something.

I come out with my blonde boy. We have lunch at the usual spot. He shares photos and stories of his trip. I share life and seek advice. I leave full of wisdom, joy, but most of all—love. 

A father’s love is forever.

And a daughter’s love is ever rising with hopes to match the depth and height of what she has been given…

And yet…

A father’s love is  m a t c h l e s s.

I love you Dad.

Reflective Music

The Gift by David Nevue

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is it Okay for God to Be Quiet?


In the sanctuary—
He is here.

An angelic melody lifts heavenward. But He is not in the music. He is in the moments of quiet between the chords played and the notes yet to be played.

In the sanctuary—
He is here.

Voices unite to raise a shout to heaven. But He is not in their words. He is in the quiet moments as they catch their breath between shouts.

He is in the quiet moments of in-between.

Why did I ever believe my noise brought Him closer? Why did I trade the hush of heavenly peace for "spiritual" noise that only masked His majesty?

His quietness is holy. Oh so holy—

There is no equal.

Not even a word of praise, a song of worship, a clap, or a shout could trump this holy holy hush of God. No sound could ever be more holy while standing in the thick blanket of His quietness.

He is in the quiet moments—if we let the noise cease and allow the in-between moments to resonate… d e e p l y—we will know He is here.

Be quiet.

Your soul longs to settle,

And abide in His silence.

It is His silence that roars from heaven to touch the depths of my soul. It is His silence that deafens the darkness. And His silence that moves me close to Him.

It is in His silent presence in which He becomes known to me and I become one with Him.

I must be quiet.

My soul longs to settle,

And abide in His silence—His holy silence.

If I dare utter even a sound, may it be a single word,


More moments please. More moments in-between the noises and sounds of this chaotic world for silence to settle and the quietness of God to be free in me.



Do you feel God's closeness with sounds or in the quiet?
Here or somewhere…be real. Share your journey.
Quiet Music
The Vigil by David Nevue

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Can Stop Time

How does one stop time? How does one slow the process of the children growing ‘too fast’?

You grew again, didn’t you?
Why must you? Will you stop please?
“No Mommy. I want to grow up to be a teenager.”
Will you still snuggle with me when you are a teenager?
“When I am five I will snuggle with you, but not when I am ten.”

How can I keep ten from coming? And yet still give the blonde boy freedom to fly? There must be a way.

There is.

I know the secret.

Stay present.

I’ve spent years staying in my calendar, my ministry, my agenda…looking ahead, planning, prepping…

and   l o s i n g   m o m e n t s.

The moments when the first boy tells me about his day—away from me—as I blind myself to the screaming screen blaring back at me.

The moments when my husband—the one I’ve promised, pledged and vowed to love, cherish, and honor—shares good news of a bonus, a sale, an increased commission…But the laundry was too high and too loud to hear—anything.

The moments when the blonde boy tells me great and tall tales of his adventures that never really happened—because they never really happened.

I am learning to stop time.

I must stop time.

I must stay present.

While the snuggle is still available--before he turns ten.


How will you stop time today?

Here or somewhere…be real. Share your journey. 

Music to Stop Time…

A Moment Lost by David Nevue