Make Me Brave

The deeper I walk into the mysteries of God and the more confidently I embrace them, the more foolish I appear to the world.

Everything is upside down; there is a way that seems right to a man.

My husband took a significant risk at work last week: in a place where the name of Jesus may not be mentioned, he unraveled the whole beautiful story to a person lost in desperate darkness.

He planted hope and it may yet cost him his job.

As we were sharing this story with the kids, one of the little ones asked if Daddy was going to die for his faith.  We laughed in the moment, but really, this call to live in Christ is a call to come and die.

{And we may die for Jesus one day, just as brothers and sisters all over the world are dying in His name even now.  I dare not believe that this façade of peace is here forever; I need to live ready.}

Yet, courage has to build one step at a time as I learn what life really is and what it means to follow a Redeemer-King whose wisdom is folly to the world: it means exchanging my comfort for the cross; replacing worldly wisdom for seemingly-confounding Supernatural Revelation, and swapping personal peace for a Love so wide it leads into eternity.  It also means resting in the shadow of His wings and abandoning ‘it all’ to the one who loves me the most and knows every detail of my life… my times are in His hands.

I have never been more proud of my husband.  Watching him, ready to ‘die’ (lose his reputation/job), because his love for Jesus just won’t be contained any longer is about the most solidly beautiful thing I have seen in my life.

He makes me brave.

It’s been a powerful week as we have walked together, prayed together and pressed into all the perfect promises of Scripture as though our lives depended on it…

…Because they do.

The road to heaven starts here; travel light and risk it all.

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Fog vs. Freedom

As a mother, I have a {metaphorical} blazing target on my back.

I’m fair game to the one who hates my God, because I would dare to lay down my life for others, embrace love, and press into the Holy One.

What utterly confounds the enemy is that I would seek to know the power of God through the fellowship of His suffering, as opposed to bathe in waves of self-centered loathing/delight with my selfish self.

The Thief can’t handle this kind of thing; he can’t handle mothers. 

The very essence of a mother is love, sacrifice and hope.  The enemy abhors this goodness, so, he aims to wreck us; sometimes in big ways, but sometimes in little, endless, drip, drip, drip ways.

There are times, there are days, where I seem to hit a wall of dense fog; could be at any moment, but I’ll walk right into one.  And, boom, I’m down, choked by a stream of dark head-talk, and I’m overwhelmed with unbelief and fear and anxiety… wondering what on earth I am doing, and can I really handle it, and I need help with some of this load, and there must be a better way, and how do I respond to ‘problem x’, and are my efforts and dreams even worthy, and how do I face that ‘y’ situation again, and will I ever get the rest I need?

This fog gets me off course fast; my eyes sink into my own self and I choke on the immensity of my situation.  At this point, the enemy has me positioned right where he wants me: focused on myself and my weakness and the freakiness of the whole overwhelming world.

I sensed that fog, that cloud of oppression, walked right into, and then believed it.  I permitted my mind to agree with the darkness, and allowed unbelief and fear to fog over my vision.  Though my position in Christ remained secure, my flesh took the bait.

But, little by little, as these fogs roll over me, I’m fighting back:

“No, fog {lies}, you are not my problem.  I am free and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I have put my hope in God Almighty and I will not fear.  There is no fear in love!”

Then I stop the mind tapes; I just force them to stop rolling.  I rebuke the garbage fog and press into love.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. -1 John 4:18

On the deep, beautiful inside of us, we who know Christ, have already been perfected in love.  Fear is no longer our master.  We are fully, fundamentally, forever free from that bondage, though the Thief will assault us daily, hourly to agree to carry baggage that is no longer our own.

He’s got a millstone around his neck and he wants to wrap it around mine too.

I won’t have it.

I’m free in the midst of all this messy chaos of family life, because my spirit is fully equipped for every challenge and my eyes are on God who is my ever-present hope.  I just have to remember to see through the fog, instead of embracing it.