For some reason, and I think it is both nature and nurture, I grew up harboring and exuding a lot of fear. I didn’t like it and I tried everything to both keep from getting into situations where I would be afraid and on the other hand from letting myself feel afraid when I was in tough situations. But fear plagued me and was closer to my brain than my right ear.
As I write these blog enters, I will share stories that started out as fears that I was not able to bring under submission until I learned this life lesson. I learned to cast my fear off like a backpack full of cement and leave it with God and when I did He would fix it.
1 John 4:18New King James Version (NKJV)
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
The problems He hasn’t been able to help me with are the ones where I let the fear-thoughts make me pick up that back pack again and sling it over my back because I didn’t have the confidence that He would fix it or I wasn’t patient enough to wait for Him to answer.
I went into the hospital once for out-patient surgery. In other words it was nothing to get my shirt tied in a knot about. My concern was that it was 11:15 am and I had low blood sugar and I could feel it. (This is a condition I have battled since I was a small child.) In this situation I was scared of a few things. One, that I had taken a day off work, stayed in the city and if my blood sugar was low they might not be able to do the surgery. Two, that they would do the surgery and my blood sugar would drop and I would die on the table. Only little fears, right?
So I said this prayer. God if I’m going to die on the table don’t let me have the operation but I want to get it over with so please let me have the operation today and keep me alive through it. Thank You. Then I chose to believe that God would answer. I believed I would be having the operation and I would live through it. I left no room in my head for doubts.
A nurse came out and got me from the waiting room. Upon looking at my chart she said, “You have hypoglycemia?”
I said, “Yes and my sugar is on its way down.”
She poked my finger and said, “Yes it is. You should have been our first patient this morning.”
“I thought my appointment was 9:30.” I said.
“They must have bumped you.” The nurse said. “I will get you in as soon as possible. I will get you a wheelchair and a warm blanket. We don’t want you using up any more blood sugar not even to keep your body warm.”
I was all tucked in under a couple of warm blankets when the nurse came back. I told her that I couldn’t have cookies and juice when I came out of the operation.
“Oh right,” she said. “How about toast, peanut butter, and water?”
“Perfect,” I said. This lady seemed to know how to take care of me pretty good. I thought.
I heard the nurse talking to four different nurses explaining to them how I couldn’t tolerate sugar, none of them seemed to know the extent of it without her explanation. When she came back, I asked, “How do you know so much about this?”
“I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia fifteen years ago.” she said.
From that second on I smiled. My nurse was probably the only one in the hospital who had the same condition I had. I knew God had prearranged my nurse and I knew I was going to wake up from the operation. The nurse was amused at my smile. I told her that I might write about her in a book someday. She told me that her husband was a minister and he was writing a book. God had left me no room to wonder if this was a coincidence.
I could never have left that prayer with God if I hadn’t heard these scriptures, come to understand them, and learned to have faith in God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. Romans 10:17
The promise I was thinking about at the moment was; "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."Psalm:1(KJV)
I had put my mind into a state of completely trusting that God would help me. The truth is sometimes when I'm trying to do this for a longer time it is more of a fight to stay in this frame of mind, unless my faith is really built up with God's promises on the subject. In this case it was a short time and the answers to prayer I'd had before helped me to trust.
Mark 11:24 (NKJV)
24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Cast all of your cares on me because I care for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 6:12 (NKJV)
12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
2 Peter 1:4 (NKJV)
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV) For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
I love that God has already said "yes" to His promises.
In Corinthians it talks about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I have come to understand that Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He has been a part of God forever. (We don’t even know how long forever is). Anyways the Holy Spirit has gifts that He gives to people. These aren’t like Christmas or Birthday presents, they are better.
One of them is the gift of faith. I have experienced this a few times and the best way for me to explain it is by using this example. When a child is little and one of their parents says, “Right after lunch I will take you for an ice cream cone,” and because the parent has always kept their word, the child knows they will do it. The child has a knowing in his/her heart that they are going for ice cream.
Well with the Holy Spirit there is a knowing in your heart that the thing you just thought or said is going to happen. The Holy Spirit doesn’t shout in your ear, “I will take you for ice cream". Sometimes he may give you that kind of message too but in the instance I am going to share it is the feeling.” The evidence is this strong feeling of faith. What does faith feel like? I’m not sure you can feel assurance but that’s what it felt like assurance that it is going to happen. And it is a gift from the Holy Spirit.
I will give you an example from my life.
When my husband was sick with leukemia God lead me to a church in Winnipeg. (That is another story I will write in the future) Anyway a couple of months after we returned home from Winnipeg we found ourselves going back to Winnipeg for appointments on a regular basis.
For months our youngest daughter pestered us non-stop about us getting her a puppy. We had an American Eskimo at home but Brit wanted a kid dog. (That was her phrase. Buddy our American Eskimo was okay with our kids but not really a dog the kids could cuddle.) We looked around home but there were no dogs that fit my specifications. We were going to stop on our way home from Winnipeg one day to see two sets of puppies but by the time we got back to Brandon they were all gone. I turned to Brit and I knew she was going to be disappointed and for some reason I said, “The puppies have all been given away but don’t worry there will be a puppy and we will know that puppy is yours.”
I almost wanted to take the sentence back. Why had I said that? I thought. But at the same time I was feeling that we would know that that puppy was Brit’s. It was a strong feeling and felt good and positive and kind of exciting. So I never recanted my statement. I just believed that what I said was going to happen.
A week later we were in Winnipeg but this time was for our other daughter’s ball tournament. At the end of a game I saw a couple of kids holding puppies. I pointed them out to Brit and we went over to see them. I asked if the pups were for sale. The girls said, “yes” and pointed to her mother in the stands. A girl handed a puppy to Brit. It crawled up her hoodie and went to sleep in her hood. Brit said,”I want this one.”
I talked to the lady for a few minutes. As we spoke she told me that one of the puppy’s names was Ringo. That was my childhood dog’s name. Then she said something about church. I wanted to ask her what church she went to but I thought that would be presumptuous so I didn’t. I wondered if it would possibly be the church that God led me to but I thought the chances were pretty slim because there were probably a hundred churches in Winnipeg. Anyway the nice lady asked us to go to her house the next day to see the pups. She told us to drive into Winnipeg and turn left at the first set of lights. That was the same street we turned on and the same area we lived in when we lived in Winnipeg just a few weeks before.
When we got to her house her husband opened the gate for us and there were eight cute puppies playing and tumbling over each other. The man said his wife was out doing hair. “Your wife is a hairdresser?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said
“So am I,” I said.
Brit was on the ground playing with the puppies. My husband said “They are collies.” Neil had a collie when he was a teenager.
The man said, “Yes, but they have a bit of American Eskimo in them.”
“We have one of them at home,” I said. I was getting the idea that one of these puppies was Brit’s.
Kelly, the man’s wife came home. She showed us which puppy was Ringo and told us he was spoken for. We weren’t sure which one to get but we decided on the blue mural little girl. Kelly said she would be another week before she was ready to go because she was the runt of the litter. I said “That’s ok because Brittanie would be away at camp for a week.”
“Which camp? My kids go to Turtle Mountain Bible Camp.” Kelly said.
“My oldest daughter is there right now taking a DNT course.” I said in delightful surprise. This camp is an hour and twenty minutes from our home and three hours from Winnipeg.
Then I had to ask “Do you mind me asking what church you go to?
“Spring’s Church,” Kelly said.
That was the church I went to for the six months when we lived in Winnipeg. These people drove the perimeter to the other side of the city every Sunday just like I did, to go to the same church. I was pretty sure that blue mural sheltie collie named Cheka was Brittanie’s puppy. The reason I said “there will be a puppy and we will know that puppy is yours,” a week before and the faith that I felt was all a part of God’s plan.
Within a week I heard a speaker telling of how God told Abraham to look at the stars in the sky and the sands of the sea to remind him that he was going to be the father of many nations. At the same time I realized that we got Cheka as a reminder of Spring’s Church. The information I got there has changed my life.
While out in BC visiting my Uncle, just after graduating high school, I sat in the open window in the back of the house. I looked out toward a mountain to the back and a house to the west. The yard to the west was unkempt. Uncle John had told me, upon my arrival, that a little boy had passed away there only a couple of weeks before. Uncle John said the family was devastated and felt lost. I sat in the window wondering about death and life. And this poem came to me. I grabbed a small brown paper bag and wrote the poem down. I found it years later and recognized my struggle.
The land of His is in front of us
Should we go ahead?
To be good and true and happy
Always go they said.
The first step is mine you say
For I have many fears
Would I be good enough?
Could I resist temptation?
Or would I be a letdown in His eyes?
Should I step out?
Lest I fall down, down, down
And what would be before me then?
I was right about a few things when I was 19. It is a choice to be in a relationship with God and the first step was mine. Not really though because Jesus took the first step by dying on the cross so I could have that choice. My fears though were wrong; Would I be good enough? I didn’t have to be good enough but I didn’t know that. It was Jesus death on the cross that makes me righteous in God’s sight, not anything I could do. Our sinful nature makes us so we can't be in the presence of God who is perfect and Holy. My righteousness is like filthy rags the Bible says and on my own merit I could never get into a relationship with Him or into Heaven. I'm so glad He paid the price for me to be righteous in His sight.
Could I resist temptation? God sets us free from sin and when we choose to listen and be led by the Holy Spirit we will be able to resist temptation. And when we make mistakes we ask for forgiveness and we are forgiven. (When we see the truth about God and are in a relationship with Him the reality of that relationship makes a person want to please God and live the way He wants us to. I’m not talking about a story here, I’m talking about a love that you can experience.) Ephesians 3:19a and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience].
Would I be a letdown in His eyes? I was so afraid that the things I had done wrong and continued to do wrong would make me a disappointment to God and that He wouldn't want to have anything to do with me especially when I messed up. God doesn’t see me in my sinful or fallen nature, He sees me righteous because of Jesus sacrifice to pay for my wrong doings. So after I asked Him to forgive my sins and be the Lord of my life I won’t be a letdown in His sight.
Should I step out? And unequivocal yes, yes, yes! It took me many years to take that step.
Lest I fall down, down, down, and what would be before me then… Nothing.
If I could go back and talk to me back then, I would say “Don’t wait. Take the step, even better jump. He is there and He will catch you. You won’t fall.
I was sitting in my hair shop, in the front part of my house, one day just after a customer had left and a thought went through my head, Take Aunt Vesta flowers. Then I thought. Why would I do that? She’s fine. It’s Uncle Bob who’s in the hospital. I recognized that I hadn’t seen Aunt Vesta for a while and that taking her flowers would be a nice thing to do and I should do that. I told myself I would. I should have done it that day because my Aunt Vesta passed away the next day.
A few months later I was taking my oldest daughter to the dentist in Deloraine when a similar thought went through my head, Go see Uncle Emory. (My grandmother and Aunt Vesta’s brother). My daughter’s appointment was at 8:15 AM and it was only for a retainer adjustment so she was done by 8:30 and I thought I could have us at home and her in school by 9:30, so I headed for home.
When I talked to my Mom later that day, I told her that I had thought about going to see Uncle Emory. She said, “Oh you should have. He has been put into quarantine. He is very sick.” He passed away the next day.
It was obvious to me then that God wanted me to learn how to hear Him. Or in other words that I was hearing Him and that I needed to listen and do what He was telling me to because it was to my advantage.
A few months after that I had a really strong desire to go and see my Aunt Alta in BC (Uncle Emory, Aunt Vesta’s, and my grandmother’s sister). This time it wasn’t a thought it was a strong desire but I knew I needed to listen to it. I had my radio on that morning and an advertisement for seat sales to BC came across the air loud and clear. I called and got three tickets. Then I called my sister, Evelyn and asked if she and her daughter wanted to go with me to BC. A few days before that she told me she had the desire to go also. So after a little deliberation we went to BC. We had a wonderful visit with our Aunt Alta. She told us about her parents and her siblings and her move to BC from Mb. BC was beautiful in late September. Her son brought her truck over so we could tour around a bit but most of the time we spent with Aunt Alta.
Later in October, Aunt Alta was put in the hospital and then into a care home and her house was sold. If my sister and I hadn’t listened to that strong desire we would have missed out on that great visit. I saw Aunt Alta once after that when we drove out to BC. We saw her in the care home, she knew me and I’m glad I went but I will always remember the ten days we spent with her and celebrating her birthday before we came home. I also had a great time with my sister and my niece on that trip.
I recognized that God was teaching me to hear Him. I had heard Him once when I was a teenager, I wondered if it was Him but didn’t know. This story is in Experiencing God (link at the bottom of this page). I didn’t know this was something that was possible on a regular basis even though I had heard the verse John 10:27 my sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
John 10:3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (More about God calling us by name in Maggie Mae. The button is at the bottom)
I hadn’t figured out yet how much the Holy Spirit wanted to be a part of my everyday life. He is supposed to be our councilor, our guide, and our teacher. I had had times where a verse seemed to come off the page towards me and I had a deeper understanding of it instantly but God began to show me different ways of hearing Him. I love that there are so many ways in the Bible that people heard from God. And He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
This sounds to me like God wants us to hear Him. In the past, I didn’t know any Christians how heard God. Now I know people who hear God quite regularly and I’ve gotten to know these people well. They have interesting lives.
Just like everything else from God, you need to take it by faith. (I have written about that in a story called "God Helped me Raise My Children."