Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Battle Strategy

I somehow knew this battle was coming. I'm not talking about a confrontation with my teenage son, or with any other person. This is one of those battles with the unseen realm. Sometimes a combination of challenges, along with a sudden realization that you live precariously on the edge, along with the darker days of the dead of winter- all combine to leave you shaky on your feet, dry in the mouth. You wonder what in the world just hit you?!

I can't even tell you all the factors involved in this scene. Some I can share and some are private. When you're blogging, you have to continually decide what is helpful to share, what is humorous or sad, and what confidences would betray your soul if you shared them too early or too frequently with the world at large.

In a nut shell, I just am suddenly in the midst of upheaval. That's what you need to know. And what I'm battling for is stability, hope, and the confident conviction that my hope in God will not be in vain. Traveling on a small regional plane in a couple days does not help me right now. This adds to my feeling of being up the air about so many things. Having a self employed husband in the remodeling/housing industry which is critically failing right now- that doesn't help me feel grounded. Our part in helping our son get through college- that is so overwhelming right now. And then add in wanting to be a freelance writer, wanting to take that blessedly unstable career track? Am I crazy? I've never felt more sane, but so unsafe.

So I call out to God for His counsel, His strengthening presence. "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,..." says Hebrews 6:19. My NKJV commentary says, "An anchor is only as secure as that to which it is fastened." Hold on tight,Lauren- I tell myself. Hold onto Him and you can't go wrong.

"For you have need of endurance" begins Hebrews 10:36. Hupomone is the word in Biblical Greek. "It describes the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances not with passive complacency but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat."

That's the word, then, for this hour, this battle: Hupomone. Now I think hopeful fortitude has a certain look to it. It reminds me of an adult with a backpack on, who walks around with a smile and a helium balloon in their hand. They have a burden they're carrying, so to speak. But they are actively displaying a hope so boldly that they almost look ridiculous. Adults generally don't love walking around with childlike joy and a balloon in their hand. It singles you out of the crowd. Makes you look a little bit strange. People roll your eyes at you. "Don't get your hopes up" is a constant silent admonition we tell each other in the adult world.

Well, I have two choices. I can go down with the ship- let my emotions overwhelm me and suffocate me. I can feel like I'm drowning in fear or despair, gulping in water, flailing my arms as I go down, down, down with the feeling of the weight of the world on me.

Or I can let hope arise. It's a gutsy thing to do. Hope will lift you, cause you to rise up. You're anchored to Him and Christ has not remained in the grave. He has risen- just as He said He would. You're fixing your eyes on Him with all you've got. It doesn't matter what is causing you to feel down, overwhelmed, or dismayed. If you're in a battle, you're the one who knows what you feel like, what you need.

You and I need to bear up under difficult times. But we have the capacity to do so. He gave it to us. So I'm not casting away my confidence. I'm not silently (and supposedly heroically) going down with the ship. I'm reaching out with faith toward the One who can lift me up. You may just spot me carrying a balloon bobbing up high in the sky. I've got to do that. It's not a party I'm at. It's a battle. But I've got what it takes to wage war. He has given me hope.

"And hope does not disappoint us....".


Anonymous said...

I have felt this way so often! I have battled these feelings of hopelessness and despair since the birth of my last child 3 1/2 years ago. It is so hard to reach out and up when all you want to do is curl up in a tight little ball with arms wrapped around yourself, presumeably to protect yourself. This only shuts us off from our Creator & Sustainer and the rest of the world. It's the double edged sword of depression - to get out of it, you have to get out in the world - which is the last thing you want to do. So anyway, I read the Word, cry out to God and wait (sometimes not so patiently) for Him to deliver me. It will happen. In the mean time, I rejoice for lessons He gives me to grow me into the vision He has for me. Carry on my sister! Prevail and be victorious in the Lord!
Blessings & Hugs, E

LAUREN at Faith Fuel- said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, for sharing your story. I always stand amazed at how quickly God comes running when we call out to Him. Usually it isn't until a bit later that we see how quick He was to answer.

Lindsay said...

Praying for you today as you face the world with Jesus by your side!!

He knows what lies ahead & He will continue to light the way!

** and I sure wish you could come for a visit too... we have A LOT of babies to care for :)

Kim S in SC said...

Ps. 31 is such an encouragement to me when I feel like I could suffocate on my fear or sadness or anything other than HIM. I love the picture of your balloon towering over all the troubles. That HOPE that sustains, though it may not take you over the pain or worry or instability, it is there. I love Hebrews 12 too. (or 2)
I love that Jesus himself endured the cross, scorning its shame because of the joy that He saw beyond the circumstance. Endurance, not always fun, but for the HOPE set before you, it is endurable. Praying with you..that your load will be lightened as you continue to leave your burdens at His feet. Praying that this HOPE that you have beautifully described will be your sure footing (even when you will fly) Take care.

~Robin said...

I pray in Jesus precious Name for us both, sisters in the midst of turmoil, wrestling, and uncertain. May You be enough Lord, You alone. Capture our attention, send Your Truth, light the way Lord. We choose to rest in You, our Redeemer, Great
physician, our King. We choose You. We love You.

Loveable said...

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:16-20 (NLT)

Mike said...

I've been having these moments recently and one day last week in the car I suddenly thought, hold on, this is just the way I am FEELING. This changes NOTHING about God. Somehow, I often let my emotions change the way I think and what I believe. The reason I trust in the good times is because of God's character. He never changes! Easy to say I know. May God bring you and us through our trials. Prayers...

Mommy Dot Com said...

"He trains your hands for battle." "All that can be shaken will be shaken so that which cannot be shaken will remain". "Lord, we do not know what to do but our eyes are on you." He is mindful of those who look to HIm for help". "Those who wait on Him WILL be renewed with strength." "He has compassion on all He has made."

Above are some verses I cling to when I feel weak or in a war I am praying for you right now believing that prayer (even this simple one) changes things. My husband is in the housing industry (does mortgages) and we have had great financial hardship and a host of other things come up as well. I feel you so I am praying.

Lord Jesus,
Help my sister to fix her eyes on things that are eternal. I ask that you renew her with strength. I ask that she would hear a voice say, "This is the way, walk ye in it". Please direct her path and open divine doors of opportunity. I ask that your blessings would be with her children and that they would all see your goodness in the land of the living. What I am asking you Father is to be mindful of time. We are vapor and so we ask that you would move quickly on their behalf. Don't you say in your Word before you even ask I will answer you.... Fulfill the plans you have for them so they can produce much fruit for your glory. Don't let the gates of hell prevail against them. You are strong enough. May no weapon forged against them prevail. There is such power in your Name - so much that even those who hope in you recieve power. Lift them up with the power of your Name. Do great and mighty things by the power of your Name. You are enough for them. You will show yourself as enough and with great signs and wonders you declare your love over them. They are precious in your sight and that is something you won't keep a secret. They are your special treasure. You guard them as the apple of your eye. You are a jealous God and you burn with unquenching passion over every detail of their lives. We love you and thank you for all you've already done. We won't forget all your benefits - we praise you for you are good. Lord, please rise up and make the enemy scatter. Lift up your hand and give the command so that the enemy will fall silent and so Lauren may have rest on every side.

Barbara said...

Oh! yes Ihave been there.God knows just what each one of us needs to build steel in us and make us into the people that He wants us to be.
If you are interested and have time come on over and visit. I am writing my story which is an honest picture of struggles and trials and God's overwhelming faithfullness to finish what He has begun. He changes us from one of degree of glory to the next in His time.

falling on my face, saved by grace said...

I hope to build a strategy in dealing with building my faith and knowing that I have everything I need to build and grow and to become who God wants me to be. To batlle the wrong thinking. Maybe I am learning that I am special, and that I have gotten kinda fooled for a real long time, and I am going to come back off the boomerang of fear, excitement, clarity, confidence, and assurance, and then major doubt and confusion. I hope by writing these things out, I am learning this very moment how powerful God is and that He is recreating everything about me even in this very moment. He is saying to me, You are important to me. Evaluate and know that these trials you go through are important to me, except that i expect you to stay close to me, and seek me with all your heart, so that I will guide you. When I humble you, or cause you to feel afraid, or your circumstances seem to be so different and under my calm direction. You can realize that you are the one that is causing to question my Ability. Stop questioning your ability to be less anxious, and your ability to have clarity in situations with people, that seem to frazzle you, overwelm you. Know that I want you to know I am with you. Know that there is nothing about you that overwelms me, I have you in my hand. Stay there, do not fear that you are so out of control in your mind and you have not one to understand you. Know that i am the one who can cure you, and heal every part of you. I am your creator, and I am capable of giving you what I want you to have. I ask that you would let go of anything that causes you confusion, and I will be here to assure you that it is not my nature to cause you confusion. I am here for you, I am here to rescue you. I am in the place where you are, I am not too afar off, I am near, and I live in your uncle and he is listening to me. He loves you, and I love you. I know what you need. I just know that it does not help you right now to know too many things in your future. Know that I am in it, and i am here, empty out your cares and know that I am here, and you can always get personal with me. I am here, I can catch you, and I am here to calm your fears, and I am here for you. That is all I want you to know. I am here to be with you in every difficulty. THe biggest difficulty is your mind. I want you to know that I am here and that nothing can come close to destroying you, anymore. i am here in this place and that you are safe. Day by day, you will gain new truths and it is your job to write them out, and share them, and live them, and rejoice. Look you are writing, you are not longing for him, you are not longing to do drugs. You are in a good place. See it, believe it and know that I am not done with you, and I will finish the work I have started in you.
I felt the urge that the spirit of God was leading me to write that as long as I am desiring His influence to imprint me. I am willing to do whatever it takes to be more like God, to know that I am His, to know that I belong to Him.