My Deepest Need

We have an enemy and too often I forget that he coils like a snake, poised to strike when I least expect it.

And then the bite comes.

Always to my most vulnerable areas.

I need affirmation.  The attack will come on my worth and my abilities to do what God has called me to do.

I need love.  The attacks come in that being withheld and and venemous words are spewed forth that mean anything but love – only disrespect and disdain instead.

I need security. The attacks come in threats against my ability to stay in a house I love, or buy food we need, or take care of medical expenses that come up.

Why does this hurt so much? Because in my humanness I want these things from a man. I want these things from a husband. I want to know I’m loved and cherished and that somehow I will be provided for and that the things I do matter.  Even when I sometimes fail or have a bad day.

This is not my reality.

Sometimes I look for this elsewhere.  Friends?  But they all have their own needs too. And their responsibility is not as great as that of a person who has made promises before God and others.
How about those I minister with? Again, sometimes the strikes come from there as well. Friendly fire which sometimes comes as an arrow aimed to hurt but masked in pious language.

Chocolate? Oh, wait. That doesn’t quite work either.

So what’s a girl to do?

Cry.

Pray.

Seek to reorient myself to the One who made me, died for my sins and is ultimately responsible for my every breath. Ultimately I need to depend on Him. Why is this so hard?

David lamented as he hid in caves hunted by King Saul, separated from his wife and home and responsible for the care, safety and feeding of the men who were with him.

Similar to me shepherding my children while under attack.

But David, even though he was in sorrow and grief and wondering was able to comfort himself with the truth that God stored all his prayers in a bottle.  Every tear we cry is precious to our Heavenly Father. And then, in Psalm 56:9b he says: “This I know: God is for me.”

For me.  God is FOR me. Not against me like human sometimes are. He is FOR you too.

Love, security and affirmation. The holy, almighty, sovereign, eternal God of the universe – is FOR me.  He treasures my tears, how much more my life and basic needs?

Life is not going to get easier.  But if I can rest in the truth that a good and great God is FOR me, maybe I can make it through the day clinging to Him and not lamenting how those needs are not met elsewhere.  And trust Him for my next breath as well as where I will live and how I will feed my children in the months to come.

He has always been faithful. Always. I have no need to doubt that now.

So I will cry.

I will pray.

I will cling to Him.

How about you? What are your deepest needs?  Can you find your fulfillment of them in Jesus? If not, what’s keeping you from that? 

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Courage

A month ago I wrote about accidental living and having a mission and a vision for your life. I also mentioned a “word of the day.”

I’ve not posted for a few weeks because I was finishing up my book, “Lessons from the Trenches: Staying in a Difficult Marriage” to submit to a contest, and so I can renew my pursuit of a literary agent. I finished it and am deeply grateful for the help of my amazing editors who spend time and energy into making me a better writer.

I was also pondering my “word for the year” and it is COURAGE. Yup. Someone said that was a dangerous word because God would give me more reasons to have courage. Maybe so. Kind of like praying for patience–be careful what you pray for, right?

I already knew that going into this year I was going to have to face down some of those deep fears that could potentially keep me from my desire to be published. See, it’s one thing to sit alone and write a book and maybe show it to a few people and get some good feedback because they actually like me to begin with. It’s entirely another thing to put it out there where ANYONE could read it. It’s another to consider the other aspects of marketing a book that would put ME out there as well.

Those who know me understand that I have no problem talking. I love to talk. I love to teach. But I have deep set insecurities (just like so many of us) that would keep me from possibly speaking out on THIS topic especially. Lilly Grace Brown is my nom de plume to protect my identity and husband simply because of the provocative nature of my writing on this topic. So there is fear of exposure. Fear of being told I’m doing my marriage wrong or that I’m a failure.

Ah, the vagaries of being human.

I also need courage as a mom and wife. When I want to run and hide from the challenges I face, I need to have courage to stand up and make the decisions that might make my son angry. Then I have to face that rage. I don’t like rage. Or maybe I have to face my husband’s verbal or emotional abuse if I challenge him on something and he dislikes it.

Courage. Strong word for a weak person who simply wants to walk in a way that would honor my God.  But in Psalm 31:24, it says: “Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD” (NASB).  Courage. It doesn’t mean I won’t be afraid. It will simply mean that when the choice comes, I can stand firm in who God made me in Christ Jesus, and do what He is calling me to do, even if it takes me out of my comfort zone.  Like Daniel in the lion’s den, I need to simply move forward in the face of my fear and in confidence in Christ, whether I feel like it or not. And then trust Him with the results.

I am grateful that God does not leave me to do this on my own. I’m grateful for the power of His Holy Spirit within me to enable me. I’m grateful for the people He has placed along the way to encourage and pray when those moments come.

So my word for the year is courage. If you were to select a word for this year for yourself, what would it be?