Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fear & Despair

Fear & Despair
These two feelings go deep and wide for me.
I recently went to a conference in CA for a program that my church sponsors called Celebrate Recovery. Celebrate Recovery is a Christ centered 12 step program that helps people deal with their hurts, habits, and hang ups. I am a leader in this program.
Every year in August, Saddlebach Church in CA hosts this 3 day summit. This year, I got the chance to go. I really struggled with going on this trip. First, there was a n issue wtih Jack The Dog’s shots. In order for me to put him in a kennel he needed all his shot reords. I lost them all when I moved. Then I go to get a copy from the vet only to find out he has closed due to a stroke. No forwarding phone number or contact information for past patients was left. So my only option was to get Jack more shots and pay for them again or find another way for someone to dog sit him. Jack is a very social dog. He is actually more like a kid. SO his safety and happiness was very important to me.
Then, my assistant was fired. My bosses wife was on another vactation and took off to Portugal. That left only me to answer the phones and do business for my boss. I almost didn’t go. I said I wasn’t going. My boss said that it would be better if I didn’t go. I told the whole Celebrate Recovery team to have a good time without me. THEN the day before the flight and team was to leave, the plan…God’s plan, came together. My son decided that he would rather earn the money to take care of the dog than to hang with a friend. Then my boss tells me to go. That he can handle the company.
Now, knowing my boss, I’m sure that he had the best of intentions. He didn’t want me to lose out on the money for the trip..it could not be refunded or changed. But he cannot handle the phones and the customers and the vendors with the grace and eloquence like I can. I’m very very good at what I do. SO, I assured him that I would do my job in CA and take care of things like I always do. He was relieved to say the least. BUT here is the issue with that…CA is Pacific Standard Time. They are 3 hours behind the East Coast that my company and crews work!! This small detail didn’t really become REAL to me until I had to set my alarm for 3:30 AM to answer my phone. Which I did. You see, when I leave the office all the calls forward to my cell phone. So I was taking all the calls and the Nextel radio calls as well. Busy busy girl.
My roommates were so completely tolerant of me. I was blessed. My team was so supportive of me. I was so blessed. They didn’t even bat an eye when that phone rang in the middle of a conversation and I had to answer it and take the call. They didn’t even flinch when I had to leave my seminars to take the calls. My TEAM is the bomb-diggity!!
OK. So I am there in CA and the first day sucked!! It really sucked. I wanted my house. My office. My coffee. And I am a smoker. I was the only one that smoked. Which means that I had to be VERY far away from everyone while I smoked. I was miserable to say the least. I compained to GOD. I grumbled to Him. I stamped my feel emotionally. I was just being obstinate with my God’s plan for me. I wasn’t happy. Jesus just listened. He didn’t say much. Just listened, while ME, His daughter grumbled that I was in CA and not enjoying myself. He waited while I questioned and grumbled to him that I shouldn’t have come….
By the second day, I had gotten into the swing of things with the differnt classes that I took. I connected strongly with my team mate Scott. I really enjoyed being with the other people there. This is something else altogether different for me.. I don’t like church people. But I really loved being with these people. They’re awesome. All of them. Anyway, I was in the rythem of not sleeping. Walking and sweating accross campus to catch classes. I was cool with it all. I stopped complaining and just did what I was there to do. I was there for a reason. My phones had gotten into a pattern that they would stop ringing just when I needed them to so that I could absorb all the data and the teaching I was getting. That was a GOD thing. Worship was awesome. Being surrounded by thousands of people that love God and that were there to learn and encourage each other is amazing. It was amazing to me once I opened my eyes.
The third and final day arrived and I was exhausted to say the least. I was getting about 4 hrs sleep per night due to the work I was trying to keep up with in different time zones. Going full throttle all day. Dealing with my job and the crews. Learning new things. I was fried. In a CRISPY sort of way. I was done. So I had no resistance left in me. I was pliable. This I believe is what God was waiting for. I went into the closing cermony and entered into worship. It was just awesome. Kay Warren spoke and touched my heart in the deepest of ways. It had been years since I had listened to someone speak and be moved to tears. Then we were asked “What is holding you back”?? I just sat there and prayed…”God, my whole life is bare before you. My guts are exposed. My heart is open. There is nothing that I am holding back from you. Show me what I need to see”…and then HE whispered…”FEAR”. I quickly replied that “I’m not afraid of anyone”…and He just waited….again. So knowing that my God knows my heart better than I do…I wrote “FEAR” on the card that the staff had passed out to us. We were told to write down what was revealed to us. I did. Then my heart was further dismantled and I wrote down the word “DESPAIR”. These are the two biggest and strongest feeling in my life. I have struggled thru years and years with despair. No hope. Hoplessness. No trust. I could never trust anyone.
We were asked to come forward and nail those cards to crosses that had been set up in the huge sanctuary. I literaly jumped up. I wanted to get rid of that stuff on my card and in my heart. When it was my turn, I nailed them to the “FOOT” of the cross. There was a tremendous release that happened on that day for me. Mabye it was giving that feeling of hopelssness a name and giving it to Jesus. Mabe it was a final breaking of my heart that occurred. Whatever it was, has changed me.. I now know what the feelings are that keep trying to choke me back. I call them by name and remind them that they are placed at the foot of the cross. I don’t ahave too carry them anymore or be controlled by them. I don’t have to carry them anymore.
I walked away from CA in a pink fluffy GOD cloud. I remained that way for about 10 days. Then life kicked me in the teeth. My daughter Sarah told me she was pregnant. She is single. She has broken off the relationship with the baby’s father due to the fact that he has been trying to force her to abort. She made a choice as is her right gauranteed by the laws of the US to keep her baby. I gotta tell you that I instantly fell right back into step with Fear & Despair. I was then gently reminded by my Jesus that they were nailed at the foot of His cross.
I know that God will get us thru this. There is no such thing as a mistake baby. There is HOPE. I cannot feel hopelessness the way it used to touch me. I feel scared. But not paralyzed. I feel fear. But I am not frozen inside. Do you think God planned it this way???

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