I don’t usually spend my Monday nights in hospital surgery waiting rooms. Yet, here I sit a Starbucks latte at hand & my husband under anesthesia having an appendectomy.
Over the past week he’s had abdominal pain. Not severe but enough for him to take note. After seeing our PCP on Saturday who didn’t think it was his appendix because of the lack of severe pain, but smart enough to send him for a CT Scan – he was told to go to the ER immediately.
As I look back, considering disappointments and the fact that it’s been 6 days since he started having pain I can’t help but see God’s hand and glorious faithfulness.
As I sit here typing all this out on a tiny keyboard, his wedding band on my necklace I feel peace. With my epic battle between fear and trust this year I was situated to give into fear. There is nothing I could do though. His prognosis, his pain – all in God’s hands.
Choosing trust over fear is not easy. It is only with His help that I can even begin to walk this road.
So I wait here. Trusting the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the surgery all through God. He is in control.
Rejoice with me over God’s glorious faithfulness.
Late night edit (11:22 PM AZ): I’ve just gotten home about 15 minutes ago. Excited Chihuahuas greeted me. The surgery went well. Only “complication” was the appendix had wrapped itself around itself. The surgeon had a difficult time getting it to unwrap and get it out, but all was done laparoscopically. With this I’m going to bed. It’s been a long day. Thank you all again for your prayers.
Thanks also to the wonderful surgeon (Dr. Prebil), anesthesiologist, and nurses at Banner Thunderbird.
My day yesterday was filled with Excel sheets, emails, phone calls, and chowing down on baked goods (it’s not even the holidays yet and we’ve had a stash of baked goods at work, I’m in trouble).
It’s also been full of contemplation. Sadness.
Something that Shawn and I were looking forward to and praying about if we should go, fell through. Door completely and utterly shut, locked and barricaded. We were set, but we’d waited too long in some arrangement making.
A trip that would have impacted us in many different ways, including the chance (that had me doing spins of excitement in my office chair till I got really dizzy) to meet a Twitter/Blog friend for the first time.
When Shawn shared the news of what was going on, or not going on for that matter my reply was, “Well maybe this was about us just obeying rather than going.” His – and probably the more correct scenario – “Or maybe we waited too long to obey.”
I’d sent an email to my boss today saying I didn’t need to take the time I’d requested off cause our plans got canceled. He replied that he was sorry to hear that. The thoughts that echoed in my mind were me too.
So on top of manipulating rows and rows of our customer’s inventory I’ve been wondering about this. Were we supposed to go. Were we supposed to board a giant metal tube with giant metal wings that would carry us to a place that would make big impacts? Did my pulling a Gideon on God and having Him answer my request (TWICE) and then not having the faith to actually believe it is what He wanted completely mess this up?
I’m trying to to wallow in the did I mess up part, but trying to rectify in my heart and mind what this all means. If I did mess up, that means confession and growth to move forward next time.
The truth is, I’ll never know what the correct scenario was. If it was simply about the obeying or if we waited to long to obey.
As I write this I’m currently at about 10,000 feet and jetting through blue skies and across chocolate milk colored terra firma & green patch work quilts. My desk is a seat tray and a small cup of Diet Coke rests in a cradle designed specifically for small cups.
Shawn and I spent the last 48 hours with friends, celebrating the grand opening of their church.
I’ve been saved for 18 1/2 years and fully believe that we are saved by grace alone, nothing else is required. However, I continue to believe the lie, that I must pay penance. I must suffer for my sin. I read in a book recently a phrase to the effect that forgiveness demands suffering.
I found myself relating.
I feel as though I must suffer in my repentance, in my being sorry. This affects not only my faith but realms outside of my Christian walk. If Shawn and I have an argument my brain switches to I messed up I deserve for him to be upset with me. If I make a mistake at work and get in trouble I switch into I deserve the retribution that is spoken, I should have known better.
………. ….and I wallow there.
It affects my day and my relationships.
I’ll be honest….a lot of this comes from skeletons hidden in dark closets. Things that I have trouble getting over, or should I say maturing in.
I hold on to these insecurities, these lies because in a weird twisted way they make me feel better. I feel as though I’m making payment.
Even though I could never pay, and the debt is already paid.
How do we move past the lies?
One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in my life from walking this going on 4-year journey of waiting, changing, waiting, readjustment, waiting has been God’s revamping my attitude of those in poverty.
What started out as a small flame erupted into a burning desire to rescue those in poverty when we started sponsoring Nikita. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it till the day I die, sponsorship changes YOUR life. Allowances you made before, you’re no longer willing to make. Your perspective changes.
I love what Compassion does. I love how they minister to not only the children who are part of their services but their whole family. What touches the child doesn’t stop the moment the leave Compassion’s Child Development Centers. They carry it home held in precious little hands & hearts. I love how as I sleep at night this beautiful young lady is being ministered to spiritually, physically, emotionally. I really do ♥ Compassion!!
Do you sponsor? If so what organization, and where does your child(ren) live?
I find it most intriguing that fear has been at the forefront of my mind the entire 8 months 10 days of 2010. I didn’t choose a word to live by or model my life after like Alece’s Risk or Mandy’s Childlike. It seems that a word chose me: FEAR!
So if fear chose me, I need to choose faith. I need to choose TRUST.
God is doing awesome things, leading in amazing ways in both my life, Shawn’s life, and our marriage. Frankly…it’s scary. Because I don’t know what lays beyond what’s right in front of me.
I don’t want to live a life that has me dragging around fear like a chest full of concrete. God doesn’t want me existing in fear, I think that’s why it keeps coming up. With each whisper of fear…He whisper’s, “Trust. You can do this. Just trust.”
So…the question I want to ask is how do we move away from fear?
I wish it was a simple 5 point answer, but I don’t think it is. Yes, the obvious answer is just trust God, but anyone who has experienced fear knows that is easier said than done.
Today I’d like to discuss how we move past fear. Scriptures, quotes, etc. that have ministered to you to be defined by courage rather than fear. I’d also like to take this time to pray for each other and the fears we are each experiencing. We are instructed to walk with each other, to carry each others burdens.
You guys are a great community to be a part of.
I’m excited to have the first ever guest blogger here. I’ve learned a lot from Sarah over the last eight months. I was turned on to her blog by Lindsey Nobles. Over the last few months Sarah has been tackling her fears head on. You can check out her VLogs on fear here and here.
The older I get the easier it is to dismiss real fear as personality quirks.
“I don’t DO waterslides.” She says as she covers up under a towel and sits her rear end on a bench.
“I’m just not a party planner.” She whines when someone volunteers her for a job that she does not want to do.
“Oh, no…I’m not good in large groups of women. I prefer one on one conversations.” She explains when she’s invited out.
But in reality, it’s all just fear. Fear of silly things like heights and speed. Fear of the pressure to perform under time constraints. Fear of the exposure of not being the “life of the party” and having no one laugh at my jokes.
Fear. I guess in the past I’ve allowed it to define me.
I’d rather have courage define me.
I’d rather be the one that someone invites BECAUSE she’ll jump of the pier and get her clothes and hair wet. I’d rather be the one that races her eight-year-old to the top of the waterslide to see who will be the first one down. I’d rather look at responsibilities and performance issues in the face and say, YES, I will do it and I’m not afraid.
It’s much more fun to have courage define me rather than fear.
Fear keeps me quiet. It keeps me stationary. It keeps me glued to the earth when I should be moving forward.
Fear even keeps my personality slowing trudging toward the retirement home someday where, God forbid, I fall asleep in my wheelchair scared to leave my assisted living room.
Oh yes, I will get old someday. And I may be tempted more and more to dismiss my fears and misgivings as just “who I am”. And yes, I might fall asleep during dinner when I’m 98.
Instead I want to be that courageous old lady who gathers you up and says, “Let me tell you a story, because I’ve got hundreds of them.”
I hope that who I am learning to become is a woman defined by courage and not defined by fear.
As I mentioned in my review of Permission To Speak Freely yesterday I loved the book. The night I started reading it ended up being a difficult night sleep-wise. I got only about three hours of sleep total. As I laid there tossed from my left to my right to my stomach and complete 360’s my mind wandered to fears. Fears I have. Fears that don’t necessarily keep me up at night but haunt the crevices of my mind.
I wandered down stairs and got my journal. I wrote out these fears. I needed to put them down on yellowish paper with black/blue ink. They haunt me. I don’t know how to escape them. Some of them are bigger than others. All of them are real. They speak to my life right now.
I wrote in Monday’s post that after some circumstances that I walked in fear over, that God gave me courage. However, if I’m going to be honest those circumstances which I haven’t left still bring out tremendous fear. Even just Sunday night conversations with Shawn brought my fears to the brim.
The problem with fear, is we know reality. There have been many times that I’ve had to trust God. There was no other option. Three weeks before Shawn and I got married I got laid off from my job. Not usually the way a new couple plans to start their life together. We spent the first three months of our marriage having to trust God to provide. It wasn’t easy. I remember crying on his shoulder because I couldn’t find a job, and should we go get food from our church’s Manna Ministry. Despite our own fears God provide. We paid our bills, met our rent on time, and at times had money left over.
I wonder where the disconnect happens. When we have evidences of God’s faithfulness, yet we still choose to live in fear. Fear that we won’t be able to pay our bills, fear that God is asking us to do the unthinkable, fear that we will never be healed. The list goes on and on and on.
Your turn, confession. I want this place (PrudyChick.com) to be a place that we can be open with one another. I want you to feel free to speak freely without fear of being judged by me or other readers. Today I want you to share your fears. I’m not talking ones like being afraid of spiders or snakes or the dark, but the ones that haunt you and don’t relent.
Also don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Anne Jackson’s book Permission To Speak Freely here.
[Today I continue my series on fear with a review of Permission To Speak Freely.]
I had been anxiously, anxiously awaiting the release of Anne Jackson‘s second book Permission To Speak Freely from the moment I heard she was writing it. Her desire to speak up motivated me, encouraged me.
I was unsure which path she was going to take in her essays, but I believe her avenues were completely different than what I expected. Over the course of 29 essays Anne shares her testimony of being silenced by church folk and shares her testimony and others’ testimonies of being able to confess.
Many of the essays I read through tear blurry eyes as I related with my own stories. She shares her heart and allows you to walk with her as she gives voice to silence.
She bookends segments of essays with art and poetry. Beautiful art with tragic confessions submitted by those who wanted to speak freely.
The book is a fairly quick read, though as I mentioned a meaningful one. Anne’s words weave a beautiful story.
I highly recommend reading it especially if you’ve experienced being silenced.
Visit the Permission To Speak Freely website here.
Give away: I am giving away a copy of Permission To Speak Freely to one reader. If you wish to be entered for a chance to receive the book, please leave a comment below. The contest will be open until Saturday at 6 PM Pacific, and the winner announced on Tuesday, September 14th. I will choose the winner via random number generator.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
**Confession images from Permission To Speak Freely used with permission by Anne Jackson
Back in June I wrote a post about not walking in fear. I had just come out of some circumstances that left me breathless. I’d walked in fear and my post was about how God had given me grace and courage.
Fear affects everyone. From being afraid of heights to phobias that prevent us from leave our houses (Agoraphobia).
This week I will be doing a series on fear. Fears that rip at our souls and haunt us, that leave us broken.
A look at this week:
Tuesday: Review of Anne Jackson’s book Permission To Speak Freely
Wednesday: The Haunting & Unrelenting
Thursday: Defined by Courage – guest post by Sarah Markley
Friday: Moving Away
I want this to be a place where we can talk. On Wednesday I’ll be offering a chance to confess your fears. To get them all out on the table so to speak. On Friday I’ll be offering a chance to give encouragement and reflection. I’ll explain more both at those times.
Thank you for taking this journey. I look forward to the conversations that will take place.
A friend of ours planted a church, Relevant Church, in Riverside, CA last year. They’ve done a lot for their community, everything from a Christmas toy drive that touched hundreds of kids lives to back-to-school events providing school supplies to children in need.
On September 12, they’re moving to a new location and relaunching. They are moving to a growing area of Riverside. An area that needs Jesus.
They have a heart to connect with the people of Riverside. To minister to and serve them.
As I mentioned they are relaunching on September 12. They are doing a wonderful campaign. 42,000 people will die just this week from diseases they got from drinking unsafe water. Relevant wants to help. For every person that comes they are providing 10 years of clean water to someone in need.
Watch their video for more information:
If you know anyone in the Riverside area tell them tell them about what Relevant is doing. If you’re in the area think about joining them this one Sunday. Let’s provide water for as many people as possible.
You can click the link below for a map to the location and visit their website for more information about the church:
If you’re unable to attend but interested in providing clean water to those who don’t have access to it, there are two great organizations that you can donate through
I didn’t need the cupcake (yes, thank you captain obvious) but I was tantalized by it’s pink frosting, chocolate cake, and sprinkles.
But I fell for the siren’s song that sings sweet lullaby’s to my cupcake love language.
I wish I didn’t struggle with self control.
I wish I’d only eat what I should eat and not the things that make me feel guilty and fat afterward.
Though eating may be my biggest struggle with self control, it dances in other areas. My attitude, my anger, my…well…just about everything.
I searched YouVersion for verses in the Bible that contain or relate to self control and here is what I found. 88 verses (NLT) that pepper the Old and New Testaments instructing us to be self controlled and the dangers of not being.
In short: lack of self control leads to destruction.
Whether we give in to our desires for food, sex, anger, or possessions we are allowing those things to become our saviors. We put them in front of God and allow our lives to be run by them. They become our pleasures over our pleasure for God, and in the end they destroy. They destroy our bodies, our relationships with others, and more importantly our relationship with God.
No, eating a cupcake does not create a chasm between God and I, but if I can’t be self controlled with something such as my eating what does that say about things that can create that chasm?
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.