to glorify God... one thought at a time

to glorify God... one thought at a time

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sonblock (part 4)

At the end of summer, the bees begin to appear more frequently and more irritable.  It's as if they know that fall is coming and they just want to get every bit of warm weather in.  Well, my friends, we are doing the same thing, let's enjoy this summer while we can still feel the sun on our skin.  It's just a matter of time before the leaves and winds begin to change, bringing a whole new sense of smell and the need for sleeves.

On our journey through Sonblock, we covered the S in SPF.  Submit, I know it's a toughie but I am so glad you are still with me.  So let's roll right into the next letter.  The P in SPF for the sake of this writing is "Prepare".  Like we prepare to move into the next season by cutting back our annuals and digging out our sweatshirts, we need to prepare for what God has for us.

Speaking of fall, it's exciting to think that a new season of high school football will be starting.  My husband works for a local school and works the away games so he gets to watch a great team as well as their band prepare for the new season.  I have two nephews who play for rival schools, as well as a another who is now coaching at one of them.  If you have ever been a part of a football team then you understand that the preparation involved prior to the season is immense.  First they must build strength and endurance to just work on the preparation part.  They do drills, they practice daily, twice daily right before.  They work hard to prepare.  What are they preparing to do?  To win.  Every team that enters the field does not do it to just play a game, their intention is to win, and not just by a field goal.  They want to leave their mark, to let the opposition know that they are not welcome in this house, even if it belongs to them.

Once the season gets rolling, the coach leads the team to prepare for the next week.  The team watches films from the upcoming opponent.  They discuss the way they play.  He points out who is slow off the line, who tends to get called on a false start.  How fast or slow the quarterback moves in the pocket and so forth.  They prepare to beat them mentally before they even step foot on the field.  From there on out it's strictly commitment and drive that play out the fate of the game.

Preparation is most of the battle.  A pastor named Franklin Jensen said "If you don't prepare.  You won't perform well." This is so true, because talent can only get you so far so you must prepare to perform.  The walk of faith is no different.  We need to prepare to face the opposition.  We must be ready to fight.  I have been fighting a battle most of my life, at least as long as I can remember.  But it's only been the past six years that I have truly understood the importance of preparing to fight, leading me to have victory over this battle.  I suffered with severe anxiety.  I was reminded this weekend by a conversation with a young lady, how severe it truly was.  I say that I was afraid of everything, but I have realized lately that my fear was giving complete control over to God.  I can remember as far back as five years old.  I would be afraid to stay in my bed because I was certain my house would catch on fire.  I would sneak into my mom and dads room and lay next to their bed laying my head on the fringe orange carpet, trust me it was cool in the seventies!  The second the furnace would kick on, I would wake the house screaming that the house was on fire.

A few years later, we moved after my parents divorced.  I remember my fear getting really personal at that point.  I would fear getting cancer and dying at a young age.  I was afraid of the news that plastered stories of planes getting hijacked and was certain that I would be on the plane.  I can assure you that the only thing I would have been flying around in was our Ford Pinto, but that didn't stop me from freaking out over it anyway.  I would have nightmares about the towering inferno.  I would even sit up at night waiting for the mushroom cloud to appear from a nuclear explosion.  Getting in the car would spur terror as I would envision the accident that I was sure to take my life.

As I grew older, I began to question why I was fearing and started running at it.  I became reckless and numb.  I didn't care what happened to me, in fact I prayed for it so the others that made fun of me would feel bad that I was finally right.  I thank God for allowing me to meet my husband who became my focus instead of death.  My life calmed down, we got married and decided to have babies.  With the birth of our first child, came a birth of full blown anxiety in my life.  It was at this point that the war became strongest.  My husband would sit on the floor holding the baby while I rocked and wept begging him one more time to check my heart rate to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack.  I would have sweet moments were I would think that being a mom was exactly what I was supposed to do.   I loved being a mom and adored my baby, but the thought would be followed up with another thought, or should I say threat "Don't get used to this feeling, she isn't even going to remember you.  You will be dead before she knows who you are."

About seven years and many trips to the emergency room later, something happened.  I can't explain it other than God allowed me to see things differently.  He opened my eyes to who I really was and who He truly was.  A friend invited me to a retreat where I heard many women tell their stories.  As one woman spoke, something was happening in my heart.  I explain it as that was the day that God introduced me to His Son, Jesus Christ.  I prayed to God my whole life, I loved God.  I wore a crucifix as a sign of my love for the trinity, but Jesus, that day became so real, so close, so intimate, that nothing would be the same after that.

So what does all of this have to do with preparation?  I promise I'm getting to that.  I began to read and study Ephesians 6:10-17.  I understood that this battle with anxiety was not against myself, but against my enemy.  I began to understand the importance of memorizing scripture and how to use it as a weapon. I needed to understand that this war, according to the bible was spiritual, I was just being used as a target.  So I began to memorize the words that fought against the lies.  I prepared for a battle that I had no idea could even be fought.

In Matthew 4, it tells how immediately following Jesus' baptism, He is led into the wilderness, by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil.  Ok, Jesus was led to be tempted by the devil in the wilderness, really?  So why then do I question the times that I find myself wandering around the wilderness singing songs to myself like "why me" or "here we go again"  can you smell the conviction in this ink?  Before we get back to this story, I am going to ask you to read Matthew 4:1-11.  I promise I will be back soon to wrap this part up.  So lace up those spikes and grab your shoulder pads and water bottle, cause we got a battle to prepare for.