Tag Archives: fear

Do what few people do.

On Thursday, someone I know killed himself. This person didn’t seem crazy. He faced tragedy three years ago, changed what he thought of God and through a series of methodical and long-term decision-making, ended his life.  I can’t stop thinking about this and the fears it has introduced in me. How do you stand firm in truth when everything you thought was sure, is suddenly unsure? This man couldn’t find his way to stand firm. Tonight I feel like my world is plummeting but Oh, Jesus, I am going to cling to truth.

My family is reeling from loss and grief. We are all processing things uniquely and this scares me too because I don’t understand the people I know the best. Rest assured, not a single one of us is suicidal but we are doing some crazy-ass stuff. Like cussing. And talking and crying, needing people and pushing people away, being too honest and lying, running at noon and eating a pan of brownies. And writing blogs. Sara’s having babies but I don’t think that’s her grieving process. I think that was already in the works.

I am afraid that life will not ever be what I thought it would be. I never wanted a career and I am getting one. A big challenging one. I always wanted my mom around and I don’t get her. I wanted everyone safe and happy and close. Life feels anything but those adjectives tonight. It feels unknown, tenuous, and far-flung.

But there is a man I know that preaches the truth no matter what kind of chaos is breaking loose in his life. When he is at the pulpit, he preaches his foundation. He raised me on this foundation and I am not going anywhere come hell or highwater and I think both of those are raging. This week he issued a challenge to forsake normalcy. “If you want to live as few live, you must do as few people do.”

My normalcy had been forcibly taken away but now I have the choice to deal with this as normal people would…or as the brave few would. My dad preaches truth but my dad is not the bedrock of my life. The Jesus he preaches is. I choose to bravely do this life with Jesus and trust him with the people I love. It’s unknown, tenuous, and far-flung but with Jesus as my foundation, I can do what few people do.

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It’s a Secret

I was going to do something this week that people would recognize and appreciate. It was a good thing. At the last minute, I changed tactics and did it anonymously. Then I heard the sermon today. It was about secret living with God. It kills pride. Snuffs it right out, as Pastor Jordan says. YES. I did the right thing. I hate it when I hear a sermon confirming that I did the wrong thing. Of course now, I can’t tell anyone how much I really connected with the sermon because it would ruin the whole secret theme. Drat. But (at perhaps the cost of half the reward), I can say it was a good thing. And it’s a secret. Bet you’re curious. Tooooo bad.

Jordan went on to talk about fear of man as the instigator for our actions and also the cause for most of our anxiety. For me, this is half true. I qualify extreme anxiety as the times that I cannot eat. Because usually I can. A lot.

The Times I Cannot Eat:
1. When I was in junior high/high school/college and convinced I was missing out on some extremely important, identity-shaping social event. Or, conversely, I was present at this identity-shaping event and couldn’t eat a bite for fear of spilling, choking, or green-thing-in-teeth.

2. When contemplating the boy I liked (or ‘like’, let’s get real, no past tense usually needed there) and his level of awareness of my existence and proximity to me.

3. When my family members are not safe and sound under one roof or otherwise accounted for.

4. When I am in fear for my life. You know, on turbulent commercial airliners, standing on hotel balconies above four stories, and walking in dark parking lots (the only legitimately scary place also doesn’t usually have a large selection of food).

These things cause anxiety and half of them are caused by the fear of man. Now here is my deal: I lead a public life. This does not mean I am a celebrity. Even in the small-town sense. It means that I am impulsive, have poor boundaries, and talk too much. I wear my sins on my shoulder so people are offended way more easily than if I kept my gnarly side hidden and if no one hears what I say the first time, I put it in my blog. But there are good sides of my out-loudness. Sins get confessed jonny-on-the-spot, accountability is something I crave, I quickly tell people how great they are and I am an easy read. No complicated interpretation required! But doing good deeds in secret? This is very hard. I love feeling appreciated. Who doesn’t? But I really REALLY do.

My best friend Lindsey is the Queen of Secret Good Deeds. She would buy groceries and hide them in my refrigerator and I wouldn’t realize I had them until halfway through eating peaches I never purchased. If I buy groceries, I arrange them in a display on the counter so everyone sees before I put them away. Lindsey vacuums living rooms and fills up gas tanks without a word and always when no one is looking. I want to be like this but I love getting those darn accolades. Love it.

So, I will work on the good kind of secret living. Let’s all try to do something anonymously wonderful this week and then post a comment about what it was. Perfect.

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