I do some of my best thinking while doing my hair and makeup in the mornings It’s when my day is at its quietest, and it’s just me, my God, and my makeup. A weird place for quiet time, but it works for me.
There have been so many mornings that I’ve woken up feeling ugly. Bare faced and curly haired, sometimes I just feel ugly. Those are the moments I hear whispers from the Still Small voice. He speaks and tells me that I’m beautiful. It’s the most astounding thing, and it’s just what I need to pull myself together and get on with my day.
On this specific morning, I was thinking about a friend of mine that I’ve been praying for. Personally, when I’m praying for someone that’s in a situation, I do my best (with the help of the Holy Spirit) to figure out why/how this situation arose. So many times we find ourselves in situations that we label an attack or that blame the devil for, but some of the time our situation is just the aftermath of bad decisions that we've made. As much as I pray for myself as well as others, my desire is to find the root of the issue, and pluck it so that it can never grow back.
Reflecting on my friend’s situation, I heard a whisper. It said “Fear. Fear is what holds us back.”
Just like that, my mind plummeted into my memory bank – to a time where I was in a bad (some would call toxic) relationship. I had started dating this person when I was in a very vulnerable place, and looking back now, he had taken full advantage of that.
At that time, I was a part time, unemployed student. I was trying to figure out a way to save money, and make money without being employed (lazy me). His suggestion? Sell my car (My year old Toyota Yaris), and he would be able to get me a better, second hand one for a good price. Then I could save the left over cash. So foolish me, I did what he suggested.
Every time we had an argument, he would use the car situation against me. After about 3 months of not having a car, and him breaking up and making up with me, I eventually left him. Turns out I got a terrible deal, because this was a car that was in quite an accident, and he had got someone to fix it up for me. As a result, the axle was badly bent, and was costing me a fortune to replace tyres (literally) every 3 months. I remember the first time I went to replace the tyres, and the man doing the job came running up to me asking where I had bought the car, he said that I was putting my life at risk by driving it, talk about a reality check.
I could easily blame the devil for this situation, and call it an attack. Accuse him of coming against God’s perfect plan for my life by setting me back like this, but the truth was, I had gotten myself into that situation. I had chosen to listen and sell my perfectly new, working car for a hazardous one.
I asked myself some really difficult questions after that relationship. Why didn’t I just let him go after the first time he broke up with me? I let him get away with a lot of intolerable things? Why?
I was scared. Scared of being alone. Scared of not being able to find anyone again. Scared that I was going to lose my car! I was gripped by fear at that time – not only about relationships, but life in general.
I’ve often said that courage is not putting up a strong front and sweeping your situation under the carpet. Courage is facing your situation head on and overcoming it, because the second it’s in the light and you face it head on, it no longer owns you.
I remember a time when I was gripped with fear, guilt and shame, and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. The load was too heavy to carry on my own. I was desperate for God to take this thing off of me! He wasn’t doing that though, I felt as though I was sitting in a corner in a fetal position, crying and desperate and He just sat back and watched me. So I decided that if He wasn’t going to take this thing away from me, I was going to give it to Him, and that’s just what I did, and I’ve never looked back since. See, I’ve realised that God will never force Himself on you. He will always be there, but will only come in if you invite Him to, He is a perfect gentleman.
Psalm 27:1 - The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?
There’s no room for fear when your life situation is in God’s hands, He knows best, and is working that terrible situation to turn around and work in your favour.
I asked a pastor friend of mine what his definition of fear is, and he said that it’s born and cultivated in the mind. He says that fear is a fruit of and is often born out of insecurities – and I agree. So often we hear about the good seeds that can be sown and the good harvest that comes out of that, but the reality is that there are bad seeds to be sown as well.
Today, I’d like to encourage you to leave all of your fears and insecurities with God, and know that He’s got your back. It isn’t easy, but He will lighten your load, and life will get easier once you give Him the control.