Sunday, January 8, 2017

Cautious Bravery

When I decided to blog after church today, I heard the enemy telling me "People are going to just think you're crazy, hearing voices, and psychotic. You didn't 'hear' God or 'feel' Him. It's all in your imagination."
Screw you, Satan.


Recently, there's been a change brewing in the life of me and my children.  Something unexpected happened, and as a result, I had to make some decisions I wasn't mentally prepared to make.

I prayed about it for days.  I took a break from social media and filled the time I would have spent catching up with friends online praying and seeking wisdom as to how to proceed.  I sought advice from trusted companions, and found confusion in doing so, with divided opinions and advice coming from multiple avenues, so I kept on praying about that as well.

After about a week, I had what I decided was the next step, and proceeded with cautious bravery.

Cautious bravery.

I'm not sure that's a thing.  If you google "cautious bravery," you find a few different takes on it.  On one hand, people seem to think you can't be both cautious and brave or courageous, and then on the other, it only makes sense to do so.

For example:

That said, this new juncture and all of the possibilities of what could happen based on whichever decision I made was nerve-wracking, slightly terrifying, anxiety inducing, but also hopeful-exhilarating.

As I mentioned, I took my options, prayed about them, tried to imagine probable outcomes, and went with what I thought God was calling me to do.

I was afraid of being wrong, afraid of interpreting what I thought God was telling me wrong, and afraid that even if I was doing what was right, it could all go wrong anyway.  But, I owned the decision, and I stepped forward on faith.

I decided, in doing so, that if I was going to just assume it would all go awry, I was speaking words of death over the decision, and also placing my faith, trust, and hope in humanity instead of God's divine sovereignty.  I decided to anchor myself on hope and God's ultimate goodness, and I committed myself to continued prayer, because I know that human emotion can be wishy-washy sometimes, and I knew myself well enough to be able to foresee that I wouldn't always be completely hopeful, and the old patterns of condemning thoughts and negative assumptions would slither into my mindset occasionally.

I told myself that even though the decisions I make affect more than just myself, and that all people are infallible, God can use everything and anything that would come from it for His ultimate good.  I know that while it is best and important that others in my life have God in their lives, all I needed to rely on was Him, and who I am in Him.  I know who I am in Christ, and I believe I have a good idea who my children are in Christ, and that was enough to solidify my choice in proceeding.

Now, I acted on my decision, and so far, good things have come from it.  I give each day to God, and when I start to fear and worry, if I turn to my closest confidants first instead of God, they remind me to give it to God.

Today, in church, I had a big God moment.  During the beginning of worship, which is generally the part I connect with most emotionally, I was singing along, but struggling to be emotionally invested in it.  I kept having random thoughts filtering through and I realized partway through the second song, if I recall correctly, that I just couldn't "see" or "feel" who it was I was singing to.  Usually, this is not an issue for me, but today, I just felt disconnected.  Realizing that, I decided it was probably an attack from the enemy, and with the knowledge I've gained through the past couple months, I decided to use Jesus as my ammunition and attack back.  I had a moment of bravery, in that I would normally be apprehensive that others would hear me or notice, and I spoke aloud, "The enemy MUST go NOW in the name of Jesus Christ.  You have no business here."

It sounds silly, I know, and I've felt that it was silly on the multiple occasions that I have needed to conduct warfare in such a way.

I continued on, praying audibly, "I feel like I can't see you Jesus, and I don't know why.  I know You're always there."

I stopped singing almost instantly, and tears started falling.

"You can't see me, because I'm hugging you."

That's what I heard him say.

And it made so much sense.  I was suddenly flooded with the image and feeling of a warm embrace, my head buried in His shoulder, as I heard him tell me that he was proud of me, that He has made me strong, brave, courageous, and that it is okay to be cautious.  He knows that I worry sometimes and I fear other times, and He understands how sometimes I find it difficult to come to Him first, but He forgives me, accepts me, doesn't condemn me, and appreciates my honest attempts to keep Him first. I am okay, I am perfect.  He told me that what decision I made recently didn't matter as much as the fact that I sought His counsel and waited earnestly before acting, choosing what I believed He was telling me to do over what the world told me to do.  He reaffirmed that no matter what, because my hope is anchored in Him, it's going to be okay.  He reminded me that He has been there through every peak and valley so far, and that He has ultimately won it all for us anyway.  He reminded this little quiet warrior girl that she is filled with His peace and grace, and that good things will come from the trust I've placed in Him.

While I don't know what will come from my decisions and what is in store for us, I trust that it will all work out for God's good.

Sometimes, it's scary to not know His plan.  Sometimes, I fear I don't know if I'm listening or hearing or interpreting correctly.

Sometimes, I just have to latch onto the cautious bravery he's formed within me.

Not oddly at all, the next song in worship was about sitting with Jesus, being with Him, hearing His heartbeat, and so forth.  The pastor spoke how the Holy Spirit was heavy within the place.  He spoke of God's gifts being imparted right then and there, and the sermon was about healing.

It made sense.

I've found freedom, healing, and seen myself through God's eyes this year.  It's amazing what will happen when you give it to God.

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