Welcome to Coffee Hour and Tuesday’s Trench Lesson. It’s crazy to think that after all these years of peeling, revealing and healing that I could still experience breakthroughs and revelations, but hey, isn’t that what He says in Philippians 1:6, that He will be faithful to complete the work He began in each one of us…until the time of Christ? He never ceases to amaze me while humbling me as I am in the trenches with those who wish to transform from the inside out! Grab your coffee, your strand of faith and come with me into the trench for just a few minutes. I promise not to go too deep!
So our Transform class began two Thursdays ago. It was so exciting to see all the new faces! The first week is just an introduction and then we begin getting to the roots of any wound, weakness or worry, of which there are eight, and the first root is the root of fear. Each of the roots has several symptoms and the curriculum is full of others’ stories of struggles and/or victories in each of the symptoms, which really serves in encouraging transparency for each of the Transformers.
Fear is a gigantic problem but often minimized in the lives of many. It’s not just a false expectation appearing real, but it’s a thief, coming in like a bank robber and stealing anything valuable. Fear also paralyzes us, keeping us frozen in our unhealthy behaviors. Fear is like a snake, squirming itself into any situation, circumstance and every relationship…if we let it, and unbeknownst to us, strikes at an unsuspecting time, inflicting its poison into our lives, infecting our souls. Fear must be stopped in its tracks, but how do we do that? The real simple answer is to feed our faith, not our fears…but I’m sorry, while fear screams and faith whispers, we must make the time to take the time to learn about all the sneaky things fear does and how it works its way into our being. We cannot disown something we haven’t owned; we must become familiar with our emotional dashboard, aka, what we are feeling so we can then determine why before it wreaks havoc in our lives and spreads to the lives of those we love and care for.
Trust me when I say that you can’t teach something effectively unless you yourself have learned it and are living it. Maybe that’s why He has me doing this; so I will stay in the work He has begun, remain teachable because left to my own desires, I may just disappear to a deserted island, me, my Bible, my dog, my computer, oh, and my husband could come too! 🙂 Hmmm, hmmm, where were we?
Oh, fear, that’s right! Speaking of fear, one of my transformers posted two cool acronyms for fear: forget everything and run, or face everything and rise!
Well, the very first symptom in the root of fear has to do with a preoccupation with others’ problems and or lives, and one of the ways you can tell you have this symptom is by the sub-symptom, if you will, which asks: do you struggle to see others struggle? Now, that “struggling” comes in all sorts of ways, for example, if you are a mom of a child in school, more often than not, there is homework to do, right? I remember those days of struggling to see my son struggle through his homework, it turning into a huge thorn in my side and the temptation to just do it and get it done more often than not won out. Now that’s a minor example, but a common one.
There are all sorts of struggles that happen when someone we love is struggling. For example, for those of us who have had or still have a child who has gone off track and is self-destructing. When they come back, do we try and pay their consequences? Or do we let them struggle through to pay their own? In other words, do we help or hinder? Do we enable or empower?
But then there are the struggles that are not so obvious, for example, a disagreement with someone: are you able to disagree without an attitude, without struggling while allowing them to struggle? My good friend and former therapist labeled it “letting them behave.”
The week after our Trench Class started, my inability to let my husband struggle in a struggle revealed I still had some work to do in this area and I have no choice but to face everything and rise! Oftentimes, we as couples can get all wound up and worked up because we’re not on the same page or thinking alike or agreeing with the other’s choice. We must stop, pay attention to that emotional dashboard and make sure the “fear” light isn’t flashing; if it is, it’s time to stop, as if at a red light, and ask: What am I afraid of? See, fear sends us chasing after the delusion of control…and if I am truly surrendered to my Loving Father, what am I trying to control and why?
Oh, to express my concerns before they morph into fears, before they go too far and drive my emotional car…and to reach for that “perfect love that casts out all fears.” (1st John 4:18) Yes, I can face everything and rise!
Until next Tuesday,