Do Not Merely Exist BLESSED SINGLENESS + FORSAKING IT ALL SAIL THE HIGH SEAS + BIBLE MAN ARMOR

Frustrated

February 26, 2013

I am frustrated today. I have been, actually, since Sunday afternoon. I won't mention why, because I am not sure who reads my posts outside of my faithful followers. And I wouldn't want to seem like I was having a pity party. Which I am not. But the frustration has been nagging at me, causing what is bothering me to be heightened. And it has been putting me in a bad mood, as well as, in a sense, causing me to overreact to every little thing.  

I hate that. Because now I am having second thoughts about certain things; not wanting to do anything to exert energy; not even wanting to hang out this weekend with anyone, due to not wanting to release this harbored frustration. However, if I do not release this frustration it will soon (I know from experience) turn into anger and disdain. 

But upon reading the Bible in search for encouragement and guidance during this time of incessant irritation that has overwhelmed me, I have found that frustration is a temporary feeling. It won't last forever. And that he encourages us to continue with out lives, work through the problem at hand, struggle a bit, and come out on the other side a stronger and better person because of it.  

Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”


James 4:3

"When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."




He's got this....

February 21, 2013

I'll just be honest with you right here. I am nervous about this coming Friday (tomorrow). Never before have I been nervous, or, worried about a day in my life since I was put on anxiety medication. But this worry that is plaguing me is something different. It's not an "OMG I have a test tomorrow" kind of worry. It's more of an emotional worry that I cannot begin to describe.

Mixed in with that emotional worry is a worry regarding how I am going to 1) enjoy spending time with my boyfriend at a broom hockey game and, 2) how I am going to make it home at 2 am in the morning without falling asleep at the wheel. Unless he were to come and pick me up, Friday night looks like it's not going to happen...
  
Aside from that kind of worry that I have been wrestling with, the emotional worry has to do with this letter I have written to my boyfriend. I am worried about what he'll say and think about it, because it is a very deep and personal letter expressing my feelings towards him. Not in so many words do I tell him that I love him, because I am not ready to fully and completely give my heart away to someone I have barely known for 3 months. But I want him to know I genuinely care and have feelings for him. And better than saying it through speech (which I am not good at!), I wanted to do it through sentimentally written words.

I want to share with him how I feel because he has (not in so many words as I Love You), but he has expressed to me that he does have true feelings for me that he wasn't sure he had had before, but were just now surfacing. And as he sat me down to tell me this, all I did was nod and smile. I didn't say anything in return other than "Oh, that's sweet". You would think a hopeless romantic would know how to say something romantic back. But NO!

Every time I catch myself worrying, especially over something that is about to happen and I am not sure what to do or say or think, I think back on the promise that I can cast all my fears (or worries) upon the Lord.

And each time I do cast my worries upon the Lord, I am reminded of four simple truths that help me to calm down and refocus. 

1. Worrying Accomplishes Absolutely Nothing.
"Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are." Matthew 6:27-29 
2. Worrying is Not Good for You.
"Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up." Proverbs 12:25 
3. Worrying is the Opposite of Trusting God.
"And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?" Matthew 6:30 
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7  
4. Worrying Puts Your Focus in the Wrong Direction.
"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?" Matthew 6:25 
"So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." Matthew 6:31-33 
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7 

Today I am me and you are you

February 20, 2013

Outside my window, this very morning, chirps a delightful Robin. It has been scornfully long since I have heard a Robin tweet a beautiful tune. In fact, it's been entirely too long since I have heard anything that has brought joy to my heart....
Tweeting it's melodious and graceful song, the Robin flutters her wings and struts her flamboyant copper chest.  She sits on my window seal soaking up the powerful rays of sun as they poke through the dense clouds of promising snow. I can't help but imagine the Robin's delight in the simplest thing like the sun. How her song gets louder and more spirited as the rays get larger and brighter. She seems to be overjoyed with the promise of another spring and the warmth yet to come.
Oh, how I long to feel what she feels! The sun beaming down upon my back, goose bumps roving all over my body, and the wind whipping at my nose filling my lungs with all that is fresh and sweet.
However, I almost always long to feel more: a gentle touch and embrace, a kind word, a valued thought, a peace of sound advice, a comforting gesture. I long to delight in the simple things...to have that urge to sing my heart out with such spirit that I would be almost afraid of my lungs bursting from my chest.
I want to feel the freedom and independence my friendly little Robin feels. I find myself wanting to trade places with her. I want her wings. I know this isn't going to happen. It is an unrealistic notion, and it is silly of me to think that trading placed with a bird would somehow miraculously free me from the hurt, pain, and guilt I've been feeling lately.


It is not the remedy I've been seeking. And I know it. How was that going to solve anything--by running away from who I was? Isn't there another way to feel that freedom, independence, confidence, and happiness that Mrs. Robin displayed to me openly on the window seal? How am I ever going to feel whole again? I long to be like that Robin...so secure in who I am. Unlike the Robin who knows what her purpose is, I desire to understand my plot in life and where my place is, how I am going to be used, where I am to serve.
 I realize that I am not going to ever be like that Robin on my window seal. I am not going to sprout wings and fly away. Or tweet some elegant, classical tune. I just can't do it. It isn't natural. I can't run away from who I am just because I want to be something or someone else!

Instead, the short-lived visit from my happy friend made me realize that I have something better than wings or the talent to chirp...I am a child of God. He made me unique and is highly capable of turning my pain into joy, and turning my guilt into happiness.
God wants me to be proud of who I am. And this goes for you too. Like the Robin who could care less if she were a large and majestic Blue Jay, or brightly colored Cardinal, she delights in nothing less than being exactly who God created her to be and designed her to do. She's confident, secure, independent, free.


So, if Mrs. Robin feels this way, what's her secret? She doesn't worry about what others think of her, nor does she worry about trying to be someone or something she's not. And we shouldn't either!  
God's love for you and me went so far as to make us all unique. No two people are the same. We should embrace this. We should celebrate our unique individuality--chocolate cake anyone?   
"For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them" (Psalm 139:13-16). 

"Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write,every piece you finish"(John Blake). 
"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger" (Hans Christian Andersen).
We are so much more than just individuals with uniqueness, we are children of God (John 1:12), friends forever and a day with Him (John 15:15), justified (Romans 5:1), we are united and one with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17), we belong to Him (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), we are redeemed and forgiven (Colossians 1:13-14)....we are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10)!!!!

I think I am going to need a life supply chocolate cake, because this is a tremendously huge cause for a life-long celebration. We are in Christ and He is in us. Hallelujah. We are so much more than the pain, hurt, and guilt we harbor inside. We are so much more than the clothes we wear, the color of our skin, the color of our hair, how we think, talk, walk, and act.


None of that matters to God. But what really matters is that we accept who we are and love ourselves the way we love Christ. We are His temple and part of the Body of Christ...to try and be someone or something we are not doesn't allow us to live freely for Christ. We are to consumed with ourselves that we fall short, forget what path we're on and get lost.
 This year, I am going to live my life by being me, Emily Shae Kirk, and not someone else. I will not be a wannabe, but a should-be...a "Should-Be-Loving-Myself-For Who-God-Designed-Me-To-Be". I am going to grow closer to the Lord and start loving myself the way He loves me.


He loves me for my flaws, quick temper, and sudden outbursts of insanity. He loves me that way! And I am going to work on loving me that way, too. No more wishing I were taller, skinnier, prettier, etc., I'm gonna work on being the ultimate daughter, sister, friend, and me I can be.

Do it. Be yourself. Embrace the girl God made you to be. Stop hiding and start living! See ya on the other side of the rainbow. It's brighter there, promise!

Peace // Quiet // Rest

February 19, 2013

It's getting late as it is about time for me to go to bed. But I sit here trying to elude sleep, because of how conflicted I feel. I feel as though my heart were to be torn in two, unable to do what I love, but wanting to do what I must to better prepare myself spiritually. I don't owe God anything for the priceless gifts He has given me: life, abounding love, eternal life, His Son. But I feel that I owe it to Him to read His word daily and walk with Him, as payment for all that He has done for me over the past several years and recent months. 

Yet, my heart also feels guilty for feeling that way, knowing that God does not demand of me works, especially not without faith. What He has done for me, practically saving my life!, has not cost me a penny. But I feel in debt to Him for sparing my life and giving me a second chance. These feelings, of course, probably stem from the new realization that "whoa, I am alive! What grace!" Yeah, that probably has something to do with it....

I know full-well that I do not need to work for my salvation, or owe God anything for the blessings He chooses to bestow upon me so graciously. I do know that there is a need within my life to walk, talk, and read the Word of God daily. Not just for my pleasure, but for my spiritual growth and maturity as well.

But lately, I have been feeling numb. As if there isn't anything motivating me to seek out my Lord, or delve deep into His word. Lately, I have felt so sluggish in my spiritual walk. I can't concentrate. I can't remember. I can't comprehend (which is nothing new). I can't even learn. I am just so dazed and lazy when it comes to my spiritual growth that it has come to the point where I'd rather not do it, at all. 

However, I know that this feeling soon shall pass. I feel as though this is a spiritual restfulness that I am experiencing: where my spirit is quiet and at peace, and replenishing itself, nurturing itself, and healing itself before the next wave of trials, tribulations, and lessons occur. 

PEACE/QUIET/REST Scriptures

Psalm 29:11 “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.
Psalm 34:14b “…seek peace, and pursue it.”
Isaiah 26:3 NKJV “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”
John 14:27 NKJV “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Isaiah 30:15b NKJV “In returning and rest shall you be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:…”
Isaiah 32:18 NKJV “My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”
Psalm 46:10a “Be still, and know that I am God:…”
Psalm 4:4 “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.”
Psalm 37:7a “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:…”
Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
1 Peter 5:7 NKJV “Casting all your care on Him; for He cares for you.”

Post Valentines Day

February 18, 2013

It's after Valentine’s Day and I have just a few things on my mind that I would like to discuss or muse about here in this post. Not that any of it is particularly important, but I feel the need to post. Plus I just had a cold cup of iced Passion tea, so I fill slightly energized and meditative. 
.................

I think I have the sweetest, most endearing guy. He gave me what I think most girls only dream about (at least I did!): one real white rose-my favorite-and one fake red rose. Awe!

I was speechless, too, when he entered the house all decked out in a very nice cobalt blue, pinstriped dress shirt, and coordinated with a black suit. He literally took me by surprise!

Now I wish I had a photo to share with you all. :/ He really was quite dashing. I was too lost in the moment to even think about taking a photo. Darn it!

Anyway, he took me out to eat, and we basically talked the whole time. Conversations with him never get old, and God deserves all the praise and admiration for that. Because without God having a hand in orchestrating our discovery of one another I would still be one of the single fishes floating around in the sea. 

Not that I ever minded being single. But now I know what all the fuss about having a boyfriend is all about. It's gravitational, stirring, astonishing, and dreamy. 

What a great Valentine’s Day present from my God! 

I never would have thought it remotely possible that I could meet a guy online and it be sparks abounding at first meeting and glance....or in our case, first mention of going to see The Hobbit! 
..............

But what I want to talk to you about today is the virtue of patience when looking, or, in my case, waiting for someone to come along and sweep you off your feet. Maybe not in a serious marriage type of way, but one that is quaint, simple, adorable, and still sincere. 

Waiting upon the Lord can be tiring, and wears greatly on our patience. We ask, seek, and go to the Lord in hopes that He will do for us what we want, need, or ask of Him. But that is not always the case, due the fact that what we want doesn't always coincide with what God has prepared for us in advance. 

We are not alone in our waiting regardless of whatever it is we are waiting on God to do. There are many in the Bible who have experience the pain or irritation of waiting for God to act.
In Romans 8: 22-25, it states: "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." 
Even passages, such as James 5:7, Colossians 1:10-12, Psalm 40:1 and Revelations 14:12 speak of the virtues of waiting. 

According to Power to Change Ministries: "The New Bible Dictionary defines patience as “God given restraint in the face of opposition or oppression”. Patience is only needed when there is a reason to not wait. It is only necessary in the face of opposition. This is why seeking patience is in many senses a battle. The promise we can lean on here is that patience is God given restraint. The Lord is the one who provides us with spiritual armor to go into battle. We often think of patience as mere endurance, but such logic is faulty. We are not exercising restraint on our own strength. In truth, our only responsibility is to trust that God will provide the strength to hold on, and then act accordingly to our faith in that promise."

Even when we are waiting for our true love-and who knows, my boyfriend may just be mine-we have to trust and have faith that God knows what he is doing. It may not be done in the timeframe we are looking for, but God's orchestrating does not happen in a day, sometimes it may take a few years to bring to completion. And in the meantime, He uses the time used to bring His will to fruition to help teach us the valuable lessons on patience. 

It's not easy to wait. I know. Especially for that special someone that you hope comes soon. I know I hope he comes soon. I used to not care about that sort of thing, like when my future husband will come and sweep me off my God-fearing feet. But now, the more I grow in the Word, and the older I get, I find myself excited at the prospects of growing old with someone, having children with someone, and just taking the time to love someone. It's an engaging idea, and one that I hope happens soon. And for a person who has minimal patience for this sort of stuff, I guess I will have to learn how to be patient while waiting upon the Lord. And while I wait upon the Lord, I will serve Him-heart, mind, body, spirit, and soul. 

Happy Valentines Day!

February 14, 2013

Yep, I am back! After some medical issues post Renfrew, I am back to posting more encouraging posts, as well as photos for you all! Before I head into my post on Valentines day, I want to just update you all. 

I know I have been gone for a while. Much too long, in fact. I, honestly, relapsed in my eating disorder recovery and wasn't feeling up to posting like I used to, because I felt like an utter failure and not apt to produce encouraging posts. And I didn't feel like someone so "broken" would be capable, or, was worthy of posting to you girls. 

So there's that. I also had a hard time adjusting to new medications that I was put on to help with my general anxiety and Bipolar. That was such a seriously warped time for me last year. My grades in college suffered because of the medication issues, and I was so freaked out half the time I was practically a slave to fear.

There you have it. The update. :)

><><><><><><><><

So, today is Valentines day. The day most people celebrate with their loved ones to show how much they appreciate each other. Flowers. Candy. Candle-lit dinners. Teddy Bears. Romantic Hallmark movies. Walks in the dark. Fireside romance. The typical Valentines day routine. 

I have never been one for Valentines day simply because I was peeved at the thought process that this was the one day people can appreciate each other with presents and flowers. I never understood why people stuck to this holiday to show their devotion and love for one another, when everyday should be one where couples let each other know how much they're loved and appreciated. 

I also never cared for Valentines day because I never had anyone to spend it with. Yeah, my dad used to buy us candy, flowers, and teddy bears. But it just wasn't the same, you know? I grew up knowing what Valentines day was all about. But I also believed that it was more significant if there was a couple wholly in love with one another involved....not just my dad (he is a really good man, but at a certain age you want a guy to call your own on Valentines day). 

I have been waiting 20 years to spend it with someone, and it's taken that special someone that long to come along and find me. While I have never been one for Valentines day, I am willing to go along with this holiday to see what comes of it. I know that the guy I am with is special, so I want to spend the day with him. We see each other tomorrow (when we're going to "celebrate" the holiday), and I don't want my stereotypical way of thinking about this holiday to tag along. So I am going to put my thoughts about Valentines day away, and hopefully develop new ones, due to the fact that I actually have a Valentines this year!!!!!!

Lucky me!


homeschool poll

February 12, 2013

OK. I want to do a poll of all those who were home schooled here on blogger for my sociology presentation. I would love the help!

Q: Was home schooling socially better for you as a child? 
Q: Do you think it prepared you for the "real world" (i.e college, work environment, etc.)? 
Q: What are some of the things that you wish you had been more prepared for going into the "real world" (i.e after high school graduation)?

Answer all the questions (above), in a comment, please!!!! You don't have to go into detail, but that would be appreciated! Thank you!


You Are

February 11, 2013

Dear Lord,

You are more than just a "man up in the sky", you are more than just a spiritual presence in my life. You are more than just a book. More than just a church or a group of Christians gathered together in Your name.

Lord, you are the rising and setting sun, the waxing and waning of the moon. You are a lover and a fighter. A mighty physician. Someone to be fearful of, but totally enamored by Your glory. You are the air I breathe in with each ebb and flow of my chest. The hope I seek with each tear I cry and prayer I say. You are the light. The healing. The song I am singing loudly-proclaiming the mightiness of Your Beautiful, sound, just and worthy name. 

When my voice fails me, and I lack the words to praise Your Holy name, I would dance for you with fierce devotion and delight. And, as I choke back the tears, I am truly amazed at how much love and care You took to create in me a clean heart O, God! That You took the time to mold me and make me, to allow me to bend, but never break. That you would love me so much as to allow trials and tribulations to pass my way, so that my faith and perseverance and dependency upon you may grow and blossom. 

You are more than a voice in my head. More than a song I sing, or the words I speak. You are the simplest, but mightiest of things: a hand-print, a smile, a flicker of light in someone's longing, hurting heart. You are a father, redeemer, lover, hope, justice, peace. 

You are my God. My love. My joy. My hope. My stronghold. My strength when I am weak. You are worthy of praise. You are....










practically perfect in every way.

February 9, 2013

Marry Poppins, an elegant Disney character whose character is polite, charming, and practically perfect in every way. She's the epitome of a perfect woman. I guess if you have an endless carpet bag and a magical umbrella you're entitled to being perfect. Oh, and let's not forget that magical bottle of medicine, and that catchy song; ever since she sang "just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down...", I have imagine my kerosene cough syrup to taste like watermelon bubblegum.


Aside from delicious medicine that could pass as a bedtime desert, I have often wondered what makes this nanny so dang perfect? And what is it that she has (besides the endless carpetbag, scrumptious medicine, and the ability to fly) that I don't have? I have manners, too! I can be charming if the need arises. Yet, I can't seem to figure out how to be perfect in every way.


It's confusing, though; this whole idea of perfection. We're not perfect. But we're created by a perfect God. And yet, in Song of Solomon it states: 
"I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My lover is knocking: "Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night" (Song of Solomon 5:2). 
Is there a difference in the perfection we, as humans, try to attain on our own every waking second of the day, and the "flawless one" that Christ sees in us as feminine beauties? Some food for thought. 

We're not perfect. We cannot amount to anything deserving of the sacrifice God made when He sent His Son to die for us. Sounds harsh, doesn't it? Even women are not immune to the fate of this world. But, just like Adam who was created to be the warrior, women were created for a purpose all their own. To be blossoms in a desert land; wallflowers with a flawless beauty that is theirs to discover and to share. 

I wonder...did Marry Poppins ever stop to think about what made her so perfect in every way? Was she born with it? Did she come into it be a miraculous revelation? Is this idea that she's so perfect the key to such confidence? Maybe...just maybe...if we all start believing we're perfect IN GOD'S EYES, like Marry did in her own (with a smidgen of humility), then we might have her confidence, too. We might be more bold and less wishy-washy. We might be more courageous and less scared to follow our dreams and reach for the moon (the stars are always there to catch you if you don't make it that far!). 


So what's the big deal with Marry's perfection? Her captivating confidence, that's what. I wish I had a bottle so I could capture her motivation, spontaneity, and self-confidence. If I could, I'd drink it as fast as I could so I could live on Cloud 9, too. I guess, since Marry's confidence cannot be bottled up and recycled, I am going to have to go searching within myself to dig out my own confident woman who is practically perfect in every way. And by perfect, I mean how God sees me. 

eyes of the beholder

February 7, 2013

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. It's difficult to imagine what beauty looks like to someone who views life in a cynical and unnatural manner. But to each his own. All see beauty in their way; it's not for me to say how anyone should perceive beauty.

Thus, I am thankful that God can see beauty for what it is, without ruffles, frills, pink frosting, and powder foundation. The beauty He sees isn't imagined, misconstrued, an object of scorn, lust, and greed. Beauty to God is the simple things: our hearts, our smiles, our laughter. Our off-tune singing, unsightly dance moves. Our failures. Our achievements, hopes, dreams. Our sincerity, childlike faith,
ability to be resilient. Our bruises, heartache, compassion, desire to live out His word.


That's beauty. True Beauty. Everlasting, never fading beauty. Fragrant. Vivid. Tender. Simple. Honest. Sincere. Real. God tells us in 1 Peter 3:3-5 that our beauty comes from the inside, not from the "braiding of our hair." The beauty of a woman that comes from her heart is like a fragrant rose. It's irresistible. A gentle, soft fragrance that knows when to be humble and when to shine. Its inner beauty is revealed in the sweetness of its perfume.

Every day God reminds us of the beauty in which we as women possess. Some of us may have freckles, acne, dark hair on our arms, scars on our back, no eyelashes, cancer, addictions, allergies, eating disorders; that doesn't deter Him from seeing who we are behind the masks we wear, or the flaws we have.

We see who we don't want to be. We see the beauty in only the things we want to see as beautiful. Often enough, we forget to take a step back and admire the beauty that God gave us. We cry out in distress; we don't know who we are because we've lost sight of what makes us happy. We neglected to take care of our emotional needs, stay in-tune to our likes and dislikes because we've put too much emphasis on what the world likes and doesn't like, and what makes the world happy. God is telling you in soft, snow white whispers that he's enamored by your beauty. Your real beauty.

no thief like fear

February 4, 2013

I believe fear is an innate sense of trying to protect one's self from harm. But I also believe that this sense can, at times, do more harm than good; that it shows my inability as a human to put my trust in the Lord and rely on His perfect and sound judgment.

Fear is an enemy force that grows more and more debilitating and controlling as I continue to allow it to consume  every waking moment of my life. And that is, well, a problem. Fear is all around me. It is a part of everything I do. It controls the choices I make, how I do things, where I go, what I write, how I live, even the photos I take. Fear...it is almost as if it was ingrained into the very fibers of my being.

However, the choice is mine whether I am to give into those fears, or face them and conquer them. 2 Timothy 1:7 says that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Yet, how can that be when fear is always present? What is it like to be of good courage? To have that absence of fear? When does it get easier to face these fears rather than being okay with being afraid and living in fear, regardless of how miserable it makes me? What I have come to realize is that while I feel broken for feeling constantly afraid, it is a good thing. A natural thing. A part of growing. Something that accompanies the different times of life where I am changing, developing, discovering, and uncovering who I am and what I am here on earth to do. 

But that fear...can either make me or break me. And I am determined to conquer this fear of life rather than have it conquer me. 

Funny thing, I realized for the first time, in a genuine down-to-earth, get-down-on-my-knees-at-the-feet-of-Jesus kind of moment that fear is all consuming. Controlling. Defeating. Blinding. A prison. 

And so often I go crazy over the idea of being caged. I get mad. Resentful. And I play the role of the victim, because it isn't like it's my fault or anything. I am not the reason fear is keeping me down.

All to often, out of the blue God seems to grab me by the arm, give me a little shake back into reality. It is my choice to live in fear or face it with the courage of the Lord. Instead, I wallow in the pool of self-pity, gasping for air. Wishing I could breathe that sweet air that those who trust in the Lord can breath. Longing to have the strength that only those who have faith in His divine and Masterful works can muster. 

When I think of being imprisoned by fear, my mind always goes to a scene in Lord of the Rings: Two Towers between Aragorn and Éowen. This particular scene (if you are familiar with it) embodies the very essence of the fears that I often confront. 

Aragorn - "What do you fear my lady?" 
Éowyn - "A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.
Aragorn - "You are a daughter of Kings! A Shieldmaiden of Rohan! I do not think that will be your fate."

Will that not be our fate? To be caged. To live out our deepest and darkest fears? I have always thought of that scene to be one that, in my mind, represents a conversation that the Lord and I have had on more than one occasion over the past several months.  

I am a Sheildmaiden of heaven. I am the daughter of a great King-the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, the Mightiness in the land. And in the Bible, He does promise me (and you!) that with salvation, being caged and made to endure our darkest fears will not be our fate. In heaven, with the Lord, fear has no hold over us. Even here on this very earth, fear is only what we allow it to be.

I have realized that my eating disorder was a result of my fears because I was afraid to be me. To live. To embrace. To feel. To breathe. To hope. To love. To fully accept that I am captivating in my own unique way. To believe that I am beautiful. I was scared to be rejected due to who I am. That if I am unable to accept myself, then no one else will. 

To be honest, I am still living in fear of this very distant reality. Yet, I relish in the fact that God already has the victory over the enemy, and that I am a beloved Sheidlmaiden of the High King of Heaven!



Sending you lovelies hugs, kisses, and rainy days!