This has been a trying week. In the middle of preparing to move to a new state, I was scheduled to work a week in Idaho. Specifically, I was working in the Idaho panhandle. After my 5 hour flight (including layover), it was an additional 6 hour drive (with the road construction) from the Spokane International Airport to Clarkston, WA where my hotel was located.
I didn’t want to eat at the airport because I have been trying to make healthier food choices. I get my rental car and start driving only to realize I am in the middle of the mountains and there are not a lot of pit stops. I see a sign for a Subway and take the next exit.
Back on the road again, I run into road construction. The two-lane highway became a one-lane highway. I was stuck for 30 minutes while the opposing lane passed. This happened twice.
In the last 30 minute leg of the drive, I had to cross a mountain. The kicker, I didn’t realize I was on a mountain until I happened to look over and see NOTHING. No trees, no guardrails – just a thousand feet drop if I veered to close to the edge. I was driving on the outer lane. I nearly panicked. I felt dizzy. I felt pressure in my ears. I had to quickly refocus and concentrate on the car in front of me.
I am learning that you really do not have to fight your own battles. God is really better at getting at the heart of the matter. He is more surgeon with scalpel and I am more Viking with ax. lol In all of my self-righteousness, I have confronted people only to make things worse. I am also guilty of misinterpreting intent. All we have to go on are actions. Only God can judge the intent of the heart. It never fails that God will cause the person to eat their words or teach me a lesson. Either way, peace is preserved.
I am learning to eradicate fear in every area of my life. God is love and love is the opposite of fear. The Bible states, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7.Whenever I hesitate to say something or do something out of fear, I am learning to go against that feeling and do it anyway.
Last weekend, I passed out flyers explaining the Gospel of Jesus. This would have terrified me in the past – the idea of not having the right words or rejection. It was not that scary at all in retrospect. It also helped that I had a partner. Like the Bible, we went out two-by-two.
I am excited to be the age that I am. As a young girl, I was terrified of getting older. All of the pictures of older women, were wrinkled faces, gray hair and curved spines. Older women would show their photos of their younger selves and be unrecognizable to me. I thought aging would cause me to lose myself as I morphed into an old woman. I would start carrying hard candies in my 'pocketbook' and keep my coin purse in my bosom. Yep, bosom. Only older women had bosoms. lol
I can honestly say that I am the best Felicia I have ever been. I actually think I am aging in reverse. Bejamina Button. lol With the exercising and diet, I am getting better. Charting new territory, I am. All without fear.
I remember reading a story during the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake that children were so hungry that they had taken to eating dirt cakes. Literal cakes made of salt, dirt, and oil that are then baked in the sun and fed to starving children. Needless to say that this desperate act caused a multitude of harm to those ingesting it but the cake would ease the hunger pains. My point being that a need can be so great that it will compel you to do harm to yourself to fulfil it. Our needs are very real – food, safety, shelter. There are other, higher needs- belonging, family, and love. These needs can be as strong and painful as hunger when they are not being met.
I was feeling very strong desire for change. I believe in being very self-aware. I wanted to know the motivation behind my own behavior and desires. It is not enough to just feel what I feel. When I really examined my own motivations, I was being led by loneliness and fear.I am not ashamed to admit this. I am proud that I can identify my own motivations before making a rash decision.
I am learning that loneliness is a powerful motivating force. It makes people marry someone they do not love and stay long after they have both realized it. Tom Hanks in Castaway created and befriended a volleyball. When Wilson fell off the raft, Hanks' character dove in after him nearly drowning. So, is it so unreal that people will do self-destructive things in response to loneliness?
Loneliness and fear will compel you to call when you should not, stay when you need to leave, and pursue when you should be still.
Let me suggest faith as the antidote to loneliness. Faith as defined as Complete trust or confidence in God. The thing you desire (if in His will) he will grant to you. I am learning that you do not have to give in to the pressure of someone else who would like you to compromise your beliefs in order to be with him/her. God is in control.
I was at church and was reminded by the Holy Spirit how a previous manager thought my promotion was up to him. He suggested we hang out and be friends after work. I explained that I prefer boundaries. I told God about it. Within months that manager was out and I was promoted. I am learning not to fear. I am also re-learning that I am never alone. What I desire, God has in store for me. Like my promotion, it is not in the hands of man.
In marketing (and logistics) there is a phenomenon known as the push and pull system. It describes the movement of product between two subjects. In push demand, suppliers can predict demand and supplies product accordingly. In pull demand, the consumers have a need and demand the products and services to fulfill that need.
Well guys, I am talking about love – the demand or need for it. A poignant line in the movie, "The Color Purple," the character Shug Avery states, "Us sing and dance and holler just trying to be loved."
So true Shug, so true.
Sometimes the more you do to be loved, the more love alludes you. I have seen this push/pull effect in so many relationships.
The Push – I see that you are in need of love and I determine that I am going to be that for you, regardless, of your affections/behavior toward me.
The Pull – I want this but I am fearful that time or some other factor will keep me from it. In fear, I try to force the relationship to go where I want it to go.
What is driving these processes? What causes otherwise rational beings to behave so irrationally when it comes to relationships? It is fear. Fear is the saboteur of love. The Bible declares that:
"There is no fear in love; but perfectlove casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." I John 4:18
The Pull/Push system assumes love to be the product exchanged between
two people. Love is the process itself. It is the continuous exchange. I
heard it described by Pastor Tony Evans as passionately and righteously
pursuing the well-being of another. W.O.W.
Love is not the reward or goal. It is the pursuit.
Heard a great word on Sunday. The pastor discussed fear – fear of failure, sickness, death. There is so much to be afraid of if you allow yourself to be. There is a list of nearly 500 named phobias. Can you imagine having Ancraophobia – the fear of wind. I have known a few people to have Ablutophobia – the fear of bathing.
The problem with fear us that it causes the fearer to not move forward.
I can honestly admit that I had a fear of joining a smaller, family church due to an experience with a similar church in the past. I moved to Texas and became a megachurch worshipper. I never quite felt connected to the megachurch although I did make extra effort to become involved. I visited a friend's church and felt comfortable. I felt the pastor and parishioners love God and His Word. Most of all I felt FREE. "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17. BUT, i was so afraid that the experience would be a big begative based on my past experience. I went to church there on Wednesday. When the pastor's wife mentioned a new members class, I said without hesitation to add my name.
No more fear.
The problem with fear is that it keeps the fearer from experiencing. I have planned my first Vision Board Party. It has been in my heart for over a year to help motivate women with a dream to get on a path to fulfilling those dreams. Writing my goals down – in the form of a prayer journal – has worked for me in the past. I got the idea to visually create my heart's desire and invite others to do so. So what was there to be so afraid of? I was afraid my place was too small. What if no one thought it was a good idea or no one showed up? I mentioned it to a couple of friends who LOVED it. I was that much more encouraged to move ahead.I will let you know how it turns out in two weeks but I envision it to be amazing. Did you catch that?
Fear keeps you from living.
I can admit now that a big part of why I am still single is the very real fear of falling for the wrong guy. Love is so irrational. I have chosen to stay in control. Being in love is a two person process among equals. You cannot control another person's feelings or actions. I have faced a few fears in this area just not ready to divulge the details yet - another day, another post.
What are you afraid of? How did you conquer that fear?