I had the beautiful opportunity to share a portion of my journey with a group of ladies at a Christmas gathering over the weekend. After the talk, I had a young lady come up to me and thank me for mentioning that one of the dysfunctions (along with with many others) that led to the ending of my first marriage was verbal abuse. She shared with me how she had been in a verbally abusive relationship not too long ago and how so many people have a hard time recognizing it as abuse. We also talked about how this abuse simply becomes “normal” and a “way of life”. Doesn’t everybody get called horrible names when they have an argument? Isn’t that just part of fighting, to sling hateful and degrading words at a person that you claim to love?
Yet the truth is…NO. As a matter of fact, it is not normal. It is not healthy. It is not a behavior that any human being should ever sit back, settle for, and think “well, that’s just the way things are.”
Fear will make us do crazy things sometimes. Fear tells us that we don’t have any other choice. Fear will often tell us to venture down a particular road when we never imagined we would ever find ourselves walking down that road. Fear will even tells us that the road we are on is as good as we could ever hope for. Fear tells us to settle for the way things are (no matter how uncomfortable or painful it might be) because it’s most certainly easier, less painful, and less scary than venturing out of our
comfort familiar zones.
Fear tries to convince us that simply existing and making it through another day of settling is actual living.
Fear is most certainly a liar.
Fear is also a thief. Fear robs us of the hope and joy of the better life that Jesus promises is available to everyone.
“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10
I’ve shared this quote from Seth Godin multiple times but it came to mind again this morning. “If you think you have no choice but to do what you do now, you’ve already made a serious error.
The challenge for today: Refuse to settle for anything less than His best for you. Keep your eyes and your heart focused on the One who knows this best path even before you step foot on it.
One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is that I become more keenly aware of the great lengths Jesus (Emmanuel) went in order to be with us. I am reminded that someone who would go to such lengths to rescue us is not going to give up on us or abandon us part way through the journey. He is fully committed and that never changes… no matter how broken, how scared, how lost, or how unworthy we might feel some days. The rescuing is all HIM; we just grab on and refuse to let go.
Yesterday at church, I was talking to one of our connection team volunteers and another attender. We got on the subject of fear and how the enemy and his lies will lure us away from the truth. The connection volunteer told us about a new song that recently resonated with her called “Fear is a Liar” by Zach Williams. As she told us about the song, tears fell from her eyes. As I thought back on that special moment yesterday morning, a quote I shared at the event on Saturday came to mind again. Several folks have shared it since the event, so I wanted to share it again here.
“My brokenness is a better bridge for people than my pretend wholeness ever was.” – Sheila Walsh