Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Restoration of Rest

Psalm 91:1 "Whoever dwells in the in the shelter of the most High will rest in the shadow of the almighty."

Psalm 23:2 " The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul."

Being where we are in this season I have found 'rest' and 'not wanting' difficult things to comprehend. By nature I am not good at resting, I'm much better at working and getting things done by myself, or at least that's what I tell myself. Yea, good one Heather.

Yesterday we celebrated Fathers Day a day late by going out to Devils Tower and a near by reservoir to enjoy the country and make some fun memories. We had an amazing time together. It's been raining a ton here in South Dakota so everything is green and beautiful. I've never thought of South Dakota as beautiful, but everywhere I looked made me feel like I was seeing a little bit of Heaven.

In one place we drove past a field that was filled with sheep. There were sheep everywhere and there were a few that were laying down in green grass with a stream near by. It was truly beautiful and seeing it made these verses come to life for me.

The sheep looked so peaceful not at all worried or anxious or running around trying to figure out their lives. Nope, they were just resting, not wanting anything, but resting.

 Oh to be a sheep, right!? To be able to tune out all of our responsibilities and worries and fears and  just rest.

It's amazing how something so simple becomes so complicated. We fight against it like it's our job. Or if you're like me you feel completely guilty and useless if you stop for one minute.

God had to know how hard it would be for us, didn't he? He had to know that we would struggle with the concept of resting and that's why it says "He makes me lie down...". Or maybe it's more He invites me...?

God has been inviting me to rest. To stop trying to work it out, to stop trying to figure it out, to stop being fearful and filled with anxiety and to just rest!

Our culture has filled us with so many lies, a couple of my favorites are  'God meets you half way' or 'You do your part and he'll do his'. I'm sorry, but no! He comes the whole way and holds out his hand and says "Come and rest."

Today I really feel like he's not just speaking to me, but to you saying "Won't you come and rest. Won't you let me work it out? Stop trying to make it work in your own power, let me take care of it."

What is it that you're trying to work out in your own power?

It's never easy, but I know that God is so glorified when we say yes to trusting him and resting. So today I choose that.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Overcoming Insecurity

From a very young age I remember feeling a sense that I wasn't special. I think my first memories start in the second grade. There were these two girls that were best buddies and I so badly wanted to be friends with them, but I always felt like I was on the outside. I remember one of them allowed me to color with her crayons, but then got mad at me for 'coloring too hard'. I compared myself to them and felt like I never measured up. It's almost unbelievable to me that at the young age of 7 I was already very aware of what insecurity was. Of course I didn't know the name for it, but the feelings were already very developed. In every grade it was the same story, there were always 'those girls' that I compared myself to, that I wanted to be, but was never good enough for. It was something I battled silently, alone.

In high school my battle only increased; I would do ANYTHING to be liked, accepted, included. I had no self worth that was not given to me by people. I did a lot of things in those years that were soul killing, almost like I gave my soul away in exchange for love, or what I perceived to be love.

God did a lot of miracles to get me out of that deep, dark place. He brought change and healing that were supernatural. It's a journey though; often healing is a long, long road.

After high school I decided to go to YWAM (Youth With A Mission) as penance for my crimes. I thought "Ok God I'll give you this time, but then I want my life back". Well, we all know that's a joke. My life got changed and I knew that I wasn't going anywhere and then to top it all off I fell in love.

So I became a missionary and got married, I had it all together.....or not. Matt and I's first year of marriage was a train wreck. Now Matt is not perfect and he has his issues like anyone, but I can tell you that that first year was ALL me. I thought marriage would cure me and my pain. No more value problems, my husband said I had value. No more insecurity, I was wanted. Except it wasn't enough...still. Here I was a MISSIONARY and a wife and my heart was empty and hurting.

I remember the first time it came to a head we were in China, it was Dec. 2004 and I was having PROBLEMS. We were assistant leaders on this trip with maybe 10 students and I caused more problems than any of the students. I was a mess of insecurity. If anything marriage and missions only brought my insecurity out of hiding. I was constantly afraid that my husband was looking at other women. If he looked sideways I was there to point a finger in his face and cause a big scene. Embarrassing, I know.  Finally our leaders sat us down and confronted me and my problems. After some investigating our leader, the husband of the two, said "Heather you have pride"
WHAT?? I've just poured my heart out to you about my pain and insecurities and you want to say I have pride!?? I know the thoughts I was thinking in that moment weren't pleasant.

He then went on to explain his diagnosis. God says you are perfect, but you have lifted your opinion of yourself above his saying 'No, I'm not perfect, I'm garbage' and that is pride.

I continue to struggle with insecurity, but 10 years ago I learned that the tree is insecurity, but the root is pride. My struggle comes and goes and there are times when it's almost not even there, but lately I've been battling. Once again feeling like I'm not enough; not wanted or valued. So yesterday I was spending time with Jesus and asking him to speak to me about how he sees me and he said "Heather you are magnificent" The meaning for magnificent is 'impressively beautiful, elaborate, extravagant; striking. And guess what? That is who I am.

My way of overcoming insecurity is by saying "YES this is TRUE". Today take a minute to ask your Daddy God how he sees you and then do something amazing, BELIEVE what he says.

We can journey together in this battle and we can win when we choose to believe truth. I have not arrived in this. I'm still a mess of insecurity a lot of days, but I'm growing, changing and learning who I truly am more every day.