The Secret to Beating Fear {once and for all}

The Secret to Beating Fear {once and for all}

I know fear. I know earth-shattering, mind-spinning, gut-busting fear that comes in the blink of an eye, that overruns you with anxiety for everyone you know. I know what it means to have every single "worst nightmare" scenario race through your mind every time your husband leaves the house or your child is out of your sight. I know what it feels like to have life going along with everyone being "ok" and then the next moment, they are gone.  I know it well. 

Unfortunately, sudden death is a persistent friend of mine. I've met him time and again, and despite giving him the full breadth of my thoughts about him in no uncertain terms, he keeps showing up. Sorrow and suffering, it turns out, don't take direction from us. When they show up unannounced, all that seems permanent and concrete and never-failing can begin to shiver and quake and flip the world right on it's axis. 

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How to Find Relief from Overwhelming Grief

How to Find Relief from Overwhelming Grief

Paul said it best when he said, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Phill 1:21)

And Paul knew. He had faced hurricanes, shipwrecks, stonings, beatings, torture unimaginable, prolonged imprisonment... He knew what it was to have much and to have nothing. He knew what it was to be imprisoned, abused, starved, lonely, grieving, and ON TOP OF ALL THAT- a stinking thorn be stuck that he could NOT get relief from- "a messenger of Satan, to torment me" (2 Cor 12:7). You know he had to had times when he was like... Dear Lord- HAVE MERCY.

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How to Fully Rest in the Promises of God When a Loved One Dies

How to Fully Rest in the Promises of God When a Loved One Dies

Sudden loss- grief of any kind- can be so overwhelming. It often leaves us running for comfort to the One who holds us all. And in His Presence, He calls us back to these truths that He laid before the earth was formed.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out... John 10:1-3

Outside our gate is the Good Shepherd, but also... the thief. The good shepherd is constant, faithful- infinitely reassuring. He waits, with his quiet presence, for the gate to be opened. He gently and consistently calls our name, shows us His Way and waits for our response. He doesn't become frustrated, impatient, or angry. He doesn't grow louder to drown out the noise. He just persistently calls out for us, lovingly and mercifully waiting for our response. He desires our readiness and willingness. He doesn't enter by force, he doesn't kick down the gate, he doesn't go in another way. His Holiness desires and persistently seeks our earnest participation and response.

He knows love can't be stolen or held hostage or locked away. He knows love only dwells in freedom and with freedom there's always choice. 

But sometimes- sometimes- the thief is loud- maddeningly, deafeningly, soul-stealing LOUD...

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