He is making perfect sense out of a perfectly senseless, messed up life!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When Faith and Fear Collide

          I just turned on an old Christian playlist that I have on my computer.  A song came on from several years ago that was actually the first one that drew me to the band “Skillet”.  This was in 2005 when we’d just moved to Florida, although I’d had this CD for some time, nothing had seemed to speak to me yet, but I kept playing it just feeling like I would eventually get something from it.  My favorite line from it was “There's something deep inside, It keeps my faith alive.” because it seemed to be such profound truth.  I clung to it, listening to it over and over. 

It seems that some people think that they have a whole lot more to do with their Christian walk than they really do.  I KNOW that the Holy Spirit has more to do with why I’m still hooked on God!  Just fractions of a second after my brain realizes I’m awake, I hear “Praise You, Lord!” going through my mind.  This happens even before my eyes open and I’m even semi-conscious.  I know that the Holy Spirit is speaking to my Spirit, letting me know that I’m awake and it’s time to acknowledge Him.  I know this is (if anything on my part) only that I was able to admit my weakness and the need for Him always.  I know I’ve prayed to never fall, for the Holy Spirit to always remind me that He’s there.   There’s something deep inside that keeps my faith alive!  I know that something is the Holy Spirit!
*John 14:26  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

**The Sunday after we moved to Florida (got here on Tuesday) we were in church.  With piles of boxes left in the condo we were renting we still managed.  I remembered thinking that I’d lived mostly as a beach and bar bum when I’d lived here at 19 years old (some years ago) and I was running so fast in the opposite direction that I’m surprised my head didn’t spin off, but I was scared of that old life.  That Sunday I was so impressed by this new church.  I was introduced to the pastor, he hugged this huge 320 pound steroid bloated woman and it was as though he looked right through me to what was on the inside.  I’d never been so impressed with anyone like this before.  I felt such amazing acceptance.  And as I read in the bulletin and saw all the classes this church offered, I was impressed again.  This church truly reached out to a hurting world.  I signed up for the “Insight” class that was starting in 3 weeks that day.  I knew this church is where I belonged right off! 
And, I went on to taking numerous classes there over the next few years.  Not only did it supplement my recovery process for the CNS Vasculitis but it also added so much insight into my extremely rocky past.  This is also when more things from my past seemed to start haunting me as they were brought up in these classes.  Another part of this song “Collide” started speaking to me:
 “We are healing, but it's killing us inside
Can we take a chance when faith and fear collide
We can make it, step out and take it
We can't live feeling so numb
How long can we hold on? Can we hold on? Hold on!”
This fit my life so very well.  During the recent illness I had been put on two different antidepressants due to the part of my brain that was affected.  I’m sure that my past didn’t help.  Truth be known, I’d been through numerous counselors and psychologists, several suicide attempts, several hospitalizations, and on and on due to the abuse that I’d suffered as a teenager.  But the medication had started to make me feel numb.  I was diagnosed with Dysthymic Disorder just before leaving for Florida which is basically just that.  There were no lows (depression) but no highs either.  There was only numbness!  It was just awful!  I saw how it fit the song.  I’d found profound truth and I knew that God was working on something in me.   
          What was the fear?  In dredging up all the old thoughts, feelings, and facts of my past!  In finding a new me?  Was I ready?  That’s where the faith and fear collided.  I saw that I had to have faith to face this fear head on.  I had to have faith to believe that God was stronger, more powerful than all that old garbage in my mind. 
*2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
I had to have faith that God would get me through.   
*1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
I began numerous classes, talking out and writing out new truths in my workbooks.  I’d been told that I could write about my past to work through things to purge them, but while writing I reached into areas of my memories that were too hard to think about.  I actually ended up over the trashcan within minutes.  Those memories left me so quickly that I have no clue where they went.  God was healing me!  Faith and fear collided and Faith won!
by Skillet  
We have fallen, we have fallen again tonight
Where do we go from here, when they're tearing down our lives?
When all they want is, when all they want is for us to live in fear
How long can we hold on? Can we hold on? Hold on!

There's something deep inside
It keeps my faith alive
When all you can do is hide from the fear that's deep inside of you
Something to hold me close when I don't know
There's something deep inside that keeps my faith alive

We are healing, but it's killing us inside
Can we take a chance when faith and fear collide
We can make it, step out and take it
We can't live feeling so numb
How long can we hold on? Can we hold on? Hold on!



Music by John L. Cooper, Lyrics by John L. Cooper & Paul Ebersold

I ran so long and hard from the pain caused by so much abuse in my life.  I ran to drugs, alcohol, and any intoxicant that someone would pass my way to NUMB that pain.  But, it does just that, NUMBS the pain!  Only God can HEAL that pain so that the numbness is gone!  I live life with so many high times now that some may not get it but it’s life, healed from so much of the garbage.  Life as I’m supposed to have through my faith in Jesus Christ!
          If you are ready to accept Jesus and all that He has to offer you in this life and into eternity then pray this simple prayer:
Dear Jesus,
        I need you.  I repent for all of my sins.  Thank you for dying on the cross to take the penalty for my sins.  I believe you are God’s Son and I now receive you as my Lord and Savior.  I commit my life to following you.
         If you prayed this prayer please contact me and I will direct you to the next easy step that you definitely need after the important step that you just took.

        **We are still attending this same church which we ended up joining less than 1 year later.  As soon as I knew of our move to Florida I started praying for a church where we’d hate to miss on Sundays and my prayers were certainly answered.  We rarely miss a Sunday and are bothered by it if we do.

May God bless you through my writing. If He has especially touched you in any way, please leave a comment below. Your comments are so very encouraging to me to help me to keep writing. Also, click on the “Uptweet” button on the above right and share! I pray you will keep coming back. I fully believe that my writing is by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so if I am writing, there is someone that needs to read it! Maybe it’s you? Also, please be sure to share any questions you might have with me and if you would like to keep them personal (just between you and me) please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at juliana.pace@gmail.com. If I don’t know how to answer you, I will may every attempt to refer you to someone for more information. Thanks and may God bless all your days!